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"As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body.'"
How should one interpret these words of Jesus?
The sixteenth-century Reformers turned to Scripture to find the truth of God's Word, but that doesn't mean they always agreed on how to interpret it. For example, when approaching this passage from Matthew's gospel, Martin Luther read it literally, for "as he says in his own words, it is his body and his blood," but Thomas Cranmer argued that "there must be some figure or mystery in this speech."
In this Reformation Commentary on Scripture volume, scholars Jason K. Lee and William Marsh guide readers through a wealth of early modern commentary on the book of Matthew. Readers will hear from familiar voices and discover lesser-known figures from a diversity of theological traditions, including Lutherans, Reformed, Radicals, Anglicans and Roman Catholics.
Drawing upon a variety of resources—including commentaries, sermons, treatises, and confessions—much of which appears here for the first time in English, this volume provides resources for contemporary preachers, enables scholars to better understand the depth and breadth of Reformation commentary, and seeks to encourage all those who desire to read the words of Scripture faithfully.
The Reformation Commentary on Scripture Series
The Reformation Commentary on Scripture (RCS) provides a crucial link between the contemporary church and the great cloud of witnesses that is the historical church. The biblical insights and rhetorical power of the tradition of the Reformation are here made available as a powerful tool for the church of the twenty-first century. Like never before, believers can feel they are a part of a genuine tradition of renewal as they faithfully approach the Scriptures.
In each RCS volume you will find the biblical text in English, from the English Standard Version (ESV), alongside the insights of the leaders of the Reformation. Hear from landmark figures such as Luther and Calvin, as well as lesser-known commentators such as Peter Martyr Vermigli, Johannes Oecolampadius, Martin Bucer, Johannes Brenz, Caspar Cruciger, Giovanni Diodati, and Kaspar Olevianus. The series introduces you to the great diversity that constituted the Reformation, with commentary from Lutheran, Reformed, Anglican, Anabaptist and even reform-minded Catholic thinkers, who all shared a commitment to the faithful exposition of Scripture.
Each volume is designed to facilitate a rich research experience for preachers and teachers, and contains a unique introduction written by the volume editor, providing a reliable guide to the history of the period, the unique reception of the canon of Scripture and an orientation to the thinkers featured in the volume. Many of these texts are being published in English for the first time, and volumes also contain biographies of figures from the Reformation era, adding an essential reference for students of church history.
Jason K. Lee (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is professor of theological studies at Cedarville University. He is the author of The Theology of John Smyth: Puritan, Separatist, Baptist, Mennonite and the co-editor of The Seminary as a Textual Community.