And Now for Something Completely Different: A Verse by Verse Study of the Book of Hebrews by Matthew Martin
The Book of Hebrews is one of the most significant books in the NT for its focus on Jesus using OT promises and fulfillment, but also it is an imminently practical book. Matthew Martin, in his new book And Now for Something Completely Different sets out to provide the reader with a verse by verse exposition of the text of Hebrews. Akin to a John MacArthur commentary, Martin tries to elucidate the meaning of many of the Greek words in Hebrews. The commentary also focuses on how Christ is Better than everything that came before him, a concept that permeates the entire sermon. There are no footnotes in the text but Matthew indicates that he consulted commentaries in his study.
One thing to recommend in this commentary is Matthew’s insistence that Christ be the center of the entire sermon. Christ brings a peace that no Levite priest could in offering a perfect sacrifice (54). Christ also was able to intercede for his people without hesitations that he couldn’t fulfill his duty because of sin, for Christ was sinless. The robust significance of keeping Christ at the center of this commentary is helpful because it keeps the Christ is Better theme running seamlessly throughout the book. At times, other commentaries focus too much on themes such as falling away, Melchezidek, and sacrifice. I give Matthew a hearty Amen that he continually brought back to our eyes the Messiah that we believe in. Matthew also does a fine job at referencing the OT in context with Hebrews passages that speak of the Sabbath, sacrifice, and the high priest. We need good descriptions of what was happening in the OT to understand various portions of Hebrews that are strung together like a chain of pearls.
There are two deficiencies in this commentary that I must mention; use of translation and lack of notes. Matthew uses the KJV as his guide throughout the commentary. There is nothing inherently wrong with the KJV but I hoped he would have consulted other versions (ESV, NIV) and compared it with the KJV in a more comprehensive manner. Second, his lack of interaction with other scholars is not a good sign of serious study. The commentary is not a scholarly tome but it is only right to do one’s research and to show the results in your study. Some interaction with Wenham, William Lane, and Paul Ellingworth would have enhanced his commentary.
Thanks to Book Crash for the copy of this commentary in exchange for an honest review.