So why start up a new series? Do I need another series like I need another hole in my head? Perhaps.
We moved to Kentucky from Oklahoma in early 2022 with my in-laws coming with. I started this series in anticipation that we might not find a local church instantly and wanted to be prepared from the jump not going to church for a long while. Keeping it all the way real with you: I knew my in-laws would be slow going to church and wanted to provide the word of God to them. 1
We did end up finding a church April and have been faithfully attending. It was God's grace I started this series and his grace, I will finish it.
I need y'all to look at God! What he started, he will finish!
Matthew seems as natural as the next step because:
- The end of Ruth is the beginning of Matthew. That is, the genealogy of Jesus.
- Still building on and running with what the elders were teaching through: Chad Bird's The Christ Key.
- I have a truckload of resources on Matthew. (See below.)
- Lastly, I prepped the entire book of Matthew already. I just need to write it out.
Christian Standard Bible
Holmon Publishing. 2020.
Many times, many teachers, preachers, and small group leaders (myself included) will "cut straight to the chase" and engage the commentary instead of engaging the Word of God. Remember, the commentaries are not without error—they are the observations of the author.
Slow down, pray, read, chew and meditate.
ESV Reformation Study Bible
Commentary & Edited by R.C. Sproul.
Ligonier Ministries. March 16, 2015.
I don't have much to say except this: if I was restricted to one Study Bible, this would be the one. Even if they never make one for the CSB. That is how much I love R.C. Sproul's notes--they will always refer back to historical creeds and confessions.
ESV Study Bible
If I had to pick just one format (hardcover vs. leather vs. paperback vs. digital), I use it way more in my Olive Tree Study Bible than anything else.
Hebrew Greek Key Word Study Bible.
New American Standard Bible 1977.
AMG International. 2008.
Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible.
Life Application Study Bible.
I don't have a personal insightful recommendation on the following. I just wanted to have a stack of resources that I can check and draw from if I need to.
I mention this because in my go-to mobile Bible Study App, Olive Tree, Calvin's Commentaries are my go-to Commentary text of choice when I need clarification on the go. You can get the entire digital set for your phone (and computer) for about $40 from Olive Tree! (Or catch it on sale for $20 like I did.)
The Christ Key
1517 Publishing. July 30, 2021.
This book should not have been as controversial in my local church as you would think. But it was. I will spare you the details but suffice to say, our little church became quickly aware of terms like and the astute differences between historical-grammatical and redemptive-historical hermeneutics. I became Calvinistic just a few months after God saved me so I have always had this understanding because I sat under Reformed or Calvinist teachers. But imagine if you did not grow up in church learning that all of Scripture is about Jesus. Then all of sudden, all of the Scripture is about Christ. That type of revelation could be a shock to the system. If you are not familiar with redemptive-historical hermeneutics, I recommend this book as an excellent primer.
Matthew: An Expositional Commentary
Ligonier Ministries. October 29, 2019. Goodreads
If Sproul wrote it, 9.9/10 I am going to read it, use it, quote it, and recommend it. This volume is no exception.
Matthew: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (Volume 22) (The New American Commentary)
Craig L. Blomberg.
Holman Reference. May 1992. Goodreads
I am familiar with Blomberg. And I do like this series. This will also be referenced.
ESV Expository Commentary: Matthew–Luke (Volume 8)
Dan Doriani (Author)
Iain M. Duguid, James M. Hamilton Jr., & Jay Sklar (Editors)
Crossway. September 7, 2021. Goodreads
So, I got the first three volumes released back a few years ago. Now they are up to 11 volumes. Also, I just created a budget that allows me to purchase one commentary per paycheck. (Bivocational is the providence of God.)
The authors are top notch. This will be referenced for sure.
Charles L. Quarles.
Lexham Academic. 2023.
Note: despite the published date, I am writing this on October 15, 2022. In short, God provided quickly. Praise be to God. And as of writing this, my in-laws have not found a church. But I do want to praise my God because for the last two weeks, they have been popping out of bed to get to church. Praise be to God!