This is volume twenty-six of The Anchor Bible, a new translation done book-by-book with accompanying introduction, notes, and comments. Matthew is the most familiar of the gospels, best known for its parables, miracle narratives, and the long Sermon on the Mount. Recognized by the early Church as the most fitting introduction to the New Testament, its special concern is to announce Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament. Hence its emphasis on the Law, on ethics based on the traditional theology of the Covenant, and on the centrality of Messianic hope. This commentary sets the understanding of Matthew in the context of its author's own religious and secular background. Believing that the text should be approached directly, the writers of the commentary make constant use of the recently discovered historical and linguistic evidence now available to elucidate it. This approach results in placing Jesus firmly within the framework of ascertainable Jewish tradition in first-century Palestine. The writers hold that the claim of Jesus to fulfill the Law and not to abolish it must be taken seriously. They have therefore taken a fresh look at the legal discussions in Matthew. In the light of their examination, there emerges first a revaluation of the meaning attached to such key words as "parables" and "hypocrite" and then a new and vital significance for such words. The result is a new respect for Matthew, a highly reliable early source for the ministry of Jesus, and an examination of that ministry uncluttered by the presuppositions of various forms of modern "Platonism."