Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew
Session One:
Who? When? Where? What? Why?
Intro to Matthew
• Who wrote Matthew?
• As far as we know the original copy of Matthew had no indication of
who the author...
Intro to Matthew
• When was Matthew written?
• The most common view of the date of the writing of Matthew is that is
was w...
Intro to Matthew
• Where was Matthew written?
• The discussion about the place where Matthew was
written is much more subd...
Intro to Matthew
• What kind of Literature is Matthew?
• The Synoptic Problem
• Matthew and Luke used another source calle...
Intro to Matthew
• Outline: Each of these sections begins with a narrative section and concludes
with a collection of teac...
Intro to Matthew
• Another outline The other major view of the structure of
Matthew has been influential for the past 20 y...
Intro to Matthew
• Why was Matthew written?
• The question of the kind of literature and the structure of
Matthew has led ...
Intro to Matthew
• Questions for reflection
• Study Questions for Reflection and Discussion
• These readings and study que...
Intro to Matthew
• First Day: Read the notes from this
introduction.
• 1. Identify one or two new insights that seemed
imp...
Intro to Matthew
• Second Day: Read Matthew 1:1-25. Now focus on Matthew
1:1-17.
• 1. Who are the two most important peopl...
Intro to Matthew
• Third Day: Read Matthew 1:1-25. Focus in on Matthew 1:18-
25.
• 1. What picture of Joseph’s character a...
Intro to Matthew
• Fourth Day: Read Matthew 1:18-2:15. Focus your attention
on Matthew 2:1-6.
• As you carefully read vers...
Intro to Matthew
• Fifth Day: Read Matthew 2:1-23. Now focus in on Matthew
2:7-15.
• 1. What response in the wise men does...
Intro to Matthew
• Sixth Day: Read Matthew 2:1-23. Now focus on Matthew 2:16-
23.
• 1. What picture of Herod do you get fr...
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Introduction to the gospel of matthewsessionone

  1. 1. Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew Session One: Who? When? Where? What? Why?
  2. 2. Intro to Matthew • Who wrote Matthew? • As far as we know the original copy of Matthew had no indication of who the author was • The bottom line authorship of Matthew is an issue that we cannot answer with certainty.
  3. 3. Intro to Matthew • When was Matthew written? • The most common view of the date of the writing of Matthew is that is was written between AD 75 and 90. • Evidence of interest in Jewish issues in the gospel • It appears that the author wants to address Jewish believers in Christ who were finding it hard to maintain their faith in Christ and their own Jewishness. • There is also minority of scholars who argue that Matthew was written in the 60’s (usually they opt for the early 60’s). Recently a small portion of a manuscript has been discovered that two scholars studying it claim to be a fragment of Matthew’s gospel. They also claim that it can be dated in the AD 50’s. There is presently considerable debate in the community of New Testament scholars as to whether the methods used by these two were valid methods and whether their conclusions were correct.
  4. 4. Intro to Matthew • Where was Matthew written? • The discussion about the place where Matthew was written is much more subdued than that about authorship and date • It is generally assumed that Matthew was writing for people who lived near where he wrote. • Syria is the most commonly suggested place for the writing (and audience) of Matthew
  5. 5. Intro to Matthew • What kind of Literature is Matthew? • The Synoptic Problem • Matthew and Luke used another source called Q. • Redaction or Editorial Criticism • This different perspective reveals Matthew’s distinctive purpose in writing and shows his theological concerns. • Matthew as consisting of five main sections
  6. 6. Intro to Matthew • Outline: Each of these sections begins with a narrative section and concludes with a collection of teachings. The final sentence of each section begins, "Now when Jesus had finished . . ." These five sentences become the organizational key • Book 1     Narrative - Matthew 3-4     Teaching - Matthew 5-7 Book 2     Narrative - Matthew 8-9     Teaching - Matthew 10:1-11:1 Book 3     Narrative - Matthew 11:2-12:50     Teaching - Matthew 13:1-53 Book 4     Narrative - Matthew 13:54-17:27     Teaching - Matthew 18:1-19:1 Book 5     Narrative - Matthew 19:2-22:46     Teaching - Matthew 23:1-26:1
  7. 7. Intro to Matthew • Another outline The other major view of the structure of Matthew has been influential for the past 20 years. The organizational key for this view is the sentence, "From that time on Jesus began to . . ." • The Person of Jesus, Son of God     Matthew 1:1-4:16 • The Preaching of Jesus, Son of God     Matthew 4:17-16:20 • The Passion of Jesus, Son of God     Matthew 16:21-28:20 • Both have strengths and weaknesses.
  8. 8. Intro to Matthew • Why was Matthew written? • The question of the kind of literature and the structure of Matthew has led to several understandings of the gospel’s purpose • Matthew was written to provide a catechetical manual • The most common view is that Matthew was written to provide correctives to a church in danger of loosing either its Jewishness or its connection to Christ • This study will proceed on the assumption that Matthew was written to a church that was struggling to find and maintain its Christian identity.
  9. 9. Intro to Matthew • Questions for reflection • Study Questions for Reflection and Discussion • These readings and study questions are in preparation for next week's lesson. • As you study each day ask the Lord to help you understand the Scriptures and to apply its meaning to your own heart and life.
  10. 10. Intro to Matthew • First Day: Read the notes from this introduction. • 1. Identify one or two new insights that seemed important to you. Why are they important? • 2. Is there a truth or spiritual issue on which you hope Matthew will provide special help for you? Jot it down and explain why it is important for you. • 3. Write a brief prayer asking God to open his word to you as you begin this study of Matthew
  11. 11. Intro to Matthew • Second Day: Read Matthew 1:1-25. Now focus on Matthew 1:1-17. • 1. Who are the two most important people in Matthew’s genealogy of Jesus? Why do you suppose they were important to Matthew? • 2. How many women can you identify in Matthew’s genealogy. The mention of any women is very rare in Jewish genealogies. Why do you suppose Matthew included women at all and these particular women? • 3. Compare Matthew’s genealogy with that of Luke in Luke 3:23-38. What differences do you see in the two genealogies? What purpose can you see in these differences?
  12. 12. Intro to Matthew • Third Day: Read Matthew 1:1-25. Focus in on Matthew 1:18- 25. • 1. What picture of Joseph’s character and spiritual life emerges from these verses? What picture of the influence of Joseph on the child Jesus would be consistent with this view of Joseph? • 2. Verse 23 contains a partial quotation from Isaiah 7:14. What issues found in Isaiah 7:1-17 reappear in some modified form in the life and ministry of Jesus? • 3. What two names for Jesus are revealed in these verses? What is their significance? What is the value of their meaning for you personally?
  13. 13. Intro to Matthew • Fourth Day: Read Matthew 1:18-2:15. Focus your attention on Matthew 2:1-6. • As you carefully read verses 1-6 are there any details that you’ve not known or noticed before. What are they? What is intriguing about them for you? • Why do you think Herod was frightened when he heard the question of the wise men? What would the coming of Christ disrupt in our society? What would it change in your life? • Verse 6 is a rough quotation from Micah 5:2. Study Micah 5:1-4. What other phrases in Micah 5:1-4 seem to fit what you know about Christ?
  14. 14. Intro to Matthew • Fifth Day: Read Matthew 2:1-23. Now focus in on Matthew 2:7-15. • 1. What response in the wise men does their encounter with Jesus produce? What response does encountering Jesus produce in you? Is your response appropriate and satisfactory to you? • 2. How important are angels and dreams for knowing God’s will in this chapter? Do you think angels and dreams are equally important nowadays to know God’s will. Give at least one reason to support your answer. • 3. Verse 15 quotes from Hosea 11:1. What does Hosea 11 reveal about the God who is Father to Jesus? What qualities of God revealed in Hosea 11 are shared by Jesus?
  15. 15. Intro to Matthew • Sixth Day: Read Matthew 2:1-23. Now focus on Matthew 2:16- 23. • 1. What picture of Herod do you get from Matthew 2? What would you think of the idea that Herod’s character was part of the reason for the timing of Jesus’ birth as the true king of the Jews? • 2. What pattern(s) of quoting the Old Testament does Matthew follow in chapter 2? What can you learn about Matthew’s view of the Old Testament? Do you share his view? Why or why not? • 3. Verse 18 quotes from Jeremiah 31:15. Study the verses surrounding Jeremiah 31:15. What concepts that apply to the coming of Christ do you find in those surrounding verses? What hope does Christ inspire in you?

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