corner graphic   Hi,    
ver. 2.0.19.10.19
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Matthew

Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter 12
Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15 Chapter 16
Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24
Chapter 25 Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28

Book Overview - Matthew

by Gary H. Everett

STUDY NOTES ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES

Using a Theme-based Approach

to Identify Literary Structures

By Gary H. Everett

THE GOPSEL OF MATTHEW

January 2013Edition

All Scripture quotations in English are taken from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. Some words have been emphasized by the author of this commentary using bold or italics.

All Old Testament Scripture quotations in the Hebrew text are taken from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia: With Westminster Hebrew Morphology, electronic ed, Stuttgart; Glenside PA: German Bible Society, Westminster Seminary, 1996, c 1925, morphology c 1991, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All New Testament Scripture quotations in the Greek text are taken from Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology), eds. Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft (United Bible Societies), c 1966, 1993, 2006, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

All Hebrew and Greek text for word studies are taken from James Strong in The New Strong"s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, c 1996, 1997, in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

The Crucifixion image on the book cover was created by the author's daughter Victoria Everett in 2012.

Gary H. Everett, 1981-2013

All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced, stored, or transmitted in any form without prior permission of the author.

Foundational Theme - Justification Through Faith in Jesus Christ

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Song of Solomon ,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

Structural Theme - The Testimony of Scriptures that Jesus Christ is the Son of God

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life:

and they are they which testify of me.

John 5:39

Imperative Theme - The Office of the Teacher

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,

and of the Song of Solomon , and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:

and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

Untitled

He arose morning. Yes! He arose;

The grave couldn't hold my Lord.

All heaven would have stood still,

The earth would have turned no more.

No breeze would have kept on blowing,

From shore to shining shore.

There would have been no America the Beautiful,

Old Glory would never have waved;

All mortals would have kept on lying in the grave.

But, because He rose that morning there is hope

For you and me;

An without He rose that morning

That hope could never be.

So look up, there is beauty unfolding

And read the promise of His word.

This wonderful story of Easter most beautiful ever heard.

And, because He arose that morning,

He is coming again, don't you see?

So bride of Christ, be ready that time is for you and me.

Get dressed in the wedding garments all shinning from head to toe;

For without you are dressed and all ready

So sad you cannot go.

We do not know the hour. It may be evening, morning, or noon

But, that wonderful promise He gave when He left us was,

"I am coming to claim you soon."

So while we are watching and waiting

Do all for your Lord that you can, for its only the things done for Jesus

On that Great Judgment day that will stand.

(Flossie Powell Everett 1910-1987)

INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT

A. Historical Background - The historical background to the New Testament will discuss (1) the Writing Materials of the New Testament, (2) the Canonization of the New Testament, and (3) the Title of the New Testament.

1. The Writing Materials of the New Testament- There were two common types of writing materials used in New Testament times, papyrus and parchment. We see both materials mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:13.

2 Timothy 4:13, "The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments."

Papyrus was a reed plant, growing beside rivers and in wetlands, the inner bark of which was extracted and dried in flat strips. These strips were laid in a row while another row was laid in crisscross fashion, and gummed together. The Greek word "biblion" ( βιβλί ον) (G 975) used in 2 Timothy 4:13 means a roll of papyrus. In comparison, the Greek word for "paper" ( χά ρτης) (G 5489) used in 2 John 1:12 refers to a single sheet of papyrus.

2 John 1:12, "Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full."

The Greek word used in 2 Timothy 4:13 for "parchment" is "membrane" ( μεμβρά να) (G 3200), meaning an animal skin that was scraped and prepared to provide a very durable writing material. The papyrus was cheaper to acquire, but less durable than parchment. Therefore, parchment was used when a document was of greater value and need to be used often or to last for a lengthy period of time.

F. F. Bruce tells us that the shorter writings, such as Philemon 1:2 and 3John and Jude would require a papyrus sheet of convenient size. The longer works would be written on papyrus rolls, since the codex form of the book was not yet invented. The longest New Testament books, such as Matthew ,, John , Luke and Acts represent about as much writing as could easily fit onto a papyrus roll of normal length. 1]

1] F. F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963), 11-13.

Regarding pen and ink, we see a reference to this material in 3 John 1:13.

3 John 1:13, "I had many things to write, but I will not with ink and pen write unto thee:"

Ink was a compound of charcoal, gum and water or oil. In 3 John 1:13, the Greek word for "ink" ( μέ λαν) (G 3188) literally means "black" (Strong) since that was the color that was made using charcoal. The pen ( κά λαμος) (G 2563) refers to a reed that has been pointed at the end.

2. The Canonization of the New Testament- The books of the New Testament were written over a fifty-year period, from A.D 48 to 96. The first books written were probably 1Thessalonians or Galatians. The last book to be written was the book of Revelation. Thus, the New Testament believers went through a twenty-year period with no writings except the Old Testament. They were taught the new covenant by oral tradition from the apostles and their companions.

The New Testament church, because of its Jewish heritage, immediately incorporated the Old Testament Scriptures into its daily worship. This is confirmed by Justin Martyr (100-165), one of the earliest Christian apologists.

"And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things." (First Apology of Justin 67)

However, these new believers quickly realized that some of the Old Testament teachings, such as the Law of Moses, must now be interpreted in light of the New Covenant. We see this challenge taking place at the first council of Jerusalem in Acts 15:1-35.

Acts 15:1-2, "And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question."

In addition to the recognition of the Old Testament, the apostles realized that they had been given the authority to reveal the new covenant with as high authority as they held the Jewish Old Testament. According to 2 Corinthians 3:1-11, they were appointed ministers of this new covenant.

2 Corinthians 3:6, "Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life."

These early apostles recognized their authority by the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

1 Peter 1:12, "Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."

They gave commandment by divine authority.

1 Corinthians 7:17, "But as God hath distributed to every Prayer of Manasseh , as the Lord hath called every one, so let him walk. And so ordain I in all churches."

1 Corinthians 14:37, "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord."

1 Thessalonians 4:2, "For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus."

They saw their writings as divine words deposited by the Holy Spirit to the Church.

2 Thessalonians 2:15, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle."

These apostolic epistles began to be read at church gatherings along with the Old Testament Scriptures.

Colossians 4:16, "And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea."

1 Thessalonians 5:27, "I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren."

Revelation 1:3, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."

Thus, these writings began to hold equal authority to the Old Testament Scriptures.

2 Peter 3:16, "As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."

For example, in one of Paul's later epistles, written in the sixty's, we see him quoting from the book of Deuteronomy and the Gospel of Luke. In this passage, Paul gives both writings equal authority.

1 Timothy 5:18, "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."

Deuteronomy 25:4, "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn."

Luke 10:7, "And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house."

It was natural to see that the Jews rejected these New Testament books as having equal authority as the Old Testament, but the New Testament believers saw these writings as a compliment and not as a replacement for the Old Testament Scriptures. Thus, it appears that many of these New Testament books were immediately used in public worship and because authoritative guides to Christian conduct. There are numerous examples of the earliest church fathers, such as Polycarp and Clement, quoting from the Old and New Testament books as equal in authority. Justin Martyr (A.D 100 to 165) tells us that the Gospels were read on Sundays along with the Old Testament Scriptures, thus verifying that the Gospels held an equal weight of authority to the Holy Scriptures of old in his time.

"And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things." (First Apology of Justin 67)

However, the decision as to which books held apostolic authority and which were of secondary important was not quickly made by the early Church fathers. Keep in mind that there were other writings of the early Church fathers that received wide recognition and circulation, such as The Epistle of Barnabas, 1Clement, The Shepherd of Hermas, The Gospel According to the Hebrews, etc, but were never universally viewed by them as "divinely inspired," although they were considered beneficial to the Christian churches. A universal agreement among the Church fathers took several centuries.

The books that were considered as "inspired" were written under apostolic authority, although they were not immediately gathered into a universal canon and declared to be the New Testament Bible. It was not until the middle of the fourth century that the New Testament group of writings as we know them today were clearly agreed upon by the church at large as divine Scripture, equal to and in addition to the Old Testament Scriptures. The reason for this could have been the fact that all New Testament books had to be hand copied. They could have remained at certain locations for years without being circulated. Thus, it took several centuries for these particular writings to circulate into all of the churches at large and become well known. Thus, some of the books that were slow to circulate may have received "local canonicity" many years before they received "universal canonicity." The fundamental requirement for all of these writings was apostolic authority. They had to have been either written by one of the twelve apostles, or either sanctioned by these apostles to be an "instrument" of the Church, to be read and obeyed by all. Just as the Old Testament canon closed when the prophets ceased, the canon of the New Testament officially closed when the twelve apostles died.

Early church writings have handed us various lists of what they believed to be the canon of the New Testament. Athanasius (A.D 296-373), bishop of Alexandria, is generally cited as the first list of canonical books of the New Testament that exactly matches our own, having neither more nor fewer books 2] (See Letters 39, dated A.D 367). 3] Thus, scholars can give an approximate date of A.D 367 when the present New Testament canon was generally accepted by the Church. Later, Gregory Naziansen gives his list of canonical books of the New Testament, after listing the books of the Old Testament canon, but omits Revelation , saying, "And already for me, I have received all those of the New Testament. First, to the Hebrews Matthew the saint composed what was according to him the Gospel; second, in Italy Mark the divine; third, in Achaia Luke the all-wise; and John , thundering the heavenlies, indeed preached to all common men; after whom the miracles and deeds of the wise apostles, and Paul the divine herald fourteen epistles; and catholic seven, of which one is of James the brother of God, and two are of Peter the head, and of John again the evangelist, three, and seventh is Jude the Zealot. All are united and accepted; and if one of them is found outside, it is not placed among the genuine ones." (PG 38 Colossians 845) (author's translation) 4] B. F. Westcott provides a complete list of early Church catalogues of canonical books through the eighth century. 5]

2] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 444.

3] Athanasius, "Letter 39 (for 367)," in A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, vol 4: Athanasius: Select Works and Letters, eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, Grand Rapids; Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997 [electronic edition]), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2009).

4] Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

5] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 549-590.

3. The Title of the New Testament- Some of the earliest references to indicate the title of the Gospels outside the New Testament are in the writings of the Church fathers: "the prophets…and…the Gospels" (Ignatius A.D. c 35-c 107), 6] "the Law, and the Gospels" (Claudius Apollinaris 2nd cent.), 7] "the memoirs of the apostles…called Gospels" Justin Martyr (A.D 100 to 165), 8] "The Law and the Gospel" (Irenaeus A.D 130-200), 9] "The Law and the Prophets, with the Apostles along with the Gospels" (Clement of Alexandria A.D 150-215), 10] and "the Law and the Gospels" (Origen A.D 185-254). 11] Thus, the term "Gospels" has been used to collectively describe the four books of Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , and John since the early years of the New Testament Church. The title "New Testament" was used very early by the church fathers to describe the twenty-seven books. Gregory Naziansen (A. D 329-389), the Church theologian, says after listing the books of the Old Testament canon, "And already for me, I have received all those of the New Testament." (author's translation) 12] He then goes on to list the books of the New Testament. Matthew Henry says one of the earliest Greek titles for the New Testament books was " τῆς καιθῆς διαθήκης άπαντα," which means, "The Whole of the New Testament, or "All the Things of the New Covenant." Thus, Matthew Henry says that the New Testament "declared the whole counsel of God." In other words, it declares the full revelation of God's plan of salvation. 13]

6] Ignatius writes, "It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans 7, shorter version)

7] Claudius Apollinaris writes, "There are, then, some who through ignorance raise disputes about these things (though their conduct is pardonable: for ignorance is no subject for blame—it rather needs further instruction), and say that on the fourteenth day the Lord ate the lamb with the disciples, and that on the great day of the feast of unleavened bread He Himself suffered; and they quote Matthew as speaking in accordance with their view. Wherefore their opinion is contrary to the law, and the Gospels seem to be at variance with them." (From the Book Concerning the Passover) See Claudius Apollinaris, in Reliquiae Sacrae, vol 1, second edition (Oxonii: 1846), 160; The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D 325, vol 8: Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementina, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First Ages, American ed, eds. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, & A. Cleveland Coxe (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, Grand Rapids; Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997 [electronic edition]), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2009), 772.

8] Justin Martyr makes frequent references to "the memoirs of the apostles," which he also called "Gospels." He writes, "For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them;" (First Apology of Justin 66)

9] Irenaeus writes, "As in the law, therefore, and in the Gospel [likewise], the first and greatest commandment Isaiah , to love the Lord God with the whole heart, and then there follows a commandment like to it, to love one's neighbour as one's self; the author of the law and the Gospel is shown to be one and the same." ( Against Heresies 4123)

10] Clement of Alexander writes, "You may take music in another way, as the ecclesiastical symphony at once of the law and the prophets, and the apostles along with the Gospel, and the harmony which obtained in each prophet, in the transitions of the persons." (Stromata or Miscellanies 611)

11] Origen writes, "This just and good God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself gave the law and the prophets, and the Gospels, being also the God of the apostles and of the Old and New Testaments." (Origen, de Principiis preface), and he writes, "It would be tedious to collect out of all the passages in the Gospels the proofs by which the God of the law and of the Gospels is shown to be one and the same." (Origen, de Principiis 242), and he writes, "By all which it is established, that the God of the law and the Gospels is one and the same, a just and good God, and that He confers benefits justly, and punishes with kindness; since neither goodness without justice, nor justice without goodness, can display the (real) dignity of the divine nature." (Origen, de Principiis 253)

12] PG 38, Colossians 845. Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

13] Matthew Henry, Matthew, in Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

B. The Dates of the New Testament Writings- In 1971 a Spanish scholar named Jose O'Callaghan took the opportunity to study some of the fragments found in Cave Seven of the Dead Sea Scrolls. These fragments have been dated from 50 B.C. to 50 A. D. While looking for similarities in these Old Testament fragments with the Septuagint, he began to recognize words that were familiar to the New Testament. The Essenes could have easily become familiar with the teachings of the New Testament Church since their community existed in this region by the Dead Sea until it was destroyed by the Romans in A.D 68. O'Callaghan was able to read the words "beget" and "Gennesaret," a word used as the title for the Sea of Galilee. This text, although in fragments and difficult to read, appears to refer to the feeding of the five thousand as found in Mark 6:52-53.

Mark 6:52-53, "For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened. And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore."

He later identified eight fragments from Cave Seven that could be identified with New Testament writings. The scholarly magazine Bible Review ran a fascinating article on O"Callaghan, these scrolls, and their possible connection with theNew Testament in an article in December 1995. The fragments appeared to O"Callaghan to be portions of the following verses from the Gospels and Paul"s Epistles:

"For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself.. ." ( Mark 4:28).
"And he saw them toiling in rowing;. . ." (
Mark 6:48).
"And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar.. ." (
Mark 12:17)
"And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship.. ." (
Acts 27:38).
"And not only Song of Solomon , but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.. ." (
Romans 5:11-12).
"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness.. ." (
1 Timothy 3:16).
"For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer.. ." (
James 1:23-24).

If these fragments were a part of New Testament documents, they would be the oldest fragments of the New Testament to be discovered, having possibly been were buried around A.D 68 just before the Roman army besieged Jerusalem. 14]

14] Grant R. Jeffery, "Extraordinary Evidence About Jesus in the Dead Sea Scrolls," [on-line]; accessed 13February 2010; available from http://www.grantjeffery.com/article/article 1.htm; Internet.

C. Interpreting the New Testament- Paul, the Apostle, gave us the guidelines to interpreting the Old Testament ( Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 10:6). These inspired Scriptures are to be interpreted as an example of how God works and deals with mankind. Paul followed this method of teaching from the Old Testament in Hebrew 3-4and in other epistles.

Romans 15:4, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope."

1 Corinthians 10:6, "Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted."

D. The Thematic Scheme of the New Testament Writings - The thematic scheme of the New Testament writings will deal with (1) the Thematic Scheme of the Major Divisions of the New Testament, (2) the Relationship of the Themes of the Books of the New Testament, (3) New Testament Parallels with the Pentateuch, and (4) Reflections of the Progressive Order of the Believer in the Parable of the Sower.

1. The Thematic Scheme of the Major Divisions of the New Testament- Moving from the Old Testament, which emphasizes the foreknowledge of the God the Father through Predestination and Calling, and into the New Testament, we focus upon the last two aspects of Paul's four-fold plan of redemption called Justification and Glorification ( Romans 8:28-30). The proposed underlying theme of the four Gospels, Acts and the New Testament epistles is Justification through faith in Jesus Christ as man's Saviour and Lord, while the book of Revelation can be assigned the underlying theme of man's future Glorification. However, the twenty-six books of the New Testament that emphasize the underlying theme of Justification were collected into two major divisions by the early Church fathers during its process of canonization, which are (1) the Gospels/Acts and (2) the New Testament Epistles. Therefore, we can further divide the New Testament themes in regeneration (the Gospels), sanctification (Epistles), and glorification (Revelation). 15] The proposed underlying theme of the four Gospels and Acts emphasizes man's initial justification (or salvation) through faith in Christ's redemptive work on Calvary. While Jesus' role in redemption is emphasized in the Gospels and Acts , the manifold work of the Holy Spirit in man's redemption is emphasized in the New Testament Epistles. Thus, the theme of the New Testament Epistles reflects the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer's sanctification in preparing for the Second Coming, which reflects one aspect of man's justification. The early Church further divided these Epistles into the Pauline church epistles, the Pastoral Epistles, and the General Epistles. The very arrangement of the New Testament suggests that the early Church fathers may have sensed that there was such a thematic emphasis as they collected the twenty-seven books in major divisions according to these recognizable themes. In summary, the Old Testament emphasizes the divine election of God the Father through His foreknowledge of Predestination and Calling, while the Gospels emphasize the shed blood of Jesus Christ, which brings all men into regeneration, and the Epistles emphasize the sanctification of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the saints, and the book of Revelations brings all three together to fulfill all things that the Father has planned, which is the Glorification of His children. This allows the major divisions of the Old and New Testaments to reflect a thematic scheme based upon God's four-fold redemptive plan of predestination, calling, justification and glorification that was revealed to Paul and recorded in Romans 8:28-30.

15] Philip Schaff writes, "The apostolic writings are of three kinds: historical, didactic, and prophetic. To the first class belong the Gospels and Acts; to the second, the Epistles; to the third, the Revelation. They are related to each other as regeneration, sanctification, and glorification; as foundation, house, and dome. Jesus Christ is the beginning, the middle, and the end of all. In the Gospels he walks in human form upon the earth, and accomplishes the work of redemption. In the Acts and Epistles he founds the church, and fills and guides it by his Spirit. And at last, in the visions of the Apocalypse, he comes again in glory, and with his bride, the church of the saints, reigns forever upon the new earth in the city of God. This order corresponds with the natural progress of the Christian revelation and was universally adopted by the church, with the exception of a difference in the arrangement of the Epistles." See Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 574-575.

The divisions and books of the New Testament will reflect the office and ministries of the triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which are embedded in the terms foreknowledge, justification, and sanctification ( 1 Peter 1:2). Kenneth Hagin says that the New Testament places emphasis upon the believer being filled with the Holy Spirit when compared to the Old Testament books where men lived under the Mosaic Law. 16] Along with the office of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, we can find emphasis placed upon the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father. To begin with, we easily recognize that the overall underlying theme of the Holy Bible, both Old and New Testaments, can be stated as "God's redemptive plan for mankind." We can look back at the Old Testament and identify its major theme as the divine election of God the Father through His foreknowledge as He prepares mankind for the coming of the Messiah. In other words, the Old Testament books testify of the future coming of the Lord Jesus Christ according to John 5:39.

16] Kenneth Hagin, Plans Purposes and Pursuits (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993), 115.

John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

Moving into the New Testament, the Gospels and Acts emphasize the redemptive plan of Jesus Christ, as He shed His blood on Calvary and made a way for man to be restored back into fellowship with the Heavenly Father through faith and obedience to His Word, which we will call regeneration. The New Testament epistles emphasize the redemptive plan of the Holy Spirit, as He works in the process of sanctification for each believer. Finally, the book of Revelation gives to us the climax of all things, as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit work together to fulfill all things in all as the Father has planned, restoring His creation back to His perfect will. The Scriptures refer to this final act as glorification ( Romans 9:23).

Romans 9:23, "And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,"

Therefore, the Holy Scriptures can be grouped according to the three-fold office and ministry of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The very arrangement of the New Testament shows how the early Church fathers saw such a three-fold emphasis as they organized the twenty-seven books in collective groups according to these three themes. We see this three-fold emphasis upon each person of the Holy Trinity in the first epistle of Peter ( 1 Peter 1:2).

1 Peter 1:2, "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."

In summary, the work of God the Father is called foreknowledge, divine election, and glorification. The work of Jesus Christ the Son is called justification. The work of the Holy Spirit is called sanctification. The Old Testament emphasizes the foreknowledge, predestination and calling of God the Father, while the Gospels emphasize justification through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, while the New Testament epistles emphasize the sanctification of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the saints. Finally, the book of Revelations brings all three together to fulfill all things that the Father has planned as the Church enters into glorification with Him.

The Gospels & Acts - Regeneration- The Role of Jesus Christ the Song of Solomon - The four Gospels and the book of Acts emphasize the redemptive plan of Jesus Christ, as He shed His blood on Calvary and made a way for man to be restored back into fellowship with the Heavenly Father through obedience to His Word. This emphasis continues through the book of Acts , where an emphasis upon the work of the Holy Spirit also begins, so that these two themes overlay in Acts.

The Epistles - Sanctification- The Role of the Holy Spirit- The book of Acts and the Pauline and Catholic Epistles place emphasis upon the redemptive work of the Holy Spirit as He works in the process of sanctification for each believer. Each of the major themes of the nine Church Epistles emphasizes one of the foundational doctrines of the Scriptures. The Pastoral Epistles emphasize divine service. The General Epistles emphasize the perseverance of the saints against persecutions from without the Church, and false doctrines that penetrate into the Church.

Revelation - Glorification- The Role of God the Father- Finally, the book of Revelation gives to us the climax of all things, as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit work together to fulfill all things in all as the Father has planned, restoring His creation back to His perfect will. This book shows to us the glorification of the Church that God has prepared before the ages. In glorification, God restores mankind and His creation to the place He intended when He created them.

2. The Relationship of the Themes of the Individual Books of the New Testament- Each individual book of the Holy Bible can be assigned a single, underlying, redemptive theme that supports into the theme of the division of the Scriptures to which it has been assigned. As we study the individual books of the New Testament, we will see that each one has a unique theme, which is woven into the overall underlying themes of the Holy Bible. The identification of individual book themes becomes important in biblical exegesis and sermon delivery. For example, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones assigns a specific theme to the epistle of Ephesians as God the Father's redemptive plan and activity in history ( Ephesians 2:10), and says that such identification was necessary to understand Paul's argument and for proper interpretation of the passages in this great epistle. 17] Graeme Goldsworthy implies the need for any biblical expositor to follow a single, underlying message, or theme, to an epistle when he warns against "fragmentation" when preaching through an epistle of the New Testament, noting that "the epistle was written as a single letter to be read at one time." 18] Amazingly, as one identifies the themes of each division of the Bible and of individual books, it becomes clear that these themes are intricately woven into a harmonious unity within each collective division in a way that defies man's ability to have intentionally designed it. A student of the Holy Scriptures is compelled to conclude that the themes and arrangements of these books were orchestrated by God Himself guiding man over the three and a half thousand years of its writing and composition using approximately forty authors of different nationalities. In fact, the thematic schemes found in the Holy Scriptures are so well unified, it allows this divine book to stand on its own as a systematic theology of Bible doctrine. In other words, the Bible is capable of standing as its own "articles of the Christian faith." 19] As a result, the identification of biblical themes serves as a testimony to the divine inspiration, unity, and infallibility of the Holy Scriptures. 20]

17] D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God's Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians Two (Edinburgh, UK: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1972, reprint 1995), 12.

18] Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture (Eerdmans: Michigan, 2000), xiii.

19] This phrase is borrowed from Graeme Goldsworthy, where he uses the phrase "article of faith" in his defense of the unity of the Scriptures. He says, "The unity of the Bible is an article of faith before it is ever arrived at empirically." See Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture (Eerdmans: Michigan, 2000), 23.

20] See Appendix 1for a summary of a proposed thematic scheme for the Holy Bible.

Having embraced the hermeneutical view that the Holy Bible is God's inspired and infallible Word, and having proposed that the major divisions of the Bible have an underlying theme, the identification of the underlying themes of individual book of the Bible starts with a book study. The book study can begin with historical background, followed by a discussion of authorship, and date and place of writing. Once the authorship and date and place of writing are placed within their historical settings, the recipients become recognizable. From there a natural progression is made in two directions. First, the characteristics of the book will help identify the genre of the writing. The second direction establishes the theme and involves a proper evaluation of the occasion and purpose of the writing. Having found the purpose of a book, a basis to determine its theme is established. This paper proposes that each book of the Bible has a primary, or foundational theme, which can usually be recognized in the opening passages of the book. The primary theme to each book will be related to the others books in that division of the Bible, so that these themes are knitted and fitted together in a way that only God could have orchestrated. Each book also has a secondary theme that supports its primary theme, by which the structure and outline for the book of the Bible can be identified. From the secondary theme an outline of the book can be developed. In addition, each book has a third, imperative theme that calls the believer to particular aspect of obedience and sanctification. This paper will call the first theme the "foundational theme," the second theme the "structural theme," and the third theme the "imperative theme." Each book of the Bible has these three identifiable, assignable themes, that when applied to the text using the formula of "God's Plan of Redemption for Mankind," clearly reveals the redemptive message that a particular book intended to deliver to its readers. With this three-fold thematic scheme placed before the student of the Word, he is more easily able to do biblical exegesis within the context of passages, whose themes are already made clear. The effort of applying themes to the biblical text is simplified by drawing from the themes underlying the Holy Bible, which is "God's Plan of Redemption for Mankind," and the theme for that division of the Bible. In other words, every passage in the Scriptures either emphasizes the office and ministry of God the Father, Jesus the Song of Solomon , or the Holy Spirit, effecting redemption in man's spirit, soul or body in regards to predestination, calling, regeneration, indoctrination, divine service, perseverance or glorification.

The individual themes of the New Testament will be identified before approaching the Old Testament, since the Church interprets the Old Testament in light of the progressive revelation revealed in the New Testament. Thus, it will be easier to formulate a thematic structure for the Old Testament after working through the New Testament. The very fact that the sixty-six books of the Holy Scriptures were arranged into divisions suggests that the ancient Jews and the early Church fathers understood that certain books were grouped based upon genre and common themes. The Old Testament emphasizes the role of God the Father in the predestination of the nations and the calling out of the nation of Israel through His foreknowledge; the Gospels/Acts emphasize the shed blood of Jesus Christ, which brings all men into regeneration; the Epistles emphasize the sanctification of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the saints; and, the book of Revelations brings all three together to fulfill all things that the Father has planned, which is the glorification of His Song of Solomon , and the Church and Israel being glorified in Him. Thus, the major divisions of the Bible emphasize the three-fold office and ministry of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit.

3. New Testament Parallels with the Pentateuch- We can also find a parallel to the themes of the New Testament within the Pentateuch. The theme of the Pentateuch is the establishment of the nation of Israel by God's foreknowledge and divine election as His chosen method of bringing redemption to mankind. It is this holy nation that will give birth to the Messiah who will again restore righteousness upon the earth. We can easily see the theme of the Pentateuch by examining the themes of the five books of the Pentateuch together. The theme of the book of Genesis is the founding of the nation of Israel, God's seed of righteousness, by which He plans to use to in order to accomplish the redemption of mankind. God will use several men who fulfilled their divine destinies to create the nation of Israel. These patriarchs, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, will play leading roles in the establishment of this nation in much the same way the Gospels and the book of Acts reveals the origin of the Church and how men like Jesus Christ, Peter, Stephen, Philip the evangelist and Paul the apostle played leading roles in the establishment of the early Church. Thus, the book of Genesis is structured around the genealogies of these men of righteousness in order to explain its theme of the founding of the nation of Israel. As the book of Exodus establishes the doctrines of the nation of Israel, so to the Pauline Epistles establish Church doctrine. As the book of Leviticus establishes the order of worship for the Israelites, so do the Pastoral Epistles establish Church order. As the book of Numbers explains the perseverance of the righteous from persecutions from without, so do the Catholic Epistles of Hebrews ,, James , and 1Peter explain the perseverance of the Church. As the book of Deuteronomy explains the perseverance of the righteous from false doctrines from within, so do the Catholic Epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2 ,3John and Jude explain the perseverance of the Church. As the book of Joshua explains the rest and glorification of the children of Israel by entering in to possess the Promised Land, so does the book of Revelation reveal to the Church how to enter into Heaven.

4. Reflections of the Progressive Order of the Believer in the Parable of the Sower- We can also see the structure and order of the books of the New Testament in relation to the events in the life of every believer. The Gospels give us the initial proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which results in salvation of an individual. The "Church" epistles give us the doctrines of the Church, which establishes the faith of a believer. The Pastoral Epistles give us the order of the Church, which gives the believer structure in his life. The Catholic Epistles exhort us to persevere in the Christian life amidst persecutions and false doctrines. Finally, the book of Revelation gives us the hope of our calling by realizing that we will soon enter into the glory of the Father.

We find this same order in the Parable of the Sower. This parable serves as a foundational parable by which we are able to interpret all other parables. That is to say, this parable contains the key to unlock the meanings of other parables as we apply the meaning of the sower, the seed and the soil that Jesus gave us to these other parables.

The different types of soil reveal to us the progression of events in the development of every believer's life. The soil in the roadside represents the initial proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the hardened hearts of the world. Satan is often able to steal this Word out of their hearts before they are saved. For those hearts that are receptive, the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the Savior of the World is the first step in discipleship. We find in the four Gospels and Acts an emphasis upon the proclamation of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

The stony soil represents the heart that has received the message of the Gospel, but it has no depth. That Isaiah , this person has not learned the doctrines of the Church in order to become established. He has not grown in the grace and knowledge of the things of God. We find Church doctrine in the nine Church epistles of Romans through 2Thessalonians and Church order in 1Timothy through Titus. If they will become established in the teachings of the Word of God, they will be able to persevere. Others will be offended because of persecutions from the world. We find in the epistles of Hebrews , James and 1Peter the exhortations to persevere under persecution from the world.

The soil with thorns represents the heart in which the Word of God is choked out because of worldly pursuits. This person has grown in the doctrines of the Word of God and even overcome persecutions. However, in the life of a believer, he must persevere not only amidst persecutions, but against backsliding due to false doctrines embraced by the Church itself. We see exhortations to persevere despite false doctrines from within the Church in the epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3John and Jude. These epistles place emphasis upon the believer's perseverance against false doctrines. For, if they are embraced, a believer will fall back into the deceptions of the world and be overcome.

Finally, the fertile soil represents the heart that fully embraces the Word of God and grows thereby. This person has become established in the doctrines of the Church. He has persevered against persecutions (stony soil) and against false doctrines (thorny soil). He has come to a place of producing fruit for the Kingdom of God. The degrees of fruit described as thirty, sixty and one hundred-fold represent the fact that there are various levels of Christian maturity. Another insight is to say that growth of a person's fruit may be based upon the talents given to him initially by God.

Thus, the Parable of the Sower reveals that a believer first embraces the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He then becomes rooted and grounded in the faith through the knowledge of the doctrines of the Church. With such a foundation, he is able to persevere against persecutions and false doctrines so that he may reach the goal of his salvation, which is glorification in Heaven with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS AND ACTS

The most reliable records we have today about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ are contained within the four Gospels of Matthew ,, Mark , Luke and John. Although other non-canonical gospels about Jesus' life exist and have been studied, 21] the early Church fathers recognized the apostolic authority of these four Gospels and incorporated them into the New Testament canon under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. As a part of the New Testament canon, the Gospels were incorporated into the rule of instruction for the early Church, and became viewed as divinely inspired Scripture without error. Conservative scholarship views the Gospels as a necessary part of the believer's authoritative instruction for daily living, being on equal level with the Old Testament Scriptures and the Pauline epistles.

21] Montague Rhodes James , among others, collects and discusses the apocryphal works of Jesus Christ in his book The Apocryphal New Testament being the Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , Epistles, and Apocalypses with Other Narratives and Fragments newly Translated (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c 1914, 1963).

A. Historical Background - The Title of the Gospels- The English word "Gospel" is derived from the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον (G 2098), which literally means, "good news" (BDAG), and it is used by most of the New Testament writers (James and Jude excluded) to mean "the Good News" that was preached by Jesus Christ and His disciples. The early Church fathers quickly adopted this word for the title of the four canonical books about the life of Jesus Christ. For example, Mark the evangelist opens his book as "the Gospel of Jesus Christ." ( Mark 1:1). Also, the word was used in the titles of the ancient manuscripts of the Gospels of Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , and John to refer to the book itself. Since none of today's titles to the New Testament books were a part of the original writings, they were added at a later date based on tradition as these documents circulated among the churches. Prior to the writing of the Gospels and Pauline epistles, the teachings of Jesus Christ were initially propagated orally by the apostles and other disciples. When the books of the New Testament were written, beginning almost two decades after our Lord's ascent, we can imagine the four Gospels and Acts being collected together as a group and the Pauline epistles into another group and circulated among the churches prior to the arrangement and publication of the first complete Bible. The early Church bishops would have referred to the Gospels and Paul's writings as a collection of books to be read and used during public worship. Philip Schaff says that the Gospels, Pauline epistles, 1Peter and 1John were in "general use after the middle of the second century," 22] being were used in public worship among the house churches. The remaining General Epistles and book of Revelation were slower in general circulation and acceptance.

22] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 572.

Some of the earliest references to indicate the title of the Gospels outside the New Testament are in the writings of the Church fathers: "the prophets…and…the Gospels" (Ignatius A.D. c 35-c 107), 23] "the Law, and the Gospels" (Claudius Apollinaris 2nd cent.), 24] "the memoirs of the apostles…called Gospels" Justin Martyr (A.D 100 to 165), 25] "The Law and the Gospel" (Irenaeus A.D 130-200), 26] "The Law and the Prophets, with the Apostles along with the Gospels" (Clement of Alexandria A.D 150-215), 27] and "the Law and the Gospels" (Origen A.D 185-254). 28] Thus, the term "Gospels" has been used to collectively describe the four books of Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , and John since the early years of the New Testament Church.

23] Ignatius writes, "It is fitting, therefore, that ye should keep aloof from such persons, and not to speak of them either in private or in public, but to give heed to the prophets, and above all, to the Gospel, in which the passion [of Christ] has been revealed to us, and the resurrection has been fully proved." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans 7, shorter version)

24] Claudius Apollinaris writes, "There are, then, some who through ignorance raise disputes about these things (though their conduct is pardonable: for ignorance is no subject for blame—it rather needs further instruction), and say that on the fourteenth day the Lord ate the lamb with the disciples, and that on the great day of the feast of unleavened bread He Himself suffered; and they quote Matthew as speaking in accordance with their view. Wherefore their opinion is contrary to the law, and the Gospels seem to be at variance with them." (From the Book Concerning the Passover) See Claudius Apollinaris, in Reliquiae Sacrae, vol 1, second edition (Oxonii: 1846), 160; The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D 325, vol 8: Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementina, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First Ages, American ed, eds. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, & A. Cleveland Coxe (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, Grand Rapids; Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997 [electronic edition]), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2009), 772.

25] Justin Martyr makes frequent references to "the memoirs of the apostles," which he also called "Gospels." He writes, "For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them;" (First Apology of Justin 66)

26] Irenaeus writes, "As in the law, therefore, and in the Gospel [likewise], the first and greatest commandment Isaiah , to love the Lord God with the whole heart, and then there follows a commandment like to it, to love one's neighbour as one's self; the author of the law and the Gospel is shown to be one and the same." ( Against Heresies 4123)

27] Clement of Alexander writes, "You may take music in another way, as the ecclesiastical symphony at once of the law and the prophets, and the apostles along with the Gospel, and the harmony which obtained in each prophet, in the transitions of the persons." (Stromata or Miscellanies 611)

28] Origen writes, "This just and good God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Himself gave the law and the prophets, and the Gospels, being also the God of the apostles and of the Old and New Testaments." (Origen, de Principiis preface), and he writes, "It would be tedious to collect out of all the passages in the Gospels the proofs by which the God of the law and of the Gospels is shown to be one and the same." (Origen, de Principiis 242), and he writes, "By all which it is established, that the God of the law and the Gospels is one and the same, a just and good God, and that He confers benefits justly, and punishes with kindness; since neither goodness without justice, nor justice without goodness, can display the (real) dignity of the divine nature." (Origen, de Principiis 253)

B. Recipients- Gregory Naziansen (A. D 329-389), the theologian, gives us a list of the primary recipients of the four Gospels that reflects the traditions of his day, saying, "In the first place, Matthew wrote to the Hebrews of the miracles of Jesus, then Mark to Italy, Luke to those of Achaia, and John to all, a great herald who walked in heaven." (Gregorii Nazianzeni Carmen de Libris Canonicis 15]) (author's translation). 29] This tradition has been interpreted modern scholars, who suggest that Matthew wrote to the Hebrews , Mark to the Romans , Luke to the Greeks, and John to Christians. 30] The three Synoptic Gospels addressed the three mindsets of the civilized world of their day. Matthew ,, Mark , and Luke lived in a world where the Jewish mind took religion to the world's most ancient past. The Roman mind was focused on dominating and subduing nations. The Greek mindset sought the highest wisdom that man could find. Matthew wrote primarily to the Hebrews to establish Jesus as their Messiah. Mark addressed his Gospel to the Romans , who would bow before the Miracle-working power of the Jesus Christ. Luke gave attention to the Greek mind, where he spoke to logic and reason to convince his readers of the wisdom of believing in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. Why would Matthew's Gospel come first? Perhaps because to the Jews first was the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ prepared.

29] PG volume 38, columns 843-845. Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

30] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

C. Occasion- It was over twenty years from the time of Jesus' ascension to the writing of the first of the four Gospels. This is a reflection of the strong influence of oral tradition within the Jewish culture. There was no real need to write of such events in light of their precise and accurate practice of handing down Jewish heritage through oral tradition. When the Gospel message began to gain momentum within the Greek culture, it became necessary to record these stories in order to preserve their accuracy. Since the Greeks were less schooled at being faithful to the letter, the occasion was found to record the story. This purpose of maintaining accuracy to the historicity of Jesus Christ is stated by Luke within the preface to his Gospel ( Luke 1:10-14).

D. Literary Style - The Genre of the Gospels - The ancient Jewish scholars and early Church fathers collected the books of the Holy Bible into a number of groups according to their particular characteristics. Thus, we see that the Old Testament is made up of the Pentateuch, the historical writings, poetry, and books of prophecy, while the New Testament is made up of the Gospels, the New Testament epistles, and the apocalyptic book of Revelation. The various characteristics of these books are described "literary genre," which means that biblical literature has different "classes, forms, or styles." (Webster) The Gospels and Acts make up one genre of biblical literature, containing both historical and biographical material.

The art of writing history and biographies is of ancient origin and was popular during the period that Jesus lived and the apostles wrote the Gospels, with the Jews being some of the most particular of any culture to record their own genealogies and history. Within the context of the Graeco-Roman culture of the early Church, historiography embraced some of its most well-known writers during and following the period of the New Testament writings, noting that the writings of the Greek biographer Plutarch (A.D 50 to 130), the Roman historians Tacitus (A.D 55 to 120) and Suetonius (flourished c. A.D 117 to 138), and the Jewish histories Philo (20 B.C. to A.D 50), and Josephus (A.D 37 to 100) wrote their histories during this period. It is important to understand that these ancient historians were not just interested in merely formulating the chronicles of history; their intent was often to provide a moral, ethical or polemic work that could be used to teach a lesson to their readers. They lived in a world where social, economic, and political injustice needed to be addressed. 31] We are very familiar with one type of ancient historical writing, referred to in Scriptures as "the chronicles of the kings" (see 1,2Kings). While these ancient chronicles were the records of historical events made by scribes during the life of a king, they focused primarily on the great exploits of their leaders, being careful to display them in a positive light rather than giving the broader picture of historical events. Such chronicles failed to reveal the true-to-life settings of their period in history. They fail to explain why things happened they way they did. Thus, there is little or no moral lesson for us to learn from such chronicles. The Old Testament books of Kings-Chronicles were not the formal records of the king's scribes; rather, the author of these books of the Holy Bible makes it clear that these royal chronicles were only used as a source. The historical books of the Old Testament were written with the purpose of explaining to the children of Israel God's redemptive plan for them and why He judged their nation and people so harshly. In an attempt to show the true situations of that period of history, they compiled a collection of events, or " Acts ," that these kings did during their reign, choosing to record those particular acts which affected the way in which God worked within their nation. The author is able to teach us how some of these acts provoked God's wrath, while others brought His divine blessings. With this in mind, the art of historiography in Luke's day was developed with the intent of teaching a lesson by showing the true-to-life settings of a period of history or the truth of a person's character. This was done by compiling acts that gave the most insight into a personality or a setting. In other words, they were selective rather than comprehensive histories that placed emphasis upon particular themes.

31] Craig Keener says, "There was no academic discipline of ‘history' in antiquity; the two advanced disciplines were philosophy and rhetoric, and rhetoric (sometimes like ‘communication' today) was more dominant in public discourse. Because of this, rhetoric pervaded Greco-Roman life, and many of the elite with most leisure to write history were orators. Their works consequently often reflect careful literary design meant to appeal to their audience's sophisticated tastes." See Craig S. Keener, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Company, 2009), 109.

In the writings of the four Gospels, the characteristic of selectivity is clearly seen. They all have the common thread as a biography of record of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, each Gospel arranges these events in a way that teaches us a particular lesson. For example, the Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the fact that Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures. He arranges his Gospel in a format that presents Jesus as the coming King, who delivers the laws of the kingdom of heaven to His people, how He performs the work of the kingdom, how man responds to this ministry, how to handle offences and persecution, and the departure of the King. Matthew's Gospel is packaged with the message of the coming King being woven within the major theme that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messiah. Matthew closes his Gospel with the message of Jesus giving the commission to His disciples to teach all nations the laws of the kingdom of heaven. The Gospel of Mark also tells us of the events in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, Mark's intent is to testify that Jesus Christ was the Son of God because of His many miracles that accompanied His preaching. Mark presents his material by following the outline of Peter's proclamation of the Gospel message to Cornelius in Acts 10:34-43. His Gospel shows John the Baptist's commission and proclamation, then shows Jesus' commission and preaching ministry, first in Galilee, then the regions round about. Jesus then made His way to Judea and into Jerusalem to face the Cross. Mark closes his Gospel with a commission to the disciples to preach the Gospel with these same signs and miracles following. The Gospel of Luke serves to give testimony from men. It gives the most extensive story on the birth, life and testimony of John the Baptist. It also gives the testimonies of many others, such as Zacharias, Elisabeth, Mary, Simeon, and Anna. Thus, Luke tells us the life of our Lord Jesus Christ in a format of testimonies that were compiled by those who were eyewitnesses of our Lord and Saviour. The Gospel of John emphasizes the events in the life of Christ that confirm His deity. John weaves within his Gospel seven divine names that Jesus declares about Himself, seven miracles that show His deity, seven Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus fulfilled. John closes His Gospel with Jesus calling His disciples to follow Him. Thus, we see in the book of Acts that it is not just a chronology of the history of the early church. Rather, Luke selected particular people and events in order to reveal most accurately the situations that Christians lived in during this part of history. The book of Acts is then able to explain why the Holy Spirit was able to move so mightily in the hearts and lives of certain men. The book of Acts becomes more than a history book. It provides a moral foundation for the establishment of the doctrines of the New Testament church in the midst of persecution from all established religions. It provides a defense for the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as defending the ethics of these Christians who were accused by their adversaries of committing evil atrocities. Finally, an additional theme can be found woven within all four Gospels and Acts , which is the lesson that persecutions always accompany those who choose to follow Christ. Thus, we see that these five books not only give us a biography of the life of Christ and of a history of the early Church, but they each weave within their collections of events a unique theme and a lesson to be learned.

It is important to understand the literary structure of the Gospels and Acts when reading and studying them. They are not just historical records; they were intended to be teaching tools for the early Church. When critics encounter what appear to be discrepancies and inaccuracies between the recorded events within the four Gospels, it is because these critics are basing their arguments upon the assumption that these works were intended to be historical only, when in fact their greater purpose is to teach the believers particular lessons. It is in this same manner of providing a moral lesson that ancient secular historians, such as Plutarch, Tacitus, Suetonius, Josephus, and Philo, also wrote their literature. This was the style of historiography during this period in history. Even if the events were not recorded in chronological order, even if all of the details of a particular event were not recorded, the historian made sure that he provided a moral, ethical, or polemic work that could be used to teach a lesson. This is the way that we view the arrangement of the Gospels and Acts as a genre when they record historical events.

E. Thematic Scheme of the Four Gospels- Historical Development of the Themes of the Gospels and Acts - Since the time of the early Church, biblical scholars have attempted to identify a thematic scheme for the four Gospels. This discussion will deal with a) the Use of the Term "Gospels," b) the Symbolic Attributes of the Evangelists by the Early Church Fathers, and c) Modern Themes of the Gospels.

a) The Use of the Term "Gospels" - The term "Gospels" accurately reflects the foundational theme of this first major division of the New Testament, in that the "good news" ( εὐαγγέλιον) offers salvation (justification) to mankind. This title has been assigned to the first division of the New Testament since the earliest days of the Church. Helmut Koester says the word "Gospels" was first used as a collective term to describe the four writings of the Evangelists as early as the middle of the second century. 32] For example, perhaps the earliest witness to the use of this title comes from Justin Martyr (A.D 100-165), who writes, "For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them." (First Apology 663) Helmut Koester tells us that Justin Martyr uses the term "Gospel" on three occasions to refer to the writings of the Evangelists. 33]

32] Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, c 1990), 24.

33] The three uses of the word "Gospel" as a reference to the four writings of the Evangelists are cited by Helmut Koester, with the other two uses as follows: Justin Martyr writes, "Moreover, I am aware that your precepts in the Song of Solomon -called Gospel are so wonderful and so great, that I suspect no one can keep them; for I have carefully read them." (Dialogue of Justin 102) and he writes, "…but also in the Gospel it is written that He said: ‘All things are delivered unto me by My Father; 'and, ‘No man knoweth the Father but the Son; nor the Son but the Father, and they to whom the Son will reveal Him.'" (Dialogue of Justin 1001) See Helmut Koester, Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development (Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, c 1990), 40-41.

b) The Symbolic Attributes of the Evangelists by the Early Church Fathers- The early Church fathers recognized that there were individual, yet unified themes among the Gospels that place emphasis upon the various aspects of the office and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Philip Schaff gives an historical summary of the "symbolic attributes of the Evangelists." 34] In his discussion on the unity of the Gospels, Irenaeus (A.D 130-200) says, "He [Jesus] who was manifested to men, has given us the Gospel under four aspects, but bound together by one spirit." (Against Heresies 3118) He goes on to compare the four Gospels to the four living creatures of Revelation 4:7, "And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a Prayer of Manasseh , and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle." Irenaeus assigns a symbol to each Gospel in relation to the allegorical meanings of the four faces of the living creatures, an interpretation which will be imitated by many later church fathers: Matthew is symbolized by the Prayer of Manasseh , Mark by the eagle, Luke by the ox, and John by the lion. In his prologue to Luke Ambrose (A.D 339-397) draws a parallel with the living creatures of Revelation and the four Gospels (PL 15 cols 1611C-1612C). In his prologue to Matthew , Jerome (A.D 342-420) refers to the creatures in Ezekiel 1:10, "As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a Prayer of Manasseh , and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle," switching the symbolisms of Mark and John assigned by Irenaeus, but he follows the same allegorical method (PL 26 Colossians 19). 35] Augustine (A.D 354-430) uses the living creatures in Revelation to assign the lion to Matthew , the man to Mark , the ox to Luke , and the eagle to John. 36] Again in his Tractates on John, Augustine assigns the eagle to John. 37] In his Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae, Pseudo-Athanasius (4th-6th c.) assigns the man to Matthew , the ox to Mark , the lion to Luke , and the eagle to John (PG 28 Colossians 432D). Schaff tells us that Jerome's interpretation of "symbolic attributes of the Evangelists" became the most popular in the centuries that followed, being represented in the arts 38] and Christian literature. 39] For example, the Christian poets Sedulius (5th c.) 40] and Adam of St. Victor 41] follow Jerome's symbolic assignment in their poetry. Juvencus (early 4th c.) associates these symbols with the Evangelists in his poetry. 42] St. Thomas Aquinas follows Jerome's symbolism of the Gospels in his Catena Aurea as well as citing a number of other ancient authors who followed this scheme. 43] Support for these symbolic attributes of the Evangelists finds its way into modern biblical scholarship as well (note Wordsworth, 44] Lange, 45] and others 46]). 47]

34] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 585-589.

35] See also Nathaniel Lardner's translation in The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, vol 4 (London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829), 440.

36] Augustine, de Consensu Evangelistarum 16 (PL 34col 1046).

37] Augustine associates John with the eagle, writing, "In the four Gospels, or rather in the four books of the one Gospel, Saint John the apostle, not undeservedly in respect of his spiritual understanding compared to the eagle, has elevated his preaching higher and far more sublimely than the other three; and in this elevating of it he would have our hearts likewise lifted up. For the other three evangelists walked with the Lord on earth as with a man; concerning His divinity they have said but little; but this evangelist, as if he disdained to walk on earth, just as in the very opening of his discourse he thundered on us, soared not only above the earth and above the whole compass of air and sky…" (Tractates on John 361) (ANF 1 7)

38] Anna Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, vol 1 (Boston, MA: Houghton Miffin & Co, 1900), 124-166.

39] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 585-589.

40] S Carmen Paschael, lines 355-359. See Caelii Sedulii Opera Omnia, ed. Francisco Antonio de Lorenzana (Romae, 1893), 194-195.

41] See XXXII St. John the Evangelist, lines 31-42. See Adam of St. Victor, The Liturgical Poetry of Adam of St. Victor, trans. Digby S. Wrangham, vol 1 (London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Co, 1881), 197. See CI Of the Holy Evangelists, lines 31-42and CII Of the Holy Evangelists, lines 21-40. See Adam of St. Victor, The Liturgical Poetry of Adam of St. Victor, trans. Digby S. Wrangham, vol 3 (London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Co, 1881), 159, 165.

42] Evangelicas Historiae, book 4: Preface (PL 19 cols 53D-56A).

43] Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers, vol 1, second edition (Oxford: John Henry, 1864), 3.

44] Christopher Wordsworth, The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the Original Greek: with Introductions and Notes, vol 1, fifth edition (London: Rivingtons, Waterloo Place, 1867), xli.

45] John Peter Lange, The Gospel According to Matthew , Together with a General Theological, and Homiletical Introduction to the New Testament, in A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homilectical, with Special Reference to Ministers and Students, trans. Philip Schaff (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clarke, 1872), 25-26.

46] Andrew Jukes, The Characteristic Differences of the Four Gospels (London: James Nisbet and Co, 1853).

47] William Alexander writes, "The prevalent interpretation of Biblical scholars tends to the following distribution:—the ox is the symbol of sacrifice, and stamps the Gospel of St. Matthew: the lion represents strength and victory, and suits the Gospel of St. Mark; the Man refers to the human sympathy and the salvation offered to universal humanity, and, therefore, accords with St. Luke. Heavenly aspirations and thoughts elevated by the dogma of dogmas to the Divinity of Jesus Christ, claim for themselves the symbol of the eagle, and belong to St. John." See William Alexander, The Leading Ideas of the Gospels (London: MacMillan and Co, Ltd, 1898), 14-15.

In contrast, the Reformers began to take a more critical approach to the themes of the Gospels, as seen in John Calvin's (1509-1564) argument to his Harmony of the Evangelists, the type of approach we find reflected in modern biblical criticism. 48]

48] John Calvin, Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , 3 vols, trans. William Pringle (Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1845).

c) Modern Themes of the Gospels- The modern themes of the Gospels representing Christ as the King, Son of God, Son of Prayer of Manasseh , and Suffering Servant have become popular today, having their roots in the early Church fathers as well. For example, Augustine discusses the emphasis of Christ as the King in Matthew's Gospel when proposing his symbol as the lion. 49] Anthony Deane offers a lengthy evaluation of the symbolic attributes of the patristic fathers as well as those proposed by modern scholarship. 50] However, these efforts to propose themes in association with symbols have offered students of the Holy Scriptures very little help in unraveling the thematic schemes and structures of the four Gospels and Acts. The following discussion offers a three-fold thematic scheme of the Gospels using biblical theology that has not been offered by previous scholarship.

49] Augustine, de Consensu Evangelistarum 16 (PL 34col 1046). See also comments by Christopher Wordsworth, The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the Original Greek: with Introductions and Notes, vol 1, fifth edition (London: Rivingtons, Waterloo Place, 1867), xli.

50] Anthony C. Deane, How to Understand the Gospels, in Hodder and Stoughton's People's Library, ed. Sidney Dark (London: Hodder and Stoughton, n.d.).

d) Three-fold Theme of the Gospels and Acts - The primary theme of the Gospels and Acts is the claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, send from Heaven to atone for the sins of mankind. The secondary theme that serves as evidence to support this claim is the four Gospels and book of Acts as they present the testimony of God the Father (John), the Old Testament Scriptures (Matthew), the miracles of Jesus (Mark), and the eye-witness testimony (Luke), as well as the testimony of the early church apostles who took the Gospel to the end of the civilized world (Acts). The third theme is the call for men to believe the Gospel and follow Jesus.

F. The Literary Structure of the Four Gospels - The literary structure of the four Gospels will discuss (1) the Structural Relationship between the Four Gospels and Acts , and (2) the Thematic Scheme of the Gospels and Acts.

1. The Structural Relationship between the Four Gospels and Acts - An additional comment is worth noting about the structural relationship of the four Gospels. The Gospel of John serves as a foundational book that the Synoptic Gospels are built upon. Just as the epistle of Romans serves as a foundation upon which the themes of the other eight "church" epistles are laid, that Isaiah ,, Galatians , 1,2Thessalonians, Ephesians and Colossians , 1,2Corinthians, and Philippians , so does the Gospel of John serve the other Gospels. For example, the Gospel of John is structured so as to give the testimonies of the Father ( Matthew 1:1-18), of John the Baptist ( Matthew 1:19-25), of Jesus' miracles ( Matthew 2:1 to Matthew 12:11), of Scripture ( Matthew 12:12 to Matthew 20:31) and of Jesus Himself ( Matthew 21:1-25). Matthew's Gospel emphasizes John's testimony of the Old Scripture. Mark's Gospel emphasizes John's testimony of Jesus' miracles. Luke -Acts emphasizes John's testimony of the testimony of men. This helps explain why the Gospel of John and the epistle to the Romans is so popular among new believers, since they serve as a foundation to their type of New Testament literature.

The Gospel of John gives us the 5-fold testimonies of the deity of Jesus Christ. It opens with the testimony of the Father revealing Jesus Christ as the Son of God. After revealing the testimonies of John the Baptist, of Jesus' miracles and of Old Testament fulfillment, the final chapter shows Jesus Christ calling us to follow Him because He is truly the Son of God. John's Gospel takes us on a journey in which we, too, must decide whether to accept Jesus Christ as God, or to reject this testimony. If we accept this testimony, then we are ready to take the next journey into the testimonies given by the three Synoptic Gospels.

The Gospel of Matthew is structured like our spiritual journey. It begins with God's foreknowledge of Christ's birth, then has a brief passage about Christ's water baptism that emphasizes justification, then takes us on a journey of sanctification using five major discourses. Each discourses emphasizes one aspect of our spiritual journey, which includes indoctrination (1st discourse), our calling (2nd discourse), how to handle persecutions from the world (3rd discourse) and false doctrine from the Church (4th discourse) and then into our glorification (5th discourse). Matthew's Gospel serves to teach us about the Christian journey, so that we can disciple others on the journey.

The Gospel of Mark takes us on a journey that trains us how to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ with signs and miracles following.

The book of Luke -Acts teaches us how to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the uttermost parts of the world, beginning where we are. The book of Acts explains the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering us to accomplish these things.

2. The Thematic Scheme of the Gospels and Acts - As we reflect upon the four Gospels, we can note how each one of them has a popular passage. When we think of the Gospel of Matthew we are most often reminded of the Sermon on the Mount. For Mark , the most popular passage appears to be the Parable of the Sower. The pivotal point in Luke's Gospel is Peter's confession of Jesus as "the Christ of God" at Caesarea Philippi, which is followed by his unique material in the Travel Narrative. John's Gospel opens with the popular poetic passage of Jesus as the Word of God, which was made flesh and dwelt among us. We can understand why each of these passages is popular within their assigned Gospels by evaluating their position and role in relation to the overall structure, or narrative scheme, of their respective Gospels.

The Gospel of John - How the Five-fold Witness of John 1:14-18 Reflects the Structure of John's Gospel -Within the opening passage of John's Gospel is found a brief summary of the five-fold witness that Jesus is the Son of God ( John 1:14-18).

The Witness of the Father John 1:14

The Witness of John the Baptist John 1:15

The Witness of His Works John 1:16

The Witness of Scripture John 1:17

The Witness of Jesus' Words John 1:18

John's Gospel can be divided according to this five-fold witness.

The Testimony of the Father John 1:1-18

The Testimony of John and His Disciples John 1:19-51

The Testimony of Jesus' Miracles John 2:1 to John 11:54

The Testimony of Scriptures John 11:55 to John 20:29

The Testimony of Jesus John 21:1-23

In addition, Jesus discusses this four of these witnesses in John 5:19-47.

Testimony of The Father John 5:19-30

Testimony of John the Baptist John 5:31-35

Testimony of His Works John 5:36-38

Testimony of The Scriptures John 5:39-47

The Gospel of Matthew: How the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29 Reflects the Structure of Matthew's Gospel - The Sermon on the Mount is clearly the most popular passage of Matthew's Gospel. This sermon reflects the underlying theme of Matthew's Gospel, which the testimony of Jesus as the Messiah and King of the Jews through Jesus' teaching ministry.

Justification ( Matthew 5:1-16) - The Beatitudes ( Matthew 5:1-16) emphasizes how a person is justified in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Indoctrination ( Matthew 5:17-48) - Matthew 5:17-48 indoctrinates the people on the meaning of the original intent of the Law of Moses.

Divine Service ( Matthew 6:1-18) - They prepare themselves for divine service through almsgiving, prayer and fasting. He will expound upon this topic and actually send out twelve apostles for training in divine service in His second discourse in Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1.

Perseverance Amidst Worldliness ( Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12) - Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12 teaches how to perseverance amidst worldliness so that they will be able to find their place of rest with God. He will expound upon this topic again in His third discourse consisting of parables about man's reactions to Gospel ( Matthew 13:1-52).

Perseverance Amidst False Doctrine ( Matthew 7:13-20) - In Matthew 7:13-20 Jesus places emphasis upon the need to persevere amidst offences and false doctrines within the Church. In this passage Jesus teaches us about the dangers along our journey to Heaven. He tells us that the path is narrow and many will not make it ( Matthew 7:13-14). We are told that there are many detours to mislead us ( Matthew 7:15-20). Jesus will expound upon this topic in His fourth discourse about handling offences in the Kingdom of God ( Matthew 18:1-35).

Glorification ( Matthew 7:21-23) - In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus Christ teaches on the subject of how to enter into our future glorification in Heaven. It is only those who stay on course and do the will of the Father who will enter into Heaven. Jesus will expound upon this topic in His Olivet Discourse ( Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46).

Divine Service ( Matthew 6:1-18) See Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1

Perseverance: Worldliness ( Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12) See Matthew 13:1-52

Perseverance: False Doctrines ( Matthew 7:13-20) See Matthew 18:1-35

Glorification ( Matthew 7:21-23) See Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46

The Gospel of Mark: How the Four Parables of Mark 4:1-32 Reflect the Structure of Mark's Gospel - The Parable of the Sower ( Matthew 4:1-20) reflects the underlying theme of Mark's Gospel, which is the testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God through the preaching of the Gospel. The Parable of the Sower reveals how the proclamation of the Gospel produces justification with God in the hearts of men. The parabolic scheme of the three parables ( Mark 4:21-25) following Mark's Parable of the Sower foreshadows the structure of the rest of Mark's Gospel, with the Parable of the Sower being the central passage of the Gospel.

Parable of the Sower ( Mark 4:1-20) on Justification

The Light Under the Bushel ( Mark 4:21-25) Mark 4:35 to Mark 7:23 on Indoctrination

The Growing Seed ( Mark 4:26-29) Mark 7:24 to Mark 9:50 on Perseverance

The Mustard Seed ( Mark 4:30-32) Mark 10:1 to Mark 13:37 on Glorification

The Parable of the Light Under the Bushel ( Mark 4:21-25), which teaches us that as the light of the Gospel shines forth into our hearts through the preaching of the Gospel, we become indoctrinated with God's Word, and this parable foreshadows the next passage in Mark 4:35 to Mark 7:23, which places emphasis upon indoctrination.

The Parable of the Growing Seed ( Mark 4:26-29), which explains how God causes the seeds that we sow to grow and produce a harvest when we are faithful to persevere in proclaiming the Gospel, foreshadows the next passage in Mark 7:24 to Mark 9:50, which places emphasis upon perseverance.

The Parable of the Mustard Seed ( Mark 4:30-32), which tells us the end result of our faithfulness to preach the Gospel as the Kingdom of God grows into the greatest kingdom upon the earth, foreshadows the next passage in Mark 10:1 to Mark 13:37, which places emphasis upon glorification.

The Gospel of Luke - Jesus' first sermon to the people of Nazareth in their synagogue reveals the underlying theme of the book of Luke , which is the testimony of eye-witnesses as they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah and says that the Spirit of the Lord is upon Him because of two reasons, because He has been anointed to testify of the Gospel and because He has been sent from God with this testimony. Therefore, the structure of the book of Luke reflects Jesus as He retreats to be with the Lord and is filled with the Spirit, and as He returns to preach the Gospel and demonstrate His authority to deliver this testimony by His works.

The Book of Acts - Jesus' final words to His disciples in Acts 1:8 reveal the underlying theme of the book of Acts , which is the witness of the apostles as they were empowered by the Holy Spirit to testify of Jesus Christ unto the ends of the earth. This verse reveals the structure of the book of Acts , which reads, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." The book of Acts reflects the progressive spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, from Jerusalem ( Acts 1:6 to Acts 5:42), into Judea and Samaria ( Acts 6:1 to Acts 12:25), unto the ends of the Earth ( Acts 13:1 to Acts 28:31).

INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW

Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures supports the view of the verbal, plenary inspiration of the biblical text of the Holy Scriptures, meaning that every word originally written down by the authors in the sixty-six books of the Holy Canon were God-breathed when recorded by men, and that the Scriptures are therefore inerrant and infallible. Any view less than this contradicts the testimony of the Holy Scriptures themselves. For this reason, the Holy Scriptures contain both divine attributes and human attributes. While textual criticism engages with the variant readings of the biblical text, acknowledging its human attributes, faith in His Word acknowledges its divine attributes. These views demand the adherence of mankind to the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures above all else. The Holy Scriptures can only be properly interpreted by the guidance of the Holy Spirit, an aspect of biblical scholarship that is denied by liberal views, causing much misunderstanding and misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures.

The Message of the Gospel of Matthew - The Gospel of Matthew serves the unique role of bridging the gap between the Old and New Testaments. The emphasis of the early Church immediately after Jesus' ascension into Heaven was to interpret the new covenant in His blood in light of Old Testament prophecies. This is exactly what Jesus began to teach immediately before His departure when He walked with the two on the road to Emmaus and when He appeared to His disciples before His Ascension. As these early disciples were better able to understand how Jesus Christ fulfilled these prophecies as the Messiah, they were able to effectively proclaim the Gospel to the Jewish people. Because the Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus is the Son of God, it reflects the earliest form of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the emerging New Testament Church.

The Gospel of Matthew was one of the most cited, exegeted, and preached books of the early Church, thus, ranking it as the most prominent book during these early centuries. 51] Matthew has continued its popularity since these early centuries because of its vivid narrative stories, its practical application to the life of New Testament believer through its five discourses, in particular, the Sermon on the Mount, and because of its overarching mandate to take the Gospel to the nations. 52] This book has experienced a resurgence of interest in recent years as seen by the increased number of modern commentaries dedicated this Gospel. 53]

51] The author's search for exegetical works and homilies on the Gospel of Matthew collected in Migne's Patrologia Graecae and Patrologia Latin reveal its popularity among the Church fathers and medieval theologians: Hippolytus (PG10), Origen (PG13), Gregory Thaumaturgus (PG10), Hilary (PL9), Jerome (PL26a), John Chrysostom (PG57-58), Theodore of Mopsuestia (PG66), Augustine (PL35), Cyril of Alexandria (PG72), Chromatius of Aquileia (PL20), Maximus of Turin (PL57), Alulfus Toracensis (PL79), Bede (PL92), John Damascus (PG95), Rabanus Maurus (PL107), Paschasius Radbertus (PL120), Walafrid Strabo (PL114), Photius of Constantinople (PG101), Sedulius Scotus (PL103), Claudius of Turin (PL104), Theophylact (PG123), Gregory VII (PL148), Anselm of Laon (PL162), Rupert of Deutz (PL167), and Euthymius Zigabenus (PG129). In addition, Tatian worked on harmonizing the Gospels. Outside of Migne's collection, Ephrem the Syrian, Isho'dad of Merv, and Thomas Aquinas commented on the Gospels. David Turner says, "Matthew is the NT book that influenced the early Church most." See David L. Turner, Matthew, in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 2.

52] Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, vol 1 , ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 21.

53] David Turner lists twenty-seven recent commentaries and nineteen studies on the Gospel of Matthew between 1972,2006. He says, "This prominence is mainly due to Matthew's unique structure, which focuses the reader's attention on the Sermon on the Mount and the other four major discourses of Jesus." See David L. Turner, Matthew, in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 2.

Introductory Material- The introduction to the Gospel of Matthew will deal with its historical setting, literary style, and theological framework. 54] These three aspects of introductory material will serve as an important foundation for understanding God's message to us today from this divinely inspired book of the Holy Scriptures.

54] Someone may associate these three categories with Hermann Gunkel's well-known three-fold approach to form criticism when categorizing the genre found within the book of Psalm: (1) "a common setting in life," (2) "thoughts and mood," (3) "literary forms." In addition, the Word Biblical Commentary uses "Form/Structure/Setting" preceding each commentary section. Although such similarities were not intentional, but rather coincidental, the author was aware of them and found encouragement from them when assigning the three-fold scheme of historical setting, literary style, and theological framework to his introductory material. See Hermann Gunkel, The Psalm: A Form-Critical Introduction, trans. Thomas M. Horner, in Biblical Series, vol 19, ed. John Reumann (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967), 10; see also Word Biblical Commentary, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007).

HISTORICAL SETTING

"We dare not divorce our study from understanding the historical setting of every passage of Scripture

if we are going to come to grips with the truth and message of the Bible."

(J. Hampton Keathley) 55]

55] J. Hampton Keathley, III, "Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah," (Bible.org) [on-line]; accessed 23May 2012; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.

Each book of the Holy Scriptures is cloaked within a unique historical setting. An examination of this setting is useful in the interpretation of the book because it provides the context of the passage of Scripture under examination. The section on the historical setting of the Gospel of Matthew will provide a discussion on its authorship, date and place of writing, recipients, and occasion. This discussion supports the early Church tradition that the apostle Matthew was the first of the Evangelists to write his Gospel at an early date between A.D 38-60 while in Palestine to early Jewish believers prior to his departure to preach abroad.

I. Authorship and Canonicity

In establishing the authorship of the New Testament writings, one must also deal with the issue of canonicity, since apostolic authority was the primary condition for a book to be accepted into the biblical canon of the early Church. This section will evaluate three phases in the development of the canonicity of the Gospel of Matthew: apostolic authority, church orthodoxy, and catholicity. The first phase of canonization is called apostolic authority and is characterized by the use of the writings of the apostles by the earliest Church father in the defense of the Christian faith (1st and 2nd centuries). The second phase of canonization is called church orthodoxy and is characterized by the collection of the apostolic writings into the distinctive groups of the Gospels, the Pauline epistles, and the Catholic epistles, and their distribution among the churches as the rules of the Christian faith (late 2nd century thru 3rd century). The third phase of canonization is characterized by the general acceptance and use of the books of the New Testament by the catholic church, seen most distinctly in the early Church councils (4th century).

A. Apostolic Authority- Scholars generally agree that the New Testament canon went through several phrases of development in Church history prior to its solidification in the fourth century. F. B. Westcott says the earliest phase is considered the apostolic age in which "the writings of the Apostles were regarded from the first as invested with singular authority, as the true expression, if not the original source, of Christian doctrine and Christian practice." He says the "elements of the Catholic faith" were established during this period in Church history. 56] At this time, the early Christian Greek apologists defended the catholic faith during the rise of the heresies of the second century using the writings that carried the weight of apostolic authority. The Church clung to the books that were either written by the apostles themselves, such as Matthew ,, John , Peter, and Paul, or directly sanctioned by them, such as Mark and Luke , the assistances of Peter and Paul respectively, and the epistles of James and Jude , the brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, scholars believe apostolic authority was the primary element in selecting the canonical books. This phase is best represented by evaluating the internal evidence of the authorship of these New Testament books and by the external witnesses of the early Church fathers who declare the book's apostolic authorship and doctrinal authority over the Church.

56] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 21. The Muratorian Canon (c. A.D 200) alludes to the criteria of apostolic authority for the New Testament writings, saying, "The Pastor, moreover, did Hermas write very recently in our times in the city of Rome, while his brother bishop Pius sat in the chair of the Church of Rome. And therefore it also ought to be read; but it cannot be made public in the Church to the people, nor placed among the prophets, as their number is complete, nor among the apostles to the end of time." (Fragments of Caius 33) (ANF 5); Corey Keating says, "In the first two centuries, ‘apostolic authority' was the important factor in deciding to keep or reject a particular writing." See Corey Keating, The Criteria Used for Developing the New Testament Canon in the First Four Centuries of the Christian Church (2000); accessed 15 April 2012; available from http://www.ntgreek.org/SeminaryPapers/ChurchHistory/Criteria%20for%20Development%20of%20the%20NT%20Canon%20in%20First%20Four%20Centuries.pdf; Internet.

Although the Gospel of Matthew does not declare the author within its text, there is overwhelming evidence that Matthew , the son of Alpheus and one of the twelve apostles, wrote this book. The lack of identification within the body of its text does not detract from the strong evidence that supports Matthew's authorship. In fact, none of the four Gospels state their authors. A further observation may be noted that, in contrast to the Gospels' lack of identification, some of the New Testament apocryphal gospels, which are recognized as merely imitations, frequently attribute themselves to apostolic authorship in the body of these writing, which helps to identify them as unauthentic in origin. Both internal and external evidence strongly support Matthaean authorship. In fact, its authorship was never contested until modern times, when several radical schools of thought emerged, whose views are no longer taken seriously by evangelical Bible scholars today.

1. Internal Evidence- A close examination of Matthew's Gospel will reveal a number of clues as to its authorship. Because the Gospel of Matthew has Jewish overtones, such as accurate descriptions of Jewish customs and geography, an abundance of Old Testament Scripture references, and the use Hebrew idioms and Jewish phrases, the author was most likely a Palestinian Jew. The way in which the author refers to himself, the author's use of financial terms, his skill in the Greek language and his ability to organize his material indicate that Matthew the publican was the author.

a) The Author's Acquaintance with Jewish Customs and Geography- The Gospel of Matthew discusses Palestinian culture and events and people from a Jewish perspective. The author was familiar with Palestinian geography, Jewish customs, and history. Discussions on the Mosaic Law and ceremonies, the Temple, the Sabbath, the Messiah and David, the Palestinian cities and geography, Jewish genealogies, Roman rule and the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures are all written from a Jewish perspective.

b) The Author's Acquaintance with Old Testament Scriptures- The author was well acquainted with the Old Testament Scriptures. H. Berkhof says there are 613direct quotes and 1640 allusions to the Old Testament found within the books of the New Testament. 57] Donald Hagner tells us that there are over sixty direct Old Testament references in the Gospel of Matthew and "a greater number of illusions" to the Old Testament, which is over twice that contained in the other Gospels. 58] Thomas L. Constable says that there are one hundred twenty-nine (129) references to the Old Testament in this Gospel. 59] The index of the UBS3 lists Old Testament citations for each New Testament book: Matthew (61), Mark (30), Luke (26), and John (16). Allusions to the Old Testament are also cited in the footnotes of the UBS3, of which I count the following number: Matthew (138), Mark (47), Luke (161), and John (73). 60]

57] H. Berkholf, "Hoe leest het Nieuwe Testament het Oude?," in Homiletica en Biblica, vol 22, no 11 (Dec 1963), 242.

58] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), "Introduction: Matthew's Use of the Old Testament."

59] Thomas L. Constable, Notes on Matthew (Garland, Texas: Sonic Light, 2008) [on-line]; accessed 28 December 2008; available from http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes.htm; Internet, 6.

60] Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, The Greek New Testament, Third Edition (United Bible Societies, 1975), 900.

The fact that the Gospel of Matthew reveals Jesus as the Messiah by fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament suggests Jewish authorship. In addition, the fact that the author quotes from the Hebrew Scriptures rather than the Septuagint implies that he was a Palestinian Jew rather than a Jew of the Diaspora, who was often more familiar with the Septuagint than the Hebrew Scriptures.

c) The Author's Use of Hebrew Phrases and Idioms - The author frequently uses Hebrew phrases and idioms within the Gospel of Matthew.

i) "Unto This Day" - Note that the phrase "unto, or until this day" used in Matthew is a Hebrew phrase that is also used frequently in the Old Testament, verifying a Jewish author for the book of Matthew.

Matthew 27:8, "Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day."

Matthew 28:15, "So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day."

ii) "The Generation of" - Another Hebrew phrase is found in Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:18. The Greek word ( γένεσις) is translated in both of these verses as "the generation," or "the birth," of Jesus Christ. This word is used in a Hebrew structure throughout the book of Genesis to distinguish one story from another in explaining a man"s origin. It is also found in the Gospel of Matthew.

Matthew 1:1, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

Matthew 1:18, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."

iii) "Woe" - The word "woe" is used fourteen times within Matthew's Gospel. This word was used often by the Old Testament prophets.

iv) "The Kingdom of Heaven" - There are many Jewish phrases used throughout the Gospel of Matthew. For example, the Jews were looking for the Messiah in the form of a conquering king who would deliver them from the oppressive Roman domination. The Gospel of Matthew uses the phrase "kingdom of heaven" thirty-two times and the phrase "kingdom of God" only five times. In addition, the word "kingdom" stands alone fifty-six times within Matthew's Gospel. Thus, we see the issue of the kingdom becoming a major theme in this Gospel, which is a Jewish perspective of divine deliverance. Some scholars suggest the reason that Matthew uses the phrase "kingdom of heaven" instead of "kingdom of God" is because the Jewish reverence for the name of God caused them to use a substitute word, in this case "heaven" is substituted for "God."

It is very likely that Jesus used the term "kingdom of heaven" in order to place emphasis upon the fact that He had come to establish a kingdom that was not of this world, because it was heavenly, or spiritual. In contrast, the term "kingdom of God" could be interpreted by these anxiously awaiting Jews to mean that Jesus had come to establish an earthly kingdom that would once again be ruled by God through the high priest as was done in the Old Testament. Thus, Jesus was saying that He had come to set up a kingdom in which He would rule from heaven and not from this earth at this time in God's plan of redemption.

v) Other Phrases- In addition, the city of Jerusalem is referred to as "the holy city" ( Matthew 4:5, Matthew 27:53) and "the city of the great king" ( Matthew 5:35). This is a Jewish way of honoring their holy city.

d) The Author's References to Himself- The manner in which the author of Matthew's Gospel refers to this publican suggests that he was writing about himself. There are several clues that indicate this.

i) The Author Calls Himself a Tax Collector- Only Matthew calls himself by the less honorable title of "publican" ( Matthew 10:3), which was a title revealing his unpopular position in his society.

Matthew 10:2-4, "Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philippians , and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him."

The other Gospels leave off this unattractive title. In addition, when the disciples are listed in Matthew , the order of "Thomas and Matthew" is used instead of, "Matthew and Thomas," indicating that the author is deliberately placing himself second instead of first. In contract, Luke places Matthew before Thomas.

Luke 6:14-16, "Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John , Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, And Judas the brother of James , and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor."

Another passage that suggests Matthew's authorship Isaiah 9:9, where it humbly states that Matthew simply arose and followed Jesus, while Luke's Gospel states more emphatically that Matthew forsook all, rose up and followed him, thus giving him credit for such a sacrifice.

Matthew 9:9, "And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a Prayer of Manasseh , named Matthew , sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him."

Luke 5:27-28, "And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me. And he left all, rose up, and followed him."

ii) The Author's Description of Matthew's Home - The Gospels of Mark ( Mark 2:13-17) and Luke ( Luke 5:27-32) use the possessive "his" home when describing the place where Matthew hosted Jesus for dinner, while Matthew's Gospel simply calls it "the home." Luke calls it a "great feast," while Matthew makes no indication of its size.

iii) The Author Does Not Use the Name "Levi" - Many scholars place weight upon the fact that in the list of apostles Mark and Luke use the name Levi, while Matthew uses his own name. They suppose that Matthew felt more comfortable using his surname rather than his older name, as did Paul the apostle.

e) The Author's Use of Financial Terms- The author of Matthew speaks of money in more detail and more often than the other Gospels. He speaks of gold and silver, while the other Gospels make only a brief mention. Also, three terms for money are used that are not found elsewhere in the Scriptures:

i) The two-drachma tax ( Matthew 17:24)

ii) A four-drachma coin ( Matthew 17:27)

iii) Talents ( Matthew 18:24; Matthew 25:15-28)

Matthew uses financial terms, such as "debts" in Matthew 6:12 instead of "sins" used in Luke.

Matthew 6:12, "And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors."

Luke 11:4, "And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil."

He refers to banking in Matthew 25:27.

Matthew 25:27, "Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury."

f) The Author's Proficiency in the Greek Language Typical of a Tax Collector - The fact that Matthew was a civil servant would have required him to be proficient in both Greek and Aramaic. In fact, Greek was the spoken language in the Eastern part of the Empire rather than Latin. Thus, Matthew could have easily written his Gospel in Greek or Aramaic. He could have easily written a Hebrew version first, as stated in Church tradition, then a Greek version when he was sent out among the nations.

g) The Author's Organizational Skills Typical of a Tax Collector - In addition, the fact that Matthew held the office of a tax-collector implies that he knew how to collect and organize information, to compile accurate and detailed records. This suggests that he would have also been capable of collecting and organizing records regarding the ministry and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, none of these internal evidences carry much weight by themselves; but all together, the evidence of the biblical text strongly supports the view that a Jewish tax collector who was bilingual wrote the Gospel of Matthew.

2. Patristic Support of Matthaean Authorship- The early Church fathers were in universal agreement that Matthew was the author of his Gospel. Many of the early Church fathers directly affirmed Matthew's authorship and tell us that the authenticity of this Gospel was not in question. Therefore, the external evidence for Matthew's authorship is very strong.

a) Papias (A.D 60 to 130) - Perhaps the earliest reference to the authorship of Matthew's Gospel is found in the fragments of a book written by Papias, the bishop of Heirapolis in Asia Minor, who was a hearer of John and a friend of Polycarp. He tells us that Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew tongue.

"but with regard to Matthew he has made the following statements: Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could." (Fragments of Papias: From The Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord 6) (ANF 1)

Many scholars believe that this "Hebrew" language was actually Aramaic, which was the language of the common people of his day. 61]

61] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004), xliv.

b) Justin Martyr (A.D 100 to 165) - Justin Martyr appears to have known about the four Gospels, as he frequently refers to the "memoirs of the apostles," and he tells us that they were also called "Gospels" as early as his time.

"For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them;" (First Apology 66)

"For in the memoirs which I say were drawn up by His apostles and those who followed them, [it is recorded] that His sweat fell down like drops of blood while He was praying, and saying, ‘If it be possible, let this cup pass:'" (Dialogue of Justin 103)

Justin Martyr also tells us that the Gospels were read along with Old Testament books of the prophets. This tells us that the early Church had equaled the Gospels to divinely inspired Scripture.

"And we afterwards continually remind each other of these things. And the wealthy among us help the needy; and we always keep together; and for all things wherewith we are supplied, we bless the Maker of all through His Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost. And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the apostles or the writings of the prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things." (First Apology 67)

c) Apollinaris (2nd century) - Claudius Apollinaris, bishop of Hierapolis, who wrote around A.D 175, is one of the earliest Christian writers to assign the name Matthew to a reference to his Gospel.

"There are those who through ignorance quarrel about these things, having suffered pardonable things; for they do not accept an ignorant accusation, but they need further teaching. And they say that indeed the Lord ate the lamb with the disciples. And on the great of the feast of unleavened bread He himself suffered. And Matthew tells thus, to say how they understood from whence indeed their perception to be at variance with the law. And it seems they are rebellious against the Gospels." (Ex Libro De Paschate) (author's translation) 62]

62] Martinus Josephus Routh, Reliquiae Sacrae, vol 1, editio altera (Oxonii: E Typographea Academico, 1846), 160.

d) Pantaenus (d. c. A.D 190) - Eusebius tells us that Pantaenus, who was the first known head of the Catechetical School at Alexandria, preached the Gospel in India. Upon his arrival, he found the Gospel of Matthew in the Hebrew language, having been delivered by Bartholomew the apostle years earlier.

"For indeed there were still many evangelists of the Word who sought earnestly to use their inspired zeal, after the examples of the apostles, for the increase and building up of the Divine Word. Pantaenus was one of these, and is said to have gone to India. It is reported that among persons there who knew of Christ, he found the Gospel according to Matthew , which had anticipated his own arrival. For Bartholomew, one of the apostles, had preached to them, and left with them the writing of Matthew in the Hebrew language, which they had preserved till that time." (Ecclesiastical History 5102-3)

e) Irenaeus (A.D 130 to 200) - Jeremiah Jones says Irenaeus cites the Gospel of Matthew at least two-hundred and fifty-five times in his extant works, listing nine occasions where he uses the name of Matthew. 63] For example, Irenaeus tells us that Matthew published his Gospel in the Hebrew language. Eusebius quotes Irenaeus on this tradition.

63] Jeremiah Jones, A New and Full Method of Settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament, vol 3 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1827), 30-31.

"Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the church in Rome." (Against Heresies 311) (See also Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 582)

f) Clement of Alexandria (A.D 150 to 215) - Clement of Alexandria declares that this Gospel is credited to Matthew.

"And in the Gospel according to Matthew, the genealogy which begins with Abraham is continued down to Mary the mother of the Lord. ‘For,' it is said, ‘from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon till Christ are likewise other fourteen generations,'--three mystic intervals completed in six weeks." (The Stromata 121)

g) Tertullian (A.D 160 to 225) - Tertullian makes one of the earliest and clearest references to the authors of the four Gospels. He refers to John and Matthew as apostles and calls Luke and Mark "apostolic men" in the context of the writings of the four Gospels:

"Of the apostles, therefore, John and Matthew first instill faith into us; whilst of apostolic men, Luke and Mark renew it afterwards. These all start with the same principles of the faith, so far as relates to the one only God the Creator and His Christ, how that He was born of the Virgin, and came to fulfil the law and the prophets. Never mind if there does occur some variation in the order of their narratives, provided that there be agreement in the essential matter of the faith, in which there is disagreement with Marcion. Marcion, on the other hand, you must know, ascribes no author to his Gospel, as if it could not be allowed him to affix a title to that from which it was no crime (in his eyes) to subvert the very body." (Against Marcion 42)

Again:

"The same authority of the apostolic churches will afford evidence to the other Gospels also, which we possess equally through their means, and according to their usage--I mean the Gospels of John and Matthew--whilst that which Mark published may be affirmed to be Peter"s whose interpreter Mark was. For even Luke"s form of the Gospel men unusually ascribe to Paul. And it may well seem that the works which disciples publish belong to their masters. Well, then, Marcion ought to be called to a strict account concerning these (other Gospels) also, for having omitted them, and insisted in preference on Luke; as if they, too, had not had free course in the churches, as well as Luke"s Gospel, from the beginning. Nay, it is even more credible that they existed from the very beginning; for, being the work of apostles, they were prior, and coeval in origin with the churches themselves." (Against Marcion 45)

h) Hippolytus (A.D 170 to 236) - Hippolytus gives us a list of the twelve apostles with their respective ministries and their deaths. He tells us that Matthew was the author of his Gospel.

"And Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia." (Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus 49: On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End 7) (ANF 5)

i) Origen (A.D 185 to 254) - As quoted by Eusebius, Origen tells us that Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew language.

"Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew , who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language. The second is by Mark , who composed it according to the instructions of Peter, who in his Catholic epistle acknowledges him as a Song of Solomon , saying, "The church that is at Babylon elected together with you, saluteth you, and so doth Marcus, my son." And the third by Luke , the Gospel commended by Paul, and composed for Gentile converts. Last of all that by John." (Ecclesiastical History 6254-6)

He also tells us that when the Gospels of Matthew ,, Mark , and Luke were handed to John the apostle for his approval, he accepted them as authentic and truthful.

"And when Mark and Luke had already published their Gospels, they say that John , who had employed all his time in proclaiming the Gospel orally, finally proceeded to write for the following reason. The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all and into his own too, they say that he accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness; but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of his ministry." (Ecclesiastical History 3246-7)

j) Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) - Eusebius tells us that Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew language.

"Nevertheless, of all the disciples of the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity. For Matthew , who had at first preached to the Hebrews , when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence." (Ecclesiastical History 3245-6)

Williams and Caffin quote Eusebius on his comparison of Matthew 28:1 and John 20:1, in which he declares Matthew as the author of his Gospel:

"The expression, ‘on the eve of the Sabbath', is due to the translator of the Scripture; for the Evangelist Matthew published his Gospel in the Hebrew tongue; but the person who rendered it into the Greek language changed it and called the hour of dawning on the Lord's Day." (Quaestionum ad Marinum 21) 64]

64] A. Lukyn Williams and Benjamin C. Caffin. Matthew , in The Pulpit Commentary, eds. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), "Introduction: 4What Was the Original Language of the Gospel." The Greek text of this passage is found in PG 22col 941a.

k) Athanasius (A.D 296 to 373) - St. Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria, supported Matthaean authorship. He lists Matthew among the four Evangelists.

"Again it is not tedious to speak of the [books] of the New Testament. These are, the four Gospels, according to Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , and John. Afterwards, the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles (called Catholic), seven, viz. of James , one; of Peter, two; of John , three; after these, one of Jude. In addition, there are fourteen Epistles of Paul, written in this order. The first, to the Romans; then two to the Corinthians; after these, to the Galatians; next, to the Ephesians; then to the Philippians; then to the Colossians; after these, two to the Thessalonians, and that to the Hebrews; and again, two to Timothy; one to Titus; and lastly, that to Philemon. And besides, the Revelation of John" (From Letter XXXIX (For 367) 5)

l) The Synopsis of Sacred Scripture, at one time ascribed to Athanasius (A.D 296-373), bishop of Alexandria, but now believed to have been written later by someone in the fourth to the sixth centuries, says, "Matthew's Gospel was written by Matthew in the Hebrew dialect, published at Jerusalem, and a translation was made by James , the brother of the Lord." (PG 28 Colossians 432D) 65]

65] Cornelius. Lapide, The Great Commentary of Cornelius Lapide, trans. Thomas W. Mossman, third edition (London: John Hodges, 1887), xxxvi.

m) Ephraem Syrus (c. A.D 306 to 373) - A. Lukyn Williams says Ephraem the Syrian wrote, "Matthew wrote the Gospel in Hebrew, and it was afterwards translated into Greek." 66] (in Ephraem's Commentary on the Diatessaron of Titian) 67]

66] A. Lukyn Williams and Benjamin C. Caffin, Matthew , in The Pulpit Commentary, eds. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), "Introduction."

67] R. P. Ioanne Baptista and Georgius Moesinger, trans, Evangelii Concordantis Expositio facta a Sancto Ephraemo Doctore Syro (Venetiis: Libraria PP. Mechitaristarum in Monasterio, 1876), 286.

n) Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D 315 to 386) - Cyril of Jerusalem tells us that Matthew was the author of his Gospel.

"Matthew who wrote the Gospel wrote it in the Hebrew tongue; and Paul the preacher was a Hebrew of the Hebrews; and the twelve Apostles were all of Hebrew race: then fifteen Bishops of Jerusalem were appointed in succession from among the Hebrews. What then is your reason for allowing your own accounts, and rejecting ours, though these also are written by Hebrews from among yourselves." (Catechetical Lectures 1415)

o) Epiphanius (A.D 315 to 403) - Epiphanius, the bishop of Salamis, believed that Matthew was the author of his Gospel.

"They have the Gospel according to Matthew in its entirety in Hebrew. For it is clear that they still preserve this, in the Hebrew alphabet, as it was originally written." (The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis Heresy 29: Against Nazoraeans 94) 68]

68] Ephiphanius, The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1-46), trans. Frank Williams (Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, c 1987), 119; See S. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiensis Panaria Eorumque Anacephalaeosis, tomi prioris, pars prior, ed. Franciscus Oehler, in Corporis Haereseogolici, tomus secundus (Berolini:Apud A. Asher et Socios, 1859), 240.

"They too accept the Gospel according to Matthew. Like the Cerinthians and Merinthians, they too use it alone. They call it, ‘According to the Hebrews ,' and it is true to say that only Matthew put the setting forth and the preaching of the Gospel into the New Testament in the Hebrew language and alphabet." (The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis Heresy 30: Against Ebionites 37) 69]

69] Ephiphanius, The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1-46), trans. Frank Williams (Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, c 1978, 1997), 122; See S. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiensis Panaria Eorumque Anacephalaeosis, tomi prioris, pars prior, ed. Franciscus Oehler, in Corporis Haereseogolici, tomus secundus (Berolini:Apud A. Asher et Socios, 1859), 246.

p) Gregory Nazianzen (A.D 329 to 389) - Gregory Nazianzen, one of the Cappadocian fathers, supported Matthaean authorship.

"witness Matthew , yesterday a Publican, today an Evangelist" (Orations 4114)

"Indeed Matthew wrote to the Hebrews (the) miracles of Christ, and Mark to Italy, Luke to Achaia, and above all, John , a great preacher who walked in heaven, then the Acts of the wise apostles, and fourteen epistles of Paul, and seven catholic epistles, being of James , one, and two of Peter, and three of John again, and Jude is seven. You have all. And if there is some (other than) these seven, not (are they) among the genuine ones." (Carminum 1) (PG 37 Colossians 474) (author's translation)

Gregory Naziansen says after listing the books of the Old Testament canon, "And already for me, I have received all those of the New Testament. First, to the Hebrews Matthew the saint composed what was according to him the Gospel; second, in Italy Mark the divine; third, in Achaia Luke the all-wise; and John , thundering the heavenlies, indeed preached to all common men; after whom the miracles and deeds of the wise apostles, and Paul the divine herald fourteen epistles; and catholic seven, of which one is of James the brother of God, and two are of Peter the head, and of John again the evangelist, three, and seventh is Jude the Zealot. All are united and accepted; and if one of them is found outside, it is not placed among the genuine ones." (PG 38, Colossians 845) (author's translation) 70]

70] Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

q) Jerome (A.D 342to 420) - Jerome also tells us that Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew language.

" Matthew , also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek though by what author is uncertain. The Hebrew itself has been preserved until the present day in the library at Caesarea which Pamphilus so diligently gathered. I have also had the opportunity of having the volume described to me by the Nazarenes of Beroea, a city of Syria, who use it. In this it is to be noted that wherever the Evangelist, whether on his own account or in the person of our Lord the Saviour quotes the testimony of the Old Testament he does not follow the authority of the translators of the Septuagint but the Hebrew. Wherefore these two forms exist ‘Out of Egypt have I called my Song of Solomon ,' and ‘for he shall be called a Nazarene.'" (Lives of Illustrious Men 3)

Some scholars believe Jerome mistakenly was referring to the Gospel to the Hebrews , a New Testament apocryphal writing, in this quote because of some comments he made later.

r) St. John Chrysostom (A.D 347 to 407) - John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, tells us that Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew language.

"Of Matthew again it is said, that when those who from amongst the Jews had believed came to him, and besought him to leave to them in writing those same things, which he had spoken to them by word, he also composed his Gospel in the language of the Hebrews." (Homilies on the Gospel According to St. Matthew 1:7)

3. Manuscript Evidence of Matthaean Authorship - The earliest Greek manuscripts of the third and fourth centuries contain the Gospels and Acts. Donald Guthrie believes it is possible that the title to the Gospel of Matthew was added as early as A.D 125. 71] Daniel Wallace says some of the earliest fourth century manuscripts of the Gospel of Matthew are entitled κατα ΄αθθαιον (according to Matthew) (Codex Sinaiticus [ א], Codex Vaticanus [B]). The word "Gospel" was added to the title at a later date. For example, he says several fifth century manuscripts lengthen the title to εύαγγέλιον κατα ΄αθθαιον (the Gospel according to Matthew) (Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis [D], Freer Gospels [W]), while some later Byzantine manuscripts read, "The Holy Gospel According to Matthew." 72] This title also tells us that other Gospels were known at the time the title was added. The word "saint" applied to Matthew's name in the title of some Holy Bibles is of later Roman Catholic origin and lacks any ancient authority.

71] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 43.

72] Daniel B. Wallace, Matthew: Introduction, Argument, and Outline (Biblical Studies Foundation, Richardson, Texas) [on-line]; accessed 6 July 2010; available from http://bible.org/seriespage/ Matthew -introduction-argument-and-outline; Internet.

Every existing early manuscript that contains the Gospel of Matthew ascribes the title to him in some form. Since these various titles ( κατα ΄αθθαιον) have the strong support of the early Greek manuscripts, they are of great value in the argument for Matthaean authorship.

George Salmon notes that if the phrase "according to" only refers to the fact that these Gospels contain the traditions that emanated from the four Evangelists, but was not written by them, then it would follow that Mark's Gospel would be entitled "according to Peter" and Luke's Gospel "according to Paul." 73] Thus, much weight can to be placed upon these most ancient titles of the four Gospels to support authorship.

73] George Salmon, Matthew , in The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Pub. House, 1954), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2002), "Introduction: Titles of the Gospels."

Thus, we see an unbroken tradition from the early Church fathers in support of Matthaean authorship. This widespread support comes from many geographical regions of the known Christian world. The tradition until the time of the Reformation was that Matthew wrote his Gospel in the Hebrew language and someone translated it into Greek.

Regarding the repeated citations from the early Church fathers who say that Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew tongue, many modern scholars believe that it was not true Hebrew, but rather a mixture of the Hebrew, Chaldiac, and Syriac, commonly called Syro-Chaldiac, or Aramaean; for this was the native language of the Jewish people since the return from Babylonian captivity, while Greek and Latin were national languages imposed upon them by conquering empires. As to how this Gospel made its way from the alleged Hebrew text into a Greek translation, we have the testimony of two early Church fathers. Papias (A.D 60-130) says that "each one interpreted [translated] them as best he could."

"but with regard to Matthew he has made the following statements: Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could." (Fragments of Papias: From The Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord 6) (ANF 1)

Pseudo-Athanasius (4th-6th c.) says that it was translated by James , the brother of our Lord.

The Synopsis of Sacred Scripture, at one time ascribed to Athanasius (A.D 296-373), bishop of Alexandria, but now believed to have been written later by someone in the fourth to the sixth centuries, says, "Matthew's Gospel was written by Matthew in the Hebrew dialect, published at Jerusalem, and a translation was made by James , the brother of the Lord." (PG 28 Colossians 432D) 74]

74] Cornelius. Lapide, The Great Commentary of Cornelius Lapide, trans. Thomas W. Mossman, third edition (London: John Hodges, 1887), xxxvi.

It is easy to see how canonicity is a testimony to Matthaean authorship when we understand that the debates of the early Church fathers to accept the general epistles of 2Peter, 2,3John, and Jude was simply a debate about their authorship. Apostolic authorship meant that the works were authentic, and thus, authoritative. It was the writing's apostolic authority that granted its inclusion into the New Testament canon. Therefore, canonicity was based upon apostolic authority, and this apostolic authority was based upon the authenticity of the writing, and its authenticity was based upon the fact that it was a genuine work of one of the apostles or one who was serving directly under that apostolic authority.

B. Church Orthodoxy- The second phase in the development of the New Testament canon placed emphasis upon Church orthodoxy, or the rule of faith for the catholic Church. F. B. Westcott says, "To make use of a book as authoritative, to assume that it is apostolic, to quote it as inspired, without preface or comment, is not to hazard a new or independent opinion, but to follow an unquestioned judgment." 75] The early Church fathers cited these apostolic writings as divinely inspired by God, equal in authority to the Old Testament Scriptures. They understood that these particular books embodied the doctrines that helped them express the Church's Creed, or generally accepted rule of faith. As F. B. Westcott notes, with a single voice the Church fathers of this period rose up from the western to the eastern borders of Christendom and became heralds of the same, unified Truth. 76] This phase is best represented in the writings of the early Church fathers by the collection of the apostolic writings into the distinctive groups of the Gospels, the Pauline epistles, and the Catholic epistles, and their distribution among the churches as the rules of the Christian faith (late 2nd century thru 3rd century). These collected works of the apostles were cited by the Church fathers as they expounded upon the Christian faith and established Church orthodoxy. We will look at two aspects of the development of Church Orthodoxy: (1) the Patristic Support of Authenticity, Authority, and Orthodoxy and (2) Early Versions.

75] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan anc Co, 1875), 12.

76] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan anc Co, 1875), 331.

1. Patristic Support of Authenticity, Authority, and Orthodoxy- In addition to direct statements by the early Church fathers declaring Matthean authorship, patristic support for the authenticity and authority of the Gospel of Matthew can be found in the form of direct quotes, strong allusions, and weak allusions. Direct quotes are word for word citations from this book, strong allusions are apparent paraphrases, and weak allusions are words or phrases that appear to come from this book. Donald Guthrie says that there are more citations by the early Church fathers from the Gospel of Matthew than perhaps any other New Testament book, being much more frequent than Mark ,, Luke , and John. 77] The WBC says, "The great frequency of citations and allusions to Matthew found in the Didache, Epistle of Barnabas, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, and others attests to its early composition and widespread use." 78] The fact that these early Church fathers quoted Matthew alongside other Holy Scriptures bears witness to the truth that they believed at an early date that this Gospel was authentic and thus carried apostolic authority. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew was used by the Church fathers to establish Church orthodoxy.

77] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 28.

78] Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, eds, The Gospel According to Matthew , in The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database (Chicago: Moody Press, c 1962.), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction: Compositon and Date."

Here are some examples of the earliest quotes of the Gospel of Matthew: 79]

79] There are many other citations available from the early Church fathers that I have not used to support the traditional views of authorship of the books of the New Testament. Two of the largest collections of these citations have been compiled by Nathaniel Lardner (1684-1768) in The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, 10 vols. (London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829, 1838), and by Jacques Paul Migne (1800-1875) in the footnotes of Patrologia Latina, 221vols. (Parisiis: Excudebat Migne, 1844-55) and Patrologia Graecae, 161vols. (Parisiis: Excudebat Migne, 1857-66).

a) The Magdalen Papyrus (late 1st c. to 2nd c.) - In 1901an Egyptologist named Charles B. Huleatt (1863-1908) purchased three small fragments of papyrus from a dealer in Luxor, Egypt, which were later donated to Magdalen College, Oxford. 80] The text on these ancient fragments were identified as two verses from the Gospel of Matthew (,29:31). These fragments were initially dated by Colin Roberts around A.D 200. 81] However, Carsten Thiede reexamined these fragments, which are called "P. Magdalen Greek 17 ," and published a controversial article in 1995 that dated them "from the late second to the late first century, sometime after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem [A.D 70]." 82] Thus, the Magdalen Papyrus may serve as the earliest manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew.

80] Peter M. Head, "The Date of the Magdalen Papyrus of Matthew: A Response to C.P. Thiede," Tyndale Bulletin 46 (1995) 251-285; accessed 28 March 2010; available from http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/P 64TB.htm; Internet.

81] Colin Roberts, "An Early Papyrus Of The First Gospel," Harvard Theological Review, 1953, Vol 46, 233-237.

82] Carsten Peter Thiede, "Papyrus Magdalen Greek 17 (Gregory-Aland P64). A Reappraisal," Zeitschrift fr Papyrologie und Epigraphik 105 (1995) 13-20; accessed 13December 2006; available from http://www.uni-koeln.de/ Philippians -fak/ifa/zpe/downloads/1995/105pdf/105013.pdf; Internet.

b) Clement of Rome (c 96) - In his first epistle to the Corinthians, Clement of Rome clearly quotes from the Sermon on the Mount out of Matthew or Luke.

"…being especially mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus which He spake, teaching us meekness and long-suffering. For thus He spoke: ‘Be ye merciful, that ye may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven to you; as ye do, so shall it be done unto you; as ye Judges , so shall ye be judged; as ye are kind, so shall kindness be shown to you; with what measure ye mete, with the same it shall be measured to you.'" (1Clement 13)

Clement of Rome also quotes from Matthew 18:6; Matthew 26:24, Mark 9:42, or Luke 17:1-2.

"Remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, how He said, "Woe to that man [by whom offences come]! It were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my elect. Yea, it were better for him that a millstone should be hung about [his neck], and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my little ones. Your schism has subverted [the faith of] many, has discouraged many, has given rise to doubt in many, and has caused grief to us all. And still your sedition continueth." (1Clement 46)

c) The Epistle of Barnabas (A.D 70 to 100) - The Epistle of Barnabas has been ascribed by Clement of Alexandria to the apostle Barnabas, 83] who is referred in the book of Acts as an early co-worker on Paul's first missionary journey. However, many scholars believe that the author was a Christian of Alexandria who wrote between A.D 70,100. 84] In this early epistle the author makes numerous citations using the Matthean phrase "it is written" when quoting from Scripture. Note this quote from Matthew 22:14.

83] Clement of Alexandria was the first to ascribe this epistle to the apostle Barnabase. He writes, "Rightly, therefore, the Apostle Barnabas says, ‘From the portion I have received I have done my diligence to send by little and little to you; that along with your faith you may also have perfect knowledge. Fear and patience are then helpers of your faith; and our allies are long-suffering and temperance. These, then,' he says, ‘in what respects the Lord, continuing in purity, there rejoice along with them, Wisdom of Solomon , understanding, intelligence, knowledge.'" (Stromata 26) and, "And Barnabas the apostle having said, ‘Woe to those who are wise in their own conceits, clever in their own eyes,' added, ‘Let us become spiritual, a perfect temple to God; let us, as far as in us lies, practise the fear of God, and strive to keep His commands, that we may rejoice in His judgments.'" (Stromata 27)

84] The Epistle of Barnabas, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D 325, vol 1: The Apostolic Fathers With Justin Martyr and Ireneaus, American ed, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, Grand Rapids; Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997, electronic edition), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2009), "Introduction."

"And all the more attend to this, my brethren, when ye reflect and behold, that after so great signs and wonders were wrought in Israel, they were thus [at length] abandoned. Let us beware lest we be found [fulfilling that saying], as it is written, ‘Many are called, but few are chosen.'" (The Epistle of Barnabas 4)

The phrase "it is written" is used in several other places as a citation outside the Gospels.

"Concerning the water, indeed, it is written, in reference to the Israelites, that they should not receive that baptism which leads to the remission of sins, but should procure another for themselves." (The Epistle of Barnabas 11)

"For it is written how the Father, about to redeem us from darkness, commanded Him to prepare a holy people for Himself." (The Epistle of Barnabas 14)

"Further, also, it is written concerning the Sabbath in the Decalogue which [the Lord] spoke, face to face, to Moses on Mount Sinai, ‘And sanctify ye the Sabbath of the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart.'" (The Epistle of Barnabas 15)

"For it is written, ‘And it shall come to pass, when the week is completed, the temple of God shall be built in glory in the name of the Lord.'" (The Epistle of Barnabas 16)

The author also quotes Matthew 5:42 or Luke 6:30 in the epistle.

"Thou shalt not hesitate to give, nor murmur when thou givest. ‘Give to every one that asketh thee,'" (The Epistle of Barnabas 19)

d) Ignatius of Antioch (A.D 35 to 107) - Ignatius of Antioch is one of the earliest Church fathers to quote from the Gospel of Matthew; however, he uses more allusions than citations when referring to this Gospel. Here are a few examples:

"For we ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household," (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 6)

Matthew 24:45, "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?"

"For ‘blessed are the meek;' and Moses was meek above all men" (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians 10)

Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."

"that He was truly born of a virgin, was baptized by John , in order that all righteousness might be fulfilled." (The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans 1)

Matthew 3:15, "And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him."

"Be in all things "wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove." (The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp 2)

Matthew 10:16, "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves."

e) The Didache (A.D 80 to 100) - The Didache, or The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles, was a short early Christian manual on morals and Church practice. The Gospel of Matthew is used extensively throughout the sixteen chapters of this ancient manual, particularly from the Sermon on the Mount (See The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations) (ANF 7). Note the following examples:

"If one give thee a blow upon thy right cheek, turn to him the other also; and thou shalt be perfect. If one impress thee for one mile, go with him two. If one take away thy cloak, give him also thy coat." (The Didache 1)

"But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites; for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week; but do ye fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday). Neither pray as the hypocrites; but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, thus pray: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. Give us to-day our daily (needful) bread, and forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (or, evil); for Thine is the power and the glory for ever." (The Didache 8)

f) Polycarp (A.D 69 to 155) - The epistle of Polycarp contains numerous quotes and allusions from the Gospels, revealing the fact that he was acquainted with them.

"…or blow for blow, or cursing for cursing, but being mindful of what the Lord said in His teaching: Judge not, that ye be not judged; forgive, and it shall be forgiven unto you; be merciful, that ye may obtain mercy; with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again; and once more, Blessed are the poor, and those that are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God." (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 2) ( Matthew 5:3; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 7:1-2; Matthew 6:12; Matthew 6:14, Luke 6:20; Luke 6:36-38)

"…but temperate in all things, compassionate, industrious, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who was the servant of all. " (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 5) ( Matthew 20:28)

"If then we entreat the Lord to forgive us, we ought also ourselves to forgive;" (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 6) ( Matthew 6:12-14)

"…beseeching in our supplications the all-seeing God ‘not to lead us into temptation,' as the Lord has said: ‘The spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak.'" (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 7) ( Matthew 6:13; Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38)

"Pray also for kings, and potentates, and princes, and for those that persecute and hate you," (The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians 12) ( Matthew 5:44)

g) Justin Martyr (A.D 100 to 165) - Jeremiah Jones lists thirty-five citations of the Gospel of Matthew in the extant works of Justin Martyr. 85] A. Lukyn Williams cites Justin Martyr, who "records" narrative material in his writings that is only found in the Gospel of Matthew:

85] Jeremiah Jones, A New and Full Method of Settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament, vol 3 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1827), 28-29.

"i. Joseph's suspicion of Mary

ii. the name of Jesus

iii. the visit of the Magi

iv. the massacre at Bethlehem

v. the descent into Egypt

vi. the order of the temptations

vii. six passages from the Sermon on the Mount

viii. Matthew 23:15; Matthew 23:24

ix. the sign of the prophet Jonah

x. the triumphant entry with the colt

xi. the calumnious report of the Jews ( Matthew 28:12-15)

xii. the baptismal formula" 86]

86] A. Lukyn Williams and Benjamin C. Caffin, John , in The Pulpit Commentary, eds. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950), in Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] (Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001), "Introduction: External Evidences of the Early Existence of the Four Gospels 3."

h) Titian' Edition of the Diatessaron (A.D 150 to 160) - The Diatessaron is an edition of the four Gospels compiled as a Harmony and written as one continuous narrative. It was compiled by Titian, a pupil of Justin Martyr, about A.D 150-160. Eusebius tells us that it began to circulate at an early date in the Syriac-speaking churches and became the standard text of the Gospels down to the fifth century, before it was finally replaced by four separate Gospels.

"But their original founder, Tatian, formed a certain combination and collection of the Gospels, I know not how, to which he gave the title Diatessaron, and which is still in the hands of some." (Ecclesiastical History 4296)

i) The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (2nd century) - The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (ANF 8), generally believed to be an early Church writing of the second century, contains many New Testament thoughts and expressions as well as quotes. It makes several possible allusions to the Gospel of Matthew.

"Now, therefore, know that the Lord will execute judgment upon the sons of men; because when the rocks are rent…" (The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: III The Testament of Levi Concerning the Priesthood and Arrogance 4)

Matthew 27:51, "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;"

"…and the man who reneweth the law in the power of the Most High will ye call a deceive…" (The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: III The Testament of Levi Concerning the Priesthood and Arrogance 16)

Matthew 27:63, "Saying, Sirach , we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again."

"And His star shall arise in heaven, as a king shedding forth the light of knowledge in the sunshine of day…" (The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: III The Testament of Levi Concerning the Priesthood and Arrogance 18)

Matthew 2:2, "Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."

"The good mind hath not two tongues, of blessing and of cursing, of insult and of honour, of sorrow and of joy, of quietness and of trouble, of hypocrisy and of truth, of poverty and of wealth; but it hath one disposition, pure and un-corrupt, concerning all men. It hath no double sight, nor double hearing." (The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs: XII The Testament of Benjamin Concerning a Pure Mind 6)

Matthew 6:22, "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."

j) Athenagoras (2nd century) - Jeremiah Jones lists four citations of the Gospel of Matthew in the extant works of Athenagoras. 87]

87] Jeremiah Jones, A New and Full Method of Settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament, vol 3 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1827), 30.

k) Theophilus of Antioch (late 2nd century) - Jeremiah Jones lists five citations of the Gospel of Matthew in the extant works of Theophilus, bishop of Antiosh. 88] For example, Theophilus, quotes from Matthew 5:28; Matthew 5:32, verifying its early testimony as Scripture that was equal to the Old Testament books. He is also said to have written commentaries on the Gospels, which supports their importance in the early Church at that time.

88] Jeremiah Jones, A New and Full Method of Settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament, vol 3 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1827), 30.

"And the voice of the Gospel teaches still more urgently concerning chastity, saying: ‘Whosoever looketh on a woman who is not his own wife, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.' ‘And he that marrieth,' says [the Gospel], ‘her that is divorced from her husband, committeth adultery; and whosoever putteth away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery.'" (Theophilus to Autolycus 313) (ANF 2)

l) Treatise On the Resurrection (late 2nd Century) - In a fragment of a second century Gnostic writing called Treatise On the Resurrection, there is a reference made to one of the Gospels where it records the appearance of Elijah and Moses ( Matthew 17:3, Mark 9:4, Luke 9:30). It reads, "For if you remember reading in the Gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not think the resurrection is an illusion." 89] This writing also discusses the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and His appearance to His disciples prior to His Ascension, which reflects the Gospels. 90]

89] "The Treatise on the Resurrection," trans. Malcom L. Peel, in The Nag Hammadi Library, in The Gnostic Society Library [on-line]; accessed 29 March 2010; available from http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/res.html; Internet.

90] "The Treatise on the Resurrection," trans. Malcolm L. Peel, in The Nag Hammadi Library in English, revised edition, ed. James M. Robinson (Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, c 1977, 1996), 52-57.

m) Irenaeus (A.D 130 to 200) - Jeremiah Jones says Irenaeus cites the Gospel of Matthew at least two-hundred and fifty-five times in his extant works. 91]

91] Jeremiah Jones, A New and Full Method of Settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament, vol 3 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1827), 30-31.

n) Clement of Alexandria (A.D 150 to 215) - Jeremiah Jones lists seventy-three citations of the Gospel of Matthew in the extant works of Clement of Alexandria. 92]

92] Jeremiah Jones, A New and Full Method of Settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament, vol 3 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1827), 33-34.

The Gnostic literature in the New Testament Apocrypha, written largely during the second century after Christ, and the refutations of heresies by the early Church fathers, reveal to us that the Christian Gnostic heretics largely supported the canonicity of the New Testament and their apostolic authority in an attempt to identify themselves with Christianity. 93] For example, the heretic Marcion (d.c 160) compiled his own version of the New Testament canon, which Tertullian refutes in his work Against Marcion. Philip Schaff says, "The Gnostics of the second century, especially the Valentinians and Basilidians, made abundant use of the fourth Gospel, which alternately offended them by its historical realism, and attracted them by its idealism and mysticism. Heracleon, a pupil of Valentinus, wrote a commentary on it, of which Origen has preserved large extracts; Valentinus himself (according to Tertullian) 94] tried either to explain it away, or he put his own meaning into it. Basilides, who flourished about A.D 125, quoted from the Gospel of John such passages as the ‘true light, which enlighteneth every man was coming into the world' ( John 1:9), and, ‘my hour is not yet come.'( Matthew 2:4)….Celsius, in his book against Christianity, written about A.D 178, he refers to several details which are peculiar to John , as, among others, the blood which flowed from the body of Jesus at his crucifixion ( John 19:34), and the fact that Christ ‘after his death arose and showed the marks of his punishment, and how his hands had been pierced' ( Matthew 20:25; Matthew 20:27)." 95] Philip Schaff tells us that a disciple of Valentinus named Heracleon (A.D 145 to 180), a Gnostic heretic, went so far as to write a commentary on the Gospels of Luke and John. 96] Others wrote Gnostic Gospels and Acts.

93] Philip Schaff writes, "The Old Testament they [the Gnostics] generally rejected, either entirely, as in the case of the Marcionites and the Manichseans, or at least in great part; and in the New Testament they preferred certain books or portions, such as the Gospel of John , with its profound spiritual intuitions, and either rejected the other books, or wrested them to suit their ideas." Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 2 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922), 451-452.

94] See Tertullian's work On the Flesh of Christ 15.

95] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 707.

96] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 707; "Herecleon," in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised, eds. F. L. Cross and E. A. Livingstone (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 637.

The fact that the early Church fathers quoted from the Gospel of Matthew along with other Holy Scriptures bears witness to the truth that they believed that this Gospel was authentic.

2. Early Versions- In addition, the earliest translations of the New Testament included the four Gospels; Tatian's Diatessaron (c 170) (a harmony of the four Gospels) (ANF 9), the Old Latin (2nd to 4th c), the Coptic (3rd to 4th c), the Old Syriac and Peshitta (4th c), the Armenian (5th c), the Georgian (5th c), and the Ethiopic (6th c). 97] Matthew's Gospel would not have been translated with the other New Testament writings unless it was considered a part of the orthodox beliefs of the Church at large.

97] The Old Latin Bible manuscripts of the fifth century, Codex Bezae (Gospels, Acts , Catholic epistles), Codex Claromontanus (Pauline epistles), and Codex Floriacensis ( Acts , Catholic epistles, Revelation) were used prior to Jerome's Vulgate (beginning A. D 382), and these Old Latin manuscripts testify to the canonization of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament at an early date. See Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, eds, The Greek New Testament, Third Edition (United Bible Societies, c 1966, 1968, 1975), xxxi-xxxiv.

C. Catholicity- The third and final phase of New Testament canonicity placed emphasis upon the aspect of catholicity, or the general acceptance of the canonical books. F. B. Westcott says, "The extent of the Canon, like the order of the Sacraments, was settled by common usage, and thus the testimony of Christians becomes the testimony of the Church." 98] This phase is best represented in the period of Church councils of the fourth century as bishops met and agreed upon a list of canonical books generally accepted by the catholic Church. However, approved canons were listed by individual Church fathers as early as the second century. These books exhibited a dynamic impact upon the individual believers through their characteristic of divine inspiration, transforming them into Christian maturity, being used frequently by the church at large. We will look at two testimonies of catholicity: (1) the Early Church Canons, and (2) Early Church Councils.

98] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General History of the Canon of the New Testament (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 12.

1. Early Church Canons- Every major canon of the early Church lists four Gospels as an authentic writings. Although the Muratorian Canon does not begin its damaged text until the Gospel of Luke , Matthew and Mark can be assumed to be a part of this early canon (A.D 180) (Fragments of Caius 3: Canon Muratorianus 2) (ANF 5). Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) includes them in his list of "acknowledged books." 99] The four Gospels are listed in the Cheltenham List (A.D 359). 100] Athanasius gives us a canonical list that includes them (c 367). 101] Cyril of Jerusalem (A.D 315-386) includes them in his list. 102] The Apostolic Constitutions includes all but the book of Revelation (late 4th c.). 103] Inclusion into these canons indicates that the Gospels were universally accepted by the Church at large.

99] See Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 331-7; 324-25.

100] W. Sanday, The Cheltenham List of the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament and the Writings of Cyprian, in Studia Biblica ed Ecclesiastica: Essays Chiefly in Biblical and Patristic Criticism, vol 3 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1891) 217-303.

101] See Athansius, Festal Letters 395 (Easter, 367) (NPF 2 4).

102] See Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures 436 (NPF 2 7).

103] See The Ecclesiastical Canons of the Same Holy Apostles 4785 (ANF 7).

2. Early Church Councils- The earliest major Church councils named the four Gospels as authentic writings; Nicea (c 325-40), Hippo (393), Carthage (397), and Carthage (419). This would not have been done unless the church at large believed them to be canonical.

During the fourth century, the Roman emperor Constantine was converted to Christianity and ordered Eusebius to produce fifty copies of the Scriptures. 104] The production and distribution of these Bibles, along with the Church synods that followed, served to confirm the twenty-seven books of the New Testament as canonical and authoritative. The early Church traditions of authorship and authenticity became firmly embedded within their canonicity. Therefore, citations of the New Testament Scriptures and later manuscript evidence after this period of Church history only serve to repeat traditions that had already become well-known and established among the churches of the fourth century.

104] Brooke Foss Westcott, A General Survey of the History of the Canon of the New Testament, fourth edition (London: Macmillan and Co, 1875), 422-426.

D. Matthew's Biography - Matthew's biography discusses (1) Matthew's Name, (2) Matthew's Calling, (3) Matthew's Life and Ministry, and (4) Matthew's Death.

1. Matthew's Name- The Greek name "Matthew" ( ΄ατθαῖος) (G 3156) may be a contraction of the Hebrew name "Mattithiah" ( מַתִּתְיָה) (H 4993), or ΄ατταθιας (LXX), which means "gift of Jah" (Strong), and is used 8 times in the Old Testament ( 1 Chronicles 9:31; 1 Chronicles 15:18; 1 Chronicles 15:21; 1 Chronicles 16:5; 1 Chronicles 25:3; 1 Chronicles 25:21, Ezra 10:43, Nehemiah 8:4). The name "Matthew" may also be derived from the name "Mattathias" ( ΄ατταθίας) (G 3161), which is found in Luke's genealogy of Jesus ( Luke 3:25-26).

2. Matthew's Calling - The apostle Matthew was also called Levi, the son of Alphaeus ( Mark 2:14), and was one the twelve apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mark 2:14, "And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him."

Was this the same Alphaeus that the Scriptures also call the father of James the apostle ( Matthew 10:3, Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15, Acts 1:13)? We may only speculate.

Matthew 10:3, " Philippians , and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;"

Mark 3:18, "And Andrew, and Philippians , and Bartholomew, and Matthew , and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,"

Luke 6:15, "Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,"

Acts 1:13, "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James , and John , and Andrew, Philippians , and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew , James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James."

Whether or not Jesus gave him a surname name, as with other apostles, we have no written record. He was by profession a publican, or tax collector, under the Roman government when Jesus called him to forsake all and follow Him ( Matthew 9:9).

Matthew 9:9, "And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a Prayer of Manasseh , named Matthew , sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him."

Matthew's calling followed that of other of the apostles, since Peter, James and John were already with Jesus according to the Gospel of Mark.

By his Jewish name and that of his father, Alphaeus, we know that he was a Jew. His familiarity with Palestine suggests that he was a Palestinian Jew, and not of the Diaspora. He is called by the name Matthew in his own Gospel, while Mark and Luke use both the names of Levi and Matthew in their writings. John makes no mention of him in his Gospel.

We know that Rome gave the job of collecting taxes to Roman knights, who hired local people to do the collecting for them. The Gospels reveal that the tax collectors, called Publicans, were considered by the Jews to be sinners, or "betrayers", to the Jewish nation. Often, these local Publicans extorted more taxes than were due. Seldom did the Roman knights punish them for such acts of betrayal.

We know that he must have been a man of some wealth and social position. He must have obtained wealth because he owned a home. As with anyone in a society who has wealth, Matthew managed to have friends. We know that he held a level of prestige in society because he held a banquet for a large group in his home ( Matthew 9:10, Mark 2:15, Luke 5:29).

Matthew 9:10, "And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples."

Mark 2:15, "And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him."

Luke 5:29, "And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them."

In the lists of the twelve apostles, the name of Matthew is always used, and never the name Levi.

Matthew 10:3, " Philippians , and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;:

Mark 3:18, "And Andrew, and Philippians , and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,"

Luke 6:15, "Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,"

Acts 1:13, "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James , and John , and Andrew, Philippians , and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James."

The last mention of Matthew in the Holy Bible is found in Acts 1:13.

Acts 1:13, "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James , and John , and Andrew, Philippians , and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James."

Of his personality, Clement of Alexandria describes him as a rigorous ascetic and vegetarian, eating seeds, nuts, and vegetables without meat, but there is no certainty as to how accurate this description is.

"Accordingly, the apostle Matthew partook of seeds, and nuts, and vegetables, without flesh." (The Instructor 21)

3. Matthew's Life and Ministry - The traditions of the church fathers contain conflicting testimonies regarding the life, ministry, and martyrdom of Matthew , even describing such extraordinary events in his life that one finds them questionable. G. H. Schodde says early Church tradition tells us he preached in Palestine and afterwards he went to a number of nations, "the Ethiopians, Macedonians, Syrians, Persians, Parthians and Medes" being mentioned in various writings. 105] For example, Eusebius (A.D 260-340) tells us that he first preached to the Hebrews before being sent forth to preach to the Gentiles. 106] Ambrose of Milan (A.D 339-397) says he went to Persia. 107] Rufinus (A.D 345-410) says he went to Ethiopia. 108] Paulinus of Nola (A.D 353-431) places him in Parthia. 109] Socrates (A.D 380-450), the early Church historian, tells us that Matthew traveled to Ethiopia when he was sent forth as an apostle. 110] Eucherius, bishop of Lyons (d. c. A.D 449) places him in Ethopia. 111] Gregory the Great (A.D 540-604) says he preaching in Ethopia. 112] Isidore of Seville (A.D 560-636) places him in Macedonia and Parthia. 113] Simeon Metaphrastes (f. c. A.D 960) places him in Syria, Parthia, and Ethiopia. 114] Nicephorus Callistus (A.D 1256-1336) says he went from nation to nation preaching the Gospel. 115]

105] G. H. Schodde, " Matthew ," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

106] Eusebius writes, "For Matthew , who had at first preached to the Hebrews , when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence." (Ecclesiastical History 3246)

107] Ambrose writes, "Even those Kingdoms which were shut out by rugged mountains became accessible to them as India to Thomas, Persia to Matthew." (Enarratio in Psalmum xlv 21) (PL14col 1198D). See the more extensive Latin translation in A. E. Medlycott, India and the Apostle Thomas: An Inquiry with a Critical Analysis of the Acta Thomae (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2005), 44.

108] Rufinus writes, "In this division of the world a lot is fallen to the other celebrated apostles to preach the word of God in other provinces, Parthians Thomas, and Matthew Ethiopia, and clinging nearer India Bartholomew spoke oracles of decrees." (Ecclesiastical History 19) See PL 21col 478B.

109] Paulinus of Nola writes, "Parthia receives Matthew , India Thomas, Thaddaeus Libya, Phrygia Philippians , Titus took Crete, doctor Luke Boetia, Mark Alexandria." (Poema 1980-84) See PL 61col 514A.

110] Socrates writes, "We must now mention in what manner Christianity was spread in this emperor"s reign: for it was in his time that the nations both of the Indians in the interior, and of the Iberians first embraced the Christian faith. But I shall briefly explain why I have used the appended expression in the interior. When the apostles went forth by lot among the nations, Thomas received the apostleship of the Parthians; Matthew was allotted Ethiopia; and Bartholomew the part of India contiguous to that country but the interior India, in which many barbarous nations using different languages lived, was not enlightened by Christian doctrine before the times of Constantine." (Ecclesiastical History 119)

111] Eucherius writes, "Bartholomew in India, Thomas stretched to Parthia, Matthew Ethopia, Andrew preaching softenly in Scythia, divine John set right sermons in Asia, Peter in Cappadocia and Galatia, Bithynia together with Pontus." (Instructions 1:.2, in Actibus Apostolorum) See PL 50 Colossians 809C.

112] Gregory the Great writes, "He [Jesus] took also a servant, when Matthew was called from the customs office pursuing a profit. In this, too, he put them to his work, because he gave a feast for him in his own house, and preaching in Ethiopia the evangelist did convert the world." (in Primum Regum Expositions 413) See PL 79 Colossians , 243B-C.

113] Isidore of Seville writes, "Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist, who also took the title of his own tribe of Levi, from pubicano chosen by Christ, translated from the sinning. This first preaching in Judea, then in Macedonia, of rest in the mountains of the Parthians." (de Ortu et Obitu Patrum 76) See PL 83col 153A.

114] Simeon Metaphrastes, de S. Matthaeo Apostolo et Evangelista: Acta Sanctorum Bolland. Ad diem 21Septembris, tom. VI (PG 115 Colossians 749-814, esp. Colossians 780, 784).

115] Nicephorus Callistus writes, "And of the publican Matthew (this is what) has been handed down. And with a fiery tongue not inferior to the first of the apostles it was appointed by lot his proof of the holy evangelists it first came down to the Hebrews. For this reason often also this divine apostle travelled around preaching the Gospel, being rewarded from place to place, and nation to nation, last by the Spirit leading him also unto the place of cannibals he was brought, in which city Myrna he had a reputation, upon which indeed also bishop Plato was declared his pupil." (Ecclesiastical History 241) See PG 145 cols 865B.

Although the New Testament apocryphal works offer less reliable sources, they speak often of Matthew's ministry and death. The Acts of Andrew (3rd c.?) says Matthew went to Mermidona. 116] The Acts of Andrew and Matthias (Matthew) says Matthew went to preach with Andrew in the land of cannibals. 117] The apocryphal work called The Martyrdom of Matthew says that the Lord called Matthew to minister to the cannibals in the city of Myrna, where he gave up the ghost after being delivered from the king's attempt to kill him. 118] The Apostolic History of Abdias (6th-7th c.) says Matthew travelled to Naddaver in Ethiopia and contended with two magicians. 119]

116] Montague Rhodes James , The Apocryphal New Testament being the Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , Epistles, and Apocalypses (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c 1924, 1963), 337.

117] Montague Rhodes James , The Apocryphal New Testament being the Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , Epistles, and Apocalypses (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c 1924, 1963), 453-458.

118] Montague Rhodes James , The Apocryphal New Testament being the Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , Epistles, and Apocalypses (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c 1924, 1963), 460-462.

119] Montague Rhodes James , The Apocryphal New Testament being the Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , Epistles, and Apocalypses (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c 1924, 1963), 466-467.

4. Matthew's Death - The death of the apostle Matthew is shrouded in the midst of various ancient traditions. The Babylonian Talmud declares that Matthew was killed by the Sanhedrin. 120] Hippolytus (A.D 170-236) tells us that Matthew fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia. 121] In contrast, The Acts and Martyrdom of St. Matthew the Apostle says that Matthew gave up the ghost after the king of Myrna attempted to burn him with fire. 122] The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew in Parthia says that Matthew was beheaded in Parthia. 123] The Martyrologium Heironymianum (5th c.) tells us that Matthew died "in Persia in the town of Tarrium." 124] The Roman Martyrology says he was martyred in Ethiopia, and his body later moved to various countries before it was placed in a church in Salerno. 125] Fox's Book of Martyrs (1563-83) says Matthew died as a martyr from a halberd (a long-handled weapon with a spear or axe head on one end) in the city of Nadabah (a city of Ethiopia). 126] Tradition says Matthew's relics were found in the city of Salerno in A.D 1080 and are currently enshrined in the Cathedral of St. Matteo in that city. 127] Scholars generally attribute the cause of such a variety of testimonies found within the apocryphal literature to a confusion between traditions surrounding the apostle Matthew and Matthias, the disciple that replaced Judas Iscariot ( Acts 1:26). 128]

120] The Babylonian Talmud reads, "Our Rabbis taught: Yeshu had five disciples, Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni and Todah. When Matthai was brought [before the court] he said to them [the judges], Shall Matthai be executed? Is it not written, Matthai [when] shall I come and appear before God? Thereupon they retorted; Yes, Matthai shall be executed, since it is written, When Matthai [when] shall [he] die and his name perish." (tractate Sanhedrin 43a)

121] Hippolytus writes, "And Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia." (Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus 49: On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End 7)

122] The Acts and Martyrdom of St. Matthew the Apostle reads, "And Matthew , having rebuked the fire, and the flames having been extinguished, and the dragon having become invisible, stretching his eyes to heaven, and praying in Hebrew, and commending his spirit to the Lord, said: Peace to you! And having glorified the Lord, he went to his rest about the sixth hour." See "Acts and Martyrdom of St. Matthew the Apostle," in Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , and Revelations, trans. Alexander Walker (Edinburg: T. & T. Clark, 1870), 383.

123] E. A. Wallis Budge, The Contendings of the Apostles being the History and the Lives and Martyrdoms and Deaths of the Twelve Apostles and Evangelists, vol 2 (London: Henry Frowde, 1901), 135.

124] PL 30, cols 435-486. F. L. Cross, and E. A. Livingstone, eds, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), "Matthew."

125] The Roman Martyrology reads, "At Salerno, the Translation of St. Matthew , apostle. His sacred body previously transferred from Ethiopia to various countries, was finally taken to Salerno, and there with great pomp placed in a church dedicated under his invocation." (6 May). Matthew's feast day Isaiah 21September, where it says, "The birthday of St. Matthew , apostle and evangelist, who suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, while engaged in preaching." The Roman Martyrology Published by Order of Gregory XIII (Baltimore, Maryland: John Murphy Company Publishers, 1916), 130, 291.

126] John Fox writes, "Whose occupation was that of a toll-gatherer, was born at Nazareth. He wrote his gospel in Hebrew, which was afterwards translated into Greek by James the Less. The scene of his labors was Parthia, and Ethiopia, in which latter country he suffered martyrdom, being slain with a halberd in the city of Nadabah, A. D 60." See John Fox, Fox's Book of Martyrs, ed. William Byron Forbush (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1926), 3.

127] Kenneth G. C. Newport, "Martyrdom of Matthew ," in The Anchor Bible Dictionary, David Noel Freedman, ed. (New York: Doubleday, c 1992).

128] J. N. Bartlet, " Matthew , Apostle," in A Dictionary of the Bible, vol 3, eds. James Hastings and John A. Selbie (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901), 296.

II. Date and Place of Writing

Because oral tradition carries much more weight of authority in the eastern mind than in the western mind, there was a considerable amount of time between Jesus' resurrection and the recording of the Gospels. When Matthew ventured forth to the nations, he saw a need to put things in writing. B. F. Westcott says the tradition of the Jewish rabbis was to put nothing in writing outside of the sacred Scriptures. This meant that the apostles had to abandon this rule in their decision to put to writing the Gospels as we know them today. 129] Thus, it took a worthy cause for the apostles decided to commit the story of Jesus to writing in their efforts to evangelize other Gentile nations.

129] Brook Foss Westcott, Introduction to the Study of the Gospels with Historical and Explanatory Notes (Boston: Gould and Lincoln, 1862), 176.

In the many arguments for an accurate date of the writing of Matthew , there seem to be two main views, those who propose a pre-A.D 70 date and those who propose a post-A.D 70 date, because in this year the city of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. Most of those who support a post-A.D 70 date tend to have a lower view of the authority and inspiration of Scriptures than those with a pre-A.D 70 view.

Church tradition supported the pre-A.D 70 date of writing for the first seventeen hundred years of its existence, and it was not until higher criticism emerged in the 1700's that a later date was considered. It is for this reason that a brief list of list of actual support for the pre-A.D 70 date will be given here, while a summary of support brought by higher criticism will be left to other authors.

A. Date- Most conservative scholars would date the Gospel of Matthew between A.D 38 to the early A.D 60's. More liberal scholars, who doubt Matthaean authorship and who challenge the integrity of the early Church fathers, suggest dates of writing into the late first century, such as A.D 80 to 90.

1. Internal Evidence for Date- Internal evidence supports an early date prior to the fall of Jerusalem in A.D 70.

a) Jesus' Prediction of the Fall of Jerusalem in A.D 70 - The fact that Jesus predicts the fall of Jerusalem in A.D 70 in Matthew 24:1-2 is evidence that this Gospel was written before that date. The nature of Matthew"s Gospel is to verify the fulfilling of prophecy. If Jerusalem had been destroyed before the writing of this Gospel, the author would have used it as evidence of the fulfilling of prophecy. If this Gospel were written after the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D 70, then there would have certainly been a reference to this event. For example, Luke makes a reference in Acts 11:28 to the prediction by Agabus of the coming of a great dearth upon the earth.

Acts 11:28, "And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar."

Luke did not ignore such a historic event, but Matthew's Gospel does not discuss the destruction of Jerusalem as an event that has already occurred, but as future prophecy. In fact, there are passages in the Gospel of Matthew that imply the city of Jerusalem was still intact as a normal, busy dwelling place.

Matthew 4:5, "Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,"

Matthew 27:53, "And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."

b) "Unto This Day" Phrases- The phrase "unto this day", used in Matthew 28:15, gives us a hint that the book of Matthew probably was written during the same generation of someone who actually lived during the time of the Crucifixion of Jesus. Matthew would qualify for this date of writing.

Matthew 27:8, "Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day."

Matthew 28:15, "So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day."

c) Characteristics of Synoptic Gospels with the Gospel of John - The message contained within the Gospel of John is directed against growing Gnosticism in the later part of the first century. But the Synoptic Gospels reflect an earlier message in the growth of the Church. Thus, Matthew predates John by enough years to precede the issues of Gnosticism that later crept within the Church.

The fact that Matthew's Gospel makes the only references to the Church ( Matthew 16:18, Matthew 18:17) has been used to declare a later date of writing. But the Pauline epistles, written from the late 40's to the mid-60's had a well-developed Church doctrine while holding an early date of composition. Song of Solomon , the use of the word "church" in Matthew's Gospel does not verify a later date of writing.

In summary, the date of writing certainly precedes the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D 70 because Jesus' description of its destruction in chapter 24has no indication that it had already occurred. Therefore, conservative dates vary from A.D 38 to the early A.D 60's. More liberal scholars, who doubt Matthaean authorship and who challenge the integrity of the early Church fathers, suggest dates of writing into the late first century, such as A.D 80 to 90. However, Matthaean quotes from Ignatius of Antioch (A.D 35 to 107) and The Didache, written in the late first century, challenge a later date of writing.

2. External Evidence for Date- The earliest know document that contains a quote from the Gospel of Matthew can be found in The Epistle of Barnabas (A.D 70 to 100), as cited above. This first century document supports an early date of writing for the Gospel of Matthew.

Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340), quoting Irenaeus, gives to us the period in history in which Matthew wrote his Gospel as the early sixties. He also gives the order of writing as Matthew ,, Mark , Luke then John.

"Since, in the beginning of this work, we promised to give, when needful, the words of the ancient presbyters and writers of the Church, in which they have declared those traditions which came down to them concerning the canonical books, and since Irenaeus was one of them, we will now give his words and, first, what he says of the sacred Gospels: "Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the church in Rome. After their departure Mark , the disciple and interpreter of Peter, also transmitted to us in writing those things which Peter had preached; and Luke , the attendant of Paul, recorded in a book the Gospel which Paul had declared. Afterwards John , the disciple of the Lord, who also reclined on his bosom, published his Gospel, while staying at Ephesus in Asia." He states these things in the third book of his above-mentioned work." (Ecclesiastical History 581-5)

Later in his work, Eusebius refers to Clement of Alexander's writings in attempting to give an order to the writings of the four Gospels. He says that Matthew and Luke wrote first, followed by Mark , and finally John.

"Again, in the same books, Clement gives the tradition of the earliest presbyters, as to the order of the Gospels, in the following manner: The Gospels containing the genealogies, he says, were written first. The Gospel according to Mark's had this occasion. As Peter had preached the Word publicly at Rome, and declared the Gospel by the Spirit, many who were present requested that Mark , who had followed him for a long time and remembered his sayings, should write them out. And having composed the Gospel he gave it to those who had requested it. When Peter learned of this, he neither directly forbade nor encouraged it. But, last of all, John , perceiving that the external facts had been made plain in the Gospel, being urged by his friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel. This is the account of Clement." (Ecclesiastical History 6145-7)

Eusebius then quotes Origen, who gives us the traditional order of the writing of the four Gospels. They are given by him as Matthew ,, Mark , Luke and John.

"In his [Origen's] first book on Matthew's Gospel, maintaining the Canon of the Church, he testifies that he knows only four Gospels, writing as follows: "Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language. The second is by Mark, who composed it according to the instructions of Peter, who in his Catholic epistle acknowledges him as a Song of Solomon , saying, ‘The church that is at Babylon elected together with you, saluteth you, and so doth Marcus, my son.' And the third by Luke, the Gospel commended by Paul, and composed for Gentile converts. Last of all that by John." (Ecclesiastical History 6253-6)

Most of the early church fathers seemed to accept the order of the writing of the four Gospels as Matthew ,, Mark , Luke and John. This is same the order in which we find these writings in the New Testament.

Epiphanius (A.D 315 to 403), 130] Theophylact (11th century), 131] and Euthymius Zigabenus (earlt 12th c.) 132] say Matthew wrote his Gospel eight years after the Lord's ascent. However, Nicephorus (A.D 758 to 829) places the date in the fifteenth year after the Lord's ascension. 133] Modern scholarship does not place strong support in the testimonies of these Chruch fathers. 134] For example, Adam Clarke says Theophylact is following the tradition of some ancient manuscripts dated after the tenth century, which give subscriptions dating Matthew about the eighth year after the ascension. 135]

130] See Against Heresies 51.

131] Theyphylact writes, "Hence, Matthew first of all wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew language to those who believed of the Hebrews eight years after the ascension of Christ, and this John translated it from the Hebrew tongue to the Greek, as they say; and Mark wrote ten years after the Ascension from the teachings of Peter; and Luke after fifteen years; and John the theologian after thirty-two [years]." (Preface to Matthew) (PG 123col 145C-D) (author's translation)

132] See PG 129 Colossians 115B.

133] See Ecclesiastical History 245 (PG 145 Colossians 881A).

134] Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1964, 1971), 175.

135] Adam Clarke, Matthew , in Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] (Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000), "Introduction."

Isho'dad of Merv (c. A.D 850), the Syriac bishop of Hadatha, records the tradition that Matthew wrote his Gospel before Mark.

"But at the time that Peter ruled the church of Rome, he had a thought of going to the heavenly places; and the believers, being excited about this, begged him to make for them the teaching of the Gospel in a Book; and after they had entreated him further, he yielded to their persuasion; and because the Gospel of Matthew was previous, lest it should be supposed that he had done this because he was not pleased with that, he commanded Mark to describe to them in a Book the habits of our Lord, and His deeds and words, leaving many things out from it, and only endeavouring to write with great research the affairs of Peter s denial and such like. He incited him to do this; and because Simon had preached there that our Lord had not been incarnated, because of this, he endeavoured to write about what concerned His humanity." 136]

136] Margaret Dunlop Gibson, ed. and trans, The Commentaries of Isho'dad of Merv Bishop of Hadatha (c 850 A.D.) in Syriac and English, in Horae Semiticae, vol 5 (Cambridge: The University Press, 1911), 125.

In the 1200's St. Thomas Aquinas, writing in his Catena Aurea on Matthew , quotes Remigius of Auzerre (c. A.D 841to c. A.D 908) (PL 131cols 47-970), a medieval philosopher, who also wrote a commentaries on Genesis ,, Psalm , and Matthew. 137] In this quote, we see the thoughts of later centuries as to the dates and places of writings of the four Gospels:

137] F. L. Cross, and E. A. Livingstone, eds, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983), 1173.

"Matthew wrote in Judaea in the time of the Emperor Caius Caligula [A.D 37-41]; Mark in Italy, at Rome, in the time of Nero [A.D 54-68] or Claudius [A.D 41-54], according to Rabanus (referring to Rabanus Maurus [A.D 776 or 784to A.D 856]); Luke in the parts of Achaia and Baeotia, at the request of Theophilus; John at Ephesus, in Asia Minor, under Nerva [began rule A.D 96]." 138]

138] Thomas Aquinas, Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers, vol 1, part 1, second edition (Oxford: John Henry, 1864), 5.

In this quote, we see that the traditional order of writing and dates of writing of the Gospels were generally believed by the Church for the first seventeen centuries to be those handed down by the early Church fathers, until higher criticism arose in Europe in the 1700's.

In conclusion, most conservative scholars agree to a date of A.D 38 to 60, while many others suggest a later date of A.D 80 to 90. I prefer the earlier dating for Matthew , particularly since early Church tradition says this Gospel was the first of the four Gospels to be written.

B. Place of Writing- Our best evidence for a place of writing for Matthew's Gospel will be in Judea, particularly Jerusalem, before Matthew ventured into the nations to preach the Gospel.

1. Internal Evidence for Place- Regarding the place of writing, there are little or no indications within the Gospel of Matthew nor the other New Testament Scriptures as to where Luke was when he wrote this book. We do find the phrase "that land" and "that country" used in Matthew 9:26; Matthew 9:31 when Jesus was ministering near the Sea of Galilee. This may indicate that Matthew was not in Galilee, or in northern Palestine, when he wrote his Gospel.

Matthew 9:26, "And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land."

Matthew 9:31, "But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country."

2. External Evidence for Place- Most scholars agree that Matthew wrote his Gospel either in Palestine or in Syria, especially Antioch. However, because he lived and worked in Palestine in his early ministry, this location is the most likely place of writing. This suggestion is supported by Irenaeus (A.D 130 to 200), who tells us that Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews before venturing out to do missionary work. Eusebius quotes Irenaeus on this tradition.

"Matthew published his Gospel among the Hebrews in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching and founding the church in Rome." (Irenaeus, Against Heresies 311) and (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 582)

Hippolytus tells us that Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem.

"And Matthew wrote the Gospel in the Hebrew tongue, and published it at Jerusalem, and fell asleep at Hierees, a town of Parthia." (Appendix to the Works of Hippolytus 49: On the Twelve Apostles Where Each of Them Preached, and Where He Met His End 7)

Jerome tells us that Matthew published his Gospel in Judea.

" Matthew , also called Levi, apostle and aforetimes publican, composed a gospel of Christ at first published in Judea in Hebrew for the sake of those of the circumcision who believed, but this was afterwards translated into Greek though by what author is uncertain." (Lives of Illustrious Men 3)

Pseudo-Athanasius (4th -6th c.) says that Matthew's Gospel was published at Jerusalem. 139] As stated above, St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), writing in his Catena Aurea on Matthew , quotes Remigius of Auzerre (c. A.D 841to c 908) as saying that the place of writing for Matthew's Gospel was Judaea in the time of the Emperor Caius Caligula (A.D 37-41). Ebedjesu (d 1318) the Syrian bishop, reflects medieval tradition saying he wrote it in Palestine. 140]

139] The Synopsis of Sacred Scripture (PG 28 Colossians 432D).

140] Ebedjesu writes, "Matthew wrote in Palestine, in the Hebrew tongue." See Nathaniel Lardner, The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, vol 4 (London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829), 321; George Percy Badger, The Nestorians and their Rituals, vol 2 (London: Joseph Masters, 1852), 362.

III. Recipients

Early tradition holds that Matthew initially wrote his Gospel to the Jewish Christians, a position supported by both internal and external evidence.

A. Internal Evidence- Internal evidence clearly supports the belief that Matthew was writing primarily to Jewish converts.

1. Emphasis upon Old Testament Prophecies- This Gospel's special emphasis upon Old Testament prophecies indicates that Matthew was writing to a Jewish audience that was familiar with the Law, the Prophets and the Writings of the Old Testament.

2. Presupposes a Knowledge of Jewish Culture- When compared to the other three Gospels, Matthew appears at times to presuppose a knowledge of Jewish customs and geography the most. Compare the following two passages as one of many examples:

Matthew 15:1-2, "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread."

Mark 7:1-4, "Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables."

However, all of the four Gospels give explanations and interpretations of Jewish culture and Matthew is no exception. At times, Matthew interprets the Hebrew (rather Aramaic) for the reader.

Matthew 1:23, "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Song of Solomon , and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted Isaiah , God with us."

Matthew 27:33, "And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,"

At times, he explains Jewish culture to the reader.

Matthew 22:23, "The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,"

Matthew 27:8, "Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day."

Matthew 27:15, "Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would."

Matthew 28:15, "So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day."

Matthew may have provided these inserts for Jews of the Diaspora, or even as an acknowledgment of Gentiles Christians.

3. It Carries a Sense of Jewish Nationality - The Gospel of Matthew contains passages that carry a sense of Jewish nationality. The Gospels opens with the genealogy of Jesus Christ that only goes back to Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation. The Sermon on the Mount expounds upon the Ten Commandments and Mosaic Law. In addition, Jesus limits the sending out of the disciples to the people of Israel.

Matthew 10:5, "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:"

Matthew 10:23, "But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come."

In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus limits His earthly ministry to the "house of Israel".

Matthew 15:24, "But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

Jesus' teachings on the end times place the nation of Israel in the center of this event.

Matthew 19:28, "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

B. External Evidence- The early Church fathers tell us that Matthew wrote his Gospel in the Hebrew language primarily for Jewish converts.

1. Origen (A.D 185 to 254) - Eusebius quotes Origen as stating that Matthew prepared his Gospel for the Jewish converts.

"Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew , who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language." (Ecclesiastical History 6254)

2. Gregory Naziansen (A. D 329-389) - Gregory Naziansen, the theologian, gives us a list of the primary recipients of the four Gospels that reflects the traditions of his day, saying, "In the first place, Matthew wrote to the Hebrews of the miracles of Jesus, then Mark to Italy, Luke to those of Achaia, and John to all, a great herald who walked in heaven." (author's translation) (Gregorii Nazianzeni Carmen de Libris Canonicis 15]) (PG 38 Colossians 845). 141] This tradition has been interpreted modern scholars to say that Matthew wrote to the Hebrews , Mark to the Romans , Luke to the Greeks and John to Christians. 142] The three Synoptic Gospels addressed the three mindsets of the civilized world of their day. Matthew , Mark and Luke lived in a world where the Jewish mind took religion to the world's most ancient past. The Roman mind was focused on dominating and subduing nations. The Greek mindset sought the highest wisdom that man could find. Matthew wrote primarily to the Hebrews to establish Jesus as their Messiah. Mark addressed his Gospel to the Romans , who would bow before the Miracle-working power of the Jesus Christ. Luke gave attention to the Greek mind, where he spoke to logic and reason to convince his readers of the wisdom of believing in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. Why would Matthew's Gospel come first? Perhaps because to the Jews first was the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ prepared.

141] Cited by Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

142] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 582.

3. St. John Chrysostom (A.D 347 to 407) - John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, also tells us that Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew language in order to leave his Hebrews converts with the message that he had spoken to them.

"Of Matthew again it is said, that when those who from amongst the Jews had believed came to him, and besought him to leave to them in writing those same things, which he had spoken to them by word, he also composed his Gospel in the language of the Hebrews. And Mark too, in Egypt, is said to have done this self-same thing at the entreaty of the disciples. For this cause then Matthew , as writing to Hebrews, sought to shew nothing more, than that He was from Abraham, and David; but Luke , as discoursing to all in general, traces up the account higher, going on even to Adam. And the one begins with His generation, because nothing was so soothing to the Jew as to be told that Christ was the offspring of Abraham and David: the other doth not Song of Solomon , but mentions many other things, and then proceeds to the genealogy." (Homilies on the Gospel According to St. Matthew 1:7)

4. Sophronius (A.D 560 to 638) - Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem, follows this tradition by saying, " Matthew , also known as Levi, tax collector turned apostle, was the first to compose the Gospel of Christ, in Judea in the Hebrew language for those of the circumcision who believed. It is unknown by whom it was later translated into Greek." (The Life of the Evangelist Matthew) (PG 123col 139) 143]

143] Sophronius, The Life of the Evangelist Matthew , in Orthodox Classics in English (House Springs, MO: The Chrysostom Press) [on-line]; accessed 1December 2010; available from http://www.chrysostompress.org/the-four-evangelists; Internet.

If Matthew wrote his original version in the Hebrew language, and knowing the Jewish content of this writing, then it was certainly intended for the Jewish Christians who knew and understood this language. There were no small number of converts in Palestine. Note the references in the book of Acts to the great multitudes of Jewish converts in the early Church.

Acts 2:41, "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

Acts 2:47, "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

Acts 4:4, "Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand."

Acts 5:14, "And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)"

Acts 5:16, "There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one."

Acts 6:1, "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews , because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration."

Acts 6:7, "And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith."

In the nineteenth century, a popular view was to apply a four-fold scheme for the recipients of the Gospels, such as D. S. Gregory, who said Matthew wrote to Jews, Mark to the Romans , Luke to the Greeks, and John to Christians. 144] If Matthew wrote primarily to the Jews, someone is justified to say that the primary intended recipients included the Gentile converts as well.

144] D. S. Gregory, Why Four Gospels? Or, The Gospel for All the World (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1877), 346-347.

IV. Occasion

From the comments of Eusebius, it appears that Matthew was departing Palestine and felt compelled to leave his Gospel in writing so that it would not be lost to his people.

"Nevertheless, of all the disciples of the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity. For Matthew , who had at first preached to the Hebrews , when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence." (Ecclesiastical History 3245-6)

John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, also tells us that Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew language at the request of his Hebrew converts, who wanted a written record of the message that he had spoken to them.

"Of Matthew again it is said, that when those who from amongst the Jews had believed came to him, and besought him to leave to them in writing those same things, which he had spoken to them by word, he also composed his Gospel in the language of the Hebrews." (Homilies on the Gospel According to St. Matthew 1:7)

LITERARY STYLE (GENRE)

"Perhaps the most important issue in interpretation is the issue of genre.

If we misunderstand the genre of a text, the rest of our analysis will be askew."

(Thomas Schreiner) 145]

145] Thomas R. Schreiner, Interpreting the Pauline Epistles, second edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, c 1990, 2011), 11.

Within the historical setting of the early church, the authors of the four Gospels and Acts chose to write their accounts of the Lord Jesus Christ using a literary style similar to the Greco-Roman biographies; however, they adopted a unique aspect within their ancient biographies by including kerygmatic material consisting of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Thus, the Gospels and Acts are given a distinct literary genre called a "gospel," which combines biographical narrative material and kerygmatic teachings. In the introductory section of literary style, a comparison of the Gospels will be made, as well as a brief look at the grammar and syntax of the Gospel of Matthew.

V. Comparison of the Gospels

A comparison of the Synoptic Gospels shows to us that there are many verses that are shared between the three Synoptic Gospels. Note these comment from Richard Heard:

"Of Mark's 661verses, some 430 are substantially reproduced in both Matthew and Luke. Of the remaining 231verses 176 occur in Matthew and the substance of 25 in Luke. Only 30 verses in Mark do not appear in some form in either Matthew or Luke. Moreover, both Matthew and Luke normally follow Mark's order of events, but, when one departs from the Marcan sequence, the other supports Mark's order." 146]

146] Richard Heard, An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1950) [on-line]; accessed 7 July 2010; available from http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=531&C=551; Internet, "Chapter 7: The Gospel of Mark."

Thomas Constable tells us that about ninety percent of Mark's content is found in the Gospel of Matthew and about forty percent of its material is found in Luke. 147] However, there are many differences between the Gospels despite their common material. The unique characteristics of the Gospel of Matthew reflect its purposes and themes.

147] Thomas L. Constable, Notes on Mark (Garland, Texas: Sonic Light, 2008) [on-line]; accessed 28 December 2008; available from http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes.htm; Internet, 4.

A. Comparison of Usage of the Old Testament - The Gospel of Matthew places the greatest amount of emphasis upon the Messianic Scriptures and the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. On the road to Emmaus, Jesus began to expound in an orderly manner, beginning with Moses, all of the prophecies about Himself ( Luke 24:27). Here in the gospel of Matthew , we see the author expounding in an orderly manner many Old Testament prophecies of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, the book of Matthew places these prophecies in chronological order.

Luke 24:27, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

H. Berkhof says there are 613direct quotes and 1640 allusions to the Old Testament found within the books of the New Testament. 148] The index of the UBS3 lists Old Testament citations for each New Testament book: Matthew (61), Mark (30), Luke (26), and John (16). Allusions to the Old Testament are also cited in the footnotes of the UBS3, of which I count the following number: Matthew (138), Mark (47), Luke (161), and John (73). 149] Thus, we see that Matthew uses direct quotes from the Old Testament more often than the other Evangelists.

148] H. Berkholf, "Hoe leest het Nieuwe Testament het Oude?," in Homiletica en Biblica, vol 22, no 11 (Dec 1963), 242.

149] Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, The Greek New Testament, Third Edition (United Bible Societies, 1975), 900.

B. Comparison of Discourses and Narrative Material- When we compare the Gospel of Matthew to that of Mark , we see that the narratives in Matthew are generally more concise while the sayings of Jesus are found at length. This is because the emphasis of Matthew is on the teachings of Jesus Christ, while Mark emphasizes the works, or miracles, of our Savior.

C. Comparison of Unique Material - Philip Schaff gives us a comprehensive list of the unique material that is found in the Gospel of Matthew.

"1. Ten Discourses of our Lord, namely, the greater part of the Sermon on the Mount (ch 5-7); the thanksgiving for the revelation to babes ( Matthew 11:25-27); the touching invitation to the heavy laden ( Matthew 11:28-30), which is equal to anything in John; the warning against idle words ( Matthew 12:36-37); the blessing pronounced upon Peter and the prophecy of founding the church ( Matthew 16:17-19); the greater part of the discourse on humility and forgiveness [ch 18]; the rejection of the Jews ( Matthew 21:43); the denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees (ch 23); the description of the final judgment ( Matthew 25:31-46); the great commission and the promise of Christ's presence to the end of time ( Matthew 28:18-20).

"2. Ten Parables: the tares; the hidden treasure; the pearl of great price; the draw-net ( Matthew 13:24-50); the unmerciful servant ( Matthew 18:23-35); the laborers in the vineyard ( Matthew 20:1-16); the two sons ( Matthew 21:28-32); the marriage of the king's son ( Matthew 22:1-14); the ten virgins ( Matthew 25:1-13); the talents ( Matthew 25:14-30).

"3. Two Miracles: the cure of two blind men ( Matthew 9:27-31); the stater in the fish's mouth ( Matthew 17:24-27).

"4. Facts and Incidents: the adoration of the Magi; the massacre of the innocents; the flight into Egypt; the return from Egypt to Nazareth (all in Matthew 2); the coming of the Pharisees and Sadducees to John's baptism ( Matthew 3:7); Peter's attempt to walk on the sea ( Matthew 14:28-31); the payment of the temple tax ( Matthew 17:24-27); the bargain of Judas, his remorse, and suicide ( Matthew 26:14-16; Matthew 27:3-10); the dream of Pilate's wife ( Matthew 27:19); the appearance of departed saints in Jerusalem ( Matthew 27:52); the watch at the sepulchre ( Matthew 27:62-66); the lie of the Sanhedrin and the bribing of the soldiers ( Matthew 28:11-15); the earthquake on the resurrection morning ( Matthew 28:2), which was a repetition of the shock described in Matthew 27:51, and connected with the rolling away of the stone from the sepulchre." 150]

150] Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol 1: Apostolic Christianity A.D 1-100 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1955), 619-620.

D. Comparison of Common Material: Jesus' Public Ministry After John the Baptist's Imprisonment- The Synoptic Gospels begin their account of Jesus' public ministry after the imprisonment of John the Baptist ( Matthew 4:12. Mark 1:14, Luke 3:19-21).

Matthew 4:12, "Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;"

Mark 1:14, "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,"

Luke 3:19-21, "But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip"s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison. Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,"

This implies that Jesus did the majority of His public miracles after John's imprisonment. In contrast, John's Gospel begins at the beginning of Jesus' water baptism and records Jesus' earliest miracles. With the growing resentment of the Pharisees and the imprisonment of John the Baptist in Judea ( Matthew 4:12), Jesus moves His residence into Galilee to the city of Capernaum in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy ( Matthew 4:13). The Gospels do not tell us at which time during Jesus' public ministry that John was imprisoned. Jerome says the Gospels of Matthew , Mark and Luke reveal to us only one year of Jesus' earthly ministry, beginning after the imprisonment of John the Baptist:

"But there is said to be yet another reason for this work, in that when he (John) had read Matthew ,, Mark , and Luke , he approved indeed the substance of the history and declared that the things they said were true, but that they had given the history of only one year, the one, that Isaiah , which follows the imprisonment of John and in which he was put to death." (Lives of Illustrious Men 9)

However, the Gospel of John suggests that the imprisonment of John the Baptist took place between the First Passover ( John 2:13) and the Second Passover ( John 6:4) of Jesus' ministry, because He departed into Galilee when the Pharisees noticed the increased influence of Jesus' public ministry in Judea above that of John the Baptist ( John 4:1-3). 151] Reading further in the Gospel of John , the author refers to the public ministry of John in the past tense ( John 5:33).

151] William Duncan says, "The easiest and most satisfactory expedient which we can adopt, is evidently to suppose that it was not the first journey to Galilee (Jno 1: 44. ff.), but the second (Jno .) which was prompted by the imprisonment of the Baptist; in favor of which view in particular is the fact that John himself (4:1.) assigns as the reason of this second journey the knowledge which Jesus had that the Pharisees had. heard that he was making more disciples than the Baptist." See William C. Duncan, The Life, Character, and Acts of John the Baptist: and the Relationship of His Ministry to the Christian Dispensation (New York: Sheldon and Company, 1860), 225

John 2:13, "And the Jews" passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,"

John 6:4, "And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh."

John 4:1-3, "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John , (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee."

John 5:33, "Ye sent unto John , and he bare witness unto the truth."

E. Comparison of Common Material: Jesus' Passion and Resurrection- We know that each of the four Gospels devotes about one third of their story to the passion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that this event was the central and dominant theme of the early preaching by the Church. So naturally, it formed the most important events of Jesus' earthly ministry, and thus dominated events recorded in the Gospels.

VI. Various Themes Emphasized in the Gospel of Matthew

F. Numerology: The Use of the Number "Three" - Matthew frequently uses three witnesses to his Gospel, just as John uses sevens repeatedly in his Gospel and Revelation. Alfred Plummer lists thirty-eight examples of triplicates in the Gospel Matthew. 152]

152] Alfred Plummer, An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910), xix-xx.

1. The three-fold division of His genealogy —( Matthew 1:17)

2. The three witnesses of His prophetic birth

a) Born of the Seed of David —( Matthew 1:1-17)

b) Born of a Virgin —( Matthew 1:18-25)

c) Born in Bethlehem —( Matthew 2:1-23)

3. Three events in His early childhood

a) Visit of Wise Men —( Matthew 2:1-12)

b) Flight to Egypt —( Matthew 2:13-18)

c) Return to Nazareth —( Matthew 2:19-23)

4. The three temptations —( Matthew 4:1-11)

5. The three-fold aspect of His ministry: teaching, preaching, and healing ( Matthew 4:23, Matthew 9:35)

6. Three acts of righteousness - Almsgiving, Praying, Fasting—( Matthew 6:1-18)

7. Nine Examples of Miracles to prepare His Disciples —( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38)

a) Three Miracles of Healings

(1) A Leper—( Matthew 8:1-4)

(2) The Centurion's Servant—( Matthew 8:5-13)

(3) Peter's Mother-in-Law—( Matthew 8:14-15)

b) Three Miracles of Authority

(1) Calming the Storm—( Matthew 8:23-27)

(2) Healing the Demoniacs—( Matthew 8:28-34)

(3) Healing the Paralytic—( Matthew 9:1-8)

c) Three Miracles of Restoration

(1) Ruler's Daughter & Woman—( Matthew 9:18-26)

(2) Two Blind Men—( Matthew 9:27-31)

(3) A Dumb Man—( Matthew 9:32-34)

Guthrie notes that there are other instances in the Gospel of Matthew of three miracles, three parables, three questions, three prayers, and three denials. 153] Donald Hagner notes multiples of threes in the nine beatitudes ( Matthew 5:3-11) and in the six "antitheses" of Matthew 5:21-48. 154] One possible reason for this use of the number three is that Matthew is citing three examples of each testimony in His Gospel in accordance to the Mosaic Law, which required two or three witnesses to establish a testimony ( Deuteronomy 19:15). 155] Matthew himself refers to this principle of multiple witnesses in his Gospel ( Matthew 18:16). Matthew does give seven parables in chapter 13, but the number three stands out most clearly in this Gospel.

153] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 41-42.

154] Donald Hagner says, "As is the case in the Fourth Gospel, the evangelist alternates the teaching discourses with narrative blocks concerning the mighty deeds of Jesus. In Matthew , however, little attempt has been made to relate the discourses to the narratives." See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), lii.

155] Donald Hagner says, "This [Matthew's use of doubles], like some of the threes in the Gospel, may well result from a concern to have the two or three witnesses required by the law." See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), lii.

Deuteronomy 19:15, "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."

Matthew 18:16, "But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."

G. Numerology: The Use of the Number "Seven" - Donald Hagner notes that Matthew uses groups of sevens in his Gospel. There are double sevens used in the opening genealogy ( Matthew 1:1-17), seven parts to the Lord's prayer ( Matthew 6:9-13), seven parables about the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 13:1-52), and seven woes directed towards the Pharisees ( Matthew 23:1-39). 156]

156] Donald Hagner says, "As is the case in the Fourth Gospel, the evangelist alternates the teaching discourses with narrative blocks concerning the mighty deeds of Jesus. In Matthew , however, little attempt has been made to relate the discourses to the narratives." See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), lii.

VII. Grammar and Syntax

A. Grammar and Syntax: Analysis of Unique Words and Phrases- There are a number of phrases that are unique or peculiar to the Gospel of Matthew. Here are some examples:

1. "Kingdom of Heaven" - The phrase ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν (kingdom of heaven) is unique to the Gospel of Matthew , not being found anywhere else in Scripture. He uses this phrase thirty-two times in his Gospel and the phrase "kingdom of God" five times. In addition, the word "kingdom" stands alone fifty-six times within Matthew's Gospel.

2. "In order that it might be fulfilled" - The phrase ἵνα πληρωθῇ (in order that it might be fulfilled) is unique to Matthew's Gospel, being found eleven times.

3. "Your (my) Father which is in Heaven" and "Heavenly Father" - The phrase τὸν πατέρα ὑμῶν τὸν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς (your [my] Father in Heaven) occurs fifteen times in Matthew , two times in Mark and once in Luke -Acts and none in John. The phrase ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος (your heavenly Father) occurs five times in Matthew , none in Mark and John and once in Luke.

4. "Son of David" - The phrase "son of David" occurs ten times in Matthew , three times in Mark , once in Luke -Acts and none in John.

In addition to these unique phrases, there are around one hundred and twenty Greek words that are unique to the Gospel of Matthew.

THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK

"Scholarly excellence requires a proper theological framework."

(Andreas Ksenberger) 157]

157] Andreas J. Ksenberger, Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011), 161.

Based upon the historical setting and literary style of the Gospel of Matthew , an examination of the purpose, thematic scheme, and literary structure to this book of the Holy Scriptures will reveal its theological framework. This introductory section will sum up its theological framework in the form of an outline, which is then used to identify smaller units or pericopes within the Gospel of Matthew for preaching and teaching passages of Scripture while following the overriding message of the book. Following this outline allows the minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to take his followers on a spiritual journey that brings them to the same destination that the author intended his readers to reach.

VIII. Purpose

The Gospels and Acts served a number of purposes for the early Church. They were written primarily to establish and defend the foundational doctrines of the New Testament Church; thus, there was a doctrinal and apologetic purpose. However, the authors chose to frame their work within a historical biography of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and each Gospel writer selected historical material that emphasized his own particular didactic purpose. Finally, the Gospels and Acts served a practical and kerygmatic purpose in calling the reader to believe in Jesus Christ and to proclaim the Gospel to the nations. 158]

158] Grant Osborne recognizes all three aspects of the purpose of the Gospel of Matthew. See Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, vol 1 , ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 31-33.

A. Doctrinal and Apologetic: To Establish and Defend the Foundational Doctrines of the New Testament Church - Matthew's primary purpose is to show that Jesus Christ was the Son of God who fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah, both to the Jews and also for the Gentiles. Thus, Guthrie believes that the stories of Jesus could be apologetic in nature, defending any questions of His Messianic qualifications. For example, His genealogy ( Matthew 1:1-17) defends his role as the son of David and heir as the king of Israel. The story of His virgin birth ( Matthew 1:18-25) defends any charge of illegitimacy against Jesus. His flight to Egypt and return to Nazareth ( Matthew 2:1-23) explains his birth in Bethlehem. In light of this view, Guthrie says some scholars call the Gospel of Matthew "an early Christian apology." 159]

159] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 33.

Such an apologetic purpose necessitated Matthew to record the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, its five major discourses lay the foundational doctrines of the early Church, of which doctrines Paul builds upon in his Church epistles.

Conclusion- The doctrinal and apologetic purpose of the Gospel of Matthew reflects the foundational theme of the Gospels claiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

B. Historical and Didactic: To Record the Testimony from the Old Testament Scriptures Proving that Jesus Christ is the Son of God - The Historical-Didactic Nature of the Gospels- While the early Church used the Gospels to defend the testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the authors of the Gospels chose to present this testimony within a historical biography of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the writings of the four Gospels, the characteristic of selectivity is clearly seen. They all have the common thread as a biography of record of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, each Gospel arranges these events in a way that teaches us a particular lesson. For example, the Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the fact that Jesus Christ fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures. He arranges his Gospel in a format that presents Jesus as the coming King, who delivers the laws of the kingdom of heaven to His people, how He performs the work of the kingdom, how man responds to this ministry, how to handle offences and persecution, and the departure of the King. Matthew's Gospel is packaged with the message of the coming King being woven within the major theme that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messiah. Matthew closes his Gospel with the message of Jesus giving the commission to His disciples to teach all nations the laws of the kingdom of heaven. The Gospel of Mark also tells us of the events in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, Mark's intent is to testify that Jesus Christ was the Son of God because of His many miracles that accompanied His preaching. Mark presents his material by following the outline of Peter's proclamation of the Gospel message to Cornelius in Acts 10:34-43. His Gospel shows John the Baptist's commission and proclamation, then shows Jesus' commission and preaching ministry, first in Galilee, then the regions round about. Jesus then made His way to Judea and into Jerusalem to face the Cross. Mark closes his Gospel with a commission to the disciples to preach the Gospel with these same signs and miracles following. The Gospel of Luke serves to give testimony from men. It gives the most extensive story on the birth, life and testimony of John the Baptist. It also gives the testimonies of many others, such as Zacharias, Elisabeth, Mary, Simeon, and Anna. Thus, Luke tells us the life of our Lord Jesus Christ in a format of testimonies that were compiled by those who were eyewitnesses of our Lord and Saviour. The Gospel of John emphasizes the events in the life of Christ that confirm His deity. John weaves within his Gospel seven divine names that Jesus declares about Himself, seven miracles that show His deity, seven Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus fulfilled. John closes His Gospel with Jesus calling His disciples to follow Him. Thus, we see in the book of Acts that it is not just a chronology of the history of the early church. Rather, Luke selected particular people and events in order to reveal most accurately the situations that Christians lived in during this part of history. The book of Acts is then able to explain why the Holy Spirit was able to move so mightily in the hearts and lives of certain men. The book of Acts becomes more than a history book. It provides a moral foundation for the establishment of the doctrines of the New Testament church in the midst of persecution from all established religions. It provides a defense for the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as defending the ethics of these Christians who were accused by their adversaries of committing evil atrocities. Finally, an additional theme can be found woven within all four Gospels and Acts , which is the lesson that persecutions always accompany those who choose to follow Christ. Thus, we see that these five books not only give us a biography of the life of Christ and of a history of the early Church, but they each weave within their collections of events a unique theme and a lesson to be learned.

The Historical and Didactic Purpose of the Gospel of Matthew - We have testimony from Eusebius and Origen regarding the historical purpose of the Gospel of Matthew.

1. Eusebius quotes Clement of Alexander by saying that Matthew wrote his Gospel in order to make sure there was a record of Jesus' ministry after his death.

"Nevertheless, of all the disciples of the Lord, only Matthew and John have left us written memorials, and they, tradition says, were led to write only under the pressure of necessity. For Matthew , who had at first preached to the Hebrews , when he was about to go to other peoples, committed his Gospel to writing in his native tongue, and thus compensated those whom he was obliged to leave for the loss of his presence." (Ecclesiastical History 3245-6)

2. Origen makes a similar statement by telling us that Matthew wrote his Gospel originally in the Hebrew language so that the converted Jews would have a record of the ministry of Jesus.

"Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew , who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism, and published in the Hebrew language." (Ecclesiastical History 6254)


Regarding the didactic purpose of the Gospel of Matthew , Donald Hagner says the structure of the Gospel of Matthew with its five distinct discourses leads some scholars to suggest that it served as a "catechetical manual," or "teacher's manual," for the early Church, a characteristic that clearly reflects the third theme of this Gospel. Hagner writes:

"The collection of the sayings of Jesus into the five discourses, one of the most obvious characteristics of Matthew , has led many scholars to conclude that it should be thought of as a catechetical document for the upbuilding of Christian discipleship...The view of the Gospel as catechesis is in keeping with the importance of teaching throughout the Gospel (see esp. Matthew 28:20). K. Stendahl extends this view of Matthew as catechesis to the hypothesis of a Matthean school, modeled on the the rabbinic schools, that produced a kind of teacher's manual, a Christian equivalent to the Qumran community's Manual of Discipline. Particular evidence of the school's work, according to Stendahl, is seen in the use of the OT quotations throughout the Gospel." See 160]

160] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), lviii.

Conclusion- The historical and didactic purpose of the Gospel of Matthew reflects the secondary theme, which is the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Although the doctrinal and apologetic purpose are primary, they are less apparent than the historical and didactic because the historical material the heavier weight of content within the Gospel.

C. Practical and Kerygmatic: To Proclaim the Gospel through the Office of the Teacher- The Gospel of Matthew serves a practical purpose as the readers are called to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as the Son of God in faith and obedience to Him as well as teach each generation of believers. 161] The book of Acts reveals that the early disciples of the Church "continued stedfastly in the apostles" doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." ( Acts 2:42) Alongside this practical application, the Gospels serve a kerygmatic purpose. The book of Acts reveals that these early believers were scattered abroad beginning with the persecutions in Jerusalem and "went everywhere preaching the word." ( Acts 8:1-4) In addition, the commissions of Jesus Christ at the close of each of the Gospels call believers to go forth and proclaim the Gospel to the nations. The commission in the Gospel of Matthew ( Matthew 28:18-20) commands believers to proclaim the Gospel by teaching the words of Jesus Christ to all nations, which reflects the office of the teacher.

161] Donald Hagner says, "The author wrote, above all, for the Church to interpret the Christ-event but also to instruct and edify the Christians of his own and future generations." See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), lviii.

Acts 5:28, "Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man"s blood upon us."

Acts 8:4, "Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word."

As a result, the Good News of Jesus Christ was sent to the Gentiles as well as to the Jews. Although the Gospel of Matthew tells us that Jesus was only sent to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" ( Matthew 15:24), the inclusion of the Gentiles is woven throughout the Gospel:

1. The Maji worship baby Jesus ( Matthew 2:1-12)

2. The kingdom of heaven will include Gentiles ( Matthew 8:11-11)

3. The harvest field is the "world" ( Matthew 13:38)

4. The kingdom will be taken from Israel and given to another ( Matthew 21:43)

5. The Great Commission goes into all the world ( Matthew 28:18-20)

We also see this emphasis upon the Gentiles woven into the narratives as Jesus is often rejected by the Jews and accepted by some Gentiles. Thus, Matthew's Gospel has a practical and kerygmatic purpose.

Conclusion- The practical and kerygmatic purpose of the Gospel of Matthew reflects the third, imperative theme, which is a call to faith and obedience to Jesus Christ from the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures claiming that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This third purpose is clearly seen within sermons using the text of the Gospels as the preacher calls believers to apply the teachings of Jesus Christ to their daily lives.

D. Conclusion of Three-fold Purpose of the Gospels and Acts - Having identified three purposes to the Gospels and Acts , it is logical to conclude that there are three themes embedded within these writings, with each theme supporting a particular purpose. Therefore, the three-fold thematic schemes of these books will be discussed next.

IX. Thematic Scheme

Introduction- Each book of the Holy Scriptures contains a three-fold thematic scheme in order to fulfill its intended purpose, which is to transform each child of God into the image of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:29). The primary, or foundational, theme of a book offers a central claim that undergirds everything written by the author. The secondary, or structural theme, of the book supports its primary theme by offering reasons and evidence for the central "claim" made by the author as it fully develops the first theme. Thus, the secondary theme is more easily recognized by biblical scholars than the other two themes because they provide the literary content of the book as they navigate the reader through the arguments embedded within the biblical text, thus revealing themselves more clearly. 162] The third theme is imperative in that it calls the reader to a response based upon the central claim and supporting evidence offered by the author. Each child of God has been predestined to be conformed into the image and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Scriptures, and they alone, have the power to accomplish this task. This is why a child of God can read the Holy Scriptures with a pure heart and experience a daily transformation taking place in his life, although he may not fully understand what is taking place in his life. In addition, the reason some children of God often do not see these biblical themes is because they have not fully yielded their lives to Jesus Christ, allowing transformation to take place by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Without a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit, a child of God is not willing to allow Him to manage his life and move him down the road that God predestined as his spiritual journey. This journey requires every participant to take up his cross daily and follow Jesus, and not every believer is willing to do this. In fact, every child of God chooses how far down this road of sacrifice he is willing to go. Very few of men and women of God fulfill their divine destinies by completing this difficult journey. In summary, the first theme drives the second theme, which develops the first theme, and together they demand the third theme, which is the reader's response.

162] For an excellent discussion on the use of claims, reasons, and evidence in literature, see Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, The Craft of Research (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003).

There are three major themes woven throughout the framework of the Gospel of Matthew. The primary theme serves as a foundation, while the secondary theme builds it structure upon this foundation, and the third theme gives support to this entire work. These three fit together in much the same way that a house is built.

The Three-fold Thematic Scheme of the Gospel of Matthew - The primary theme of the four Gospels declares that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. This theme lays a foundation within the Gospel upon which the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is built. The secondary theme of the Gospel of Matthew gives us the testimonies of the Old Testament Scriptures, which declare that Jesus has come into the world as the Messiah and the King. The Old Testament Scriptures declare that Jesus is the Messiah who has come into the world as the King to usher in the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, the Gospel of Matthew is founded upon its first theme, but it is structured upon a secondary theme that the King has come. That Isaiah , Matthew is structured, or outlined, around its secondary theme, which are the foundational teachings of the New Testament Church. With this new kingdom, called the Kingdom of Heaven, comes its teachings, which lay a foundation for the New Testament Church. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew can be outlined with the King's arrival, His teachings, and His departure. The third theme found within Matthew is a responsive, or imperative theme that calls us to take up our cross and follow Him, and all those who follow Him will suffer persecution as their Saviour suffered; for this is the message of the Cross, which gives muscle, or power, to the proclamation of Jesus Christ. Matthew's Gospel reveals how we serve the Lord by fulfilling the office and ministry of the teacher, which is one of the five-fold offices of the New Testament Church. Thus, we see the concept of how the early apostles saw themselves as building a house that is founded upon the Lord Jesus Christ, whose house are we ( 1 Corinthians 3:10-11). The apostles took this concept of building a house from the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ ( Matthew 16:18).

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, "According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."

Matthew 16:18, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Note a further explanation of the three-fold structure to the Gospel of Matthew:

A. The Primary Theme of the Gospels and Acts (Foundational): The Claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God - The Gospels and Acts share the primary theme presenting the claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Each of the Gospels offers unique supporting evidence to this central claim. This emphasis continues through the book of Acts , where the office and ministry of the Holy Spirit also begins to merge with the Gospel theme, making a theme transitional from regeneration to sanctification.

1. The Primary Theme of the Holy Scriptures- The central theme of the Holy Bible is God's plan of redemption for mankind. This theme finds its central focus in the Cross, where our Lord and Saviour died to redeem mankind. The central figure of the Holy Scriptures is the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus, the Cross is the place where man meets God and where we die to our selfish ambitions and yield our lives to the God who created all things. Therefore, the Holy Scriptures are not intended to be a precise record of ancient history. Rather, its intent is to provide a record of God's divine intervention in the history of mankind in order to redeem the world back to Himself through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on Calvary.

Every book of the Holy Bible makes a central claim that undergirds the arguments or message contained within its text. For example, the central claim of the Pentateuch is found in Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD," to which all additional material is subordinate. The bulk of the material in the Old Testament is subordinate in that it serves as reasons and evidence to support this central claim. This material serves as the secondary theme, offering the literary structure of the book. In addition, the central claim calls for a response, which is stated in the following verse, "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." ( Deuteronomy 6:5) Such a response is considered the third, imperative theme that runs through every book of the Holy Scriptures. This central claim is the primary, or foundational, theme and is often obscured by the weight of evidence that is used to drive the central message, which weight of evidence makes up the secondary theme; and thus, it contains more content than the primary theme. Therefore, the secondary themes of the books of the Holy Scripture are generally more recognizable than the primary theme. Nevertheless, the central claim, or truth, must be excavated down to the foundation and made clearly visible in order to understand the central theme driving the arguments contained within the book. Only then can proper exegesis and sermon delivery be executed.

2. Why Four Gospels? - The New Testament opens with the four Gospels and the book of Acts. The Gospels of Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , and John , and the book of Acts serve primarily as testimonies, or witnesses, of the deity of Lord Jesus Christ. 163] God could have included dozens of Gospels into the Holy Bible, but He only chose four. Why is this so? One reason is that a matter, or truth, is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses ( 2 Corinthians 13:1). Two or three Gospels were enough to establish the validity of Jesus' ministry. Skeptics would not believe in the Savior even if there were dozens of Gospels. In essence, there was no need for additional Gospels. The question arises as to why there are four Gospels, and not three or five records of Jesus' life and ministry. The answer can be found clearly in the witnesses that Jesus lists of Himself in John 5:1-47. In this passage of Scripture Jesus tells us there are four witnesses to His Deity beside Himself: the testimonies of the Father ( Matthew 5:19-30), of John the Baptist ( Matthew 5:31-35), of the works of Jesus ( Matthew 5:36-38), and of the Old Testament Scriptures ( Matthew 5:39-47). The structure of the Gospel of John is built around these four witnesses. The Synoptic Gospels emphasis one of these particular witnesses: Matthew emphasizes the testimony of the Scriptures; Mark emphasizes the testimony of Jesus' works and miracles; Luke emphasizes the testimony of John the Baptist and other eye-witnesses; John emphasizes primarily the witness of the God the Father. Although each of the four Gospels emphasizes one particular witness, the testimonies of the other three witnesses are also found in each Gospel.

163] Ernest Burton expresses a distinction between the primary and secondary themes of the Gospels, saying, "To us today the highest value of our gospels is in the testimony they bring us concerning the deeds, words, and character of our Lord Jesus. The ideas and purpose of the author, and even his personal identity, are to us matters of secondary consideration." See Ernest De Witt Burton, "The Purpose and Plan of the Gospel of Matthew ," in The Biblical World 111 (January 1898): 37.

2 Corinthians 13:1, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

The four Gospels and the book of Acts reveal man's need for salvation, or the redemptive plan of regeneration, through faith in Jesus Christ, as He shed His blood on Calvary and made a way for man to be restored back into fellowship with the Heavenly Father through faith and obedience to His Word. Man's response to this claim results in his salvation, or regeneration, so that he becomes a child of God, which serves as the third, imperative, theme of the Gospels and Acts.

B. The Secondary Theme of the Gospel of Matthew (Structural): The Testimony of the Scriptures - Introduction- The secondary themes of the books of the Holy Scriptures support the primary themes by offering reasons and evidence for the central "claim" of the book made by the author. Thus, the secondary themes are more easily recognized by biblical scholars than the other two themes because they provide the literary structure of the book as they navigate the reader through the arguments embedded within the biblical text, thus revealing themselves more clearly. For example, the central claim of the Pentateuch declares that the Lord God of Israel is the only God that man should serve, and man is to love the Lord God with all of his heart, mind, and strength, a statement found in the Shema of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, which is the foundational theme of the Old Testament. The books of Hebrew poetry provide evidence to this claim by expounding upon how man is to love God with all of his heart as its secondary theme. The books of the prophets provide evidence to this claim by expounding upon how man is to love God with all of his mind as its secondary theme, as he set his hope in the coming of the Messiah to redeem mankind. The historical books provide evidence to this claim by expounding upon how man is to love God with all of his strength as its secondary theme.

The central claim of the four Gospel writers is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, which is the foundational theme of this division of the Holy Scriptures. In addition, each Gospel writer offers evidence as its secondary theme to support his claim. The Gospel of John offers the five-fold testimony of God the Father, John the Baptist, the miracles of Jesus, the Old Testament Scriptures, and the testimony of Jesus Christ Himself as its secondary theme. Matthew expounds upon the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures as its secondary theme; Mark expounds upon the testimony of the miracles of Jesus as its secondary theme; Luke expounds upon the testimony of John the Baptist and other eye-witnesses and well as that of the apostles in the book of Acts as its secondary theme.

The central claim of the Pauline Church Epistles is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ alone how the power to redeem and transform man into the image of Jesus, which is the foundational theme of this division of the Holy Scriptures. The epistle of Romans supports this claim by offering evidence of mankind's depravity and God's plan of redemption to redeem him as its secondary theme. The epistles of Ephesians and Philippians expound upon the role of God the Father in His divine foreknowledge as their secondary theme; the epistles of Colossians and Galatians expound upon the role of Jesus Christ as the head of the Church as their secondary theme; the epistles of 1, 2 Thessalonians , 1, 2Corinthians expound upon the role of the Holy Spirit in sanctifying the believers as their secondary theme.

The central claim of the Pastoral Epistles is that believers must serve God through the order of the New Testament Church. The epistles of 1, 2Timothy expound upon how to serve the Lord within the Church with a pure heart, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of Titus expounds upon how to serve the Lord within the Church with a renewed mind, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of Philemon expounds upon how to serve the Lord within the Church with a genuine lifestyle, which is its secondary theme.

The central claim of the General Epistles is that believers must persevere in the Christian faith in order to obtain eternal redemption. The epistles of Hebrews ,, James , and 1Peter modify this theme to reflect perseverance from persecutions from without the Church. The epistle of Hebrews expounds upon the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of James expounds upon a lifestyle of perseverance through the joy of the Holy Spirit, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of 1Peter expounds upon our hope of divine election through God the Father, which is its secondary theme. The epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3, John and Jude reflect perseverance from false doctrines from within. The epistle of 2Peter expounds upon growing in the knowledge of God's Word with a sound mind, which is its secondary theme. The epistles of 1, 2, 3John expound upon walking in fellowship with God and one another with a pure heart, which is its secondary theme. The epistle of Jude expounds how living a godly lifestyle with our bodies, which is its secondary theme.

The Apocalypse of John , though not considered an epistle, emphasizes the glorification of the Church, giving believers a vision of the hope that is laid up before them as a source of encouragement for those who persevere until the end. The central claim of the book of Revelation is that Jesus Christ is coming to take His Bride the Church to Glory. The secondary theme supports this claim with the evidence of Great Tribulation Period.

1. The Secondary Theme of the Gospel of John - The secondary theme of the Gospel of John is the five-fold testimony that supports the primary claim that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, 164] which is the fundamental tenet of the Christian faith. This explains why many new believers are asked to read this Gospel early in their conversion experience. Such a declaration of Christ's deity requires evidence. When a testimony is given in a court of law, it is accompanied by all of the available evidence. This is how John the apostle presents his case of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 5:1-47, Jesus tells us there are four witnesses to confirm His Deity, which are the testimonies of the Father, of John the Baptist, of the works and miracles of Jesus, and of the Old Testament Scriptures. Jesus declares Himself as a fifth witness in John 8:18.

164] The emphasis on the deity of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John is widely recognized by scholars. For example, Louis Berkhof says, "The gospel of John emphasizes more than any of the others the Divinity of Christ." See Louis Berkhof, New Testament Introduction (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans-Sevensma Co, 1915), 104.

The secondary theme of John , which provides the structure to this Gospel, is built upon this five-fold testimony. John's Gospel relies on the testimonies of these five sources in order to declare the deity of the Savior. These five witnesses of Christ's deity support the primary theme of the Gospel of John , which is the declaration that Jesus is the Son of God. This is why John ends his testimony of witnesses with the declaration, "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." ( John 20:31). The secondary theme of John's Gospel states that all available, supporting witnesses confirm that Jesus is truly God manifested in the flesh, the Son of God. Therefore, John's Gospel is a collection of five testimonies which are use to witness to this fact. The Gospel of John opens with the testimony of the Father declaring Jesus' eternal Sonship ( John 1:1-18). This is followed by the testimony of John the Baptist and his disciples ( John 1:19-25), the testimony of six of His miracles, the seventh being His resurrection ( John 2:1 to John 11:54), the testimony of seven Old Testament passages ( John 11:55 to John 20:31), and the testimony of Jesus Christ Himself ( John 21:1-23). Together these five witnesses support the claim that Jesus is the Son of God. John's Gospel also emphasizes Jesus' relationship with the Father much more than the other Gospels.

2. The Secondary Themes of the Synoptic Gospels- An examination of the secondary themes of the Synoptic Gospels find that they serve as additional witnesses to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ by emphasizing one of these five witnesses stated in John. Thus, the Gospel of John will serve as the foundational book of the Gospels, and of the entire New Testament. In fact, a person can simply believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and be saved, whether or not he has a deeper and fuller revelation our Saviour and the other New Testament books. Faith in Christ Jesus as the Son of God is the foundational message of the John's Gospel, while the other Gospels support this message. The Gospel of Matthew portrays Jesus Christ as the Messiah who fulfilled the prophecies of Old Testament Scripture. Matthew testifies from the Scriptures that Jesus Christ is the King of the Jews to support His claim as the Messiah; for in this Gospel is a chronological list of Scriptures that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Matthew serves as the testimony from Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah sent to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven. The Gospel of Mark testifies of the many miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ by emphasizing the preaching of the Gospel as the way in which these miracles take place. The Gospel of Mark centers it theme on the miracles of our Lord and Savior. Thus, the witness of Jesus' works and miracles is revealed by Mark. The Gospel of Luke serves to give testimony from men who were eye-witnesses of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. It gives the most extensive story on the birth, life and testimony of John the Baptist. It also gives the testimonies of many others, such as Zacharias, Elisabeth, Mary, Simeon, and Anna. Luke presents Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world that was under the authority of Roman rule, and he was writing to a Roman official who was able to exercise his authority over men. Thus, Luke was able to contrast Jesus' divine authority and power to that of the Roman rule. Jesus rightfully held the title as the Saviour of the world because of the fact that He had authority over mankind as well as the rest of God's creation. Someone who saves and delivers a person does it because he has the authority and power over that which oppresses the person. Finally, the book of Acts gives the testimonies of the Apostles and early Church. In summary, Matthew represents the testimony of the Scriptures, which sees Jesus Christ as the Messiah and coming King of the Jews. Mark represents the works and miracles of Jesus, and sees Him as the Preacher of the Gospel with signs and wonders following. Luke represents John the Baptist and other eyewitnesses, who testify of Jesus as the Saviour of the World. It is important to note that although each of the four Gospels emphasizes one particular witness, the testimonies of the other three witnesses can be found within the framework of each Gospel, but only one has a major emphasis. Finally, the book of Acts gives us the testimony of the early disciples, which builds upon Luke's theme, as they testify of Jesus as the Saviour of the World ( John 15:26-27).

John 15:26-27, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."

In fact, every book of the Holy Bible serves as some form of a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus stated this in John 5:39.

John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

Although each of the four Gospels emphasizes one particular witness, the testimonies of the other three witnesses are also woven within the framework of each Gospel.

3. The Secondary Theme of the Gospel of Matthew - The secondary theme of Matthew supports its primary theme by revealing the way in which the Old Testament Scriptures testify of the deity of Jesus Christ, which is by the testimony that the Kingdom of Heaven has come, and Jesus is the King. The secondary theme also gives the book its structure, or outline. The primary and secondary themes are woven together in order to present a narrative of how Jesus is the Messiah, who is the King of Kings sent to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven in fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture.

The first verse of Matthew's Gospel declares in a nutshell Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the major prophecies spoken by David as King and by Abraham as Messiah. This secondary theme of the Kingdom of Heaven is seen in the closing verses as Jesus gives the Great Commission to teach all nations of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, Matthew's secondary theme, which declares that the Kingdom of Heaven has come, supports the primary theme by testifying that this Kingdom and its King are the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture. 165] The Gospel of Matthew serves clearly to demonstrate one of these witnesses, showing that Jesus fulfills Old Testament prophecy as the Messiah; for in this Gospel is a chronological order as it lists the Scriptures that were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ. Therefore, Matthew serves as the testimony from the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah.

165] Henry M. Harman says, "The main purpose of the author is to show that Jesus Christ is the Messiah promised in the Old Testament…" See Henry M. Harman, Introduction to the Study of the Holy Scriptures, vol 1, in Library of Biblical and Theological Literature, eds. George R. Crooks and John F. Hurst (New York: Hunt and Eaton, 1878), 543.

Matthew supports this theme as it represents the testimony of the Scriptures, which sees Jesus Christ as the Messiah and coming King of the Jews. Mark represents the works and miracles of Jesus, and sees Him as the Preacher of the Gospel with signs and wonders following. Luke represents John the Baptist and other eyewitnesses, who testify of Jesus as the Saviour of the World. Although each of the four Gospels emphasizes one particular witness, the testimonies of the other three witnesses are also woven within the framework of each Gospel. Finally, the book of Acts gives us the witnesses of the Holy Spirit and of the early disciples, which builds upon Luke's theme, and testifies of Jesus as the Saviour of the World ( John 15:26-27). In fact, every book of the Holy Bible serves as some form of a testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ, as He stated this in John 5:39, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

John 15:26-27, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."

Regarding the Gospel of Matthew , the emphasis upon the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture in the Gospel of Matthew has been widely recognized by scholars. For example, Louis Berkhof says, "…the first Gospel alludes to the Old Testament more frequently than any other. It emphasizes the fact that the New Testament reveals the fulfillment of Old Testament promises; that Christ was born, revealed himself and labored as the prophets of old had foretold." 166] Donald Guthrie confirms this theme in Matthew by saying the purpose of Matthew was to show that the major events in the life of Jesus took place in fulfillment of prophecy. He adds that as Jewish as this Gospel appears, it still declares that Christianity is for everyone, both Jews and Gentiles. Guthrie also notes that Matthew's interpretation of the Old Testament passages differed from those of the first century Jews. Matthew was not restricted by the traditional views of the Jews regarding these Messianic passages. 167] In a similar statement, R. T. France says:

166] Louis Berkhof, New Testament Introduction (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans-Sevensma Co, 1915), 64.

167] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 32-33.

"I have argued elsewhere that the central theme of Matthew's Gospel is ‘fulfillment.' The opening of the genealogy is designed to portray the coming of the Messiah as the climax of the history of God's people, and the remainder of chs 1-2directs the reader's attention to the wide variety of aspects of God's revelation in the OT which find their fulfillment in the coming of Jesus. The opening of the book thus sets the tone for Matthew's whole gospel." 168]

168] R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew , in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007), 10.

a) The Earliest Form of Preaching is Represented in the Gospel of Matthew - The Gospel of Matthew , which was written first, shows to us the earliest form of apostolic preaching and teaching, where Jesus Christ was shown to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures. The book of Matthew , simply described, sets these Old Testament prophecies in the chronological order of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, from his birth, through his childhood, his calling into the ministry until his death and resurrection. According to Luke 24:27, Jesus Himself began to teach in this method immediately after His resurrection.

Luke 24:27, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself."

We see this form of preaching on the day of Pentecost ( Acts 2:14-39), where Peter quotes three lengthy passages from the Old Testament: Joel 2:28-32, Psalm 16:8-11 and Psalm 110:1. Peter uses the Scriptures to explain the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, as well as the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Christ. This type of preaching is seen in Peter's sermon on Solomon's portico in Acts 3:11-26. We see it in the prayer of the church ( Acts 4:23-31) where the believers refer to Jesus Christ in Psalm 2:1-2 and when Stephen addressed the high priest before his death ( Acts 7:1-53). In this sermon, Stephen used the Scriptures to explain why the Jews crucified the Holy One. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew reveals the earliest form of the preaching and teaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

b) The Gospel of Matthew Lays the Foundation of Church Doctrine- The Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the Old Testament fulfillment of the Kingdom of God. The first message that Jesus taught His disciples to declare was about the Kingdom of God ( Matthew 10:7, Luke 10:9).

Matthew 10:7, "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Luke 10:9, "And heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, The kingdom of God is come nigh unto you."

The teachings on the Kingdom of Heaven, a phrase used thirty two times in this Gospel, serve as a theme running throughout the Gospel. The Kingdom is described in great detail so that the Jews would understand why Jesus did not immediately set up His earthly kingdom. Matthew goes into great detail describing the characteristics of this new Kingdom for the believers. Because of this emphasis, Matthew is the only Gospel that makes a direct reference to the Church ( Matthew 16:18, Matthew 18:17).

The teachings on the Kingdom of Heaven serve to lay a foundation for the Church to build its doctrine upon. Many scholars see five major discourses within the Gospel of Matthew ( Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:28, Matthew 10:5 to Matthew 11:1, Matthew 13:1-53, Matthew 18:1 to Matthew 19:1, Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 26:1). In fact, sixty percent of the text of Matthew consists of the teachings of Jesus. Each of these five discourses ends with similar phrases. Note:

Matthew 7:28, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:"

Matthew 11:1, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."

Matthew 13:53, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence."

Matthew 19:1, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;"

Matthew 26:1, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,"

Thus, Matthew's Gospel can be structured around these five discourses, as will be seen in its outline.

In Matthew's delivery of these five discourses, which are the foundational teachings of this New Covenant, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Moses that God would raise up a Prophet like unto himself ( Deuteronomy 18:18-19). That Isaiah , God would raise up another "lawgiver."

Deuteronomy 18:18-19, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."

In this new law-giving, God would establish a new covenant with His people. Note:

Jeremiah 31:31-34, "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

Thus, the Church is founded, as Jesus told Peter, "And upon this rock I will build my Church." ( Matthew 16:18).

c) The Old Testament Declares that Kingdom of Heaven Has Come- The way in which the Old Testament Scriptures testify of the deity of Jesus Christ is by the testimony that the Kingdom of Heaven has come, and Jesus is the King. Not only does Matthew's Gospel emphasize the message that Jesus Christ is the Messiah in fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture. The author also reveals Him as the King who has been sent to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven. 169] The first verse of Matthew's Gospel declares in a nutshell Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the major prophecies spoken by David as King and by Abraham as Messiah. This third theme of teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven is seen in the closing verses as Jesus gives the Great Commission to teach all nations of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, Matthew's third theme, which declares that the Kingdom of Heaven has come, supports the secondary theme by testifying that this Kingdom and the King is the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture.

169] Isaac Williams says "It may indeed be noticed as remarkable, how frequently the mention of the Kingdom occurs in this Gospel more than in the others, as in the parables respecting the Kingdom." See Isaac Williams, Thoughts on the Study of the Holy Gospels, in Devotional Commentary on the Gospel Narrative, vol 1 (London: Rivingtons, 1882), 33.

Matthew portrays Jesus Christ as the Messiah who fulfilled Old Testament prophecy. Matthew's presentation of Jesus as the King of the Jews supports His claim as the Messiah. In a similar way, Luke presents Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world that was under the authority of Roman rule. He was writing to a Roman official who was able to exercise his authority over men. Thus, Luke was able to contrast Jesus' divine authority and power to that of the Roman rule. Jesus rightfully held the title as the Saviour of the world because of the fact that He had authority over mankind as well as the rest of God's creation. Someone who saves and delivers a person does it because he has the authority and power over that which oppresses the person. John gives us the testimony of God the Father, who says that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. John uses the additional testimonies of John the Baptist, of His miracles, of the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies and of Jesus Himself to support this claim. Mark testifies of the many miracles of the Lord Jesus Christ by emphasizing the preaching of the Gospel as the way in which these miracles take place.

In addition, Matthew's Gospel is the only one that uses the phrase "the throne of His glory," although Luke does mention "the throne of His father David" on one occasion ( Luke 1:32). It is the only Gospel where Jesus tells His disciples that they too will "sit upon twelve thrones."

Matthew 19:28, "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Matthew 25:31, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:"

d) Matthaean Parables and the Kingdom of God- The terms "kingdom of God" and "kingdom of heaven" are central to the teachings of Jesus within the Synoptic Gospels. Arland J. Hultgren says that of the eighty-three distinct references to either of these two terms in the Synoptics, Matthew's Gospel uses these phrases the most, referring to "kingdom of heaven" thirty-two times and "kingdom of God" five times. 170] Thus, it is no surprise that ten of Matthew's parables open with a reference to "the kingdom of heaven" or "kingdom of God" ( Matthew 13:24; Matthew 13:31; Matthew 13:33; Matthew 13:44-45; Matthew 13:47; Matthew 18:23; Matthew 20:1; Matthew 22:2; Matthew 25:1). Hultgren says that the frequent use of this kingdom language explains both how important it was in Jewish Old Testament theology and in Jesus' teachings. Jesus proclaims that the kingdom of God has now come and He used parables to explain its characteristics to the His disciples before His departure. The parables of Matthew's Gospel, which are primarily found within His last three major discourses, were addressed to His disciples as instructions on the nature of the Kingdom of God ( Matthew 13:10; Matthew 18:1; Matthew 24:1). 171] The three parables used at the end of the Olivet Discourse support the eschatological theme of Jesus' fifth major discourse.

170] Arland J. Hultgren, The Parables of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000, paperback 2003), 383-4.

171] H. A. Ironside, Expository Notes on the Gospel of Matthew (New York: Loizeaux Brothers, Inc, 1948, 3rd printing 1955), 327.

4. Comparison of the Great Commissions of the Four Gospels- We can clearly see the themes of the four Gospels clearly emphasized in each of their Great Commissions. When Matthew's Great Commission is compared to the one in Mark , the distinction is obvious. The Great Commission ending the Gospel of Matthew serves as a final commission to the Church to build itself upon the foundational doctrines laid down in these five discourses through the teaching ministry. Mark's Gospel emphasizes the preaching of the Gospel with signs following. This supports the major themes of each Gospel. Matthew's underlying theme is to testify of Jesus through Scriptures, which lays the foundation for doctrine. Mark's theme is the testimony of Jesus through His miracles, which Gospel He delivers to His disciples. The structural theme of Luke's Gospel is the collection of verifiable eyewitness accounts as to the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result, Jesus commands His disciples to be witnesses of these events by preaching the Gospel to all nations beginning at Jerusalem ( Luke 24:47), and to tarry in Jerusalem unto they be endued with power on high ( Luke 24:49). Thus, he is making a clear reference to the contents of the book of Acts; and thus, he establishes its theme. The structural theme of John's Gospel is the five-fold testimony of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. John's Gospel reveals His deity with the testimony of the Father, of John the Baptist, of Jesus' miracles, by the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures and finally in the last chapter by the testimony of Jesus Himself. This is why John's commission is simply, "Come, follow Me."

C. Third Theme (Imperative): The Proclamation of the Cross and the Persecution of the Church (The Office of the Teacher: Making Disciples of All Nations in Fulfilling the Great Commission) - Introduction- The third theme of each book of the Holy Scriptures is a call by the author for the reader to apply the central truth, or claim, laid down in the book to the Christian life. It is a call to a lifestyle of crucifying the flesh and taking up one's Cross daily to follow Jesus. Every child of God has been predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:29), and every child of God faces challenges as well as failures in the pursuit of his Christian journey. For example, the imperative theme of the Old Testament is that God's children are to serve the Lord God with all of their heart, mind, and strength, and love their neighbour as themselves ( Deuteronomy 6:4-5).

The child of God cannot fulfill his divine destiny of being conformed into the image of Jesus without yielding himself and following the plan of redemption that God avails to every human being. This 4-fold, redemptive path is described in Romans 8:29-30 as predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. The phase of justification can be further divided into regeneration, indoctrination, divine service, and perseverance. Although each individual will follow a unique spiritual journey in life, the path is the same in principle for every believer since it follows the same divine pattern described above. This allows us to superimpose one of three thematic schemes upon each book of the Holy Scriptures in order to vividly see its imperative theme. Every book follows a literary structure that allows either (1) the three-fold scheme of Father, Song of Solomon , and Holy Spirit: or (2) the scheme of spirit, soul, and body of man; or (3) the scheme of predestination, calling, justification (regeneration, indoctrination, divine service, and perseverance), and glorification in some manner.

1. The Third Theme of the Gospel of Matthew - The third theme of the Gospel of Matthew involves the response of the recipient to God's divine calling revealed in its primary and secondary themes, which is the commission to teach that Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament Scriptures about the Messiah coming to reign on earth as King. As believers we are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ Jesus ( Romans 8:29). In order to go through this process of transformation, we, too, must live a crucified life daily through obedience to the divine calling given in this book in proclaiming the Cross. Jesus endured the Cross for the sins of mankind and we must take up our cross daily to follow Him. This means that we must endure persecution just as our Saviour endured. The rejection of Jesus by the Jews and acceptance by the Gentiles is played out in many passages of this Gospel as an underlying theme. Matthew explains to his readers that the Gospel was sent to the Gentiles because of this rejection. There are numerous passages of Jesus being rejected by the Jewish leaders. There are equally as many passages of His acceptance by the Gentiles.

1. Three wise men worship baby Jesus ( Matthew 2:1-12).

2. Gentiles receive healing from Jesus ( Matthew 8:5-13; Matthew 15:21-28).

3. Jesus gives a prophecy of the Gentile's faith ( Matthew 12:14-21).

4. Jesus gives parables of the Gentiles ( Matthew 22:8-14; Matthew 21:40-46).

5. The Lord"s commission involves all nations ( Matthew 28:19-20).

In Matthew's Gospel the crucified life is seen in our obedience to the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations; for the plan of fulfilling this final command of Jesus Christ is laid out in Matthew. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew gives us a road-map for making disciples as we learn to walk as Jesus Christ walked. We will have to be justified by faith in Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. As the five major discourses emphasize, we will have to be (1) indoctrinated, (2) called, (3) endure persecutions from those who reject the Gospel and (4) from those offend us because of the Word, and (5) we must embrace and put our hope in His Second Coming. If we will take this journey of transforming our lives into the image of Christ, we will be about to preach the Gospel and disciple the nations. Discipleship is accomplished by following the example Jesus gave in Matthew's Gospel of both demonstrating the Christian life in the narrative material, and teaching others how to do the same in the discourse that follows the narrative. This work best reflects the office and ministry of the teacher in the five-fold ministry of the Church. Thus, according to Matthew's Gospel the Kingdom of God is established upon earth through the teaching ministry of making disciples. 172] Every child of God has been predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:29). Matthew's Gospel emphasizes one aspect of this conformity through the crucified life of faith and obedience in Him through the teaching ministry that disciples new converts.

172] Donald Hagner says, "And indeed, the Gospel of Matthew provided the church with an excellent handbook containing that teaching. And it is thus the particular responsibility of the church to hand on that teaching and to see to it that new disciples make it their way of life." See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 888.

X. Literary Structure

The literary structure of the Gospel of Matthew must follow the thematic scheme of the book. It is important to note that such a breakdown of this book of the Holy Bible was not necessarily intended by the original author, but it is being used as a means of making the interpretation easier. It is hoped that this summary and outline can identify the underlying themes of the book, as well as the themes of its major divisions, sections and subsections. Then individual verses can more easily be understood in light of the emphasis of the immediate passages in which they are found.

A. Identifying the Structure of the Gospel of Matthew - Before we can give a summary of the Gospel of Matthew , we must decide upon its structure. There are a number of different ways that scholars have chosen to outline the Gospel of Matthew. I have listed a few of the more common outlines proposed by scholars in a somewhat chronological order of their emergence.

1. Geographical-Chronological Outline - One of the earliest efforts to outline the Gospel of Matthew emerged toward the end of the nineteen century, an approach that based the Gospel's structure upon different geographical locations of the Lord's ministry. This approach follows the Gospel's "historical movement" based upon the premise that Matthew followed Mark's geographical and chronological framework. 173] This type of outline is commonly used with the other Gospels as well. We see that the passage in Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 18:35 focuses upon His Galilean ministry, while Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 20:16 deals with His ministry in Perea, and Matthew 20:17-34 tells us about His ministry in Judea. Finally, in Matthew 21:1 to Matthew 25:46, Jesus is in and around the city of Jerusalem until His Passion. This approach is fueled by source criticism that assumes Marcan priority in the writing of the Synoptic Gospels. It continues to receive favor among a minority of scholars. 174] This geographical outline does not reveal the major themes of the Gospel of Matthew.

173] Alfred Plummer, An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910) xi; Alan Hugh McNeile, The Gospel According to St. Matthew (London: MacMillan and Co, Limited, 1915), xii. Marianna Thompson uses the phrase "historical movement" in this context. See Marianna Meyer Thompson, "The Structure of Matthew: A Survey of Recent Trends," in Studia Biblica et Theologica 12 (1982) 195.

174] For example, R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew , in New International Commentary on the New Testament, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007).

2. Five-Discourse Outline - One of the most popular arrangements of Matthew's Gospel arose as the result of Benjamin Bacon's landmark work entitled Studies in Matthew. Published in 1930, he structures this Gospel around the five major discourses of the Lord Jesus Christ. 175]

175] Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930).

1. The Sermon on the Mount (5-7).

2. Sending out of Apostles (10).

3. Teaching on Parables of Kingdoms (13).

4. Discourse on Church Discipline and Fellowship (18).

5. Olivet, or Eschatological, Discourse (24-25).

This five-fold division is implied by the fact that each of these five, lengthy discourses alternate with narrative material and end with the formula, "when Jesus had finished these sayings (or parables)…" ( Matthew 7:28-28; Matthew 11:1; Matthew 13:53; Matthew 19:1; Matthew 26:1), and thus, these transitional statements give these five sections a common identification or signpost for their division. 176]

176] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 39-40.

Matthew 7:28-29, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

Matthew 11:1, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."

Matthew 13:53, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence."

Matthew 19:1, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;"

Matthew 26:1-2, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified."

Thus, rather than following historical movement, Bacon identified literary devises within the text that indicated structural changes.

3. Public-Private Ministry Outline (3-Fold Outline) - There are several approaches to viewing the Gospel of Matthew with emphasis upon Jesus' public and private ministry. Perhaps the most popular is the three-fold approach, with J. D. Kingsbury as its leading proponent. 177] Kingsbury suggests that the Gospel of Matthew can be divided into three major sections, based upon the similar formulas "From that time (forth) Jesus began" found in Matthew 4:17 and Matthew 16:21. This would divide Matthew into three sections: (1) "The Person of Jesus the Messiah," (2) "The Proclamation of Jesus the Messiah," and (3) "The Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ." 178] Like Bacon, Kingsbury identified literary devises within the text that indicated structural changes.

177] Jack Dean Kingsbury, Matthew: Structure, Christology, Kingdom (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1975).

178] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 41

Matthew 4:17, "From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Matthew 16:21, "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."

Everett F. Harrison suggests that Matthew 4:17 to Matthew 16:20 relates to Jesus' public ministry while Matthew 16:21 begins to concentrate on Jesus' private ministry, which included His instructions of the Twelve during the Last Supper. 179] Such a broad, three-fold division of the Gospel of Matthew would look something like this:

179] Everett F. Harrison, Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1964, 1971), 173.

1. The Person of Jesus the Messiah ( Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 4:16)

2. Jesus' Public Ministry: The Proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah ( Matthew 4:17 to Matthew 16:20)

3. Jesus' Private Ministry: His Ministry to the Disciples and Passion ( Matthew 16:21 to Matthew 28:20)

This structure lends itself well to the Chrisologicial theme that runs throughout the Gospel of Matthew , and is therefore supported by leading scholarship. However, the Christological theme reflects the foundational theme that claims Jesus as the Son of God, a theme shared by all of the Gospels; however, the books of the Holy Scriptures frame their structures around their respective secondary themes, and not their primary themes. So it is with the Gospel of Matthew with the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures shaping its theme from the "quotations formulas" that read, "that it might be fulfilled."

4. Symmetrical Outline (Chiasm) - Recently, scholars have begun to look for rhetorical devises embedded within Matthew's Gospel in order to identify its literary structure. One proposed structure creates a symmetrical or chiastic arrangement to this Gospel, which suggests that the New Testament uses chiasmic structure, or an inversion in the order of words, phrases, or sections. For example, H. B. Green views chapter 11as the climax of the Gospel with the following chiastic arrangemen: 180]

180] H. B. Green, "The Structure of St. Matthew's Gospel," in Studia Evangelica IV (1965): 47-59.

Matthew 1-2 - Infancy Narrative

Matthew 3-4 - John the Baptist and Jesus' Public Appearance

Matthew 5-69 - The Sermon on the Mount

Matthew 8-9 - The Miracles of Jesus

Matthew 10 - Missions

Matthew 11 - Jesus Testifies of Himself

Matthew 12-13-

Matthew 13-18 -

Matthew 19-23 -

Matthew 24-25 - Eschatological Discourse

Matthew 26-28 - Jesus' Departure

In contrast, F. C. Fenton and G. W. Derickson view chapter 13as the center of the book, while the adjacent chapters 11-12find parallel content to 14-17, which both deal with John the Baptist and with challenges from the Pharisees. Chapter 10 finds a parallel to chapter 18, which both deal with the issue of servanthood. Chapters 8-9 parallel 19-22demonstrating and explaining the work of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Sermon on the Mount in 5-7 is supposed to parallel the Eschatological Discourse of 23-25. His arrival in 1-4is to parallel His departure in 26-28. 181] Thus, Fenton and Derickson rely more closely on the five-discourse division than does Green. 182]

181] J. C. Fendon, Saint Matthew , in Pelican Gospel Commentaries (Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1963); J. C. Fendon, "Inclusio and and Chiasmus in ‘Mathew'," in Studia Evangelica I (1959): 177-179; G. W. Derickson, "Matthew's Chiastic Structure and Its Dispensational Implications," Bibliotheca Sacra 163 (2006):423-437.

182] Marianna Meyer Thompson, "The Structure of Matthew: A Survey of Recent Trends," in Studia Biblica et Theologica 12 (1982) 205.

Matthew 1-4 - Jesus' Arrival

Matthew 5-7 - Sermon on the Mount (Teaching on the Kingdom)

Matthew 8-9 - The Work of the Kingdom

Matthew 10 - Servanthood

Matthew 11-12 - John the Baptist and Challenges from Pharisees

Matthew 13 - Parables of the Kingdom

Matthew 14-17- John the Baptist and Challenges from Pharisees

Matthew 18 - Servanthood

Matthew 19-22 - The Work of the Kingdom

Matthew 23-25 - Eschatological Discourse (Teaching on the Kingdom)

Matthew 26-28 - Jesus' Departure

This structure attempts to show that the teachings on the Kingdom of Heaven are central to the Gospel of Matthew; however, Marianna Thompson points out that the claim that Matthew intentionally shaped his Gospel using chiasm is impossible to defend. 183] Chaism is not the order of the day regarding the literary structure of Matthew or any book of the Holy Scriptures, as testified by the fact that chaism often seems forced upon the biblical text. The books of the Bible are structured around a theme-based approach. Chiasm as a rhetorical device is being used in the Holy Scriptures, but it simply molds itself around the theme-based literary structure as demonstrated by Fenton and Derickson's approach.

183] Marianna Meyer Thompson, "The Structure of Matthew: A Survey of Recent Trends," in Studia Biblica et Theologica 12 (1982) 206.

In summary, the Five-Discourse Outline best supports the literary structure and thematic scheme of the Gospel of Matthew.

B. A Summary of the Gospel of Matthew Using the Five-Discourse Outline- Having identified five major discourses within Matthew's Gospel, it may be observed that these discourses are each separated with large sections of narrative material in between, thus giving the major body of the Gospel of Matthew the characteristic feature of having alternate narrative and discourse material interwoven together. The following discussion will show that the theme of each section of narrative material relates to and prepares us for the same theme found in the discourse immediately following. Such a concept is not new to the literary structure of Matthew's Gospel, but one that has received little attention. 184] In addition, it can be noted that the themes found within each of these five narrative/discourse sections serve to establish and support the secondary, structural theme of the Gospel of Matthew , which is the testimony of Old Testament Scripture predicting the coming of the King of the Jews to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth. Capturing the theme of the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture are the Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ. These quotations provide the framework for the literary structure of the Gospel of Matthew. 185] Thus, I have chosen the Five-Discourse Outline as the best analysis for the literary structure for this Gospel because it clearly supports its three-tier thematic scheme.

184] Donald Hagner says, "As is the case in the Fourth Gospel, the evangelist alternates the teaching discourses with narrative blocks concerning the mighty deeds of Jesus. In Matthew , however, little attempt has been made to relate the discourses to the narratives." See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), li.

185] Albright and Mann say the Gospel of Matthew is "characterized by a framework of OT quotations." See Albright, W. F, and C. S. Mann. Matthew. In Anchor Bible Commentary, vol 26. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971; reprint, 1987), lxi. Grant Osborne cites Michael Knowles, who explains how the quotation formulae shape the Gospel of Matthew , saying, "As Knowles points out, the formula quotations provide a basic outline of Jesus' life and ministry and ‘show that the basic elements of Jesus' origin, identity, ministry—even his betrayal—were already providentially set out in the inspired text and so conform to "the divinely ordained plan for the Messiah."'" See Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 74. See also Michael Knowles, "Jeremiah in Matthew's Gospel: The Rejected-Prophet Motif in Matthean Redaction," in Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 68 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993), 26-27.

I. The King's Arrival: The Messiah's Birth and Childhood ( Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23) - Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 records the account of Jesus' birth and childhood, introducing the King, as is proper protocol for royalty. Matthew uses this narrative section to prove by six witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ has been predestined as a descendent of Abraham and David to hold the Scriptural right to claim the Messiahship and the legal right to claim His Kingship by the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures. Matthew used this method because the Jews understood that an issue is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Three witnesses to Jesus' birth and three witnesses to His childhood were enough for any Jew to accept Him as their Messiah. The emphasis in this passage is upon the fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture regarding the birth and childhood of a King before His public appearance when He was baptized in the Jordon River by John the Baptist. The Gospel of Luke also gives a parallel account of Jesus' birth and childhood, but with an emphasis upon prophecy. While Matthew emphasizes the fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures in his account bearing witness to the coming of the Messiah as the King of the Jews, Luke's account emphasizes the eye-witness testimonies and prophecies that took place, which identify Him as the Saviour of the World.

Matthew uses this section to prove by six witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ holds the legal right as King of the Jews because of His descendent from the lineage of David and He holds the right to claim the Messiahship by the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, which office Jesus takes in the next section. Matthew uses this method because the Jews understood that an issue is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Three witnesses to Jesus' birth and three witnesses to His childhood were enough for any Jew to accept Him as their Messiah.

A. Predestination: The Birth of Jesus, the Messiah, the God- Prayer of Manasseh , and King ( Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12) - Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is generally recognized as a passage of Scripture that reveals the person of Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah. 186] More specifically, Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures that Jesus Christ was predestined to be the Messiah. 187] This passage of Scripture contains three testimonies from the Old Testament Scriptures that focus upon the three primary aspects of the fulfillment of the Messiah: His human nature ( Matthew 1:1-17), His divine ( Matthew 1:18-25), and His royalty ( Matthew 2:1-12). These three testimonies bear witness to the fact that the Messiah would come from the seed of Abraham and royal lineage of David ( Matthew 1:1-17), born of a virgin birth with divine nature ( Matthew 1:18-25), and inherit the Davidic kingship as the everlasting King of Kings and Lord of Lords ( Matthew 2:1-12). (1) The Messiah as the Seed of Abraham and Royal Lineage of David- Matthew 1:1-17 records the testimony of Old Testament Scripture revealing how Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Messiah as the seed of Abraham who descended from the royal lineage of Davidic kingship. The genealogy of Jesus' birth reveals that He has been predestined to fulfill the divine Messianic promises given to Abraham and David, who were given the two primary Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah. These two sets of prophecies were understood by the first century Jews as a reference to the Messiah. (2) The Messiah's Virgin Birth and Divine Nature- Matthew 1:18-25 is the testimony of Jesus being born of a virgin as prophesied in Isaiah 7:14. His divine conception reveals the fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, stating that He will be born of a virgin. (3) The Messiah's Davidic Kingship- Matthew 2:1-12 is the testimony of the fact that the Messiah would be born in the city of Bethlehem as prophesied in Micah 5:2 and He would rule over God's people. His birth ( Matthew 2:1-12) reveals the fulfillment the prophecy of being born in Bethlehem. These prophecies that were fulfilled at His birth confirm that Jesus Christ was predestined to be the Messiah and King. Matthew is careful to quote each of the prophecies that were fulfilled at His birth. These three stories all testify of His Messiahship because of the manner of His birth. In summary, Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 testifies that the Messiah was predestined to be born of the seed of Abraham and David as the Son of God and reign eternally as King of Kings.

186] Albright and Mann say, "In the first section Matthew's purpose is to demonstrate who Jesus is: the Messiah, God's anointed representative, the expected King." See Albright, W. F, and C. S. Mann. Matthew. In Anchor Bible Commentary, vol 26. (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971; reprint, 1987), 5.

187] R. T. France picks up on this theme of predestination on the opening chapters of Matthew's Gospel, saying, "Using a number of different but related approaches, he will weave in :11 a rich tapestry of scenes and reflections which together help the reader to appreciate how in the coming of Jesus of Nazareth all God's purposes for his people, declared and illustrated throughout the writings of the OT and the history of Israel, are coming to their destined fulfillment." See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew , in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007), 25.

Matthew could have chosen other important events in Jesus' birth, as we find in the Gospel of Luke. However, Matthew's Gospel places emphasis upon three witnesses from the Old Testament Scriptures that proved Jesus Christ was the coming Messiah, the Son of God, and the King of the Jews. Therefore, Matthew quotes from the Old Testament in the second and third stories, while the genealogy itself serves as an Old Testament witness. Matthew inserts the following fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures within their respective sections:

Matthew 1:22-23, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Song of Solomon , and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted Isaiah , God with us."

Matthew 2:5-6, "And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."

Literary Evidence for the Theme of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 - The literary evidence of the theme of predestination in Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is seen in the fact that the Greek word χριστό ς (Christ), which is the equivalent to the Old Testament Hebrew word ( משׁיח) (Messiah), is used five times within this passage ( Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:16-18; Matthew 2:4), while appearing only eleven other times in Matthew's Gospel outside of this opening passage ( Matthew 11:2; Matthew 16:16; Matthew 16:20; Matthew 22:42, Matthew 23:10; Matthew 24:5; Matthew 24:23; Matthew 26:63; Matthew 26:68; Matthew 27:17; Matthew 27:22). The other Matthean uses of χριστό ς are found primarily after Peter's confession at Caesarea Philippi when he declared that Jesus was "the Christ, the Son of the living God" ( Matthew 16:16). Additional literary evidence is seen in the other titles given to Jesus in this opening passage, such as "the son of David, the son of Abraham, Immanuel, King of the Jews," which bear witness to the motif of the revelation of the Messiah as fully God and fully man and as the King of kings. 188]

188] R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew , in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007), 25.

Literary Evidence for the Structure of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 - The literary evidence of a three-fold division in Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 is seen in the fact that a statement about Jesus' birth begins each of these three sections ( Matthew 1:1; Matthew 1:18; Matthew 2:1) showing that this passage of Scripture emphasizes the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures concerning Christ's prophetic birth. In addition, the second and third sections contain the well-recognized Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ. 189]

189] R. T. France believes Matthew 1:18 to 2:23 is structured around the Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ, saying, "Sometimes the appeal to Scripture is overt, as in the five quotations which form the structural basis of 1:18-2:23…" See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew , in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007), 25.

Matthew 1:1, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

Matthew 1:18, "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost."

Matthew 2:1, "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,"

Central Theological Application of the Text - The central theological application of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 reveals that God has created, designed, and predestined everyone for a purpose, to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit as children of God, and to rule and reign with Christ Jesus. Within the context of the Gospel of Matthew , every believer has been born, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and delegated the authority of the name of Jesus in order to fulfill the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:18-20), working together in discipling the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Here is a summary of the three testimonies of Jesus' birth that reveals His humanity, His deity, and His royalty ( Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12):

1. Predestination: The Messiah as the Seed of Abraham and Royal Lineage of David ( Matthew 1:1-17) - Matthew's first testimony of how Jesus' birth was predestined by God the Father to fulfill essentially all Old Testament prophecies is found in Matthew 1:1-17, where he records the genealogy of Jesus Christ as the seed of Abraham and royal lineage of David. Jesus is the seed of promise from the loins of Abraham whose descendants will multiply as the sand of the sea and stars in the sky ( Genesis 15:5), the seed who will bless all families of the earth ( Genesis 12:3). The fact that Matthew's genealogy follows the Davidic kingship of ancient Israel unlike Luke's genealogy, which takes a detour, presents Jesus as a candidate to the royal throne, with His role as the future king soon confirmed by the visit of the Magi ( Matthew 2:1-12). This passage of Scripture that opens the New Testament and the Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the foreknowledge of God the Father in predestining Jesus' birth in the lineage of Abraham and David, which we clear see in its opening and closing verses. Its opening verse ( Matthew 1:1) reveals Jesus Christ as of the lineage of David and Abraham, with its closing verse ( Matthew 1:17) showing how God divinely orchestrated Israel's history into three distinct periods. Each statement regarding a father "begetting" a son serves to sum up all of the redemptive history regarding these individuals as recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures. Thus, this genealogy will serve as a summary of the entire Old Testament. Matthew 1:17 will show that this lineage covers the three periods of Israel's history, which were the times they were led by prophets, kings and priests.

a) Prophets- Abraham to David Matthew 1:1-6

b) Kings- David to Captivity Matthew 1:6-11

c) Priests- Captivity to Jesus Matthew 1:12-17

Matthew 1:1-17 reveals to the reader how God the Father, in His divine foreknowledge and providence, intervened in the affairs of Israel's entire history to bring about the birth of His Son in due time. 190] Paul referred to God's divine time scale in history to bring forth His Son in Romans 5:6 by saying, "in due time Christ died for the ungodly," and in Galatians 4:4, "when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His son."

190] Regarding Matthew 1:1-17, Grant Osborne says, "Matthew is interested in salvation history and wants to show how God is in sovereign control of world history and guides it for his own purposes." See Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 69.

Romans 5:6, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

Galatians 4:4, "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Song of Solomon , made of a woman, made under the law,"

In essence, Matthew 1:1-17 is a summary of the entire Old Testament with an emphasis upon the redemptive seed of Jesus Christ, orchestrated through the divine foreknowledge of God the Father. This opening passage reveals that all Old Testament prophecies are centered around the fulfillment of the office and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because all prophecies are centered in Chirist, Matthew is justified in using the well-recognized Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ throughout his Gospel.

The author himself provides a literary structure to this opening genealogy in Matthew 1:17 by offering a three-fold division. In addition, the fact that Matthew declares to his readers that there is a three-fold testimony embedded within his opening genealogy sounds the alarm that he will repeat this within his Gospel, which is found to be the case. In order to separate this genealogy into three equal divisions, Matthew omits the names of four Davidic kings from this genealogy and he counts Jechonias twice. 191]

191] Helen Milton, "The Structure of the Prologue to St. Matthew's Gospel," in Journal of Biblical Literature 812 (June 1962): 175.

Central Theological Application of the Text - The central theological application of Matthew 1:1-17 reveals that God has created, designed, and predestined everyone to a particular destiny ( Jeremiah 1:5, Ephesians 1:4). We have been created in the image of God, and one aspect of this image is our destiny. Within the context of the Gospel of Matthew , every believer has been born to answer the call of the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:18-20), working together with fellow believers in discipling the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."

Ephesians 1:4, "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:"

2. Predestination: The Messiah's Virgin Birth and Divine Nature ( Matthew 1:18-25) - Matthew's second testimony of how Jesus' birth was predestined by God the Father to fulfill essentially all Old Testament prophecies is recorded in Matthew 1:18-25, where he records the story of the Messiah's prophetic conception of being born of a virgin by the power of the Holy Spirit. This event fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah 7:14 and is quoted in Matthew 1:22-23.

Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Song of Solomon , and shall call his name Immanuel."

Matthew 1:22-23, "Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Song of Solomon , and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted Isaiah , God with us."

This story of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ testifies to the divine and human nature of the person of Jesus Christ, being told from Joseph"s point of view. It is very likely that Luke gives us the virgin birth told from Mary"s point of view ( Luke 2:1-7).

We should keep in mind that the underlying emphasis of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 is on the divine foreknowledge of God the Father in effecting His plan of redemption for mankind. Thus, we see the angel of the Lord intervening in Joseph's life to show him God's divine providence at work in his life.

Central Theological Application of the Text - The central theological application of Matthew 1:18-25 reveals that God has created, designed, and predestined everyone to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit as children of God. Within the context of the Gospel of Matthew , every believer has been empowered by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:18-20), working together in discipling the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

3. Predestination: The Messiah's Davidic Kingship ( Matthew 2:1-12) - Matthew's third testimony of how Jesus' birth was predestined by God the Father to fulfill essentially all Old Testament prophecies is recorded in Matthew 2:1-12 with the story of the visit of the wise men from the East and the prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. This event fulfilled the prophecy of Micah 5:2 and is quoted in Matthew 2:5-6. This event testifies to the fact that Jesus would one day become the King of Israel ( Genesis 49:10, Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 102:25-27, Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11; Isaiah 10, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Ezekiel 37:24). This passage of Scripture testifies to the fact that Jesus Christ, who is fully man and fully God is also the eternal King of Israel predestined by God, and destined become King of all nations.

Micah 5:2, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

Matthew 2:5-6, "And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."

We should keep in mind that the underlying emphasis of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 is on the divine foreknowledge of God the Father in effecting His plan of redemption for mankind. Thus, we see the angel of the Lord intervening in Joseph's life and the life of the three wise men to show them God's divine providence at work in their lives.

Central Theological Application of the Text - The central theological application of Matthew 2:1-12 reveals that God has created, designed, and predestined everyone to rule and reign with Christ Jesus on earth. Within the context of the Gospel of Matthew , the authority given to Jesus Christ at His resurrection and ascension has been delegated to the Church in order to fulfill the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:18-20), working together in discipling the nations with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

B. Calling: The Infancy and Childhood of Jesus the King ( Matthew 2:13-23) - The narrative material in Matthew 2:13-23 is unique to the Gospel of Matthew as it records Joseph's flight into Egypt and return to Nazareth. While Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 places emphasis upon the predestined nature of Jesus Christ through the testimony of Scripture, Matthew 2:13-23 emphasizes His divine. Scholars generally view this passage of Scripture as a single unit because of its common theme of the infancy and childhood of Jesus Christ. With God's intervention in the affairs of Joseph and his family, Grant Osborne says one of the central ideas of this passage is "divine sovereignty in salvation history," 192] and David Turner mentions "the sovereignty of God" in his comments on Matthew 2:15 b and "divine providence" in his comments on Matthew 2:16-18, 193] while Donald Hagner refers to "divine providence" in this passage of Scripture. 194] Closer to the concept of divine calling, Charles Erdman uses the phrase "divine guidance," 195] and Bernhard Weiss uses the phrase "divine command" 196] regarding this passage. Willoughby Allen captures the concept of divine calling well by saying, "Just as of old the Israelite nation, Jehovah"s firstborn ( Exodus 412), had been called out of Egypt to be the chosen people; so Jesus the Son of God by supernatural conception was called out of Egypt to save His people." 197] While the concepts of divine sovereignty, providence, and guidance are more easily recognized and commonly expressed by commentators regarding this passage, more specifically, Matthew 2:13-23 records three occasions in which God intervenes as He spoke to Joseph in a dream and "called" him to relocate his family into Egypt because of Herod's wrath and back to Nazareth. Thus, the concept of "divine calling" is more easily recognized as divine sovereignty, intervention, or providence.

192] Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 94.

193] David L. Turner, Matthew , in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 90, 92.

194] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004), 34-35.

195] Charles Erdman says, "Two facts, however, are emphasized by the writer: the story, like that of the Magi, is one of divine guidance, and, secondly, all its incidents are declared to be in fulfillment of inspired prophecy." He then says, "Thus by means of his own choosing God is ever guiding those who are devoted to the interests of his Son." He again says, "Yet his [Jesus] dwelling there [Nazareth] was due to divine guidance." See Charles R. Erdman, The Gospel of Matthew An Exposition (Philadelphia: PA: The Westminster Press, 1920), 31-32.

196] Bernhard Weiss, A Commentary on the New Testament, vol 1, trans. George H. Schodde and Epiphanius Wilson (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1906), 12.

197] Willoughby C. Allen, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew , in The International Critical Commentary, eds. Charles Augustus Briggs and Samuel Rolles Driver (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907), 18.

The Literary Evidence of the Theme of Matthew 2:13-23 - The literary evidence of the theme of divine calling in Matthew 2:13-23 is seen in the use of the same Greek word καλέω used in Romans 8:30 that is also used in Matthew 2:15 in a similar sense, "Out of Egypt have I called my Song of Solomon ," and in Matthew 2:23, "He shall be called a Nazarene." Therefore, Matthew 2:15 interprets this divine intervention in the life of Joseph and his family as a divine "calling."

Romans 8:30, "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

During these three callings in which God spoke to Joseph ( Matthew 2:13; Matthew 2:19-20; Matthew 2:22), Matthew records the fulfillment of three Old Testament prophecies as a further testimony of His calling as the Messiah: (1) Joseph's flight into Egypt in Matthew 2:13-15 is in fulfillment of Hosea 11:1; (2) Herod's massacre of the Jewish children in Matthew 2:16-18 fulfills Jeremiah 13:11; and (3) Joseph's return to the city of Nazareth where Jesus was raised ( Matthew 2:19-23) testifying of the fulfillment of Scripture that He would be called a Nazarene, the exact reference being uncertain. Scholars recognize that these three sections (13-15, 16-18, 19-23) are clearly divided by the fact that each unit ends with an Old Testament quotation. 198] Matthew inserts the following fulfillment of Old Testament Scriptures within their respective sections:

198] David Turner says, "Though the analysis here divides the rest of the chapter into three sections (13-15, 16-18, 19-23) coinciding with three formula quotations, Matthew 2:13-23as a whole should be viewed as a unit containing the withdrawal and return of the Messiah." See David L. Turner, Matthew , in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 88; R. T. France believes Matthew 1:18 to 2:23 is structured around the Matthean formula quotations derived from ἵνα πληρωθῇ, saying, "Sometimes the appeal to Scripture is overt, as in the five quotations which form the structural basis of 1:18-2:23…" See R. T. France, The Gospel of Matthew , in New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007), 25.

Matthew 2:15, "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."

Matthew 2:17-18, "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not."

Matthew 2:23, "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene."

The Literary Evidence of the Structure of Matthew 2:13-23 - The literary evidence that supports the divisions within Matthew 2:13-23 is the fact that the three sections ( Matthew 2:13-15; Matthew 2:16-18; Matthew 2:19-23) begin with participial clauses, with 13-15,19-23also beginning with the Greek genitive absolute construction. These three prophecies that were fulfilled during His childhood confirm God's divine calling of Jesus Christ as the Messiah and King. Matthew is careful to quote each of the three prophecies that were fulfilled during His infancy and childhood. The rest of Matthew's Gospel (chapters 3-28) deals with the fulfillment of specific Old Testament prophecies regarding His earthly ministry, His passion, and resurrection.

Here is a proposed outline:

1. Old Testament Fulfillment of Calling from Egypt ( Matthew 2:13-15) - Matthew's first testimony of how Jesus' childhood calling fulfilled Old Testament prophecy is recorded in Matthew 2:13-15, where he records the story of Joseph's flight into Egypt until the death of Herod, and calling back to Israel. This event fulfilled the prophecy of Hosea 11:1 and is quoted in Matthew 2:15.

Hosea 11:1, "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."

Matthew 2:15, "And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son."

We should keep in mind that the underlying emphasis of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 is on the divine foreknowledge of God the Father in effecting His plan of redemption for mankind. Thus, we see the angel of the Lord intervening in Joseph's life to show him God's divine providence at work in his life.

2. Old Testament Fulfillment of Herod Massacres the Children ( Matthew 2:16-18) - Matthew's second testimony of how Jesus' childhood calling fulfilled Old Testament prophecy is recorded in Matthew 2:16-18, where he records the story of Herod's massacre of the Jewish children. This event fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:15 and is quoted in Matthew 2:17-18.

Jeremiah 31:15, "Thus saith the LORD A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not."

Matthew 2:17-18, "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not."

3. Old Testament Fulfillment of Calling as a Nazarite ( Matthew 2:19-23) - Matthew's third testimony of how Jesus' childhood calling fulfilled Old Testament prophecy is recorded in Matthew 2:19-23, where he records the story of Joseph's return from Egypt to the city of Nazareth where Jesus was raised. Matthew 2:23 testifies to the fulfillment of the prophecy that He would be called a Nazarene, the exact Old Testament reference being uncertain.

Matthew 2:23, "And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene."

We should keep in mind that the underlying emphasis of Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23 is on the divine foreknowledge of God the Father in effecting His plan of redemption for mankind. Thus, we see the angel of the Lord intervening in Joseph's life to show him God's divine providence at work in his life.

II. Justification: The Kingdom is Inaugurated through the Presentation and Justification of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11) - The narrative material recorded in Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11 shows us how Jesus' was ordained, or inaugurated, into His ministry in fulfillment of God's standard of righteousness through three testimonies. Matthew uses the testimonies of John the Baptist ( Matthew 3:1-12), of God the Father ( Matthew 3:13-17), and of Jesus Christ Himself ( Matthew 4:1-11) to verify the fact that mankind is sinful ( Matthew 3:1-12), that Jesus Christ is well-pleasing unto God ( Matthew 3:13-17), and that Jesus is without sin in fulfillment of the Mosaic Law ( Matthew 4:1-11). (The Gospel of Matthew will include the testimony of Jesus' miracles in later narratives, but He has yet to begin His public ministry.) Within this passage we have material to support the fulfillment of one Old Testament Scripture found in Isaiah 40:3, which testifies of the ministry of John the Baptist, who was sent ahead of the Messiah in order to prepare the way for the presentation of the King to the Jewish people through a water baptism signifying their repentance from sins ( Matthew 3:1-12) and through the audible testiomony of God the Father at the baptism of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 3:13-17). Immediately after His water baptism Jesus is driven into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil in order to testify of His sinless character ( Matthew 4:1-11). In other words, this passage of Scripture testifies of man's sinful nature and God's impending judgment through the testimony of John the Baptist ( Matthew 3:1-12), of God the Father's testimony justifying His Son Jesus Christ as the appointed Messiah ( Matthew 3:13-17), and of Jesus testifying of His sinless character as His justification to fulfill the office of the Messiah ( Matthew 4:1-11). Thus, we understand that the three stories recorded in Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11 support the testimony of the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3 in which John the Baptist was sent ahead to show the Messiah to the Jewish people, and to reveal to them that repentance from the heart is God's standard of true righteousness, as seen in the sinless character of Jesus Christ. The baptism of Jesus is the ceremony that God used to present Him to the people of Israel. Jesus demonstrated true righteousness before the people by receiving baptism Himself and having God the Father's audible voice justify His Son. Jesus was then led into the wilderness to demonstrate true love and devotion to His Father as the purest expression of righteousness before God.

The Old Testament prophecy that was fulfilled within these events is Isaiah 40:3, and is quoted in Matthew 3:3.

Isaiah 40:3, "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."

Matthew 3:3, "For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."

Here is a proposed outline:

A. John's Testimony of Jesus' Righteousness ( Matthew 3:1-12) - Matthew 3:1-12 emphasizes the role of John the Baptist in the preparation of the coming of the Messiah. This passage declares the fulfillment of Isaiah 40:3, in which John the Baptist declares the coming of the Lord. In his sermon, John the Baptist declares everyone a sinner and in need of baptism as an outward sign of inward repentance for his sins. John also declares that the Christ is coming, who is worthy to judge man's sins, requiring that He Himself must be sinless.

Our hearts must be prepared in order for us to receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus" coming by preaching a message to the people of repentance from the heart. When Jesus appears in Matthew 3:13, it is within the context of the way to the hearts of the people having been prepared by John the Baptist. Those who had not received John"s message nor repented nor received water baptism could not "see" Jesus as He really was, as the Lamb of God who had come to take away their sins.

B. God the Father's Testimony of Jesus' Righteousness ( Matthew 3:13-17) - Matthew 3:13-17 records the water baptism of Jesus Christ, which presented Him to the world as the Messiah. At this baptism, God the Father speaks from Heaven declaring Jesus as His beloved Son in whom He is pleased. No man had ever fully pleased God by his own merits. The Jews spent their lives under the Mosaic Law trying to please God by obeying its statues and later associated traditions. However, their own consciences told them that they had come short of pleasing God. Now God speaks from Heaven to declare Jesus Christ justified in His sight as sinless, perfectly pleasing God in every aspect of His life.

C. Jesus' Testimony of His Righteousness ( Matthew 4:1-11) - The Gospels narrate the temptation story of Jesus Christ in order to offer the third of three testimonies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who is without sin. The Scriptures tell us that the Holy Spirit led Jesus Christ into the wilderness to face this temptation ( Luke 4:1). As God allowed Satan to tempt Job , so did God the Father allow His Son to face temptations by Satan as well. The purpose of Jesus experiencing this temptation was to prove His sinless nature, serving as a testimony to justify our Lord as a worthy sacrifice for the sins of mankind. He was tempted by the devil on three occasions during His 40-day trial in the wilderness, in His flesh, His spirit, and His soul.

When rebuking Satan, Jesus gives three prophetic statements from three Old Testament passages. Specifically, He quoted all three times from a popular passage in Deuteronomy 8:3; Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 6:16. It is in this same discourse of Moses in Deuteronomy that the famous "Shema" is found:

Deuteronomy 6:4-5, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."

In this Old Testament passage of Scripture, God commands Israel to keep the Law with their heart, mind and strength; thus, fulfilling the Law. However, the children of Israel failed to fulfill the Law throughout their history. The story of the temptation of Jesus Christ in the wilderness will serve as valid testimony that Jesus Christ fulfilled the entire Law of Moses by living without sin, thus justifying Him as sinless. The first century Jews would understand that Jesus Christ alone fulfilled the Shema, perhaps the most important passage in the Old Testament.

In this context, we can clearly see how Satan tempted Jesus in all three realms of His life: physically, mentally and spiritually. Satan tempted Him in the physical ( Matthew 4:3-4) by asking Him to turn the stones into bread. He was attempting to get Jesus to yield to His physical desires rather than the commandments of God. Satan then tempted Jesus in his mental realm ( Matthew 4:5-7) by asking Him to jump off the pinnacle of the Temple. He was asking Jesus to make a foolish decision that was not in God's plan for His life. For you or I to jump off a tall building would be the dumbest decision of our lives. Satan then tempted Jesus in the spiritual realm ( Matthew 4:8-10) by asking Him to bow down and give His heart to Satan in worship.

III. Sanctification (Indoctrination): The First Discourse (Establishment of Doctrine) ( Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 7:29) - After the King is inaugurated as the Messiah by water baptism and the coming of the Holy Spirit with the voice of the Father declaring Him as the beloved Son of God, Jesus Christ begins to declare that the Kingdom of God has arrived upon earth Matthew 4:12-25, and He then inaugurates the Kingdom of God by delivering His "Inaugural Address," called the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29). The fact that this Sermon makes clear references to the Ten Commandments reminds us of how Moses must have delivered them to the children of Israel in the book of Exodus. In His Sermon, Jesus interprets the Mosaic Law correctly for the Jews. Thus, we establish a parallel with the giving of the Law in Exodus and the first discourse in that they both serve to indoctrinate the children of God. 199]

199] The theme of indoctrination for the Sermon on the Mount is widely recognized by scholars. For example, Benjamin Bacon says, "The first of Mt"s five Discourses is framed to meet the needs of the neophyte, who must be instructed in what is designated by Paul ‘the law of Christ,' by Jas. ‘the perfect law of liberty,' and by Jn ‘the new commandment' that we ‘have from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.' It is clear that the Song of Solomon -called Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5-7 aims to give more specific application to the comprehensive principle expressed in these general terms by bringing Christian practice into comparison with the Law of Moses." See Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), 339.

The one Old Testament prophecy of this division in Matthew's Gospel is Matthew 4:14-16, which quotes Isaiah 91-2. The fulfillment of this prophecy reinforces the theme of this section of Matthew's Gospel, which states that He brought light, or understanding of God's Word, into the region of Galilee by teaching doctrine.

Matthew 4:14-16, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up."

The section of Matthew emphasizing sanctification through indoctrination ( Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 7:29) closes with a transitional sentence that concludes each of the five discourses, telling us that Jesus had ended His teaching ( Matthew 7:28-29).

Matthew 7:28-29, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

Literary Evidence of a Common Theme between the First Narrative Section and the Discourse that Follows - There is literary evidence that the first narrative section shares a common theme with the discourse that follows, which is the Sermon on the Mount. Matthew uses the Greek word δικαιοσύ νη five times ( Matthew 5:6; Matthew 5:10; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 6:1; Matthew 6:33) in the Sermon on the Mount, a word used on two other occasions only throughout the rest of his Gospel ( Matthew 3:15; Matthew 21:32). The first use is found in the narrative material preceding the first discourse ( Matthew 3:15) in which Jesus demonstrates true righteousness prior to teaching on the topic in the Sermon on the Mount. Thus, the motif of righteousness is embedded within the first discourse, in which Jesus teaches on God's true standard of righteousness for mankind. 200] Thus, Jesus demonstrates true righteousness; then He teaches on this topic. This literary evidence reflects the common theme between the first narrative section and discourse of demonstrating and teaching God's standard of righteousness, which is indoctrination.

200] Christopher R. Smith, "Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew ," in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 545.

Sanctification: Indoctrination- Exodus 16-40 Versus The First Discourse which Establishes the Laws of the Kingdom - Just as the book of Exodus establishes the doctrine of the nation of Israel by the giving of the Ten Commandments and statutes, so the Sermon on the Mount establishes the doctrine of the children of the Kingdom of Heaven. After the King is inaugurated as the Messiah by water baptism, He then delivers His "Inaugural Address," called the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29). The fact that this Sermon makes clear references to the Ten Commandments reminds us of how Moses must have delivered them to the children of Israel in the book of Exodus. In His Sermon, Jesus interprets the Mosaic Law correctly for the Jews. Thus, we establish a parallel with the giving of the Law in Exodus and the first discourse in that they both serve to indoctrinate the children of God. The one Old Testament prophecy of this division in Matthew's Gospel is Matthew 4:14-16, which quotes Isaiah 91-2. The fulfillment of this prophecy reinforces the theme of this section of Matthew's Gospel, which states that He brought light, or understanding of God's Word, into the region of Galilee by teaching doctrine.

Matthew 4:14-16, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up."

Here is a summary of this section of Matthew:

A. Narrative: The Kingdom of God Arrives ( Matthew 4:12-25) - Matthew 4:12-25 contains the narrative that precedes its respective discourse ( Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29), which emphasizes the teachings of the Kingdom of Heaven, a theme which I call "indoctrination." As with all narrative material that precedes a discourse, the author records one Old Testament citation as a fulfillment of the theme of this section of material. Immediately after His temptation Jesus Christ began His Galilean ministry ( Matthew 4:12-25) in fulfillment of Isaiah 9:1-2. Thus, we can interpret the light that shone upon the land of Zebulum and Naphtali as the teaching of God's Word from the lips of Jesus Christ. This teaching is recorded in the Sermon on the Mount.

Isaiah 9:1-2, "Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined."

B. The First Discourse- The Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29) - Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29 records the Sermon on the Mount, which is perhaps the best known passage in the New Testament. This sermon is more accurately a teaching lesson, for the Gospel of Matthew reflects Jesus in His office and ministry as a Teacher, while Mark's Gospel records His preaching ministry. 201] Thus, scholars refer to the five "discourses" in the Gospel of Matthew. In this discourse Jesus gives to the people the Laws of the Kingdom of Heaven, in which He lays the foundational doctrines for the Kingdom.

201] Scholars have long recognized Matthew's emphasis on Jesus as a rabbi or teacher. See E. von Dubschtz, "Matthas als Rabbi und Katechet," in Zeitschrift fr die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 27 (1928): 338-348; idem, "Matthew as Rabbi and Catechist," in The Interpretation of Matthew , ed. Graham Stanton (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983), 19-29; Robert K. McIver, "Twentieth Century Approaches to the Matthean Community," in Andrews University Seminary Studies (Spring 1999): 23-24.

The Sermon on the Mount will also serve as His inaugural address as the King of the Jews, in which He tells the people about the laws that are to govern the Kingdom of God. This new government is not a democracy where a leader is elected. Rather, it is a kingdom by which a king is chosen by royal birth, and whose rule endures throughout the life of the King. Its constitution and civil laws are not written and voted upon by the people as in a democracy and reads, "We the people…" as the constitution of the United States reads. But this is a kingdom by which the king's words serve as the Law. This is why Jesus says in His Sermon, "Ye have heard that it was said…but I say unto you." His Word takes authority over all pervious law. In a kingdom the king is honored, even worshipped. There can be no protests and demonstrations to impeach a king. This would only happen in a democracy.

How the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29 Reflects the Structure of Matthew's Gospel - The Sermon on the Mount is clearly the most popular passage of Matthew's Gospel. This sermon offers through Jesus' teaching ministry a summary of the five discourses recorded in the Gospel. This sermon follows the thematic scheme of God's plan of redemption: justification, indoctrination, divine service, perseverance amidst worldliness, perseverance amidst false doctrines, and glorification. The sermon also reflects the underlying theme of Matthew's Gospel, which is the testimony of Jesus as the Messiah and King of the Jews.

Justification ( Matthew 5:1-16) See Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11

Indoctrination ( Matthew 5:17-48) See Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 7:29

Divine Service ( Matthew 6:1-18) See Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1

Perseverance: Worldliness ( Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12) See Matthew 13:1-52

Perseverance: False Doctrines ( Matthew 7:13-20) See Matthew 18:1-35

Glorification ( Matthew 7:21-23) See Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46

Summary and Application ( Matthew 7:24-29)

Here is a summary of the six sections of the Sermon on the Mount:

1. Justification ( Matthew 5:1-16) - In the first section of the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 5:1-16) Jesus Christ teaches the people about true justification before God by delivering the Beatitudes and two metaphors. The Beatitudes ( Matthew 5:1-12) emphasizes how a person is justified in the Kingdom of Heaven while the two metaphors comparing God's children to salt and light ( Matthew 5:13-16) serve to illustrate their role as a testimony to humanity. Note the proposed outline:

a) The Beatitudes: Nine Characteristics of God's Children ( Matthew 5:1-12) - The Beatitudes are found in Matthew 5:1-12. Webster says this English word is derived from the Latin word "beatitudo," which means "blessed or happy." This passage reveals the blessedness of the Christian way of life. The teachings in the Sermon on the Mount are based upon the Mosaic Law. The blessings and curses under the Mosaic Law were emphatically clear in the minds of the Jews. They were taught that obedience brings blessings and that disobedience brings curses. Therefore, Jesus begins teaching the Laws of the Kingdom of God by explaining the true ways to receive the blessings of God. The Beatitudes introduce the Laws of the Kingdom of Heaven much like Moses laid down the Ten Commandments to introduce the Mosaic Law and its civil statutes so that they would be prepared to take their journey into the Promised Land.

From reading the parallel passage in Luke 6:20-23, it seems that Jesus is addressing the afflicted of God's children.

The Beatitudes lay a foundation for the Sermon on the Mount by giving the characteristics of those who are members of this heavenly Kingdom. Just as God called the children of Israel out of Egypt and set them apart, so does Jesus identify the true children of God and sets them apart for the work of the Kingdom of God.

b) The Salt and Light ( Matthew 5:13-16) - In Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus compares God's children to the salt of the earth and calls them the light of the world. Jesus has just given nine characteristics of the children of God in the Beatitudes ( Matthew 5:1-12). Matthew 5:13-16 reveals to us that these children are to serve two purposes on earth. As the salt of the earth, they preserve the world from God's pending wrath. As the light of the world, they carry the revelation of God's divine plan of redemption for mankind. When a child of God is walking in the virtues of the Beatitudes, he is serving as stay of God's wrath and as a bearer of God's grace. Thus, after calling out the children of God in verses 3-12, just as God called the children of Israel out of Egypt and separated them, Jesus then tells them in this passage ( Matthew 5:13-16) what their work is on this earth. They are to walk in the virtues found in verses 3-12in order that they might serve as salt to withhold God's wrath and as a light to reveal God's grace. Thus, Matthew 5:13-16 is about Christian service. We can only be the salt of the earth or the light of the world as we serve the Lord.

2. Indoctrination: The Laws of the Kingdom ( Matthew 5:17-48) - Matthew 5:17-48 emphasizes the process of indoctrination for God's children after they have experienced genuine conversion and justification. In this passage of Scripture Jesus teaches the people the meaning of the original intent of the Law of Moses. In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus refers to divine authority of the Law of Moses, which serves as an introduction to His teaching on the Ten Commandments in Matthew 5:21-48. This introduction ( Matthew 5:17-20) says that true righteousness means something different from what they see in the lifestyle of the scribes and the Pharisees. Therefore, these four verses serve as a basis of how true righteous, or the keeping of the laws of God, proceeds from the heart and not from the letter. In the passage following this introduction ( Matthew 5:17-20), Jesus teaches us how to follow the Ten Commandments from our hearts ( Matthew 5:21-48).

In Matthew 5:21-48 Jesus takes some of the Ten Commandments and statutes of the Mosaic Law to teach on the laws of the Kingdom. This passage in the Sermon on the Mount can be likened to the giving of the Law of Moses at Mount Sinai. Just as Moses delivered the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel, so now Jesus teaches the true meaning of these Ten Commandments. In the passage following His introduction about true righteousness ( Matthew 5:17-20), Jesus now teaches us how to follow the Ten Commandments from our hearts and not from the letter of the Law ( Matthew 5:21-48). He teaches us on three of the Ten Commandments and on two statues of the Law of Moses.

Matthew 1:17-20 - The Fulfillment of the Law

Matthew 5:21-26 - The Sixth Commandment on Murder.

Matthew 5:27-32 - The Seventh Commandment on Adultery.

Matthew 5:33-37 - The Ninth Commandment on Swearing

Matthew 5:38-42 - Law of Retribution ( Exodus 21:24)

Matthew 5:43-48 - Law of Your Enemies ( Leviticus 19:18)

Why would Jesus teach on only three of the Ten Commandments? Perhaps the answer is found in the content of these three commandments. Since man is a three-fold make-up, spirit, soul and body, Jesus used these three commandments to deal with these three parts of man's make-up. For example, the teaching on murder deals with a sin that proceeds from the heart. Adultery deals with the fleshly lusts that proceed from the body. Swearing deals with our words, which proceed from our mind, which is the realm of the soul. Therefore, Jesus dealt briefly with how a man is to walk in spirit, soul and body.

3. Divine Service in the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 6:1-18) - In Matthew 6:1-18 Jesus teaches on sanctification in preparation for divine service. In this section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ teaches the people about true sanctification in preparation for divine service to God through almsgiving, prayer and fasting. He will expound upon the topic of divine service in His second discourse in Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1 and actually send out twelve apostles for training in divine service.

Under the Mosaic Law a Levite or priest must sanctify himself in order to be qualified for Temple service. After Jesus identifies true children of God in the Beatitudes ( Matthew 5:3-12) and in describing them as salt and light ( Matthew 5:13-16), and after He delivers to them the true meaning of the Ten Commandments ( Matthew 5:17-48), He now tells them how to sanctify themselves for divine service on their journey to the Promised Land. Just as Moses sanctified the Tabernacle and the people for the journey, Jesus gives us three keys to become sanctified before God in Matthew 6:1-18, almsgiving, prayer and fasting. This will prepare us for the rest of the journey described in Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:29. We are to give of our substance in almsgiving ( Matthew 6:1-4), which acts of mercy sanctifies the heart; then we give our lives to prayer ( Matthew 6:5-15), which sanctifies the mind by giving us spiritual direction and understand; and we afflict our bodies by fasting ( Matthew 6:16-18). Together, these acts of piety will keep us strong in faith and in fellowship with God for the journey into our place of rest with God. Note the proposed outline:

a) Almsgiving (sanctifies the heart)

b) Prayer (sanctifies the mind)

c) Fasting (sanctifies the body)

4. Perseverance Amidst Worldliness ( Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12) - After Jesus calls the true children of God out in the Beatitudes ( Matthew 5:3-12) and tells them their work ( Matthew 5:13-16), and after He delivers to them the meaning of the Ten Commandments ( Matthew 5:17-48), and after He tells them how to sanctify themselves for divine service through almsgiving, prayer and fasting ( Matthew 6:1-18), He now tells them how to perseverance amidst worldliness so that they will be able to find their place of rest with God. He will expound upon this topic again in His third discourse consisting of parables of man's reactions to Gospel ( Matthew 13:1-52). Jesus talks about seeking God first, judging one another, and giving and receiving. Note the proposed outline:

a) Seeking God First (The Heart) Matthew 6:19-34

b) Judging One Another (The Mind) Matthew 7:1-6

c) Giving and Receiving (The Body) Matthew 7:7-12

5. Perseverance Amidst False Doctrine ( Matthew 7:13-20) - In Matthew 7:13-20 Jesus places emphasis upon the need to persevere amidst offences and false doctrines within the Church. In this passage Jesus teaches us about the dangers along our journey to Heaven. He tells us that the path is narrow and many will not make it ( Matthew 7:13-14). We are told that there are many detours to mislead us ( Matthew 7:15-20). Jesus will expound upon this topic in His fourth discourse about handling offences in the Kingdom of God ( Matthew 18:1-35).

a) The Narrow Way Matthew 7:13-14

b) False Prophets Matthew 7:15-20

6. Glorification: Entering the Promised Land by Doing the Will of the Father ( Matthew 7:21-23) - In Matthew 7:21-23 Jesus Christ teaches on the subject of how to enter into our future glorification in Heaven. It is only those who stay on course and do the will of the Father who will enter into Heaven. Jesus will expound upon this topic in His Olivet Discourse ( Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46).

Matthew 7:21-23 teaches us to learn to hear the voice of the Father and to do His will. This is the only way to avoid being misled by false prophets. According to the parallel passage in Luke , these verses in Matthew's Gospel are simply a continuation of the passage on the narrow gate in Matthew 7:13-14.

This teaching to the Jews is telling them that by their traditions no man is justified before God. Many people today spend their entire lives within the framework of a church denomination that does not emphasize the need to be saved, or born again. Just as the Jews in the time of Jesus trusted in their ancient heritage and traditions and good works, so do many church members believe that they are going to Heaven because they have been a member of a church and lived a relatively good life. I have asked people of denominations that do not emphasize the born again experience, such as many Anglican and Catholics churches, about what it takes to get to Heaven. They reply, "If I am a good person," or, "If I attend church regularly." They base their relationship with God on good works; and this the exact mentality we see in those who come to Jesus in Matthew 7:22 as they declare their good works before Him. However, the theme of the Sermon on the Mount is a discourse on true righteousness before God, which takes place only in the lives of those with a pure heart who put their faith and trust in Him.

7. Summary and Application ( Matthew 7:24-29) - In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus Christ summaries His message by telling the people to apply the Sermon on the Mount to their personal lives. Matthew 7:28-29 serves as a transitional sentence that the author uses between the five major sections of the Gospel.

IV. Sanctification (Divine Service) ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 11:1) - The emphasis of Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 11:1 is about the work of the Kingdom of God. After Jesus Christ is inaugurated King in the narrative material of Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11, the Kingdom of God comes ( Matthew 4:12-25). Jesus then gives His inaugural address, which we call the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29). He is now ready to teach His disciples the work of the Kingdom ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 11:1). The Gospel of Matthew will follow the pattern of presenting narrative material followed by a major discourse that relates to the narrative material. In the same way, the Sermon on the Mount was related to the narrative material preceding it. We now move into a new section of the Gospel made up of narrative material ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38) followed by Jesus' second discourse ( Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1). The narrative material in this section gives us the story of Jesus training the twelve disciples by example as He works miracles and healings so that He can then send them out to do the same. 202] This narrative material records ten particular miracles that Jesus performed covering a full spectrum of types of healings and miracles, as well as two accounts of Jesus healing the multitudes, ending with a call for labourers to enter the harvest field. Thus, the discourse where Jesus sends out disciples into this harvest field naturally follows this narrative. One obvious literary structure that ties this narrative to the discourse that follows is the phrase "healing all sickness and all disease," a phrase the author uses to close the narrative material ( Matthew 9:35) and repeats it in the opening of the discourse material ( Matthew 10:1). This second major division of material in the Gospel of Matthew ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 11:1) reflects the theme of the Pastoral Epistles in that both of them emphasize divine service in the Kingdom of Heaven and the New Testament Church.

202] The thematic relationship between the narrative material ( to 9:38) and the discourse that follows (10:1 to 10:42) has already been recognized in scholarship. For example, Benjamin Bacon discusses their parallel themes by saying, "Mt is a ‘converted rabbi,' a Christian legalist. Each of the ‘five books' of his ‘syntaxis of the logia' of Jesus begins with an introductory narrative and closes with a stereotyped formula linking its discourse to the next succeeding narrative section." Bacon again says, "The theme of Mt"s second Book appears in both its narrative and discourse divisions. The compilation is intended to meet the needs of the itinerant ‘gospeller'…The ten mighty works of Jesus related consecutively in chh 8 f. form thus the most appropriate possible prelude to the Discourse of ch 10. They advance from simple healings in the first group (8:1-17) to mastery of unclean spirits (cf. Mark 3:15) in the second (8:18-34), and finally in 9:1-26 to actual raising of the dead to life. The appended two healings of blind and deaf-mute in 9:27-34form something of an anti-climax, but are seemingly attached to complete a list of ten." See Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), 81, 361-362.

The one Old Testament prophecy of this division in Matthew's Gospel is Matthew 8:17, which quotes Isaiah 53:4 and simply states the office and ministry and calling of the Church of Jesus Christ, reflecting the theme of divine service in this division of Matthew.

Matthew 8:17, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."

Isaiah 53:4, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."

The section of Matthew emphasizing sanctification through divine service ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 11:1) closes with a transitional sentence that concludes each of the five discourses, telling us that Jesus had ended His teaching ( Matthew 11:1).

Matthew 11:1, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."

Literary Evidence of a Common Theme between the Second Narrative Section and the Discourse that Follows - There is literary evidence that the second narrative section shares a common theme with the discourse that follows. The motif of Jesus' authority is first mentioned at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 7:29); but it is carried forward into the next narrative section ( Matthew 8:9; Matthew 9:6; Matthew 9:8) as Jesus demonstrates to His disciples His authority over the storm, over the paralytic, and over the leper. He will then commission twelve disciples by giving them this same authority to carry out public ministry ( Matthew 10:1). While the Greek word ἐ ξουσί α is used five times within Matthew 7:29 to Matthew 10:1, it only occurs five other times outside this passage in Matthew's Gospel ( Matthew 21:23 2], 24, 27; Matthew 28:18). 203] Thus, the authority motif is clearly present here. This authority motif provides literary evidence that the narrative material ( Matthew 8-9) reflects the theme of the discourse that follows ( Matthew 10). This literary evidence reflects the common theme between the second narrative and discourse of divine service in the Kingdom of Heaven.

203] Christopher R. Smith, "Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew ," in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 545.

Sanctification: Divine Service- Leviticus Versus The Second Discourse, which Establishes the Divine Service of the Ministry- As the book of Leviticus sets in order the Levitical priesthood, so did Jesus Christ call out His the twelve apostles and send them forth to serve the Lord in the ministry in Matthew 10:1-42. The narrative passage in Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38 emphasizes Jesus performing the work of the Kingdom in preparation for Him calling forth and sending out the twelve to do these same works in His second discourse in Matthew 10:1-42. Thus, we establish a parallel with Leviticus and the second discourse because they both establish the divine service for those called into the ministry. The one Old Testament prophecy of this division in Matthew's Gospel is Matthew 8:17, which quotes Isaiah 54:4 and simply states the office and ministry and calling of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 8:17, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."

Isaiah 53:4, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."

A. Narrative Material: Jesus at Work Training His Disciples ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38) - In Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38 Jesus heals people and works miracles in order to train the twelve to go out and do the same. Thus, the narrative passage in Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38 emphasizes Jesus performing the work of the Kingdom in preparation for Him calling forth and sending out the twelve to do these same works in His second discourse in Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1. The emphasis in Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38 of Jesus' ministry in the Kingdom of Heaven serves as a testimony to the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:4. In other words, this passage of Scripture testifies to the fact that bodily healing is a part of the atonement.

Isaiah 53:4, "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted."

In this narrative section of Matthew's Gospel, the author compiles three sets of three miracle testimonies by weaving discussions on discipleship between each triplicate set of miracles. 204] The author gives us three examples of Jesus healing sick people: a leper, a centurion's servant, and Peter's mother-in-law with a fever ( Matthew 8:1-17) as a demonstration of God's ability and willingness to heal all sickness and disease of His children as part of the atonement ( Matthew 8:16-17). These three healing testimonies are followed by narrative material revealing the cost of discipleship ( Matthew 8:18-22), in which Jesus explains to the disciples that if God is willing to minister to humanity, should we not respond in love and be willing to minister for Him? Matthew next gives a second set of three miracles: Jesus takes authority over nature by calming the storm, over demons by casting them out, and over sin by forgiving the paralytic ( Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8). These three miracles testify of the authority of the name of Jesus over all of creation. This second set of miracles is also followed by narrative material in which Jesus justifies the calling of disciples in the work of the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 9:9-17). Matthew then gives a third set of three miracles: Jesus heals the woman with an issue of blood and restores Jarius' daughter back to life, He restores sight to the blind, and He restores speech to a dumb man ( Matthew 9:18-34). These three miracles testify of the positive effects of faith in the heart of the believer to receive healing. This testimony is again followed by narrative material regarding the prayer to send forth disciples into the harvest fields ( Matthew 9:35-38). Thus, woven in between these three groups of miracles where Jesus heals the multitudes are teachings on discipleship. 205] Once the disciples understood that there were three aspects to divine healing, they could go forth and perform the same miracles that Jesus had performed. Once they understood that it was God's Will to heal everyone, and once they saw Jesus demonstrate the authority of His name, and once they understood the role of the individual to believe God's Word, they were equipped to be sent forth in the Ministry.

204] Within Matthew 8:1 to 9:38, Matthew records ten miracles compiled into three sets of three testimonies. The number "ten" in the Scriptures reflects the concept of the concept of multiple occurrences. For example, when Jacob told Laban that he had changed his wages ten times, John Gill understands the phrase "ten times" in Numbers 14:22 as an idiom to mean a rounded number, which is equivalent to "time after time," thus "numerous times." He says that although the Jews counted ten literal occasions when Israel tempted the Lord during the wilderness journeys, Aben Ezra gives this phrase a figurative meaning of "many times." Gill lists ten literal occasions, "twice at the sea, Exodus 14:11; twice concerning water, Exodus 15:23; twice about manna, Exodus 16:2; twice about quails, Exodus 16:12; once by the calf, Exodus 32:1; and once in the wilderness of Paran, Numbers 14:1, which last and tenth was the present temptation." John Gill, Numbers , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Numbers 14:22.

205] Craig Keener acknowledges the three sets of miracles (; 8:23-28; 9:18-34) with intervening passages where Jesus teaches others to acknowledge His authority over them (8:18-22; 9:9-17; 9:35; 9:36-37). See Craig S. Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1999), 258; Grant Osborne proposes a similar literary structure for this passage, saying, "An analysis of this section finds three blocks of three miracles each (8:1-17: 8:23-9:8; 9:18-34), broken by discipleship sections (8:18-22; 9:9-13, 14-17)." See Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 23.

Scholars have frequently supplied a thematic scheme to these triplicate set of miracles. For example Willoughby Allen groups these three sets of miracles as "healing, power, and restoration;" 206] Albright and Mann group these three sets of miracles as "healings, authority, and restoration;" 207] Donald Guthrie groups these triplicate of miracles as "healings, power, and restoration;" 208] and Grant Osborne says, "The first set concerns authority over illness, the second set authority over nature, demons, and paralysis, and the third set authority over disabilities and death. The primary thrust is Jesus' all-embracing power and authority…" 209] The comments regarding Jesus healing the multitudes ( Matthew 8:16-17, Matthew 9:35-38) and ministering to the publicans and sinners ( Matthew 9:10-13) suggest to the readers that Matthew recorded only a few types of miracles in order to show His disciples (and us) how Jesus could heal every type of sickness and disease presented to him. The additional topic of Jesus teachings on the cost of discipleship ( Matthew 8:18-22), the work of the disciple in the Kingdom of heaven ( Matthew 9:9-17) and the prayer to send forth disciples into the harvest fields ( Matthew 9:34-38) are interwoven within this section of material, suggesting that Jesus is preparing His disciples for the work of the ministry in the next discourse ( Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1). Jesus will address the theme of the three triplicate sets of miracles in His commission to the disciples in the discourse that follows. These three themes are (1) God's ability and willingness to heal every child of God, (2) the authority of His name, and (3) the aspect of faith in the heart of the believer to receive healing. 210] Thus, Jesus equips His disciples for the work of the ministry by teaching them that healing is in the atonement, and it is implemented through the authority of the name of Jesus Christ through faith in His name.

206] Willoughby C. Allen, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew , in The International Critical Commentary, eds. Charles Augustus Briggs and Samuel Rolles Driver (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907), lxv.

207] W. F. Albright, and C. S. Mann, Matthew , in Anchor Bible Commentary, vol 26 (Doubleday, London: Yale University Press, c 1971, 1987), lvii.

208] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 42.

209] Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 23.

210] Grant Osborne acknowledges the two themes of authority and faith in Matthew 8-9. See Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 280-281.

These three aspects of ministry in the Kingdom of God and in the New Testament Church are reflected in the life and ministry of the seventy as they cast out demons in the name of Jesus ( Luke 10:17), of Jesus as He acknowledged the faith of the Syro-Phoenician woman ( Matthew 15:28), of Peter as he healed in the name of Jesus in response to the faith of the lame man ( Acts 3:16), and of Paul as he operated in the gifts of the Spirit in response to crippled man's faith ( Acts 14:9). In contrast, Jesus could not work many miracles in Nazareth because of their unbelief ( Matthew 13:58, Mark 6:5).

Luke 10:17, "And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name."

Matthew 15:28, "Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour."

Acts 3:16, "And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all."

Acts 14:9, "The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,"

Matthew 13:58, "And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief."

Mark 6:5, "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them."

Regarding the choice of miracles recorded in Matthew 8-9, it is important to note that Jesus was training the Twelve to minister healing to the people prior to the day of Pentecost when they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, Jesus is demonstrating to the Twelve how to heal apart from the anointing. This is why the first set of miracles show Jesus teaching the people that it is God's will for them to be healed, while the second set of miracles show Jesus demonstrating the authority of His name over various aspects of creation, such as sickness and disease, that are out of order, and in the third set of miracles Jesus demonstrates the role of the people in their need to respond in faith to His word to heal them. At no time in Matthew 8-9 does Jesus heal through the gifts of the Spirit and through the anointing, as we see Him doing in other Gospel passages. This is because He did not want to ask His disciples to do something that they were not yet equipped to do until the day of Pentecost.

Here is a proposed outline:

1. Three Miracles Demonstrating God's Will to Heal All (Man's Mind: Understanding God's Will for Healing) ( Matthew 8:1-17) - The three miracles of healing recorded in Matthew 8:1-17 show us that Jesus was willing and able to heal all types of diseases. 211] These three healings clearly demonstrate God's will that everyone be healed ( Matthew 8:2-3; Matthew 8:7). Prior to sending out the disciples, Jesus demonstrated to them God's plan of redemption for Israel included divine healing for everyone. The key verses in this passage of Scripture are Matthew 8:16-17, which is the conclusion to these three miracles, where Jesus healed them all, demonstrating that healing is a part of the atonement. The disciples were being trained by these examples of healing prior to being sent out in the next discourse, although they did not yet know this was about to take place. Part of their preparation for ministry was to understand that they were to go out and freely heal everyone, for this was God's will. This passage of Scripture testifies to the fact that the atonement of Jesus Christ is unlimited not only in respect to the forgiveness of the sins of all mankind, unlimited in respect of healing as well.

211] Alfred Plummer calls these triplicate of miracles "three miracles of healing," in contrast to the other triplicate of miracles in this same narrative section of Matthew. See Alfred Plummer, An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910), 128.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) Jesus Cleanses a Leper ( Matthew 8:1-4) - Matthew 8:1-4 tells us of the healing of a leper, which is the first of three testimonies that God is willing to heal everyone.

It takes no faith to say that God is able, for we all know that God is able. The fallen angels know that God is able, for they know his power. However, it takes faith to say, "He will." God says that He is able when He reveals His power; but He reveals His love when He says, "I will." The leper believed in God's power, knowing that Jesus was able; but He did not know God's love until Jesus said, "I will."

b) Jesus Heals the Centurion's Servant ( Matthew 8:5-13) - Matthew 8:5-15 tells us the story of Jesus healing the centurion's servant as a second testimony of God's will to heal everyone. One important truth revealed in this passage of Scripture is the centurion"s faith, which was limited to Jesus' spoken word, compared to others who wanted Him to lay hands upon them, or touch His garments. Note that Jesus also marveled at the great faith of the Syro-Phoenician woman in Matthew 15:21-28. These were the only two people that Jesus ever commended for having "great faith." Both limited their answer to prayer to the words of Jesus. Neither of these two individuals were Israelites.

Joseph Prince tells the story of when the Lord spoke to him to study about the centurion and the Syro-Phoenician woman in regards to his teachings on grace. The Lord asked him to note the one thing that they both had in common. He looked at each character carefully, but only saw their differences. One was a woman, and the other a man. One was an illustrious Roman soldier, the other a poor woman. He finally asked the Lord for the answer, and He replied that they were both Gentiles. Therefore, they did not know the Law or its condemnation. They were only conscience of Jesus Christ and the grace that He was liberally bestowing upon the people. In contrast, the Pharisees were fully conscience of the Law, and as a result of this mindset, they could not accept the grace of God being given to mankind through Jesus Christ. The Pharisees could only see men as condemned sinners unqualified for God's grace. 212]

212] Joseph Prince, Destined to Reign, on Lighthouse Television (Kampala, Uganda), television program, 8 December 2009.

c) Peter's Mother-in-Law ( Matthew 8:14-17) - Matthew 8:14-17 gives us the third miracle testifying of God's will to heal everyone. In these verses, Matthew demonstrates that Jesus did not express His will to heal only two individuals, but His desire was to heal everyone, testifying how He healed Peter's mother-in-law, then all who came to Him.

2. The Cost of Discipleship ( Matthew 8:18-22) - Matthew 8:18-22 is the first of three important narrative sections placed immediately after three witnesses of Jesus' healing ministry that reflects the theme of the upcoming discourse ( Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1), which is the divine call to discipleship and Christian service in the Kingdom of Heaven. Some of the disciples who were following Jesus had not counted the cost of discipleship ( Matthew 8:18-22). and Jesus responded to two rash statements by some of His followers. His response reveals the true cost of what it means to become His disciple. Following this narrative material ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38), Jesus will select His twelve apostles by choosing those who have paid the cost of discipleship ( Matthew 10:1-4). For example, Peter will later say, "Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?" ( Matthew 19:27). Jesus asks for a commitment from men in light of God's commitment to the atonement and healing all who were sick.

3. Three Miracles Demonstrating Jesus' Authority (Man's Body: Physical Demonstration of Jesus' Divine Authority) ( Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8) - Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8 gives us the story of three miracles performed by Jesus Christ which demonstrated His authority over all things. He had authority over nature by calming the storm; He had authority over the spirit realm by casting out demons; and He had authority as only God does to forgive the sins of mankind by forgiving the paralytic. Matthew 9:8 is the key verse to these three miracles recorded in Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8, which says, "But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power [ ἐ ξουσί α] unto men." This statement reveals the common factor that they all share, which is the demonstration of Jesus' authority over all aspects of life, over nature, over the spiritual realm, and even over sin. These three miracles were done in order to demonstrate to the disciples the authority of the name of Jesus with which they were to forth when preaching the Gospel and healing the sick. 213]

213] Alfred Plummer calls this triplicate of miracles "three miracles of power" in contrast to the other triplicate of miracles in this same narrative section of Matthew. He says these three particular miracles are grouped to demonstrate Jesus' power "over the forces of nature, over evil spirits, and over sin and its consequences." See Alfred Plummer, An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910), 128.

It may be possible to suggest that the storm represents the physical realm, the demons represents the spiritual realm, and the paralytic represents the human realm where only God has the authority over mankind to forgive sins. Thus, Jesus has authority over every realm of God's creation.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) The Calming the Storm ( Matthew 8:23-27) - Matthew 8:23-27 tells us the story of Jesus calming the storm. This story demonstrates that Jesus held authority over nature, or over the physical realm.

b) The Healing of the Demoniacs ( Matthew 8:28-34) - Matthew 8:28-34 tells us the story of Jesus healing two men possessed with a legion of demons. Jesus cast out many demons during His earthly ministry. However, I believe this story was selected because it so clearly reflected Jesus' authority over the demonic realm. This event stood out in the mind of the author because it pointed out that Jesus had the authority to deliver the worst of demoniacs. It shows that Jesus held all authority over the spiritual realm.

c) The Healing of the Paralytic ( Matthew 9:1-8) - Matthew 9:1-8 tells the story of Jesus healing the paralytic by forgiving his sins. When comparing this narrative material in the Synoptic Gospels, their individual themes are clearly reflected. Mark makes the unique statement that He was preaching the Word unto them ( Mark 2:2), reflecting the office of the evangelist. Luke makes the unique statement that He was teaching the people and the power of the Lord was present to heal them ( Luke 5:17), reflecting the office and anointing of the prophet. Thus, we can see a clear emphasis in Mark's version of an evangelist preaching of the Gospel with signs following, which is the foundation theme of this Gospel. Luke's parallel passage emphasizes Jesus' power and anointing in the office of the prophet; and within the context of Luke's literary structure, Jesus is demonstrating to His disciples His authority over sin. Matthew makes no such comments, but rather places emphasis in this section of narrative material on His ability to heal all manner of sickness and disease in order to demonstrate the healing ministry to which He was about to commission His disciples.

4. A Description of Discipleship ( Matthew 9:9-17) - Matthew 9:9-17 is the second of three important narrative sections placed immediately after three witnesses of Jesus' healing ministry that reflects the theme of the upcoming discourse ( Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1), which is the divine call to discipleship and Christian service in the Kingdom of Heaven. This second section gives a description of true discipleship in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus calls Matthew , who forsakes all ( Matthew 9:9) and follows Him as they feast with sinners ( Matthew 9:10-13) and He ignores the traditional Jewish role of fasting ( Matthew 9:14-17). This story is placed within narrative material that places emphasis upon Jesus training His disciples ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38) in order to send them out ( Matthew 10:1-42). In its immediate context, Jesus has just demonstrated His authority over nature, over the demonic realm, and over sin and sickness. He now calls His disciples to forsake the traditions of men in order to walk in the same divine authority of His name, no longer being bound by the fear of men through their traditions.

5. Three Miracles Requiring Faith in Jesus for Healing (Man's Heart: Faith in God's Word) ( Matthew 9:18-34) - Matthew 9:18-34 gives us three stories of how Jesus responded to the people's faith in Him to heal them ( Matthew 9:22; Matthew 9:28-29). These three miracles testify of the important aspect of a person's need to put their faith in Jesus to heal them because it is a part of the atonement. 214] These stories testify to man's heart to believe His Word.

214] Grant Osborne acknowledges the dominate theme of faith from those who receive healing in Matthew 9:18-34. See Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 345.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) The Ruler's Daughter and the Woman with Issue of Blood ( Matthew 9:18-26) - Matthew 9:18-26 tells us the stories of the woman with the issue of blood being healed by touching the helm of Jesus' garment while He was on His way to raise Jarius' daughter from the dead. This story is placed with narrative material that places emphasis upon Jesus training His disciples ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38) in order to send them out ( Matthew 10:1-42). The story of the ruler's daughter and the woman with the issue of blood reveals the need for God's children to put their faith in Him to heal because it is a part of the atonement.

b) Jesus Heals Two Blind Men ( Matthew 9:27-31) - Matthew 9:27-31 records the story of Jesus restoring sight to two blind men. This story is placed with narrative material the places emphasis upon Jesus training His disciples ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38) in order to send them out ( Matthew 10:1-42). The story of Jesus healing two blind men reveals the need for God's children to put their faith in Him to heal because it is a part of the atonement.

c) Jesus Heals a Dumb Man ( Matthew 9:32-34) - Matthew 9:32-34 records the story of Jesus healing a dumb man. This story is placed with narrative material the places emphasis upon Jesus training His disciples ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38) in order to send them out ( Matthew 10:1-42). The story of Jesus healing the dumb man reveals the response of the multitudes to Jesus' public ministry and the impending persecution coming from the Jewish leaders.

6. The Prayer to Send Forth Disciples into the Harvest Fields ( Matthew 9:35-38) - Matthew 9:35-38 is the third of three important narrative sections placed immediately after three witnesses of Jesus' healing ministry that reflects the theme of the upcoming discourse ( Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1), which is the divine call to discipleship and Christian service in the Kingdom of Heaven. This third section tells the story of how Jesus healed the multitudes; then He called His disciples to pray for the Lord to send them into the harvest field of souls. This story is placed within narrative material that places emphasis upon Jesus training His disciples ( Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38) in order to send them out to do the work of the ministry ( Matthew 10:1-42).

B. The Second Discourse (Sending Out the Twelve Apostles) ( Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1) - Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1 gives us the second major discourse recording in the Gospel of Matthew. In this discourse Jesus prepares and sends out His twelve disciples. In the previous verses, Jesus was moved with compassion because He saw the multitudes destitute and without hope ( Matthew 9:35-38). Thus, as in the time of Moses, there arose a need to delegate His authority to others, because the work was great (See Exodus 18:13-27 and Numbers 11:16-30).

Exodus 18:17-18, "And Moses" father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone."

Numbers 11:17, "And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone."

Jesus could not carry the burden alone. His passion to heal and deliver God's people was so strong that He prepared His disciples to do the same. Therefore, in Matthew 10:1-42 Jesus calls twelve apostles and later seventy disciples who will help His carry this burden. This passage of Scripture can be divided into four sections in which Jesus calls the Twelve ( Matthew 10:1-4), commissions them with the task ( Matthew 10:5-15), warns them of pending persecutions ( Matthew 10:16-39), and exhorts them to persevere based upon earthly and eternal rewards ( Matthew 10:40-42).

Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Appointment of the Twelve Apostles ( Matthew 10:1-4) - Matthew 10:1-4 gives us the names of the twelve disciples whom Jesus appointed as apostles. When comparing this passage to the parallel passages in Mark and Luke , it becomes clear that each Gospel account mentions a different aspect of this event in order to reflect the underlying theme of each Gospel. For example, Matthew states that Jesus gave the apostles authority to cast out devils and to heal the sick. It becomes clear that Matthew's account places emphasis upon Jesus sending out of the twelve to do the work of the ministry. In contrast, Mark's account places emphasis upon the proclamation of the Gospel with miracles accompanying their preaching when it says, "And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:" ( Matthew 3:14-15) These verses sound similar to the commission of Jesus Christ that closes Mark's Gospel. Thus, Mark places emphasis upon the preaching of the Gospel with signs following, which is the underlying theme of his Gospel. Luke's account makes no reference to the twelve apostles preaching of the Gospel or miracles; but rather, it mentions Jesus' time in prayer in order to choose the twelve and their appointment, for prayer is the prerequisite of the prophetic utterance.

2. The Commissioning of the Twelve Apostles ( Matthew 10:5-15) - Matthew 10:5-15 gives us the story of Jesus commissioning His twelve apostles before sending them out. The Twelve are charged to preach the Gospel and heal the sick. They are to entrust the care of earthly provisions to divine providence and bless those who support their ministry.

3. Many Will Reject the Gospel: Jesus Exhorts His Disciples to Fear God Amidst Persecutions ( Matthew 10:16-39) - The subject of Matthew 10:16-39 is about rejection and persecution. Jesus exhorts His disciples to fear God rather than man because they will be persecuted ( Matthew 10:16-26). They were to speak what He tells them to speak ( Matthew 10:27-31). If they do not speak forth God's Word from fear of Prayer of Manasseh , Jesus will not speak of him before the Father ( Matthew 10:32-33). The Gospel message was not intended to bring peace, but rather division ( Matthew 10:34-39). This passage will be followed with Jesus' promise that some will receive the Gospel message ( Matthew 10:40-42). Here is a proposed outline:

a) The Gospel Brings Persecutions

b) Speak What the Lord Tells Us to Speak

c) Confessing Christ Before Men -33

d) The Gospel Brings Division, not Peace

4. Some Will Accept the Proclamation of the Gospel: The Rewards of Faithfulness- ( Matthew 10:40-42) - In Matthew 10:40-42 Jesus tells His disciples that some will accept the message of the Gospel and receive his reward.

5. Conclusion ( Matthew 11:1)

V. Sanctification (Perseverance and Man's Rejection of the Preaching of the Kingdom of God): (Persecutions from Without) ( Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 13:53) - Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 13:53 emphasizes Israel's rejection of the various testimonies of the Gospel as well as the persecutions from religious leaders against those who serve in the Kingdom of God. 215] The narrative passage in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 emphasizes the rejection of the various testimonies of John the Baptist and Jesus, of the Scriptures, and of physical miracles. In this passage of Scripture Jesus demonstrates to His disciples how to respond to persecutions. This rejection and the persecutions that followed arose not because of the messenger of God, but because the people were rejecting the testimonies that God had given to them so that they might believe and be saved. It appropriately follows Jesus' commissioning and sending out of the twelve disciples in the previous passage. This passage tells us about His rejection by the Jewish people amidst His miracles and how He rebuked them for their hardness of hearts. Yet in the midst of rejection Jesus walked in meekness. We will see how Jesus faced doubt and rejection from His forerunner John the Baptist, from the cities of Israel, from the Pharisees, and from His family. In other words, Jesus faced rejection from all sectors of the Jewish society. This passage, which gives us an understanding of how the Kingdom of Heaven is received among men, prepares us for the third discourse in which Jesus teaches on the Parables of the Kingdom in Matthew 13:1-53 in order to explain how the message of the Kingdom is received and rejected in various ways by men. Because of this emphasis on rejecting and accepting the Gospel, this narrative material does not emphasis Jesus' healing ministry, as did the material found in Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38. However, it does take up the theme of Jesus' discourse of Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1 in which Jesus warned His disciples of persecutions and rejection by even their families ( Matthew 10:34-39) as He Himself faced ( Matthew 12:46-50). This material can be compared to the General Epistles of Hebrews ,, James , and 1Peter in that they both deal with the perseverance of the saints amongst persecutions from without the Church.

215] Benjamin Bacon identifies the theme of Matthew 11:1 to 13:53 as Israel's blindness and rejection of the Gospel and its revelation "to ‘the little ones' of Jesus' spiritual Kingdom." He says, "Hence Matthew , at the close of his account of the heralding of the message by Jesus throughout Galilee, and his further dissemination of it through the mission of the Twelve to preach and to heal, can hardly do otherwise logically than to continue his story by an account of ‘the stumbling of Israel at the word'; a narrative whose complement is the reception of it by the remnant of the ‘people of the soil,' who prove themselves the true kindred of Jesus by ‘hearing and doing the will of God.'" See Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), 376, 396; Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 411.

There are three Old Testament prophecies referred to in this division of Matthew's Gospel. The first one is found in Matthew 12:17-21, which is a quote from Isaiah 42:1-4, and serves to reveal how Jesus ministered the Gospel with gentleness in the midst of persecution, reflecting the theme of this division of Matthew.

Matthew 12:17-21, "That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust."

The second prophecy is found in Matthew 13:14-15, which is a quote from Isaiah 6:9-10, which predicts the hardness of heart of the Jews to the preaching of the Gospel.

Matthew 13:14-15, "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people"s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."

Isaiah 6:9-10, "And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."

The third prophecy is found in Matthew 13:34-35, which is a quote from Psalm 78:2, revealing how Jesus taught the multitudes in parables because they were not His true followers.

Matthew 13:34-35, "All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world."

Psalm 78:2, "I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:"

These three fulfillments of Scripture support the emphasis of this division of Matthew's Gospel, which is serving the Lord in the midst of persecutions from without the Church.

The section of Matthew emphasizing sanctification through perseverance from persecutions without ( Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 13:53) closes with a transitional sentence that concludes each of the five discourses, telling us that Jesus had ended His teaching ( Matthew 13:53).

Matthew 13:53, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence."

Literary Evidence of a Common Theme between the Third Narrative Section and the Discourse that Follows - There is literary evidence that the third narrative section shares a common theme with the discourse that follows. The first literary evidence of a common theme is found in the use of the Greek words σκανδαλί ζω and σκά νδαλον, key words Jesus uses in the opening of the third narrative section ( Matthew 11:6), and three times during the third discourse, in the midst and at the closing of the third discourse (11:21, 41, 57). 216] Jesus encounters offenses in the third narrative section ( Matthew 11:6) and He teaches on offense in the discourse that follows ( Matthew 13:21; Matthew 13:57). The second literary evidence is found in the words of Jesus when He says, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear," a statement that is found in the opening passage of the third narrative section ( Matthew 11:15), and twice during the third discourse, in the midst and at the closing of the third discourse ( Matthew 13:15; Matthew 13:43). Both of these literary evidences reflect the common theme between the third narrative and the third discourse of the servant of God's need to persevere in the faith in the midst of opposition to the Kingdom of Heaven.

216] Christopher R. Smith, "Literary Evidences of a FiveFold Structure in the Gospel of Matthew ," in New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 546.

Sanctification: Perseverance: Numbers Versus the Third Discourse, which Deals with Persecutions from Without- The narrative passage in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 emphasizes the many ways that people received, rejected and questioned the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. This passage, which gives us an understanding of how the Kingdom of Heaven is received among men, and it prepares us for the third discourse when Jesus teaches on the Parables in Matthew 13:1-52 in order to explain how persecutions from without accompany the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. This service, or work, of the Kingdom reminds us of the book of Numbers , which discusses the perseverance of the children of Israel in their wilderness journey. This narrative material in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:40 tells us the manner in which Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. For this reason this passage tells us about His rejection by the Jewish people amidst His miracles and how He rebuked them for their hardness of hearts. Yet in the midst of rejection Jesus walked in meekness. This meekness in Christian service is the duty of the Levitical priesthood.

A. Narrative Material: Persecutions and Man's Reactions to the Proclamation of the Kingdom of God ( Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50) - The emphasis of the narrative material in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 is upon "hostility and rejection" (Hagner) or persecution (Osborne) in Jesus' public ministry. 217] However, this narrative section carries forward the previous themes as well, seen in the fact that Jesus continues to train the Twelve as He performs miracles and ministers to the people (the theme of the second major division). In this third major division, Jesus faces increasing persecution from the Jewish leaders, a motif that only surfaced occasionally in the previous section ( Matthew 9:3-6; Matthew 9:11-13; Matthew 9:34). In the third narrative section, the disciples observe how Jesus handles hostility and rejection while continuing to preach, teach, and heal in His public ministry. This narrative material is related to the third major discourse that will follow ( Matthew 13:1-53) in that Jesus will then teach His disciples on the topic of persecution and perseverance in the Kingdom of Heaven through the use of parables. Matthew 12:15-21 reveals how this narrative material also serves as a testimony of the fulfillment of Isaiah 42:1-4.

217] Donald Hagner entitles the narrative material in Matthew 11:2 to 12:50 as "The Negative Response to Jesus." In reference to Matthew 12:15-21, Donald Hagner says, "In the present context of hostility and rejection, this passage takes on special significance." See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 33A, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004), comments on Matthew 11:2 to 12:50 and Matthew 12:15-21in "Form/Structure/Setting." See also Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 411.

Isaiah 42:1-4, "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law."

The prophecy of Isaiah 42:1-4 tells us the manner in which Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom by walking in meekness in the midst of rejection by certain Israelite cities and persecution from the Jewish religious leaders. In response, Jesus rebukes them for their hardness of hearts, but calls those who were willing to hear to follow Him in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus will continue to withdraw Himself from those who oppose Him in the fourth narrative section in fulfillment of Isaiah 42:1-4, which Matthew cites in Matthew 12:15-20. Examples of Jesus withdrawing are seen in Matthew 14:13; Matthew 15:21; Matthew 16:4. 218]

218] Gaechter X. Lon-Dufour notes the placement of these withdrawal verse in the fourth narrative section. See Gaechter X. Lon-Dufour, "Vers l'announce de l'glise. Matthieu 14 ,1-16 ,20 ," in L'homme devant Dieu I (Mlanges H. de Lubac, Paris, 1963), 37-49; reprinted in Gaechter X. Lon-Dufour, tudes d'vangile (Ed. du Seuil, Paris, 1965), 231-254. This work is evaluated by Jerome Murphy-O'Connor, "The Structure of Matthew XIV-XVII," Revue Biblique 82 (1975): 364-365.

Grant Osborne divides Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 into three sections, with each section subdivided into three pericopae. The first section offers three pericopae that reveal how some of the cities had rejected the testimonies of John the Baptist and Jesus ( Matthew 11:2-19), so Jesus rebukes those cities ( Matthew 11:20-24). After giving thanks to the Father for His hand of divine providence in a difficult situation, Jesus calls those people who were willing to accept the testimony of John the Baptist and Him to come find true rest in Him ( Matthew 11:25-30). The second section offers three pericopae that reveal how the religious leaders had rejected the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures regarding the laws of the Sabbath ( Matthew 12:1-8 and Matthew 12:9-14); when Jesus knew of their plans to kill Him, He withdrew Himself in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy ( Matthew 12:15-21). This arrangement of three pericopae offered to the New Testament Church the opportunity to believe the testimony of Scripture in that Jesus fulfilled it on this occasion. The third section offers three pericopae that reveal how the religious leaders had rejected the testimony of Jesus' miracles when He healed the blind demoniac ( Matthew 12:22-37) and when they asked Him to perform a miracle for them ( Matthew 12:38-45); so Jesus responds by explaining the distinction between those children of the Kingdom of Heaven and those who are not ( Matthew 12:46-50). While the Jewish leaders rejected the works of Jesus, He explains that the true children of God are those who are doing the will of God just as He Himself is doing in His public ministry. Thus, the third pericope in each of these three sections records two prophetic sayings from Jesus and one from the Old Testament Scriptures. 219] Viewed as a thematic scheme, these three sections reveal how men have rejected the testimonies of John the Baptist, the Old Testament Scriptures, and the works and miracles of Jesus' public ministry, which testimonies are listed by John the apostle in his Gospel ( John 5:19-47):

219] Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 411-412.

1. Jesus Testifies of Himself

2. Testimony of John the Baptist

3. Testimony of His Works

4. Testimony of the Father

5. Testimony of the Scriptures

These testimonies speak to the triune nature of man. The messages of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ spoke to the hearts of men; the message of the Old Testament Scripture spoke to men's understanding; the testimony of miracles and physical healings spoke to man's physical bodies. Thus, God offers testimony to man: spirit, soul, and body. Much of Israel had rejected all of the testimonies given to them in Jesus' public ministry although their Law states that a matter is confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses.

Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Rejection of the Testimonies of John and Jesus (God's Testimony to Man's Heart) ( Matthew 11:2-24) - In Matthew 11:2-24 Jesus uses the occasion of John the Baptist's doubt regarding His own public ministry ( Matthew 11:2-6) to explain how many people have rejected the testimonies of John and Himself ( Matthew 11:7-19). He then rebukes those cities that rejected Him ( Matthew 11:20-24).

a) Jesus Explains the Rejection of the Gospel ( Matthew 11:2-19) - In Matthew 11:2-19 Jesus uses the occasion of John the Baptist's disciples bringing a message from him that questioned His public ministry ( Matthew 11:2-6) to explain how He and John have been rejected by Israel ( Matthew 11:7-19). Having seen the popularity of Jesus' public ministry soar among the multitudes in the previous narrative section ( Matthew 8-9), and having sent out the Twelve to minister among the people with a warning of rejection and persecutions to come, Jesus now explains that many cities have rejected His message of healing and redemption.

b) Jesus Rebukes the Cities that Reject Him ( Matthew 11:20-24) - Matthew 11:20-24 continues to place emphasis upon persecutions that come against the Kingdom of Heaven when certain cities reject Jesus' public ministry. In this passage of Scripture Jesus rebukes the cities who have rejected His ministry and that of John the Baptist.

2. Jesus' Calls the Multitudes to Follow Him ( Matthew 11:25-30) - The testimonies of John the Baptist and Jesus in Matthew 11:2-24 serve as God the Father's witness to the depravity of men's hearts; therefore, Jesus acknowledges that the Father will only reveal His divine truths to those with childlike faith in God. Jesus first gives thanks to the Father for His hand of divine providence in a difficult situation as He works in the hearts of men ( Matthew 11:25-27). Then in an act of faith and devotion to the Father, Jesus calls the multitudes to follow Him, knowing that the Father would reveal the Gospel to those of humble hearts with a childlike faith in Him ( Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus calls those people who were willing to accept the testimony of John the Baptist and Him to come find true rest in Him ( Matthew 11:28-30).

3. The Rejection of the Testimony of Old Testament Scripture (God's Testimony to Man's Understanding) ( Matthew 12:1-14) - Matthew 12:1-14 continues to place emphasis upon persecutions that come against the Kingdom of Heaven, leading to His third discourse on this topic in Matthew 13:1-53. While the preceding section emphasizes the rejection of the testimonies of John the Baptist and Jesus, this section emphasizes the rejection of the Old Testament Scriptures. This second section offers two pericopae that reveal how the religious leaders had rejected the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures regarding the laws of the Sabbath ( Matthew 12:1-8 and Matthew 12:9-14). This passage reveals the most aggressive response from the Pharisees at this point in His ministry as they reject the testimony of the Scriptures. This arrangement of pericopae offered to the New Testament Church the opportunity to believe the testimony of Scripture in that Jesus fulfilled it on this occasion.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) Persecution over the Law: Rejection by Jewish Leaders for Plucking Grain on the Sabbath ( Matthew 12:1-8) - In Matthew 12:1-8 Jesus is challenged by the Pharisees for plucking grain on the Sabbath. In response, Jesus refers to two Old Testament examples of those who acted contrary to the Law: (1) David ate the showbread in the Temple ( Matthew 12:3-4), and (2) the priests work on the Sabbath ( Matthew 12:5).

b) Persecution over the Law: Rejection by Jewish Leaders for Healing On the Sabbath ( Matthew 12:9-14) - In Matthew 12:9-14 Jesus challenges the Pharisees because of healing a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath day.

4. The Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecy Regarding Man's Response to the Kingdom of God ( Matthew 12:15-21) - When Jesus knew of the plans of the Jews to kill Him, He withdrew Himself in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy ( Matthew 12:15-21). The response of Jesus Christ to persecutions by withdrawing Himself and continuing His public ministry to the people rather than opposing the Jewish leaders is a fulfillment of Isaiah 42:1-4. The importance of this passage lies in the fact that this prophecy establishes the theme of narrative material found in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 13:52 on man's response to the Kingdom of God. This passage explains why Jesus did not try to make Himself known, but told many people whom He healed to not make Him known. The fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 42:1-4 here says that Jesus will not quarrel and cause strife. Song of Solomon , here He withdraws from the Pharisees. He is not trying to have a loud, boisterous ministry. He will encourage and heal the weak as prophesied in verse 20 of this passage. Song of Solomon , He healed all of the sick and feeble. In the end, Jesus will fulfill the prophecy of justice and judgment. Ironically, the one released by the people at Jesus' trial, Barabbas, had stirred up a rebellion and a revolution to the point of committing murder. Jesus, who was crucified, and thus showing the injustice of the people, had not strived like Barabbas, but conducted a peaceful ministry.

5. The Rejection of the Testimony of Miracles (God's Testimony to Man's Physical Body) ( Matthew 12:22-45) - Matthew 12:22-45 offers two pericopae that reveal how the religious leaders had rejected the testimony of Jesus' miracles when He healed the blind demoniac ( Matthew 12:22-37) and when they asked Him to perform a miracle for them ( Matthew 12:38-45). These miracles of healing men's physical bodies testified to those who were experienced the healing and to those who saw it that Jesus Christ is the Messiah.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) Persecution over Miracles: The Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit by the Pharisees ( Matthew 12:22-37) - In Matthew 12:22-37 Jesus heals the blind demoniac, after which the Pharisees reject this miracle. Jesus responds to their accusations that He was casting out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils by telling them that they were blaspheming against the Holy Spirit. Thus, a person blasphemes the Holy Spirit by crediting His office and ministry to the works of Satan. Jesus builds His case of judgment against them by explaining that they will be judged by their words spoken against Him and the Holy Spirit.

b) Persecution over Miracles: A Wicked Generation Seeks a Sign ( Matthew 12:38-45) - In Matthew 12:38-45 Jesus is asked to perform a miracle. In response, Jesus rebukes the religious leaders by telling that them a wicked heart seeks a sign since they have rejected the signs and testimony of Jesus Christ.

6. Jesus Declares the Family of the Kingdom ( Matthew 12:46-50) - In Matthew 12:46-50 Jesus explains that the true members of the Kingdom of Heaven are those who do God's will. The comment that a true child of the Kingdom does the will of God reflects man's physical offering service to the Lord. Jesus responds to man's rejection of the testimony of His miracles by explaining the distinction between those children of the Kingdom of Heaven and those who are not ( Matthew 12:46-50). While the Jewish leaders rejected the works of Jesus, He explains that the true children of God are those who are doing the will of God just as He Himself is doing in His public ministry. This pericope also addresses the issue of rejection and persecution that Jesus has faced throughout Matthew 11-12.

B. The Third Discourse: The Parables of the Kingdom of God Regarding Man's Reactions to the Proclamation of the Gospel ( Matthew 13:1-53) - Matthew 13:1-53 is the third major discourse found in the Gospel of Matthew. The previous narrative material in Matthew 11:1 to Matthew 12:50 emphasizes the many ways that people received, rejected, and questioned the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, offering us a better understanding of how the Kingdom of Heaven is received by some and rejected by others. The third narrative section prepares us for the third major discourse when Jesus teaches on the parables in Matthew 13:1-52, which explains how the message of the Kingdom preached by God's servants is received and rejected in various ways by men. The third discourse centers on His teachings of the parables of the Kingdom of Heaven that explain how men reject the Gospel and persecute those who preach it. The third discourse also serves as a testimony of the fulfillment of Isaiah 6:9-10, which reveals the hardness of men's hearts to the preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Psalm 78:2, which explains how God responds by hiding the truth from them.

Isaiah 6:9-10, "And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed."

Psalm 78:2, "I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old:"

Literary Evidence of the Theme of the Third Discourse - There is literary evidence that the third discourse carries the theme of Jesus teaching on the characteristics of the Kingdom of Heaven using parables, a view supported by the frequent use of certain Greek words and phrases. For example, the word παραβολή (parable) is found eleven times within the third discourse, and only five other times outside of this section ( Matthew 15:15; Matthew 21:33; Matthew 21:45; Matthew 22:1; Matthew 24:32). In addition, the word "kingdom" is used three times by itself ( Matthew 13:19; Matthew 13:38; Matthew 13:41), but the phrase "the kingdom of heaven (is like)" or "kingdom of their Father" is found nine times in this discourse ( Matthew 13:11; Matthew 13:24; Matthew 13:31; Matthew 13:33; Matthew 13:43-45; Matthew 13:47; Matthew 13:52). The phrase "the kingdom of heaven is like" is used six times within the third discourse and only twice outside this passage ( Matthew 20:1; Matthew 22:2).

Literary Evidence of the Structure of the Third Discourse- Jesus gives seven parables about the Kingdom of Heaven in the third discourse before concluding with a final parable that explains the role of the disciples in the midst of persecutions from men. Some of the parables in the third discourse are taught in pairs: the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven are taught as a pair, showing the increase of the Kingdom of Heaven; the parable of the hidden treasure and the great pearl are taught as a pair, showing the great value of the Kingdom of Heaven. Davies and Allison recognize literary evidence within the third discourse that supports a three-fold structure in the form of repetitive phrases. After presenting the Parable of the Sower and its interpretation ( Matthew 13:1-23) as the first subsection of the third discourse, Jesus sets forth the Parable of the Tares with its interpretation with two supporting parables ( Matthew 13:24-43). Within this second subsection He uses three similar phrases: "another parable he put forth to them" ( Matthew 13:24; Matthew 13:31) and "another parable he spoke to them" ( Matthew 13:33) that give it a literary distinction. The third subsection ( Matthew 13:44-50) also contains distinct literary elements when Jesus introduces the fifth, sixth, and seventh parables with the same phrase "again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like."

Davies and Allison offer a second argument for a three-fold structure in the third discourse by noting a parallel structure to Matthew 13:10-24 and Matthew 13:34-43. Both of these passages contain similar narrative content: a reference to the multitudes, an interpretation of the preceding parable, an explanation of the function of the parables, and a prophetic fulfillment of Old Testament Scripture.

Davies and Allison offer third argument for a three-fold structure by noting that Matthew structures two "triads" of parables in both the third and fifth discourses, which serves as testimony to a Matthean characteristic throughout the Gospel, that of triplicate arrangements. Thus, Davies and Allison favor a three-fold division to the third discourse above other proposed structures based upon these three arguments. 220]

220] W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gosp

The group of parables that Jesus taught in Matthew 13has a "parabolic scheme," or structure, that reflects the spiritual journey of those who endeavour to persevere in fulfilling the Great Commission. While the first discourse discusses five aspects of man's spiritual journey, and the second discourse discusses four aspects, the third discourse discusses three aspects: (1) perseverance in the midst of persecutions, (2) perseverance in the midst of false doctrines within the Church, and (3) glorification.

The Parabolic Scheme of the Third Discourse- Some of the parables in the third discourse are taught in pairs: the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven are taught as a pair, showing the increase of the Kingdom of Heaven; the parable of the hidden treasure and the great pearl are taught as a pair, showing the great value of the Kingdom of Heaven.

The group of parables that Jesus taught in Matthew 13has a "parabolic scheme," or structure, that reflects the spiritual journey of those who endeavour to persevere in fulfilling the Great Commission. The first parable, the Parable of the Sower, explains how there will be a diversity of responses from those who hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only those who persevere against Satan, cares of this world, and persecutions will produce fruit for the Kingdom. The second parable, the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, explains how Satan will plant persecutions and trials in the lives of God's servants; but we are to let God judge in the end as we fulfill the love walk with our enemies. The third and fourth parables, the Parables of the Mustard Seed and Leaven, emphasize the nature of the Kingdom of God to expand and grow as ministers of the Gospel are faithful in fulfilling the Great Commission. The fifth and sixth parables, the Parables of the Hidden Treasure and Pearl of Great Price, emphasize the hope that every believer must have in order to anchor his soul in his decision to follow Christ amidst persecutions and hardships. The final seventh Parable of the Fish Net serves to explain the end result of making disciples of all nations. On the final Day of Judgment believers will be represented from all nations. This the Great Commission, to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Parable of the Sower and its Interpretation (Perseverance amidst Persecutions) ( Matthew 13:1-23) - In Matthew 13:1-23 Jesus teaches the multitudes using the Parable of the Sower ( Matthew 13:1-9); but He explains privately to His disciples His purpose of teaching in parables ( Matthew 13:10-17), then He interprets this parable for them to understand ( Matthew 13:18-23). The message of the first parable, the Parable of the Sower, explains the many obstacles that the seed has to overcome in order to bear fruit, which Jesus interprets to mean that there will be a diversity of responses from those who hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, not everyone who hears the Gospel will adhere to its message and bear fruit. Only those who persevere against Satan, the cares of this world, and persecutions will produce fruit for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) First Parable: The Parable of the Sower ( Matthew 13:1-9) - Matthew 13:1-9 gives us the Parable of the Sower. The sower is the man who is sent by God to preach the Gospel. Since he does not know the condition of every man's heart, he must understand that he will receive a variety of responses. He is called to sow the seed of the Gospel to every man's heart, and not become by negative responses.

b) The Purpose of the Parables ( Matthew 13:10-17) - In Matthew 13:10-17 Jesus explains to His disciples the purpose of teaching in parables, which was because of the hardness of their hearts to hear and receive the Gospel. He will later say that this hardness of heart was in fulfillment of prophecy ( Matthew 13:14; Matthew 13:35).

c) The Parable of the Sower Interpreted ( Matthew 13:18-23) - In Matthew 13:18-23 Jesus interprets the Parable of the Sower for His disciples.

2. The Parable of the Tares with its Interpretation and Supporting Parables (Perseverance amidst False Doctrines within the Church) ( Matthew 13:24-43) - The second parable, the Parable of the Wheat and Tares, explains how Satan will plant persecutions and trials in the midst of God's servants; but we must allow God to judge in the end as we fulfill the love walk in the midst of our enemies. The third and fourth parables, the Parables of the Mustard Seed and Leaven, support the theme of the Parable of the Wheat and Tares in that they describe the growth of the Kingdom in the midst of the clean and the unclean, the leavened and the unleavened. As God's servants are faithful in in fulfilling the Great Commission, the Kingdom is certain to become the greatest upon earth.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) Second Parable: The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares ( Matthew 13:24-30) - In Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus tells the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. This parable is unique to Matthew's Gospel. The underlying emphasis of Jesus' third discourse ( Matthew 13:1-52) is on persecutions that arise when preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Thus, we can interpret the allegorical meanings in this parable in light of the underlying theme of persecutions, which suggests that the tares represent the persecutors and hardships that Satan plants among believers which everyone encounters while serving the Lord in this world. The reason the tares are left to grow along with the wheat is because we are not to embark on physical warfare against our persecutors. Rather, we are to patiently await God's final judgment against them while we persevere in the love walk. God will render His final judgment in the last day.

b) Third Parable: The Parable of the Mustard Seed ( Matthew 13:31-32) - In Matthew 13:31-32 Jesus tells us the story of the Parable of the Mustard Seed. If we examine this parable in the parallel account of Mark's Gospel, we see that it tells us the end result of our faithfulness to preach the Gospel; for it will cause the Kingdom of God to grow into the greatest kingdom upon the earth. While this parable in Mark's Gospel reflects our glorification at the end of our journey, Matthew's parable is set within the context of the proclamation of the Gospel in the midst of persecutions. Matthew's parable is teaching us that the Kingdom of God will grow and reach its fullness in the hearts of men in midst of the persecutions that accompany the proclamation of the Gospel. Of all the seeds sown into the hearts of men through teaching doctrine, the Gospel has the greatest potential to transform and change mankind.

The full maturity of the mustard seed reflects the fullness of the Kingdom of God upon the earth, which will take place at the Second Coming of Christ Jesus when He will rule and reign from Jerusalem. Thus, the fowls of the air that lodge under its shadow could symbolize the nations who come to Jerusalem to honor the Lord and find rest and peace as a result of doing so.

c) Fourth Parable: The Parable of the Leaven ( Matthew 13:33) - In Matthew 13:33 Jesus tells us the Parable of the Leaven. Luke's Gospel places the Parable of the Leaven with the Parable of the Mustard Seed, which implies a similar interpretation. We can now interpret the Parable of the Leaven as saying the same thing about the future fullness of the Kingdom of God upon earth. Just as the full maturity of the mustard seed reflects the fullness of the Kingdom of God upon the earth, which will take place at the Second Coming of Christ Jesus when He will rule and reign from Jerusalem, so does the leaven in the bread represent the same.

d) The Purpose of the Parables ( Matthew 13:34-35) - Matthew 13:34-35 explains that the teaching in parables by Jesus was a fulfillment of prophecy.

e) The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares Explained ( Matthew 13:36-43) - In Matthew 13:36-43 Jesus explains the meaning of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares which He told in Matthew 13:24-30. The "field" is the world, not the Church. This does not mean that we in the Church are not to judge sin and to purge sin out of our midst. 1 Corinthians 5:1-7 shows the Church how to properly do this. An illustration of this is in Acts 5:1-11, where the Church judged Ananias and Sapphira.

1 Corinthians 5:7, "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:"

3. Parables on the Glorification of the Kingdom ( Matthew 13:44-50) - The fifth and sixth parables, the Parables of the Hidden Treasure and Pearl of Great Price, emphasize the hope that every believer must have in order to anchor his soul in his decision to follow Christ amidst persecutions and hardships. The final seventh Parable of the Fish Net serves to explain the end result of making disciples of all nations, the glorification of the saints and judgment of the sinners. On the final Day of Judgment believers will be represented from all nations. This the Great Commission, to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) Fifth Parable: The Parable of the Hidden Treasure ( Matthew 13:44) - In Matthew 13:44 Jesus tells the Parable of the Hidden Treasure. This parable is unique to Matthew's Gospel. It is taught as a pair with the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price so that Jesus explains the same divine truth in two ways. These two parables emphasize the aspect of a believer's hope in his eternal rewards. This hope serves as an anchor of the soul to help us persevere in this life, which is the underlying theme of this third discourse.

b) Sixth Parable: The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price ( Matthew 13:45-46) - In Matthew 13:45-46 Jesus tells the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price. This parable is unique to Matthew's Gospel.

c) Seventh Parable: The Parable of the Net of Fishes ( Matthew 13:47-50) - In Matthew 13:47-50 Jesus tells the Parable of the Net of Fishes. This parable is unique to Matthew's Gospel. This final parable gives us an eschatological perspective on the Kingdom of Heaven. The metaphor of "casting our nets into the sea" suggests end result of making disciples of all nations. There will be converts from every nation, and those who reject the Gospel within every nation. Thus, the metaphor "of every kind" seems to represent the nations.

d) Conclusion to the Parables ( Matthew 13:51-52) - In Matthew 13:51-53 Jesus concludes His discourse by asking His disciples if they have now understood the meaning of these parables. After they acknowledge their understanding Jesus likens His disciples to scribes who must take these new concepts regarding the Kingdom of Heaven and reconcile them with the Old Testament with which they are so familiar.

4. Conclusion to Third Discourse ( Matthew 13:53)

VI. Sanctification (Perseverance and Handling Offences within the Kingdom of God): (Persecutions from Within) ( Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 18:35) - Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 18:35 emphasizes the theme of how God's children are to handle offences and persecutions over doctrinal issues within the Kingdom of Heaven. 221] The narrative passage of Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 17:27 emphasizes the many occasions when offences came into Jesus' ministry from the Jewish leaders and shows us how Jesus responded to offences. This narrative material builds upon the theme of the previous narrative material found in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 regarding man's reactions to the King. 222] This is because persecutions will come from those who adhere to false doctrines when we preach the Gospel and we must learn how to handle these offences. In this fourth narrative section, Jesus also explains to His disciples the dangers of offending others. Thus, the fourth discourse ( Matthew 18:1-35) teaches the disciples how to properly deal with these offences within the Church, which Jesus experiences in the preceding narrative passage.

221] Benjamin Bacon identifies the theme of to 18:35 as church government and the problems of church unity. He says, "Because of this unmistakable interest dominating the whole structure of Division B ( Matthew 18) we naturally expect from previous experience of our evangelist"s use of his material that Division A will lead up to this Discourse on church government with narrative selections of corresponding character. In reality such is the case…" See Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), 397, 410.

222] Craig Blomberg says two major themes are carried over from the previous narrative material, which are the increased intensity of the rejection of Jesus Christ and His message, and the progressive, Christological revelation of His identity to the Twelve. He says the development of these two themes create "sharper lines of demarcation between insiders and outsiders." See Craig L. Blomberg, Matthew , in The New American Commentary, vol 22 (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992), 226. David Turner describes the two leading themes in the fourth narrative section as "increased oppition and conflict" and the works and teachings of Jesus intended to increase the faith of His disciples. See David L. Turner, Matthew , in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 358.

The one Old Testament prophecy of this division in Matthew's Gospel is Matthew 15:7-9, which quotes Isaiah 29:13 and simply prophecies how God's own people would rejected the Gospel, reflecting the theme of this division of Matthew on persecutions from within.

Matthew 15:7-9, "Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

Isaiah 29:13, "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:"

In the fourth major discourse ( Matthew 18:1-35) that immediately follows the narrative material Jesus lays down principles for His disciples to follow when dealing with offences. He quotes Deuteronomy 19:15 as a guideline for His disciples to use when dealing with offences.

Deuteronomy 19:15, "One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established."

We may compares this major division of material to the General Epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3John and Jude in that they also emphasize persecutions that come from those who hold fast to false doctrines.

The section of Matthew emphasizing sanctification through perseverance from persecutions within ( Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 18:35) closes with a transitional sentence that concludes each of the five discourses, telling us that Jesus had ended His teaching ( Matthew 19:1).

Matthew 19:1, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;"

Literary Evidence of a Common Theme between the Fourth Narrative Section and the Discourse that Follows - There is literary evidence that connects the third narrative-discourse section with the fourth narrative-discourse section. While these two macro structures share the same theme of perseverance in the faith for the child of God, there is literary evidence to confirm this connection. 223] For example, the fourth narrative section is related in retrospect to the third discourse in the fact that the Greek word συνίημι is used nine times in the Gospel of Matthew , with six uses in the third discourse ( Matthew 13:13-15; Matthew 13:19; Matthew 13:23; Matthew 13:51) and three uses in the fourth narrative ( Matthew 15:10; Matthew 16:12; Matthew 17:13). This literary evidence reflects the common theme of the servant of God's need to persevere in the faith in the midst of offenses by hold fast to one's understanding and confession of faith in God's eternal Word. In addition, the fourth narrative section shares a common theme with the fourth discourse that follows in the use of the Greek words σκανδαλί ζω and σκά νδαλον, key words Jesus uses four times in the course of the fourth narrative ( Matthew 13:57; Matthew 15:12; Matthew 16:23; Matthew 17:27), as well as six times during the fourth discourse ( Matthew 18:6-7[three], 8, 9). Note that this key word opens and closes the fourth narrative section ( Matthew 13:57; Matthew 17:27).

223] The thematic scheme of perseverance connects third and fourth narrative-discourse sections. Scholars acknowledge the connection of these sections. For example, A. G. van Aarde says, " Matthew 13:53-17:27, the fourth micronarrative, in an associative manner relates retrospectively to the third discourse (13:1-52) and prospectively to the fourth discourse (18:1-35), while correlating concentrically with the corresponding third micronarrative (11:2-12:50)." He again says, "the "structural interrelatedness of chapters 13, 14-17,18 fits into the concentric and progressive structure of the Gospel of Matthew as a whole." See A. G. van Aarde, "Matthew's Portrayal of the Disciples and the Structure of Matthew 13:53 - 17:27 ," Neotestamentica 16 (1982): 21, 22.

Sanctification: Perseverance- Numbers Versus Fourth Discourse which Deals with Persecutions from Within- We see in the book of Numbers the establishment of the journey of perseverance that the children of Israel endured during the forty-year wilderness journey. In a similar way the fourth discourse on church discipline establishes the perseverance of the Church that every believer must endure.

The narrative passage of Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 17:27 emphasizes the many occasions when offences came into Jesus' ministry from the Jewish leaders. In this passage, Jesus explained to His disciples the dangers of offending others. Thus, the fourth discourse ( Matthew 18:1-35) teaches the disciples how to properly deal with these offences within the Church, which Jesus experiences in the preceding narrative passage.

In summary, the fact that Matthew 11-18 deals with obstacles and persecutions along the journey as a servant of the Lord is a clear reminder of how the children of Israel wandered in the desert facing similar challenges in the book of Numbers.

A. Narrative: Examples of Offences and Confessions of Faith in the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 17:27) - Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 17:27 deals with perseverance in the Kingdom of Heaven as does the previous narrative section ( Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50); however, the emphasis here is upon the rejection and acceptance of the doctrines of the Kingdom. This narrative section carries forward previous themes as well, seen in the fact that Jesus continues to train the Twelve as He performs miracles and ministers to the people (the theme of the second major division), and seen in the fact that Jesus faces increasing persecution from the Jewish leaders (the theme of the third major division). In addition, Jesus now reveals Himself to the Twelve and predicts His Passion and Resurrection. This narrative material is related to the fourth major discourse that will follow ( Matthew 18:1-35) in that Jesus will then teach His disciples on the same topic of how to deal with offenses. The emphasis in this narrative material is that it serves as a testimony of the fulfillment of Isaiah 29:13, reflecting the theme of this division of Matthew on persecutions from within.

Isaiah 29:13, "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:"

This prophecy tells us that there will be those who appear to be members of the Kingdom, but their doctrine in wrong because their hearts are not with God. The remedy to persevere amidst this challenge is to come to the revelation of God's Word, a doctrine founded upon the confession that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, a confession of faith made by Peter ( Matthew 16:16) upon which the doctrines of the New Testament Church are founded.

Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 17:27 has one of the most difficult structures to identify within the Gospel. 224] The key to understanding its structure is the fact that it generally alternates between those who deny the deity of Jesus Christ and those who acknowledge Him. Regarding the passages of denial, the Jews deny the testimony of Jesus and John the Baptist ( Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 14:12), the testimony of the Scriptures ( Matthew 15:1-20), and the testimony of Jesus' miracles ( Matthew 16:1-12). Regarding the passages of acceptance, David Turner recognizes clear "affirmations of faith" woven in the midst of these denials of Jesus' deity. 225] The pericopes that show the Jews denying the testimony of Jesus and John the Baptist are followed by a series of miracles that solicit a confession from the Twelve declaring Jesus as the Son of God ( Matthew 14:33). The pericope that shows the Jewish leaders denying the Scriptures for tradition is followed by the Syro-Phoenician woman's confession of faith in Jesus' words ( Matthew 15:28). The pericope that shows the Jews denying the testimony of miracles performed by Jesus is followed by the confession of Simon Peter at Caesarea Philippi that Jesus is the Son of God ( Matthew 16:16). These events climax when Jesus reveals various aspects of the atonement and the responsibility of His disciples to this revelation ( Matthew 16:21 to Matthew 17:27).

224] David L. Turner, Matthew , in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 357.

225] David L. Turner, Matthew , in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 357.

Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Rejection of the Doctrine of Jesus and John the Baptist ( Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 14:36) - In Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 14:36 emphasis is placed upon the rejection of the message and doctrine of Jesus Christ and of John the Baptist by the Jewish leaders ( Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 14:12) and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Son of God by the disciples ( Matthew 14:13-36).

a) The Rejection of Jesus' Doctrine at Nazareth ( Matthew 13:54-58) - Matthew 13:54-58 tells us the story of how the hometown of Nazareth rejected the doctrine of Jesus Christ. We find this parallel story in Luke's Gospel placed at the beginning of His Galilean ministry because Luke uses this story to show the authority and anointing of His teaching ministry. Mark's Gospel records this same story by placing emphasis upon how Jesus preached the Gospel with miracles following. Matthew's Gospel is the most brief as it simply emphasizes how Jesus faced offences to His doctrine and how He handled it.

b) The Rejection of John the Baptist's Doctrine by Herod ( Matthew 14:1-12) - Matthew 14:1-12 records rejection of John the Baptist's doctrine by Herod and his death. When comparing this story in the Synoptic Gospels, we see that Mark 6:14-29 records the most lengthy account of the death of John the Baptist. Mark gives more detail of the reason for his death, which was because of his preaching a Gospel of repentance to King Herod, and it records Herod's perplexity of Jesus' miracles; thus making an emphasis upon preaching and miracles. Luke's Gospel gives the shortest account by simply noting Herod's testimony of perplexity as to who Jesus was, having heard so many things about Him. Matthew's record of this account is placed among a collection of accounts of how to handle those who are offended by the doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven; for the death of John the Baptist was an opportunity to get offended.

c) The Acceptance of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ: Three Miracles ( Matthew 14:13-36) - Matthew 14:13-36 offers three testimonies of the acceptance of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. The multitudes received Him ( Matthew 14:13-21); the disciples acknowledged Him as the Son of God ( Matthew 14:22-33), and the men of Gennesaret accepted Him as the Messiah ( Matthew 14:34-36).

i) The Feeding of the Five Thousand ( Matthew 14:13-21) - Matthew 14:13-21 records the account of the feeding of the five thousand. Parallel passages are found in this well-known story in Mark 6:30-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:1-14. The bread that these people ate with Jesus represented man as having fellowship with God. The twelve baskets left over represent the service that man gives in His Name as an overflow of communion with Him. There were twelve baskets, one for each of the twelve disciples to bear witness to this miracle.

ii) Jesus Walks on the Water ( Matthew 14:22-33) - Matthew 14:22-33 records the amazing story of Jesus walking on the water as He made His way to His disciples' ship in the midst of a storm.

iii) Jesus Heals the Multitudes in Gennesaret ( Matthew 14:34-36) - Matthew 14:34-36 tells us of how Jesus healed many that were sick in the land of Gennesaret. The people of the region of Galilee received His ministry and were healed as a result.

2. The Rejection of the Doctrine of Old Testament Scriptures ( Matthew 15:1-39) - In Matthew 15:1-39 emphasis is placed upon the rejection by the Pharisees of the doctrine of the Old Testament Scriptures and the acceptance of Jesus' ministry by the Gentiles and Galileans.

a) Jesus Challenges the False Teachings of the Pharisees ( Matthew 15:1-9) - In Matthew 15:1-9 Jesus confronts the Pharisees who have rejected the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, challenging the false teachings of the Pharisees, who followed the traditions of the elders above the Mosaic Law. The context of this narrative material and fourth discourse will be offenses that come against God's people as a result of false doctrines.

b) Jesus Teaches in Parables on the Defilement of the Heart ( Matthew 15:10-20) - In Matthew 15:10-20 Jesus teaches the multitudes using a parable and explains the parable to His disciples in order to help them understand the defilement of men's hearts.

c) The Syro-Phoenician Woman's Great Faith in Jesus' Words ( Matthew 15:21-28) - In the story of the Syro-Phoenician woman, Jesus notes that she had great faith because she believed His Words. She is only one of two people in the Gospels that Jesus commends for great faith. The other person is the centurion (see Matthew 8:5-13). Neither of these people were Israelites.

d) Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand ( Matthew 15:29-39) - Matthew 15:29-39 records the story of Jesus feeding the four thousand by the Sea of Galilee.

3. The Rejection of the Miracles of Jesus ( Matthew 16:1-20) - In Matthew 16:1-20 emphasis is placed upon the rejection by the Pharisees of the miracles of Jesus Christ and the acknowledgement of Him by the disciples as the Son of God.

a) The Jews Seek After a Sign ( Matthew 16:1-4) - Matthew 16:1-4 records the story of how the Pharisees and Sadducees tested Jesus by seeking a sign from Him in order to find fault. Jesus Christ replied by telling the Pharisees that they could discern the natural sunlight and heavenly signs so as to determine the weather, but that they could not discern the divine light ( Matthew 16:1-4). The sun bears witness to the divine light of God the Creator since sunlight works in a similar way to God's divine creative light. Because of sin, mankind has been blinded from the recognition of this divine light ( 2 Corinthians 4:4).

2 Corinthians 4:4, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

b) Jesus Warns His Disciples of the Leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees ( Matthew 16:5-12) - The story in Matthew 16:5-12 of how Jesus warns His disciples about the leaven, or false doctrines, of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees naturally follows His rebuke to them in the previous passage. Jesus often spoke with the spiritual words while His disciples were initially trying to apply it to the situation around them. The emphasis upon false doctrine in this narrative material is because the theme of this passage is about offences because of false doctrines in the Kingdom of God. These offences are not coming from the multitudes but from those who appear to be within the Kingdom of God, that Isaiah , the religious leaders.

c) Peter's Confession of Christ's Deity at Caesarea Philippi ( Matthew 16:13-20) - Matthew 16:13-20 records the confession of Peter when he acknowledges Jesus Christ as the Christ, the Son of the Living God. The importance of this confession is that when Jesus saw that His disciples had received the divine revelation of who He was, His focus was immediately turned to the Cross (note Matthew 16:21).

The doctrine of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is the foundational doctrine of the New Testament Church. Upon this foundation the Church is built. Therefore, at Peter's confession, the "Church" is established upon the earth. This is why we have the first use in the New Testament of the word "church" within this passage ( Matthew 16:18). No earthly thing is able to shake this foundation once it is established upon the earth. This is why Jesus replies to Peter's confession by saying, "That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." We can see Satan fighting against this great revelation and its results as Peter is immediately tempted by Satan to rebuke Jesus ( Matthew 16:22-23).

Once this foundation was laid, Jesus had no more need to stay any longer upon the earth. His need was to complete the work of redemption on Calvary's Cross and return to Heaven so that He could send the Holy Spirit to strength Peter and those who were in agreement with his confession.

4. The Revelation of the Atonement of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 16:21 to Matthew 17:27) - With the Jewish leaders having rejected the doctrine of Jesus Christ and of John the Baptist, of the Holy Scriptures ( Matthew 15:1-39), and of His miracles ( Matthew 16:1-20), Jesus now begins to reveal various aspects of His atonement to those disciples who have faithfully followed Him ( Matthew 16:21 to Matthew 17:27). This passage of Scripture is structured as a triplicate set of revelations followed by explanations. In other words, Jesus will offer a revelation of Himself followed by an explanation of the requirements of discipleship in light of His Atonement.

a) The Revelation of the Cost of the Atonement and of Discipleship ( Matthew 16:21-28) - In Matthew 16:21-28 Jesus reveals the cost that He must pay for the atonement of mankind and the cost His disciples must pay in order to partake of that atonement. The cost of the atonement was the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 16:21-23), and the cost of partaking of this atonement was to lose one's life for His sake ( Matthew 16:24-28).

i) Jesus Begins to Foretell His Death and Resurrection ( Matthew 16:21-23) - We find the first mention of Jesus' Crucifixion in Matthew 16:21-23. Peter has just made his public confession in the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. The importance of this confession is that when Jesus saw that His disciples had received the divine revelation of who He was, His focus was immediately turned to the Cross (note Matthew 16:21). Since the Church is built upon the foundational doctrine of the deity of Jesus, Peter's confession is the first establishment of the Church upon the earth. Once this foundation was laid, Jesus had no more need to stay any longer upon the earth. His need was to complete the work of redemption on Calvary's Cross and return to Heaven so that He could send the Holy Spirit to strength Peter and those who were in agreement with his confession. This deeper revelation of Jesus Christ' pending Crucifixion was not revealed to His disciples until they believed that He was the promised Messiah. We can see Satan fighting against this great revelation and its results as Peter is immediately tempted by Satan to rebuke Jesus ( Matthew 16:22-23).

ii) The Cost of Discipleship ( Matthew 16:24-28) - Having revealed the cost that Jesus was about to pay for the atonement of mankind, Jesus immediately followed with an explanation of the role of the disciples in light of His atonement, which was the cost of one's life to follow Him.

b) The Revelation of the Divine Authority of Jesus Christ and of the New Testament Church ( Matthew 17:1-21) - In Matthew 17:1-21 Jesus Christ reveals His divine nature and authority to His disciples. When they harkened unto the heavenly voice that said, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleases. Hear Him" ( Matthew 17:5), their obedience would bring them to a position of divine authority in which nothing is impossible ( Matthew 17:20). In light of the Great Commission that Jesus will give to His disciples after His Resurrection, this passage of Scripture clearly serves as a prerequisite that prepares them to take the Gospel to the nations.

i) The Transfiguration of Jesus on the Mount ( Matthew 17:1-13) - Matthew 17:1-13 records the transfiguration of Jesus Christ on the Mount. Following Peter's confession of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ, He is ready to take His disciples a little deeper into the revelation of who He is. This event served not only to confirm to them His deity, but it anchored their souls in their faith in Jesus for the coming Crucifixion, when everyone's faith would be tested.

ii) The Healing of the Epileptic Son ( Matthew 17:14-21) - Matthew 17:14-21 records the story of the healing of a man's son from epileptic seizures caused by a demon. Within the context of Peter's confession ( Matthew 16:13-20) and Jesus' focus upon His impending death ( Matthew 16:21-28) we find Him for the first time rebuking His disciples for not being able to fulfill their ministry as He makes a reference to His soon coming departure. It is important that the disciples learn how to do the work for which they have been trained and will be commissioned.

It was clearly the epileptic father's faith in Jesus Christ that brought him to the disciples for the healing of his son; but the disciples lacked the faith to heal him. Jesus always walked in faith and was able to respond to this man's faith by healing his son. This walk of faith is what Jesus then taught His disciples as necessary in order to effectively minister to others.

c) The Revelation of the Divine Provisions of Those in the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 17:22-27) - In Matthew 17:22-27 Jesus reveals to His disciples for a second time His impending Passion and Resurrection ( Matthew 17:22-23) followed by an explanation and illustration of the divine provision for those disciples who obeyed the Son of God ( Matthew 17:24-27). This second testimony of His Passion and Resurrection serves as a confirmation and certainty of these events.

i) Jesus Foretells of His Death and Resurrection a Second Time ( Matthew 17:22-23) - In Matthew 16:22-23 Jesus offers His second testimony of His Passion and Resurrection following Peter's confession of the deity of the Lord.

ii) The Payment of the Tax Money ( Matthew 17:24-27) - The story of Jesus sending Peter to catch a fish in order to pay tribute in unique to the Gospel of Matthew. We know that Matthew was a tax collector, so this event must have stood out in his mind. Matthew uses this story to emphasis his theme of offences that is woven throughout this narrative material in Matthew 13:53 to Matthew 17:27. For Jesus says, "Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them," ( Matthew 17:27). Leon Morris says this story tells us that Jesus submitted Himself to the rules of men in order to avoid offenses even though He was truly only subject to His Heavenly Father. 226]

226] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew , in The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 451.

B. The Fourth Discourse: Dealing with Offences ( Matthew 18:1-35) - Matthew 18:1-35 gives us the fourth major discourse in which Jesus deals with offences that occur within the Kingdom of God. The parallel accounts of Mark and Luke record a dispute among the disciples as to who would be the greater in the Kingdom. Jesus opens His fourth major discourse in Matthew 18:1-5 by answering the question from His disciples regarding who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Evidently, the disciples believed that Jesus was about to overthrow the Roman rule, liberating Israel to rule itself, with Jesus as the new king. These disciples had forsaken all to follow Jesus, so they wanted to be one of those who ruled with the Messiah in this new kingdom. Instead of meeting their expected answers, Jesus tries to explain how to manage community relationships and offences in the Kingdom when He is gone. 227] He has demonstrated humility and forgiveness in the previous conflict narratives. For example, He was rejected by His own people in Nazareth ( Matthew 13:54-58); He responses to the death of John the Baptist without aggression or verbal assault against Herod ( Matthew 14:1-12); and He response with wisdom to the scribes and Pharisees who were rejecting Him ( Matthew 15:1-9; Matthew 16:1-4). Having demonstrated the greatest virtue in the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus now teaches His disciples how to practice humility among the community of believers ( Matthew 18:1-14) and forgiveness ( Matthew 18:15-35). While the disciples were concerned about themselves regarding their positions in the Kingdom, Jesus was concerned about those weaker believers who would soon join this community of faith.

227] David Turner says, "Jesus continues here what he began in earnest in Matthew 13:54—the preparation of his disciples to function as his community in his absence." See David L. Turner, Matthew , in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 431.

The fourth discourse is popularly divided into two major subsections that deal with humility ( Matthew 18:1-14) and forgiveness ( Matthew 18:15-35). David Turner supports this division with literary elements found within this discourse. He says that Matthew 19:14; Matthew 18:35 both serve as concluding remarks to a parable; these two verses begin with the Greek adverb οὕτως; and both verses refer to the Father's concern for His children. 228]

228] David L. Turner, Matthew , in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 432.

Literary Evidence of a Common Theme in the Fourth Discourse - There is literary evidence that the fourth discourse carries the motif of a community of believers, a view supported by the frequent use of Greek words that reflect a typical, first-century family unit: child, least of these, brother, father, fellow slave. David Turner lists words παιδίον (child) ( Matthew 18:2-5), ἀδελφός (brother) ( Matthew 18:15; Matthew 18:21; Matthew 18:35), σύνδουλος ( Matthew 18:29; Matthew 18:31; Matthew 18:33), and the phrase ἕνα τῶν μικρῶν τούτων (one of the least of these) ( Matthew 18:6; Matthew 18:10; Matthew 18:14). 229] Important to this list is the word πατρός ( Matthew 18:10; Matthew 18:14; Matthew 18:19; Matthew 18:35). These words are found throughout the fourth discourse as they unit it with the common theme of maintaining the unity of faith and love among the community of believers through humility and forgiveness.

229] David L. Turner, Matthew , in Baker Evangelical Commentary on the New Testament, eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein (Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 432.

Here is a proposed outline:

1. Greatness through Humility in the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 18:1-14) - In Matthew 18:1-14 Jesus deals with the virtue of humility as a condition of greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus demonstrates true humility by calling a child to Himself ( Matthew 18:1-5). He then warns that offences will surely come among the community of believers and that divine punishment is in store for such offenders ( Matthew 18:6-9). Jesus next explains to His disciples how valuable each and every member of the Kingdom of Heaven is in the eyes of the Father through the Parable of the Lost Sheep in order to help them understand this spiritual truth by using an earthly illustration ( Matthew 18:10-14).

Here is a proposed outline:

a) Jesus Describes Who is the Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 18:1-5) - Jesus opens His fourth major discourse in Matthew 18:1-5 by describing to His disciples who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. The theme of this teaching in Matthew 18:1-5 is about humility. He tells His disciples that they must become like little children ( Matthew 18:3). He did not mean that they were to be like children physically, because their bodies are underdeveloped. He did not mean mentally, because children are underdeveloped mentally. However, He explains in the following verse that they must be like children from the aspect of their tender, humble hearts ( Matthew 18:4). Jesus explains in this passage of Scripture that humility is the key to greatness in the kingdom of Heaven.

b) Jesus Explains that Offences Will Come ( Matthew 18:6-9) - In Matthew 18:6-9 Jesus warns that offences will come in the Kingdom of Heaven and that divine punishment is in store for such offenders.

c) Jesus Explains the Value of Each Member of the Kingdom of Heaven (The Parable of the Lost Sheep) ( Matthew 18:10-14) - In Matthew 18:10-14 Jesus explains to His disciples how valuable each and every member of the Kingdom of Heaven is in the eyes of the Father. He tells them the Parable of the Lost Sheep to help them understand this spiritual truth by using an earthly illustration.

2. Discipline and Forgiveness in the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 18:15-35) - Matthew 18:15-35 focuses upon how to exercise discipline and forgiveness in the community of faith as a remedy to offenses. Jesus gives His disciples some guidelines on how to deal with offences within the Church ( Matthew 18:15-20). Peter asks a practical question about the practice of forgiveness, and Jesus responds by teaching the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, explaining a spiritual truth by telling an earthly story; for this is the key to overcoming offences ( Matthew 18:21-35).

Here is a proposed outline:

a) Dealing With Offences Within the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 18:15-20) - In Matthew 18:15-20 Jesus gives His disciples some guidelines on how to deal with offences within the Church. This passage will be followed by Jesus teaching His disciples the importance of forgiveness ( Matthew 18:21-35).

Matthew 18:15-17 defines the role of the Church in bringing sin to judgment, while Matthew 18:18-20 defines the power of the New Testament church to bring sin unto judgment. Note that these verses are often used in regards to believers praying together. In this context, it specifically refers to dealing with sin in the church. These prayers for believers who come into agreement are to be used to judge the body of Christ.

b) Jesus Teaches on Forgiveness (The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant) ( Matthew 18:21-35) - In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus responds to Peter's question by teaching on the importance of forgiving one another in the Kingdom of Heaven; for this is the key to overcoming offences. He explains this spiritual truth by telling an earthly story in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. This passage of Scripture well illustrated to Peter and the other disciples the value of forgiving offences.

VII. Glorification ( Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 25:46) - Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 25:46 records the fifth major division of the Gospel of Matthew. The narrative material in this division ( Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39) emphasizes the need to serve the Lord after His departure while awaiting His expected Second Coming. 230] For example, the Parables of the Wicked Vinedressers and the Wedding Feast, which are found in this passage, teach on working in the kingdom while waiting for the return of the Master. We must await His Second Coming by doing the Father's will. Jesus also teaches on key issues that affect our lives most dramatically regarding our readiness for His Second Coming, such as marriage and riches. The cares of this world that most hinder our sanctification are marriage ( Matthew 19:1-12) and the pursuit of this world's goods ( Matthew 19:16 to Matthew 20:16). Those who do not heed His calling will perish if no fruit is shown. Jesus carries this theme of readiness and Christian service into His discourse with the Parables of the Virgins and the Parable of the Talents. Five virgins remained ready for the bridegroom. Two of the three servants were faithful with their master's goods, but one foolish virgin and the man who kept his one talent were cast into outer darkness. A key verse for this narrative material is Matthew 22:14, "For many are called, but few are chosen." This narrative passage ends with Jesus giving a final woe to the scribes and Pharisees as well as to the city of Jerusalem.

230] Benjamin Bacon identifies the theme of the fifth narrative-discourse section of Matthew's Gospel ( Matthew 19:1 to 25:46) as apocalyptic. He believes this theme follows a natural progression from the previous theme of Matthew's fourth narrative-discourse, saying, "It was inevitable that Mt"s fourth Book should lead up to a great Discourse on the Consummation as the climax of his Gospel." See Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), 412-413.

The discourse that follows ( Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46) teaches on the Second Coming of Jesus. Thus, He prepares His disciples for His departure and Second Coming. Much of this material can be found in the book of Revelation , which also deals with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Note that both narrative and discourse material contain warnings against being caught up with the cares of this world and exhortations to readiness for His Second Coming and to Christian service while waiting for His Return.

As with all of the narrative material, Matthew includes one Old Testament Scripture that is introduced with "that it might be fulfilled." In Matthew 21:4-5 we find a quote from Zechariah 9:9 which sets the underlying theme of this division of Matthew on eschatology, which is the coming of the King.

Matthew 21:4-5, "All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass."

Zechariah 9:9, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."

Glorification: Deuteronomy Versus Fifth Discourse Which Establishes a Future Hope - In the book of Deuteronomy , Moses gives the children the prophetic vision of their future hope for those who obey the Law and of future judgment for those who are disobedient. In like manner, the fifth discourse on Eschatology gives the prophecy of the future hope of the Church and judgment upon sinners.

The next narrative passage ( Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39) emphasizes the need to serve the Lord after His departure while awaiting His expected return. For example, the parables of the Wicked Vinedressers and the Wedding Feast teach on working in the kingdom while waiting for the return of the Master. This passage ends with Jesus giving a final woe to the scribes and Pharisees as well as to the city of Jerusalem. The discourse that follows ( Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46) teaches on His Second Coming. Thus, Jesus prepares His disciples for His departure. This reminds us of the purpose of the book of Deuteronomy , which was to prepare the children of Israel for the Promised Land. Both this passage in Matthew and the book of Deuteronomy give promises of blessings to those who obey the Lord and both give severe warnings of divine judgments to those who do not serve the Lord.

The one Old Testament prophecy found in this division in Matthew's Gospel is Matthew 21:4-5, which quotes Zechariah 9:9 and simply prophesies of the coming of the Messiah and supports the theme of this division of Matthew on eschatology.

Matthew 21:4-5, "All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass."

Zechariah 9:9, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."

A. Narrative: Jesus Prepares to Depart ( Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39) - In Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39 we have the narrative section that precedes the fifth and final discourse. This section of material emphasizes the future glorification of the Church. However, each subsequent narrative section becomes increasingly complex as it carries forward the previous themes while developing the next redemptive theme for the discourse that follows.

The central theme of Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39 is that many are called into the Kingdom of Heaven, but few are chosen ( Matthew 22:14). While God extends His call to everyone, many try to enter the kingdom based upon good works; however, God chooses those who yield to Him in utter dependence upon His grace, realizing that there is nothing good in them deserving of His divine blessings and eternal life. For example, while the Pharisees had obtained vast knowledge of the Law, often gathering to dispute various interpretations, they failed to be recipients of God's grace ( Matthew 19:3-12). In contrast, the children had very little knowledge of the Law, yet Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven was for such who come to Him in simple faith and trust ( Matthew 19:13-15). The rich, young ruler had every opportunity to fulfill the Law, with his youthful zeal and financial strength; yet, he fell short of God's grace ( Matthew 19:16-22). In contrast, the disciples forsook everything in life to follow Jesus, becoming recipients of His divine grace and eternal life ( Matthew 19:23-30). James and John and their mother failed to understand the sacrifice that would be made by Jesus, demanding a similar sacrifice from themselves; thus, the mother's request for grace was denied ( Matthew 20:17-28). In contrast, the two blind men were heard in that they utterly depended upon God's mercy, following Jesus after their healing as an expression of their sacrifice ( Matthew 20:29-34). While the multitudes received Jesus as their Messiah and King, becoming recipients of God's grace has He healed the blind and lame ( Matthew 21:1-14), the Pharisees fell short of divine grace because they denied the office and ministry of Jesus ( Matthew 21:15-17).

Here is a proposed outline:

1. Introduction ( Matthew 19:1-2) - Matthew 19:1-2 serves as an introduction to the fifth narrative section ( Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39). This introduction serves as a brief testimony of God's redemptive aspect of divine healing in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Within the fifth narrative-discourse block of Matthew's Gospel that emphasizes the Church's eternal glorification, healing remains a vital aspect of God's plan of redemption for mankind in this life.

3. The Testimony of Scripture Regarding Man's Eschatological Hope ( Matthew 19:3 to Matthew 20:16) - Theme- The testimony of Scripture regarding man's eschatological hope declares that God accepts man's faith and obedience to Him from the heart rather than through his own efforts of good works. Salvation comes by God's grace through man's faith in Him. Perhaps the testimony of the Scriptures is offered first among the other testimonies of Jesus, John the Baptist, His miracles, and God the Father because the Scriptures offer the strongest testimony in this area of man's redemption. This passage of Scripture is found within narrative material ( Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39) that immediately precedes the Escatalogical Discourse ( Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46). Since the five-discourse outline of the Gospel of Matthew reflects a common theme between the narrative material and the discourse that follows, this narrative passage in the fifth narrative section has an escatalogical emphasis as well the Olivet discourse that follows. Therfore, the rich young ruler's question of what he must do to inherit eternal life is an escatalogical question. Jesus' answer at the end of this passage is therefore cast in an escatalogical manner when He says, "So the last shall be first, and the first last." ( Matthew 20:16)

Structure - The story of the Pharisees with their question on divorce is placed beside the story of Jesus blessing the children in order to contrast man's efforts to obtain eternal life with the simplicity of entrusting oneself into God' grace. The Pharisees knew the Scriptures well; yet they trusted in their own good works for a right standing before God. For this reason, they refused to come to Jesus, whom the Scriptures declared to be the Messiah and Son of God ( Matthew 19:3-12). In contrast, the small children came to Jesus with little or no knowledge of the Scripture, entrusting themselves into His love and care in order to receive divine blessings ( Matthew 19:13-15). A second contrast is made between the story of the rich young ruler and the disciple's inquiry about forsaking all to follow Him. The rich young ruler was unable to fulfill the Law of Moses in that he could not relinquish his trust in earthly riches ( Matthew 19:16-26), while the disciples forsook all to follow Jesus, entirely entrusting themselves unto Him ( Matthew 19:27-30). Jesus concludes these two sets of lessons with the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard to explain how eternal rewards are not based upon the knowledge of the Law or upon good works, but solely upon divine grace being poure forth to those who in genuine faith entrust themselves into God's tender care ( Matthew 20:1-16).

Here is a proposed outline:

a) Trusting in the Knowledge of the Scriptures to Receive Eternal Life ( Matthew 19:3-15) - Matthew 19:3-15 Jesus reveals that eternal life does not come through the head knowledge of the Scriptures, but through simple faith in Jesus Christ, of whom the Scriptures testify to be the Son of God.

i) The Pharisees on the Law ( Matthew 19:3-9) - In Matthew 19:3-9 the Pharisees came to Jesus to ask Him which interpretation of the Law regarding the institution of marriage has God's blessings. Jesus explains God's original purpose and plan for marriage, which takes priority over the Law. While the Pharisees sought God's blessings through the Law, the children will gather around Jesus in Matthew 19:13-15 and receive His blessings on an entirely different base, that of divine mercy and grace. While the Pharisees based their right standing before God upon adherence to the Law, the children sought the priviledge to stand before Jesus based upon His love for them.

ii) The Inquiry of the Disciples ( Matthew 19:10-12) - In Matthew 19:10-12 the disciples inquire from Jesus about His dialogue with the Pharisees on marriage and divorce. The disciples had left all to follow Jesus so that those who were single became "eunuchs" for the Kingdom of Heaven, while Peter honored his existing marriage.

iii) Example of Those Entering the Kingdom ( Matthew 19:13-15) - In Matthew 19:13-15 Jesus teaches us about the role of child-like faith in the Kingdom of Heaven using children as an example a humble and pure heart, a heart that characterizes those who seek the Kingdom of Heaven. Within the context of this narrative passage, this pericope follows after a teaching dealing with the hardness of men's hearts in regards to the divine institution of marriage. In contrast to the hardness of heart of the Jewish leaders, children offer themselves to God in a humble and pure heart, a heart that characterizes those who seek the Kingdom of Heaven. While adults come to God believing they must offer good works in order to be received by Him, children come to God entirely dependent upon His grace. In contrast to the Pharisees who were very educated in the Scriptures, the child came to Jesus unhindered in simple faith and devotion.

b) Trusting in the Works of the Law to Receive Eternal Life ( Matthew 19:16-30) - In Matthew 19:16-30 Jesus explains to us the role and priority of riches and material possessions in the Kingdom of Heaven and cautions us on the dangers of covetousness. He takes the opportunity to teach on this subject when the rich young ruler asked Jesus about eternal life. Jesus explained that we must be ready to forsake the things of this world in order to partake of the Kingdom of Heaven. Any other choice is made because man trusts in his good works to please God. Jesus then illustrates this divine principle in the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard ( Matthew 20:1-16).

Here is a proposed outline:

i) Earthly Riches and the Law ( Matthew 19:16-22) - In Matthew 19:16-22 Jesus confronts a rich young ruler who asks Him how a man obtains eternal life ( Matthew 19:16). Jesus replied by requiring this particular person to sell all that he has and give to the poor and come follow Him in order to obtain eternal life ( Matthew 19:21). Jesus knew that this man trusted in his wealth to justify himself as a leader of society with much testimonies of doing good works ( Matthew 19:20). Jesus knew that this man must turn loose of his wealth as an act of faith in order to look towards God for his eternal rewards. Jesus wanted the man to demonstrate his faith by obedience. Although the rich young rule focused his question on life after death, Jesus reveals that eternal life begins the moment a person trusts in Him and follows Him. After this young man leaves in sorrow, Jesus explains to His disciples that they will inherit a hundred-fold in this life, and glorification with Him in eternity.

ii) The Inquiry of the Disciples ( Matthew 19:23-26) - After responding to the questions from the rich young ruler ( Matthew 19:16-22) Jesus turns to His disciples and teaches them on the dangers of earthly riches in relation to the priority of entering into eternal life.

iii) Example of Those Entering the Kingdom ( Matthew 19:27-30) - Just as the gathering of children served as a genuine example of those who are qualified to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven ( Matthew 19:13-15), so do the disciples serve the same example because they have forsaken all to follow Jesus.

c) The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard ( Matthew 20:1-16) - In Matthew 20:1-16 Jesus teaches to His disciples the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. The central idea of this parable is that God rewards mankind based upon His grace rather than upon man's good works. This concept is reversed in the carnal mind since man believes the greatest heavenly rewards come to those who present the most good works to God. 231]

231] Grant Osborne says, "This is closely connected to the previous verse () on "the last shall be first" and in fact concludes with that verse in reverse order (20:16). Thus this parable centers on the concept of reward and God's reversal of human concepts of pay/reward on the basis of God's grace rather than human effort." See Grant R. Osborne, Matthew , in Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. Clinton E. Arnold (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 725.

Jesus has just explained about the dangers of covetousness in Matthew 19:16-30 by saying that we must be ready to forsake the things of this world in order to be a part of the Kingdom of God. Any other choice is made because of covetousness, which is trusting in this world's riches. He now illustrates for His disciples the eternal outcome of such choices by telling the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard.

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard finds its context in the question asked by the rich young ruler ( Matthew 19:16-22). He asked Jesus Christ what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. He was a leading figure in society and could do many good works using his wealth. Thus, he trusted in his wealth as his means of justifying himself rather than in the message of repentance and faith in Jesus as the Christ. Yet, many poor sinners were following Jesus because they believed in Him. Therefore, this parable is a part of His answer, which explains how the first will be last and the last will be first. That Isaiah , those first in society are rejecting the Gospel, while those last in society are easily accepting Jesus.

Within this parable we have insight into God's perspective of His kingdom. The overall theme is that one's trust in worldly riches is a hindrance to eternal life. The rich young ruler was not able to turn loose of his material possessions. In contrast, we read in Luke 19:1-10 how Zacchaeus, a wealthy tax collector, did in fact use his wealth to help the poor as a testimony of his faith in God.

Regarding the allegorical meaning in the parable, those hired first would represent the members of society who have wealth and power, while those hired at the end of the day would represent the undesirable members of society. Those hired first expected higher wages based on their abundance of good works; for this was how society functions. Those in the parable who have laboured longest in the vineyard believe they have earned their wages. These labourers represent those in society who believe they have earned God's favor through their hard work, and see the evidence of God's favouir in their riches and power. Those in the parable who have labored the least realize that their wages come strictly by grace and not by their works. These labourers represent those in society who trust entirely in God's grace to receive His blessings.

The parable teaches us that men believe their degree of good works should determine their heavenly rewards as well. In contrast, those hired at the end of the day understood that their full day's wages were strictly based upon the grace of the householder, and not upon their good works. They became entirely dependent upon the land owner's grace for their reward. The equal wages for all represents the equality of conditions required by God for all men to become recipients of His divine grace. The rich young ruler was "first" in his society, but last in the kingdom of God. The sinners and tax collectors who followed Jesus were considered "last" in society, but were now "first" in the kingdom of God.

4. The Testimony of Jesus Regarding Man's Eschatological Hope ( Matthew 20:17 to Matthew 21:22) - Theme - The testimony of Jesus regarding man's eschatological hope declares that man must offer himself in sacrifice and servanthood through the example offered by Jesus Himself. The previous section ( Matthew 19:3 to Matthew 20:16) testifies that man cannot find redemption through head knowledge of the Scriptures, nor through his efforts to perform the duties of the Law, but through simple faith and dependence upon the grace of God. This section ( Matthew 20:17 to Matthew 21:22) now testifies that through prayer and faith in God's grace, He works abundantly in our lives to bring us to our destinies both in this life and in eternity. Man must offer himself to God as a living sacrifice after receiving God's grace and salvation in order to live an abundant life. Perhaps the testimony of Jesus is offered second among the other testimonies of the Scriptures, John the Baptist, His miracles, and God the Father because Jesus offers the second strongest testimony in this area of man's redemption.

Structure - This narrative section begins with Jesus testifying about His future passion and sacrifice on the Cross as an example of how to obtain eternal life ( Matthew 20:17-19). The story of the the mother of James and John requesting Jesus to exalt her sons ( Matthew 20:20-28) is placed beside the story of Jesus healing two blind men pleading for His mercy, who in turn follow Him as their expression of ultimate sacrifice to God ( Matthew 20:29-34). These two stories contrast man's views of obtaining eternal life based upon merited favor and God's principle of unmerited favor upon those who obtain His mercy by humbling themselves at the feet of Jesus. Jesus denied the request of the mother of James and John because such grace was not His to give, coming from the Father alone ( Matthew 20:20-23); however, He immediately answered the plea of the two blind men who based their request entirely upon God's mercy. The story of the the multitudes honoring the King ( Matthew 21:1-11) is placed beside the story of the Pharisees rejecting their King ( Matthew 21:12-17). These two stories contrast man's traditions of worship with the worship that God has ordained for Himself coming forth from the pure hearts of His children. Jesus then reveals to His disciples the authority in which His servants are to walk when they learn to serve the Lord sacrificially and worship Him in truth ( Matthew 21:18-22).

a) Exaltation in the Kingdom thru Servanthood ( Matthew 20:17-34) - Matthew 20:17-34 testifies of God's willingness to hear and answer our prayers although some prayers require a great deal of sacrifice our man's part. The mother of James and John approached Jesus with her request for God to exalt her sons. This request was not denied; rather, Jesus explained the conditions her sons had to meet in order to position before God as candidates for such blessings. The request of the two blind men is immediately answered because their healing was in the atonement of Jesus Christ and readily available to all who call upon Him in faith. The two blind men had nothing to offer God when approaching Jesus except themselves in their plea for His mercy, which is the foundation of all prayer according to Hebrews 4:16, "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

i) Jesus Foretells of His Death and Resurrection a Third Time ( Matthew 20:17-19) - Matthew 20:17-20 gives us the third mention of the Crucifixion. The first two mentions are:

Matthew 16:21, "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day."

Matthew 17:22-23, "And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry."

ii) The Mother's Request ( Matthew 20:20-23) - Matthew 20:20-23 records the request of the mother of James and John for Jesus to exalt her sons in His Kingdom. Jesus did not deny her request; rather He explained how this request can only be fulfilled as God's children yield themselves in divine sacrifice so that God the Father can exalt His faithful servants in due season. Jesus then explained that these two sons must offer themselves as a living sacrifice in order to qualify for such a reward, a reward that only God the Father could measure.

iii) The Inquiry of the Disciples ( Matthew 20:24-28) - In Matthew 20:24-28 Jesus explains to His disciples about becoming great in the Kingdom of Heaven. The mother of James and John , two close apostles, has just asked Him if they could sit at his right and left hand when He becomes king over Jerusalem and the Jewish people. The other ten disciples were angry about this request. However, Jesus answers them by explaining how any of the twelve can achieve this special recognition before God the Father. In other words, the request of the mother of James and John was not limited, but available for all who are willing to pay the price to become first in the Kingdom of Heaven.

It becomes clear that the disciples were expecting Jesus to overthrow the Roman oppression off of their people and set up an earthly kingdom. His earthly ministry was at its highest popularity as they were approaching Jerusalem. His triumphant entry into Jerusalem would only reinforce their view of an earthly kingdom. Although Jesus has just revealed to them about His impending death and suffering, it was necessary to teach them about servanthood.

iv) Healing of Two Blind following Jesus ( Matthew 20:29-34) - Matthew 20:29-34 records the account of Jesus healing of two blind men along His journey to Jerusalem. Just as the children come and receive favor from Jesus based upon nothing they have to offer but themselves, so do the two blind men come to Jesus with nothing to offer in their request for healing but a dependence upon God's grace. In response to being healed, they offer themselves in sincere devotion by following Jesus.

In contrast to the utter dependency of the two blind men upon God's favor, the previous passage records how the mother of James and John made a request to Jesus based upon her belief that they had earned a reward and deserved favor from God. While the two blind men became recipient of God's grace, the mother heard Jesus deny her request when He explained that only the Father determines how to bestow His grace when He disperses eternal rewards.

Both Matthew 19:13-15; Matthew 20:29-34 have opponents rebuking either the children or the two blind men for approaching Jesus to receive from Him based upon God's grace rather than works. The disciples rebuked the children, and the multitudes rebuked the two blind men because they did not believe the blind qualified as recipients of God's grace. However, the conditions for receiving an answered prayer was their faith in God, and nothing else, as Jesus is able to say, "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." Thus, these two blind men qualified before Jesus because they believed in Him, and they petitioned Him; and He answered their prayers.

b) The Revelation of Jesus as King ( Matthew 21:1-17) - Matthew 21:1-17 records the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, being honored by the multitudes, and His subsequent entrance into the Temple, where He was rejected by the Pharisees. In this passage of Scripture, Jesus teaches His disciples the divine provision for those disciples who have offered themselves sacrificially to serve Him, who understand that prayer and faith are the keys to this type of unending and unlimited provision.

i) The Multitudes Honor the King ( Matthew 21:1-11) - Matthew 21:1-11 records Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem as the multitudes honor Him as King. This event is the first time that Jesus Christ publicly claims His Messiahship. The crowds initially received Him as such. However, their expectations of Him were different; for they wanted Him as their King, who would deliver them from the oppression of the Roman government. Soon they would be incited by the religious leaders and cry, "Crucify him."

ii) The Pharisees Reject their King ( Matthew 21:12-17) - In Matthew 21:12-17 Jesus cleanses the Temple immediately upon entering the city. Jesus did not come to take over the government imposed upon Israel by the Roman Empire. Instead, He came to take over the Temple service so that God the Father could be exalted and Israel would in turn be lifted out of the dust of oppression. The Temple must serve as a house of prayer if Israel is to be exalted by God, as in the days of David and Solomon. Unfortunately, the Jewis leaders were offended at Jesus and demanded to know why He felt He had the authority to change the secular customs of the Temple. Jesus then heals the sick, only to be rejected by the Pharisees. Note that Jesus cleansed the Temple before He began to minister healing to the sick.

c) The Servant's Work in the Kingdom: Prayer and Faith ( Matthew 21:18-22) - In Matthew 21:18-22 Jesus curses the fig tree so that it withers and dies. From this event Jesus teaches His disciples about the Kingdom principle of prayer mixed with faith in God. This passage of Scripture serves as a summary of the lessons taught in the preceding section ( Matthew 20:17 to Matthew 21:17). The previous day Jesus drove the merchants out of the Temple, which He described as the "House of Prayer" ( Matthew 21:12-17). In the earlier passages, the mother of James and John made a request that Jesus denied ( Matthew 20:20-28), while the two blind men received an answer to their prayer for healing ( Matthew 20:29-34). In the midst of these three references to prayer, Jesus has revealed His Passion ( Matthew 20:17-19) and teaches His disciples to also lay down their lives as servants in the Kingdom ( Matthew 20:25-28). Jesus then demonstrates the authority that a true servant of God has in the Kingdom by cursing the fig tree. While the mother of James and John wanted her sons to walk in the highest authority in the Kingdom by sitting at the right and left hand of the Lord, Jesus demonstrates that true authority comes to those who lay down their lives to serve God. Such servants walk in obedience to God's Word so that their faith in God rises to a level that their words have creative power as well. Elijah serves as an example of a man who prayed at this level of faith ( James 5:17-18).

When we learn to maintain this lifestyle of devotion to our Heavenly Father, we will then be able to walk in all of the divine authority that God intended us to walk.

5. The Testimony of John the Baptist and God the Father Regarding Man's Inheritance of Eternal Life ( Matthew 21:23 to Matthew 22:40) - Matthew 21:23 to Matthew 22:40 emphasizes the testimonies of John the Baptist ( Matthew 21:28 to Matthew 22:14) and God the Father ( Matthew 22:15-40) regarding man's inheritance of eternal life. Their testimonies call the Jews to accept Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus will support the authority of John the Baptist's testimony with three parables, and He will support the authority of God the Father by responding to three questions from the Jews. The intensity of confrontation by Jewish leaders has progressively increased throughout the Gospel of Matthew , reaching its peak in this passage of Scripture prior to Jesus' arrest and passion.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) The Authority of Jesus' Testimony Challenged ( Matthew 21:23-27) - In Matthew 21:23 Jesus' authority is questioned and challenged by the Jewish leaders. He has healed a blind man on His way to Jerusalem demonstrating His authority over sickness and sin ( Matthew 20:29-34). He has entered Jerusalem with the authority of a king ( Matthew 21:1-11). He then cleanses the Temple with the authority of a high priest ( Matthew 21:12-17). He curses a fig tree with the authority over creation ( Matthew 20:18-22). When confronted by the Jewish leaders, Jesus refers to the authority of John the Baptist and that of God the Father as the reason He had the right to teach in the Temple.

b) Three Testimonies on the Authority of John the Baptist ( Matthew 21:28 to Matthew 22:14) - In Matthew 21:28 to Matthew 22:14 Jesus gives the Jewish leaders three testimonies as to how John the Baptist's testimony held divine authority. The first testimony is the evidence of the repentance of sinners ( Matthew 21:31-32), and the second is the testimony of the fulfillment of Scripture ( Matthew 21:42-44). The third parable testifies to the fact that many refuse to heed the message of those whom God has sent ( Matthew 22:1-14). Jesus uses three parables to give clarity and understanding to these testimonies.

i) The Parable of the Two Sons ( Matthew 21:28-32) - In Matthew 21:28-32 we find the Parable of the Two Sons. The first son who repented is like a sinner who changes and does God's will. The second son is like the Pharisee who talks about God's Word but will not lift a finger to help someone. Jesus applies this parable to the evidence of repentance of sinners during John the Baptist's public ministry ( Matthew 21:31-32).

ii) The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers ( Matthew 21:33-46) - Matthew 21:33-46 records the Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers. Within the context of this parable, John the Baptist and his predecessors represent the servants whom the vine-dressers slew. The son of the landowner represents Jesus, whom the Jews will also kill. Jesus applies this parable to the fulfillment of Scripture ( Matthew 21:42-44). Despite these testimonies, the Jewish leaders reject message of John the Baptist ( Matthew 21:45-46)

iii) The Parable of the Wedding Feast ( Matthew 22:1-14) - Matthew 22:1-14 records the Parable of the Wedding Feast. This parable reveals that many will hear the testimonies of God's prophets and servants, but few will heed their message of accept God's call.

c) Three Testimonies of the Authority of God the Father ( Matthew 22:15-40) - Matthew 22:15-40 emphasizes the authority of God the Father through three testimonies, the authority of civil government ( Matthew 22:15-22), the testimony of the faith of the patriarchs ( Matthew 22:23-33), and the testimony of the Law ( Matthew 22:34-40).

i) The Question Concerning Paying Taxes unto Caesar ( Matthew 22:15-22) - In Matthew 22:15-22 Jesus is tempted by the Pharisees regarding whether it is lawful for Jews to pay taxes unto Caesar or not. Jesus reveals that civil government testifies of the need to obey God the Father.

ii) The Question Concerning the Resurrection ( Matthew 22:23-33) - In Matthew 22:23-33 Jesus answers the question about the resurrection from the dead. Jesus reveals that the faith of the patriarchs testify of the resurrection through obedience to God the Father.

iii) The Question Concerning the Greatest Commandment ( Matthew 22:34-40) - In Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus responds to the question about the greatest commandment. Jesus reveals that the Law testify of the need to obey God the Father.

d) Jesus Testifies of His Own Deity ( Matthew 22:41-46) - In Matthew 22:41-46 Jesus concludes this time of confrontation with Jewish leaders by testifying concerning His own deity using the Scriptures as evidence that prophesied the deity of the Son of David. This statement serves as a fitting conclusion to the opening question of the Jewish leaders concerning His authority ( Matthew 21:23).

6. A Revelation of Divine Judgment against the Jews ( Matthew 23:1-39) - In Matthew 23:1-39 Jesus delivers an indictment against the Jewish leaders and the city of Jerusalem for rejecting Him because of the pride of their hearts. Just as the fourth narrative section ends with a revelation of Himself to His closest disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration ( Matthew 16:21 to Matthew 17:27), the fifth narrative section concludes with a revelation of divine judgment upon those who reject Jesus ( Matthew 23:1-39). Jesus will first state the crime, that of the Jewish leaders exalting themselves ( Matthew 23:1-12). He will then offer testimony to this crime in the form of seven woes ( Matthew 23:13-36). He will conclude with the verdict of guilty, punishable by divine judgment upon the city of Jerusalem ( Matthew 23:37-39).

Here is a proposed outline:

a) The Criminal Offence: False Humility ( Matthew 23:1-12) - Jesus begins denouncing the Jewish leaders by revealing their criminal offense, contrasting their false humility with true humility. Jesus concludes this explanation with the statement, "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant, and whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." ( Matthew 23:11-12) In this statement, He reveals the secret of promotion in the Kingdom of God. The Pharisees had obtained their positions of leadership through corruption and deceit. They then covered their faces with false humility in order to hide their motives. This is the world's system of promotion. The Kingdom of God works differently: for it is those who truly walk in humility with a servant's heart that are given promotions, offices and anointings by the Lord. Man may create his own religious system of promotion, but only the promotions that God gives really counts.

b) Seven Woes as Evidence to the Crime ( Matthew 23:13-36) - In Matthew 23:13-36 Jesus gives a lengthy rebuke against the Pharisees pronouncing seven woes upon them. These seven woes serve as solid evidence as to the crime of false humility among the Jewish leaders.

c) Judgment Predicted upon Jerusalem ( Matthew 23:37-39) - In Matthew 23:37-39 Jesus concludes His rebuke to the Jewish leaders by predicting divine judgment upon the city of Jerusalem. This judgment is based upon the supporting evidence in the preceding passage ( Matthew 23:13-36).

B. The Fifth Discourse: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46) - Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46 gives us Jesus' fifth and final discourse in the Gospel of Matthew , which is often referred to as the Eschatological Discourse. In this speech Jesus prepares His disciples for His departure by teaching about His Second Coming and how they are to prepare themselves for it. He tells them that the Temple will first be destroyed ( Matthew 24:1-2). There will follow a number of events that will herald in and lead up to the Great Tribulation Period ( Matthew 24:3-14). The Great Tribulation will prepare the world for His Second Coming ( Matthew 24:15-28). He then describes the events of His Second Coming ( Matthew 24:29-31). Jesus follows this description by giving His disciples signs to look for so that the Church will know the time, or season, of these events, though they will not know the day nor hour ( Matthew 24:32-44).

Here is a proposed outline:

1. Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple ( Matthew 24:1-2) - In Matthew 24:1-2 Jesus predicts the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in response to the disciples' admiration of its beautiful buildings.

2. Events Preceding the Great Tribulation ( Matthew 24:3-14) - In Matthew 24:1-13 Jesus tells His disciples about the events that will precede the Great Tribulation. These events will come after the destruction of the Temple in A.D 70.

3. The Great Tribulation ( Matthew 24:15-28) - In Matthew 24:15-28 Jesus gives us the events that will take place during the Great Tribulation that prepares the world for His Second Coming.

Here is a proposed outline:

a) The Prophecy of the Destruction of Jerusalem ( Matthew 24:15-22) - Some scholars have interpreted Matthew 24:15-22 as a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem represents the nation of Israel. Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) tells us that this passage is a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D 70. As Eusebius describes the horrors of perhaps the most tragic event in the history of the Jewish people, he credits this event to the judgment of God because of the rejection and crucifixion of the Lord and Saviour by the Jew. (Ecclesiastical History 371-10). However, we know today that this prophecy has a greater reference to the end-time period known as the Great Tribulation. Although Matthew does not refer to an army attacking Jerusalem, the parallel passage in Luke's Gospel makes a clear reference to a great battle where armies surround the holy city Jerusalem ( Luke 21:20). It is possible that the prophecy of Matthew 24:15-20 has a two-fold meaning of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D 70 as well as some events that will take place during the Great Tribulation such as the battle of Armageddon, which is spoken of in a number of Old and New Testament passages.

Luke 21:20, "And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh."

b) The Deceptions Prior to the Second Coming of Jesus ( Matthew 24:23-28) - In Matthew 24:23-28 Jesus gives His disciples several warnings regarding the deceptions that will precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

4. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 24:29-31) - Matthew 24:29-31 tells us that the seven-year period known as the Great Tribulation will be immediately followed by the Second Coming of Christ Jesus and a gathering together of the saints. The signs in heaven will indicate to mankind the imminence of a great event ( Matthew 24:29), Jesus will appear from heaven ( Matthew 24:30), and He will gather His saints together ( Matthew 24:31).

5. The Parable of the Fig Tree ( Matthew 24:32-35) - In Matthew 24:32-35 Jesus gives His disciples the illustration of the seasonal budding of the fig tree as a figurative way to know when the time of His Second Coming is drawing near. As the budding of the fig tree indicates the nearness of a change of seasons, so do the preceding events described up to this point in the Eschatological Discourse indicate the approaching of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

6. No One Knows the Day Nor Hour ( Matthew 24:36-44) - In Matthew 24:26-44 Jesus tells His disciples to watch and be ready because no one knows the exact time of His coming. We will only know that the time and season is at hand.

7. The Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants ( Matthew 24:45-51) - In Matthew 24:45-51 Jesus gives His disciples a parable in order to illustrate how to watch and await His Return by telling them the story of the faithful and the unfaithful servants.

8. The Parable of the Ten Virgins ( Matthew 25:1-13) - After teaching on the Second Coming in Matthew 24:1-51 Jesus further illustrates how to be ready for His Second Coming by telling three parables. The second one is called the Parable of the Ten Virgins ( Matthew 25:1-13). Many scholars believe that this parable refers to the Rapture of the Church that immediately precedes the seven-year Tribulation Period. In this parable five virgins were ready for the bridegroom's coming and five virgins were unprepared. The key word is "watch," which is found in the concluding verse of this parable.

Matthew 25:13, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."

9. The Parable of the Talents ( Matthew 25:14-30) - In Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus gives His disciples a second parable to illustrate to them how to prepare themselves for His Second Coming. This refers to the event that will come at the end of the seven-year Tribulation Period in which Christ will return and set up His earthly kingdom and rule from Jerusalem for a thousand years. This parable is about being responsible and about how God wants us to spend our time… wisely.

In the Parable of the Talents the work of servants in Matthew 25:14-18 to gain more for their master could represent our life on earth before the Day of Judgment when God's servants are to faithful with the gifts and anointings imparted unto them. Matthew 25:19-30 could represent the Lord"s Second Coming and the Judgment Seat of Christ where every believer will be judged. This time of judgment stands in contrast to the Great White Throne Judgment that takes place at the end of the thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ, where all sinners will be judged and cast into the lake of fire for eternity ( Matthew 25:31-40).

10. The Judgment of the Nations ( Matthew 25:31-46) - The passage in Matthew 25:31-46 is popularly called the Judgment of the Nation. In this passage Jesus tells His disciples what will take place immediately following His Second Coming. We know that at His Second Coming He will set up His kingdom on earth and rule and reign from Jerusalem for a thousand years, which we call the Millennial Reign of Christ. At this time He will judge the nations upon the earth as a part of establishing His reign upon the earth.

VIII. The Messiah's Departure ( Matthew 26:1 to Matthew 28:20) - Matthew 26:1 to Matthew 28:20 is popularly referred to as the epilogue of this Gospel. This narrative section records the accounts of Jesus' Passion: His betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and final commission to the disciples.

The Theme- The plot of Matthew 26-28 develops around the predictions made by Jesus regarding His Passion and the events that take place in fulfillment of these predictions. The movement of this narrative plot can be divided into three parts: the setup, the conflict, and the resolution. The Setup- This narrative section sets up the plot by opening with Jesus predicting His crucifixion to the loyal disciples, saying, "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified." ( Matthew 26:2) The Conflict- The action within the epilogue rises as Judas Iscariot plans his Master's betrayal, leading to His arrest, trial, and death in fulfillment of Jesus' opening prophecy in the epilogue. The climax of this conflict is reached with the crucifixion of the Saviour. The Resolution- The resolution of this conflict takes place at the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the commissioning of His disciples. Thus, the theme of the Scriptural fulfillment of events surrounding the Passion of Christ is introduced in the opening verses of the epilogue ( Matthew 26:2) and fulfilled throughout course of the narrative material. The setting for the epilogue of Matthew is the city of Jerusalem and its immediate suburbs, in particular, the Mount of Olives and Golgotha. The main characters in this narrative section are Jesus and His disciples in conflict with the Jewish leaders and the Roman government. Also important to the plot of the epilogue is the development of events surrounding two key disciples of Jesus Christ, Peter and Judas Iscariot.

The Structure- Using the literary element of Matthew's one ἵνα πληρωθῇ formulae as a key to his structural design throughout His Gospel, an Old Testament citation can be found in Matthew 27:9-10, which refers to a key event in Jesus' betrayal, when Judas Iscariot hangs himself in guilt over his deed despite Master's innocence.

Zechariah 11:12-13, "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD."

Matthew 27:9-10, "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter"s field, as the Lord appointed me."

Jesus also cites an Old Testament passage in Zechariah 13:7 as a part of one of His predictions ( Matthew 26:31).

Zechariah 13:7, "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones."

Matthew 26:31, "Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad."

Thus, we observe that each division of Matthew's Gospel gives one ἵνα πληρωθῇ formulae as a fulfillment of prophecy. Each of these quotes reflects the five-fold themes of our spiritual journey, which is reflected within the structure of the Gospel of Matthew.

The epilogue opens with Jesus predicting His crucifixion ( Matthew 26:1-2). The testimony of Jesus predicts His death and betrayal ( Matthew 26:3-30). The testimony of the Scriptures predicts the arrest and scattering of the disciples ( Matthew 26:31-75). The testimony of man is recorded to reveal two opposing views of His arrest, death, burial, and resurrection ( Matthew 27:1 to Matthew 28:15). The epilogue closes with the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:16-20).

Here is a proposed outline:

A. Introduction of Plot: Jesus Foretells His Crucifixion ( Matthew 26:1-2) - Matthew 26:1-2 records the fourth mention of the Crucifixion by Jesus in the book of Matthew. These two verses serve as an introduction to the epilogue of Matthew's Gospel by announcing the theme of this section, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The plot of the epilogue will center on this crucial event as its climax. Jesus had foreknowledge of His impending crucifixion through the understanding of biblical prophecy and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Since the time of Peter's confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus has been telling His disciples of His impending Passion in order to prepare them for this dramatic event.

B. The Testimony of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 26:3-30) - Matthew 26:3-30 records the predictions of Jesus Christ regarding His impending death and betrayal. This passage of Scripture reflects the testimony of Jesus Christ regarding the Passion.

Literary Evidence of the Theme - Matthew 26:3-30 contains literary evidence of the theme of betrayal. The Greek word παραδίδωμι is used thirty-one times throughout the Gospel of Matthew. Of the fifteen times this word refers directly to the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, eleven of these uses are concentrated within Matthew 26:1 to Matthew 27:10. The other five uses are found in Matthew 10:4; Matthew 17:22; Matthew 20:18-19 as predictions of His future betrayal.

Literary Evidence of the Structure - Matthew 26:3-30 contains literary evidence of its structure in the form of contrasting plots placed alongside one another. For example, the assembly of the Jews to plot the death of Jesus ( Matthew 26:3-5) is immediately followed by Jesus assembling in a leper's house and predicting His death ( Matthew 26:6-13). These two passages of Scripture contrast divine providence and man's free will at work together in God's divine plan of redemption. Also, Judas Iscariot's visit to the chief priests to betrayal Jesus ( Matthew 26:14-16) is immediately followed by Jesus gathering with His disciples to observe the Passover meal in which He reveals Judas as the betrayer ( Matthew 26:17-30). Again, a contrast is made between divine providence and man's free will. Both of these contrasting passages open with the Greek word τότε ( Matthew 26:3; Matthew 26:14).

Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Predictions of Jesus' Death ( Matthew 26:3-13) - In Matthew 26:3-13 the evangelist places two events two together in order to contrast the roles of man and God leading up to the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. While the Jewish leaders are secretly plotting to kill Jesus ( Matthew 26:3-5), He is telling His disciples of His impending death ( Matthew 26:6-13). Both scenes work together to introduce the events of the impending Passion, reflecting the dual roles of divine providence and man's free will in God's plan of redemption.

a) The Jews Plot to Kill Jesus ( Matthew 26:3-5) - Matthew 26:3-5 tells us about the plot by the Jewish leaders to kill Jesus. This story will stand in direct contrast to the following passage in which Jesus meets with His disciples in the house of Simon the leper and predicts His own death, an event that was currently being plotted by the Jews ( Matthew 26:6-13).

Of the parallel passages to Matthew 26:3-5 in the Gospels, John's account is the lengthiest of this event, perhaps because he places more emphasis upon Jesus being rejected by the Jews in his Gospel.

b) Jesus Is Anointed at Bethany ( Matthew 26:6-13) - Matthew 26:6-13 records the account of the woman who anointed Jesus' feet with spikenard ointment and wiped His feet with her hair. John's Gospel tells us that the woman's name was Mary. While the Jewish leaders meet in the glorious palace of the high priest ( Matthew 26:3-5), which should have been a place of righteous judgment, Jesus and His disciples gather in the house of Simon the leper, who is considered an outcast by society.

2. The Predictions of Jesus' Betrayal ( Matthew 26:14-30) - In Matthew 26:14-30 the evangelist places two events two together in order to contrast the roles of man and God leading up to the crucifixion of Christ Jesus. While Judas Iscariot is plotting the betrayal of Jesus ( Matthew 26:14-16), He is telling His disciples who is about to betray Him ( Matthew 26:17-30). Both scenes work together to introduce the events of the impending Passion, reflecting the dual roles of divine providence and man's free will in God's plan of redemption.

a) Judas Seeks to Betray Jesus ( Matthew 26:14-16) - Matthew 26:14-16 records the account of how Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and betrayed Jesus Christ for thirty pieces of silver. Within the development of the narrative plot of Matthew's epilogue, this passage reaches back to Matthew 26:3-5 for its context. However, this story is placed prior to Jesus' prediction of His betrayal by Judas in Matthew 26:17-25.

b) Jesus Predicts His Betrayal ( Matthew 26:17-30) - Matthew 26:17-30 records the preparation of the Passover meal ( Matthew 26:17-19) and the prediction of Jesus' betrayal during the eating of the meal ( Matthew 26:20-30). The Gospels of Matthew and Mark follow each other closely with their text, placing an emphasis in this passage of Scripture upon the betrayal of Jesus. This passage of Scripture stands in contrast to the preceding event of Judas Iscariot making an agreement with the Jewish leaders to betray his Master. 232] As Judas Iscariot makes a covenant with the Jewish leaders, Jesus demonstrates the blood of the new covenant in the Passover meal.

232] Davies and Allison note the literary element of contrast between ,26:17-19, saying, "The disciples' question offers a striking contrast with the question in v 15: Judas asks how he can betray Jesus; the others ask how they can serve him." See W. D. Davies and Dale C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew: Commentary on Matthew XIX-XXVIII, vol 3, in The International Critical Commentary (London: T. & T. Clark Ltd, 2004), 456-457.

C. The Testimony of the Scriptures ( Matthew 26:31-75) - Matthew 26:31-75 records the testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures regarding the impending betrayal and passion of Jesus Christ. Jesus predicts His arrest and the scattering of the disciples, and in particular Peter's denial ( Matthew 26:31-35). When Jesus is arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, His disciples scatter in fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy ( Matthew 26:36-56). When Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin, Peter denies Jesus three times in fulfillment of Jesus' prediction ( Matthew 26:57-75).

1. Jesus Predicts His Arrest and Peter's Denial ( Matthew 26:31-35) - In Matthew 26:31-35 Jesus foretells of the fulfillment of Zechariah 13:7 and Peter's denial of Him during His trials the night before His crucifixion. These two predictions are placed together because Peter's denial is the strongest evidence of the fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy.

2. The Fulfillment of Zechariah's Prophecy ( Matthew 26:36-56) - In Matthew 26:36-56 Jesus is arrested while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane as His disciples scatter in fulfillment of Zechariah's prophecy.

a) Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane ( Matthew 26:36-46) - Matthew 26:36-46 records Jesus" prayer in the Garden Gethsemane. Parallel passages are Mark 14:32-42 and Luke 22:39-46. Jesus prayed the same (similar) prayer three times (verses 36, 42, 44). How long did this prayer time last? The passage does not say. But there may have been much time spent in just waiting on Lord. The first time He returns to his disciples, He asks them to stay awake. The second time, He leaves them to sleep. Note that it was Jesus" custom to pray here.

Luke 22:39, "And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him."

b) The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus in the Garden ( Matthew 26:47-56) - Matthew 26:47-56 records the betrayal and arrest of Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.

3. The Fulfillment of Peter's Denial ( Matthew 26:57-75) - In Matthew 26:57-75 Jesus is brought before the Sanhedrin while Peter denies Jesus three times in fulfillment of Jesus' prediction.

a) Jesus Stands Before the Sanhedrin ( Matthew 26:57-68) - Matthew 26:57-68 records the event of Jesus standing trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin.

b) Peter Denies Jesus Three Times ( Matthew 26:69-75) - Matthew 26:69-75 records Peter's three denials of the Lord Jesus Christ. Peter played a key role in the narrative plot by confessing the deity of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 16:16). This event that marked a turning point in the public ministry of Jesus Christ as He began to focus upon His crucifixion after this confession.

D. The Testimony of Man ( Matthew 27:1 to Matthew 28:15) - Matthew 27:1 to Matthew 28:15 records the testimony of man regarding the Passion of Jesus Christ. The evangelist records two testimonies of the innocence of Jesus at His arrest ( Matthew 27:1-26), two testimonies of the deity of Jesus as His death ( Matthew 27:27-56), two testimonies of the burial of Jesus ( Matthew 27:57-66), and two testimonies of His resurrection ( Matthew 28:1-15). The evangelist organizes the testimonies of these four, key events regarding Jesus' Passion and Resurrection in pairs in order to contrast the views of those who are ungodly with those who are convicted of Christ's deity by these events. Both scenes work together to introduce the events of the Passion, reflecting the dual roles of divine providence and man's free will in God's plan of redemption.

The Theme - Matthew 27:1 to Matthew 28:15 contains literary evidence of the theme of crucifixion. The Greek word σταυρόω is used ten times throughout the Gospel of Matthew. Of the nine times this word refers directly to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, seven of these uses are concentrated within Matthew 27:11 to Matthew 28:5. The other two uses are found in Matthew 20:19; Matthew 26:2 as predictions of His impending crucifixion. Matthew will insert one fulfillment quotation in this section that reflects the Old Testament prediction of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ ( Matthew 27:35).

1. The Testimony of Jesus' Innocence at His Trial ( Matthew 27:1-26) - During His arrest, Judas Iscariot declares the innocence of Jesus under the conviction of his sinful betrayal ( Matthew 27:1-10), followed by the same declaration of innocence by Pontus Pilate, who feels no remorse ( Matthew 27:11-26).

a) The Testimony of Judas Iscariot ( Matthew 27:1-10) - Matthew 27:3-10 records the confession of remorse and death of Judas Iscariot. The story of Judas is a tragic one. We almost hoped that he would have gone to Jesus Christ and repented after his guilt surfaced. At this point, his mind was darkened and confused. Judas had been given the responsibility of carrying the moneybag. At some point in time, he gave place to the devil and began to steal out of the money ( John 12:6). After repeatedly giving place to the devil, Judas opened the door in his life for Satan to enter him ( Luke 22:3). At this point, Satan was able to control his thoughts and moved him to betray the Lord ( John 13:2).

John 12:6, "This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein."

Luke 22:3, "Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve."

John 13:2, "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon"s Song of Solomon , to betray him;"

b) The Testimony of Pontius Pilate ( Matthew 27:11-26) - In Matthew 27:11-26 Pontius Pilate declares the innocence of Jesus as He is under trial, yet without the remorse demonstrated by Judas Iscariot. As Jesus stands before Pontus Pilate, the focus of this passage is the development of a confession from the governor regarding the innocence of Jesus ( Matthew 27:14; Matthew 27:24). The governor marvels at Jesus' composure ( Matthew 27:14); his wife pleads has a dream regarding His innocence (27:27-19); the governor symbolically washes his hands and declares His innocence.

2. The Testimony of Jesus' Deity at His Death ( Matthew 27:27-56) - Matthew 27:27-56 records the testimony of Jesus' deity at His death. While the soldiers and people mock Jesus ( Matthew 27:27-44), the centurion was convicted of His deity through the signs that accompanied His death ( Matthew 27:45-56).

a) The Soldiers and People Mock Jesus ( Matthew 27:27-44) - Matthew 27:27-44 records the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ. During this event, the evangelist records the intense mockings that He endured before and during His Crucifixion.

b) The Testimony of the Centurion Regarding Jesus' Deity ( Matthew 27:45-56) - Matthew 27:45-56 records the testimony of the centurion regarding Jesus' deity.

3. The Testimony of Jesus' Burial at the Tomb ( Matthew 27:57-66) - Matthew 27:57-66 records the testimony of Jesus' burial at the tomb. While the women verify the burial of Jesus ( Matthew 27:57-61), Pontius Pilate assigns a guard to ensure this burial ( Matthew 27:62-66).

a) The Women Watch the Tomb ( Matthew 27:57-61) - Matthew 27:57-61 records the burial of the Lord Jesus Christ.

b) Pilate's Guards Watch the Tomb ( Matthew 27:62-66) - Matthew 27:62-66 is unique in recording the story of how Pilate ordered a guard to be set at the tomb of Jesus Christ.

4. The Testimony of Jesus' Resurrection at the Tomb ( Matthew 28:1-15) - Matthew 28:1-15 records the testimony of Jesus' resurrection at the tomb. While the women report the resurrection of Jesus as eye-witnesses, the guards are bribed to report a lie ( Matthew 28:11-15).

a) The Women Report the Resurrection ( Matthew 28:1-10) - Matthew 28:1-10 records the testimony of the women regarding the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

b) The Guards Report the Resurrection ( Matthew 28:11-15) - Matthew 28:11-15 is unique in recording the story of how the chief priests bribed the soldiers to lie about how Jesus Christ was resurrected from the grave. This passage of Scripture was written to refute the lie that Jesus" body had been stolen by His disciples.

E. The Great Commission ( Matthew 28:16-20) - Matthew 28:16-20 is commonly referred to as the Great Commission.

Summary - In summary, this proposed outline of the Gospel of Matthew arranges the narrative material around Jesus' five major discourses. In between each "teaching" discourse on the Kingdom of Heaven, the outline gathers the passages that show Jesus "doing" the work of the Kingdom in the narrative material, demonstrating to His disciples how to live as a member of this Kingdom. Thus, the book of Matthew alternates between doing the work of the Kingdom and teaching about the Kingdom. Jesus makes a reference to this pattern of doing and teaching in Matthew 5:19.

Matthew 5:19, "Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men Song of Solomon , he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven."

The structure of the Gospel of Matthew emphasizes the themes of foreknowledge, justification, indoctrination, divine service, perseverance amidst persecutions without, perseverance amidst offences within, and glorification. This structure to Matthew's Gospel reveals God' plan of how He will establish His Kingdom upon the earth. Thus, the secondary theme of the Kingdom of Heaven being ushered upon earth expands on Matthew's primary theme of the testimony (or prophecy) of Old Testament Scripture. The third theme is for the Church to follow this plan as God's instrument on earth to establish His Kingdom.

C. The Five-Discourse Structure of the Gospel of Matthew Compared with the Pentateuch - Since the time of Benjamin Bacon's landmark work on the five-discourse structure of the Matthew's Gospel, 233] scholars have identified enough similarities between the Matthew and the Pentateuch to suggest that this literary structure was intentional. 234]

233] Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), 80-82.

234] J. A. Findley, in The Expositor, series 8, vol 20 (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1920), 388-400; G. D. Kirkpatrick, The Origins of the Gospel According to St. Matthew (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1946), 136; Ray Summers, "The Plan of Matthew ," in Southwestern Journal of Theology, vol 5 no 1 (Fall 1962): 7-16; Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990), 40.

1. Similarities in a Five-fold Structure- Some suggest that Matthew may have arranged the five lengthy discourses as a reflection of the five books of the Pentateuch. There are a number of similarities that support this view. Although the Gospel of Matthew offers no suggestion within its biblical text as to its similarities between its five discourses and the five books of the Pentateuch, the idea of this Evangelist patterning these five discourses upon the Pentateuch does have merit when a comparison is made between the structure of the Gospel of Matthew and the five books of the Pentateuch. For example, we can note that Matthew's interweaving of discourse with narrative material as discussed above follows a loose pattern of interweaving in the Pentateuch. This structure implies that Matthew was delivering the teachings of the New Testament Church in much the same way as Moses delivered the Mosaic Law to the children of Israel.

2. Similarities in Thematic Schemes- We will also find that the thematic scheme of the five-fold division of the book of Matthew reflects our spiritual journey described in Romans 8:29-30 as predestination, calling, justification, sanctification, and glorification in the same way that the underlying themes of the Pentateuch reflect this journey. 235] Ray Summers calls this an effort to find the "New Pentateuch" motif within Matthew's Gospel. 236] Through God the Father's divine foreknowledge, He predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son Jesus Christ. Our life begins with Him calling us into a relationship with Him. We are then justified by the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Then begins the process of Sanctification by the Holy Spirit, in which we are indoctrinated, called and led to persevere until the end. The final stage of our spiritual journey is glorification as we enter into Heaven. Note a proposed comparison of themes between Matthew and the Pentateuch: 237]

235] This order of God's plan of redemption for mankind is popularly known in systematic theology as the ordo salutis (lit. order of salvation).

236] Ray Summers, "The Plan of Matthew ," in Southwestern Journal of Theology, vol 5 no 1 (Fall 1962): 10.

237] Identifying a parallel thematic scheme between the Pentateuch and the five-discourse outline of Matthew's Gospel has been a challenge for scholars since the time of Benjamin Bacon's landmarkwork in 1930. For example, regarding efforts to find parallel thematic schemes, Ray Summers says that there are "great sections of Jesus' teachings which cannot in any sense be looked upon at thematic for the ‘New Pentateuch' motif. Goodspeed and Farrer recognize this and set up a ‘Hexateuch' to meet the problem!" However, a theme-bases approach using a version of the ordo salutis does solve this problem. See Ray Summers, "The Plan of Matthew ," in Southwestern Journal of Theology, vol 5 no 1 (Fall 1962): 10.

a) Predestination ( Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:13 and Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12) - The first phase of God's plan of redemption for mankind begins with His predestined plan for every man. The Pentateuch open with the Creation Story, a passage in Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:3 reflecting God's predestined plan for every individual to be fruitful, multiply, and take dominion upon the earth. Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12 reveals God's predestined plan for Jesus Christ, who was to be born of the seed of Abraham and royal lineage of David, born of a virgin in the city of Bethelem in order to fulfill individual His redemptive roll of restoring righteousness upon the earth ( Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12).

b) Calling ( Genesis 2:4 to Genesis 50:26 and Matthew 2:14-23) - The second phase of redemption is God's calling upon an individual to partake of the spiritual journey that God has predestined for every man. In Genesis 2:4 to Genesis 50:26 Moses records ten genealogies, most of which open with a divine calling upon an individual that is fulfilled by the close of its respective genealogy. The primary figure in the book of Genesis is Abraham, whom God called out of Ur and into the land of Canaan. In Matthew 2:14-23 Joseph receives three dreams in which the Lord calls him into Egypt, then back to Palestine, with a final call to live in Nazareth.

c) Justification ( Exodus 1:1 to Exodus 15:21 and Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11) - The third phase of God's plan of redemption is man's justification/regeneration through faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. In the New Testament we call this our salvation experience in which God delivers us from our sins and from the bondages of this world. We see a type and figure of this part of our journey in the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egypt as these people were "baptized unto Moses" ( 1 Corinthians 10:2). We see in the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist a symbol of our death, burial, and resurrection in the act of salvation resulting in our justification before God the Father. The Father's call from heaven justified Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Jesus's forty-day temptation in the wilderness testifies to Jesus as the sinless Son of Man.

1 Corinthians 10:2, "And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;"

d) Sanctification: Indoctrination ( Exodus 15:22 to Exodus 40:38 and the First Discourse Establishing the Laws of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 7:29) - The next phase of God's plan of redemption for mankind is sanctification, which can be broken down into a number of secondary phases. Just as the book of Exodus establishes the doctrine of the nation of Israel by the giving of the Ten Commandments and statutes in Exodus 15:22 to Exodus 40:38, the Sermon on the Mount establishes the doctrine of the Kingdom of Heaven. In this first major discourse of Matthew's Gospel, Jesus repeatedly refers to the Mosaic Law as He explains it original purpose and intent for the children of Israel.

e) Sanctification: Divine Service (Leviticus and the Second Discourse Establishing the Ministry of the New Testament Church in Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 11:1) - As the book of Leviticus sets in order the Levitical priesthood, setting apart the Levites for the service of the Tabernacle, and Israel's role in divine worship, so did Jesus Christ call out His the twelve apostles and send them forth to serve the Lord in the ministry in Matthew 10:1-42. The narrative passage in Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38 emphasizes Jesus performing the work of the Kingdom in preparation for Him calling forth and sending out the twelve to do these same works in His second discourse in Matthew 10:1-42. Thus, we establish a parallel with Leviticus and the second discourse because they both establish the divine service of the children of God.

f) Sanctification: Perseverance and the Jewish Leaders' Rejection of the Preaching of the Kingdom of God (Numbers and the Third Discourse Explaining Persecutions that Come with Serving the Lord in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 13:53) - The narrative passage in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 emphasizes the many ways that people received, rejected and questioned the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, thus demonstrating how Jesus responded to persecutions. This passage, which gives us an understanding of how the Kingdom of Heaven is received among men, prepares us for the third discourse when Jesus teaches on the Parables in Matthew 13:1-53 in order to explain how persecutions from without the Church accompany the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. These persecutions and our perseverance remind us of the book of Numbers , which discusses the perseverance of the children of Israel in their wilderness journey. The narrative material in Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50 tells us the manner in which Jesus preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. For this reason this passage tells us about His rejection by the Jewish people amidst His miracles and how He rebuked them for their hardness of hearts. Yet in the midst of rejection Jesus walked in meekness. This meekness in Christian service is the duty of the Levitical priesthood.

g) Sanctification: Perseverance and Handling Offences within the Kingdom of God (Deuteronomy and the Fourth Discourse of Persecutions from Within in Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 18:35) - We see in the book of Deuteronomy the charge to obey the Mosaic Law in order to receive God's divine blessings, and the curses upon those who disobey. In a similar way, the fourth discourse on church discipline establishes the blessings and judgment upon the believers. The fact that Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 18:35 deals with obstacles and persecutions along the journey as a servant of the Lord is a clear reminder of how the children of Israel wandered in the desert facing similar challenges in the book of Numbers. Both the book of Deuteronomy and the Gospel of Matthew give promises of blessings to those who obey the Lord and both give severe warnings of divine judgments to those who do not serve the Lord.

h) Glorification (Joshua and the Fifth Discourse Establishing a Future Hope in Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 25:46) - In the book of Joshua the children of Israel enter into the Promised Land. In like manner, the fifth discourse in Matthew on Eschatology gives the prophecy of the future hope of the Church in its entrance into Heaven and judgment upon sinners. The next narrative passage ( Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39) emphasizes the need to serve the Lord after His departure while awaiting His expected return. For example, the parables of the Wicked Vinedressers and the Wedding Feast teach on working in the kingdom while waiting for the return of the Master. This passage ends with Jesus giving a final woe to the scribes and Pharisees as well as to the city of Jerusalem. The discourse that follows ( Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46) teaches on His Second Coming. Thus, Jesus prepares His disciples for His departure and Second Coming.

3. Similarities in Transitional Statements - Many scholars have acknowledged that Matthew concludes each of his five lengthy discourses with transitional statements that are so strikingly identical as to show the author's intentinal literary design ( Matthew 7:28-29; Matthew 11:1; Matthew 13:53; Matthew 19:1; Matthew 26:1). Each of the five major discourses ends with the same formula, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings..."

Matthew 7:28-29, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes."

Matthew 11:1, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities."

Matthew 13:53, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence."

Matthew 19:1, "And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan;"

Matthew 26:1, "And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,"

In addition, Moses ( Deuteronomy 31:24; Deuteronomy 32:45) concludes his teachings with a similar formula:

Deuteronomy 31:24, "And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,"

Deuteronomy 32:45, "And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel:"

4. Additional Similarities between the Pentateuch and the Gospel of Matthew - We do find additional similarities in the structure and contents of the Pentateuch and the Gospel of Matthew.

a) Similar Characteristics in Geneological Records and Infancy/Childhood Narratives- The Gospel of Matthew opens with the same phrase "the book of the genealogy of" that characterizes the divisions of the book of Genesis. Matthew begins his Gospel with the genealogy of the second Adam while Genesis begins with the genealogy of the first Adam, as well as a number of other genealogies. Jesus' supernatural birth is parallel to Adam's supernatural creation. Both Jesus and Moses have infancy narratives that begin their biographies with similar accounts of kings that sought to slay them at birth. While they excape, many other infants are slaughtered. Ray Summers notes that the dreams of Joseph in Genesis play a similar role to Joseph's dreams in Matthew in that they brought their families to Egypt and back out at a predestined time. 238] He notes how both have "silent years" within their narratives regarding each one's childhood.

238] Ray Summers, "The Plan of Matthew ," in Southwestern Journal of Theology, vol 5 no 1 (Fall 1962): 12.

b) Similar Characteristics between the Public Ministries of Jesus and Moses - There are a number of similar similar characteristics between the public ministries of Jesus and Moses, many of these being suggested by Ray Summers. Both Jesus and Moses went down into Egypt in flight and came out at the death of their opponents. 239] They both passed through the water/baptism. They both spent forty days/years in the wilderness. They both delivered the Law on a mountain, Moses on Mount Sinai, and Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount. Also, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches the people the laws of the Kingdom of God by contrasting them to the Mosaic Law. In chapter 5, Jesus reveals how the Ten Commandments are to be obeyed in the Kingdom of God. In chapter 6, Jesus explains how the statutes of the Mosaic Law are also to be fulfilled in this new Kingdom. Thus, as Moses delivered the Law to the children of Israel, so did Jesus deliver the Law of the Kingdom to the emerging Church. As Moses delivered ten plagues upon Egypt in the book of Exodus , so does Jesus work ten miracles in Matthew 8-9.

239] Ray Summers, "The Plan of Matthew ," in Southwestern Journal of Theology, vol 5 no 1 (Fall 1962): 12.

In addition, Jesus sends out twelve disciples just as Moses sent out twelve spies. Like Moses, Jesus taught the Jews, only to have them murmur against Him. Like Joshua , Jesus leads us into rest, but in Himself rather than in the Promised Land.

Because of these many similarities between the Pentateuch and the Gospel of Matthew , the outline that I have chosen to use below is centered on Jesus' five major discourses, and is based upon the theme of the King ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven upon Earth in much the same way that Moses established the nation of Israel.

D. The Five-Discourse Structure of the Gospel of Matthew Compared with the Book of Psalm - The book of Psalm traditionally consists of five divisions, or five smaller books.

Book I- Psalm 1thru 41

Book II- Psalm 42thru 72

Book III- Psalm 73-89

Book IV- Psalm 90-106

Book V- Psalm 107-150

Each of these main sections of the book of Psalm ends with similar transitional sentences ( Psalm 41:13; Psalm 72:18-18; Psalm 89:52; Psalm 106:48), a literary structure also found in the Gospel of Matthew ( Matthew 7:28; Matthew 11:1; Matthew 13:53; Matthew 19:1; Matthew 26:1).

Psalm 41:13, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen."

Psalm 72:18-19, "Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen."

Psalm 89:52, "Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen."

Psalm 106:48, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD."

I believe that our spiritual journey is reflected within the structure of the book of Psalm , as in other books of the Holy Bible. Perhaps each of these five divisions reflect one of the five phases of our journey:

Book I- Psalm 1thru 41 Justification - Deliverance from Sin

Book II- Psalm 42thru 72 Sanctification - Indoctrination of God's Word

Book III- Psalm 73-89 Sanctification - Calling and Order

Book IV- Psalm 90-106 Sanctification- Perseverance

Book V- Psalm 107-150 Sanctification - Perseverance

E. The Thematic Scheme of the Five Major Discourses of the Gospel of Matthew Compared with the Thematic Scheme of the New Testament - Besides the similar structural parallels between the Pentateuch, the book of Psalm , and the Gospel of Matthew , we find similarities between the thematic schemes of the five major discourses and the thematic scheme of the New Testament writings. To begin with, we know that the nine Pauline Church Epistles establish the doctrines of the New Testament Church. The three Pastoral Epistles establish the order and ministry of the Church. The three General Epistles of Hebrews , James and 1Peter establish the perseverance of the saints in regards to persecutions from without the Church. The five General Epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3John and Jude establish the perseverance of the saints in regards to persecutions from false doctrines within the church.

In a similar manner, we can compare the Sermon on the Mount to the Church Epistles in that they lay the foundation for the doctrine of the Kingdom of God and of the New Testament Church. The second discourse of Jesus sending out the twelve establishes the ministry and order of the Church, which can be compared to the Pastoral Epistles. The third discourse regarding the parables of the Kingdom of Heaven which reveals the ways in which men reject the preaching of the Gospel can be compared to the General Epistles of Hebrews , James and 1Peter which deal with persecutions from without. The fourth discourse of dealing with offences and persecutions from the Jewish leaders can be compared with the General Epistles of 2Peter, 1, 2, 3John and Jude which discuss persecutions from false doctrine within the Church. The emphasis upon false doctrine in this narrative material is because the theme of this passage is about offences because of false doctrines in the Kingdom of God. These offences are not coming from the multitudes but from those who appear to be within the Kingdom of God, that Isaiah , the religious leaders. The fifth Eschatological discourse of the Second Coming of Christ can be compared to the book of Revelation , which deals with the glorification of the Church.

F. The Thematic Scheme of the Five Major Discourses of the Gospel of Matthew Compared With the Six Foundational Doctrines of the New Testament Church- If we compare the foundational doctrines listed in Hebrews 6:1-2, we see some similarities with the five discourse in Matthew's Gospel.

Hebrews 6:1-2, "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

The six foundational doctrines laid down by Jesus Christ upon which the Kingdom of Heaven is established are:

1. repentance from dead works

2. faith toward God

3. the doctrine of baptisms

4. laying on of hands

5. resurrection of the dead

6. eternal judgment

Jesus' first discourse, the Sermon on the Mount, places much emphasis upon the first two foundational doctrines of repentance from dead works and faith towards God. The last discourse, the Eschatological Discourse, places most of its emphasis upon the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Then the other three discourses of Jesus Christ would place more emphasis the doctrines of baptisms and of the laying on of hands.

G. The Recipients to the Five Discourses of the Gospel of Matthew - The five discourses that Jesus Christ delivered during His earthly ministry were primarily directed to His disciples ( Matthew 5:1; Matthew 10:1; Matthew 13:10-11; Matthew 13:36-37; Matthew 18:1; Matthew 24:3). Although the multitudes gathered together to receive miracles and to hear Him, Matthew is accurate to note that Jesus addressed these discourse to His disciples. Thus, the purpose of the five discourses was the training of the Twelve, preparing them for His final command to take the Gospel to the nations, which is traditionally called the Great Commission ( Matthew 28:18-20).

XI. Outline of Book

The following outline is a summary of the preceding literary structure; thus, it reflects the theological framework of the Gospel of Matthew: its purpose, its three-fold thematic scheme, and its literary structure. As a result, this outline offers sermon sections that fit together into a single message that can be used by preachers and teachers to guide a congregation or class through the Gospel of Matthew. This journey through Matthew will lead believers into one aspect of conformity to the image of Christ Jesus that was intended by the Lord, which in this book of the Holy Scriptures is to prepare Christians to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the world, baptizing converts and teaching disciples the principles of the Kingdom of Heaven.

I. The Father's Foreknowledge: The King's Arrival— Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:23

A. Predestination: O.T. Fulfillment of Messiah's Birth— Matthew 1:1 to Matthew 2:12

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Lineage (Seed of Patriarchs)— Matthew 1:1-17

a) Israel Under the Prophets- Abraham to David— Matthew 1:1-6

b) Israel Under the Kings- David to Captivity— Matthew 1:6-11

c) Israel Under the Priests- Captivity to Jesus— Matthew 1:12-17

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Conception (Born of a Virgin)— Matthew 1:18-25

3. O.T. Fulfillment of Birth (Visit of the Wise Men)— Matthew 2:1-12

B. Calling: O.T. Fulfillment of Messiah's Childhood— Matthew 2:13-23

1. O.T. Fulfillment of Calling from Egypt— Matthew 2:13-15

2. O.T. Fulfillment of Herod Massacres the Children— Matthew 2:16-18

3. O.T. Fulfillment of Calling as a Nazarite— Matthew 2:19-23

II. Justification: The Kingdom of God is Inaugurated— Matthew 3:1 to Matthew 4:11

A. John's Testimony of Jesus' Righteousness— Matthew 3:1-12

B. God the Father's Testimony of Jesus' Righteousness— Matthew 3:13-17

C. Jesus' Testimony of His Righteousness— Matthew 4:1-11

III. Indoctrination: The Kingdom of God Has Come— Matthew 4:12 to Matthew 7:29

A. Narrative: The Kingdom of God Arrives— Matthew 4:12-25

1. Jesus Moves to Galilee— Matthew 4:12-17

2. Jesus Calls Disciples— Matthew 4:18-22

3. Jesus Begins in Galilee— Matthew 4:23-25

B. 1st Discourse: Giving of the Laws of the Kingdom — Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29

1. Justification: The Children of the Kingdom— Matthew 5:1-16

a) Nine Characteristics of the Children— Matthew 5:1-12

b) The Salt and Light— Matthew 5:13-16

2. Indoctrination: The Laws of the Kingdom— Matthew 5:17-48

a) The Fulfillment of the Law— Matthew 5:17-20

b) The Giving of the Laws of the Kingdom — Matthew 5:21-48

i) Murder (Dealing with Man's Heart)— Matthew 5:21-26

ii) Adultery (Dealing with Man's Heart)— Matthew 5:27-32

iii) Swearing (Dealing with Man's Tongue/Mind)— Matthew 5:33-37

iv) Retribution (Dealing with Physical Actions)— Matthew 5:38-42

v) Loving thy Neighbor (Summary of Law)— Matthew 5:43-48

3. Divine Service in the Kingdom— Matthew 6:1-18

a) Introduction— Matthew 6:1

b) Almsgiving (Sanctifies the Heart)— Matthew 6:2-4

c) Prayer (Sanctifies the Mind)— Matthew 6:5-15

d) Fasting (Sanctifies the Body)— Matthew 6:16-18

4. Perseverance Amidst Worldliness— Matthew 6:19 to Matthew 7:12

a) Seeking God First (Heart)— Matthew 6:19-34

b) Judge Not (Mind)— Matthew 7:1-6

c) Trusting God in Prayer (Bodily Needs)— Matthew 7:7-12

5. Perseverance Amidst False Doctrines— Matthew 7:13-20

6. Glorification: Entering the Promised Land— Matthew 7:21-23

7. Conclusion— Matthew 7:24-29

IV. Divine Service: The Work of the Kingdom— Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 11:1

A. Narrative: Jesus at Work Training the Disciples— Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 9:38

1. Three Miracles of Healings— Matthew 8:1-17

a) A Leper— Matthew 8:1-4

b) The Centurion's Servant— Matthew 8:5-13

c) Peter's Mother-in-Law & the Multitudes— Matthew 8:14-17

2. The Cost of Discipleship— Matthew 8:18-22

3. Three Miracles of Authority Over Natural & Supernatural— Matthew 8:23 to Matthew 9:8

a) Calming the Storm— Matthew 8:23-27

b) Healing the Demoniacs— Matthew 8:28-34

c) Healing the Paralytic— Matthew 9:1-8

4. A Description of Discipleship— Matthew 9:9-17

5. Three Miracles of Restoration— Matthew 9:18-34

a) Ruler's Daughter & Woman— Matthew 9:18-26

b) Two Blind Men— Matthew 9:27-31

c) A Dumb Man— Matthew 9:32-34

6. The Prayer for Disciples— Matthew 9:35-38

B. The Second Discourse: Sending Out the Twelve— Matthew 10:1 to Matthew 11:1

1. The Appointment of the Twelve— Matthew 10:1-4

2. The Commissioning of the Twelve— Matthew 10:5-15

3. Many will Reject- Exhortation to Fear God— Matthew 10:16-39

a) The Gospel Brings Persecutions— Matthew 10:16-26

b) Speak What the Lord Tells Us to Speak— Matthew 10:27-31

c) Confessing Christ Before Men— Matthew 10:32-33

d) The Gospel Brings Division, not Peace— Matthew 10:34-39

4. Some will Accept- The Rewards of Faithfulness— Matthew 10:40-42

5. Conclusion— Matthew 11:1

V. Perseverance: Man's Rejection to the Kingdom of God— Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 13:53

A. Narrative: Man's Reactions to the King— Matthew 11:2 to Matthew 12:50

1. The Rejection of the Testimonies of John and Jesus (Heart)— Matthew 11:2-30

a) Jesus Explains the Rejection of the Gospel— Matthew 11:2-19

b) Jesus Rebukes the Cities that Reject Him— Matthew 11:20-24

2. Jesus Calls the Multitudes to Follow Him— Matthew 11:25-30

3. The Rejection of the Testimony of Scriptures (Mind)— Matthew 12:1-21

a) Persecution over the Law — Matthew 12:1-8

b) Persecution over the Law— Matthew 12:9-14

4. Fulfillment of Old Testament Prophecy — Matthew 12:15-21

5. The Rejection of the Testimony of Miracles (Body)— Matthew 12:22-50

a) Persecution over Miracles— Matthew 12:22-37

b) Persecution over Miracles— Matthew 12:38-45

6. Jesus Declares the Family of the Kingdom— Matthew 12:46-50

B. Third Discourse: Parables of Man's Reactions to Gospel— Matthew 13:1-53

1. The Parable of the Sower and its Interpretation— Matthew 13:1-23

a) First Parable: The Parable of the Sower — Matthew 13:1-9

b) The Purpose of the Parables — Matthew 13:10-17

c) The Parable of the Sower Interpreted — Matthew 13:18-23

2. The Parable of the Tares — Matthew 13:24-43

a) Second Parable: The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares — Matthew 13:24-30

b) Third Parable: The Parable of the Mustard Seed — Matthew 13:31-32

c) Fourth Parable: The Parable of the Leaven — Matthew 13:33

d) The Purpose of the Parables — Matthew 13:34-35

e) The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares Explained — Matthew 13:36-43

3. Parables on the Glorification of the Kingdom — Matthew 13:44-50

a) Fifth Parable: The Parable of the Hidden Treasure — Matthew 13:44

b) Sixth Parable: The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price — Matthew 13:45-46

c) Seventh Parable: The Parable of the Net of Fishes — Matthew 13:47-50

d) Conclusion to the Parables — Matthew 13:51-52

4. Conclusion to Third Discourse — Matthew 13:53

VI. Perseverance: Handling Offences within the Kingdom of God— Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 18:35

A. Narrative: Examples of Offences— Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 17:27

1. The Rejection of Jesus & John the Baptist — Matthew 13:54 to Matthew 14:36

a) Rejection of Jesus' Doctrine at Nazareth — Matthew 13:54-58

b) Rejection of the Baptist's Doctrine by Herod — Matthew 14:1-12

c) Acceptance of Doctrine of Jesus Christ: Three Miracles — Matthew 14:13-36

i) Feeding of Five Thousand — Matthew 14:13-21

ii) Jesus Walks on the Water — Matthew 14:22-33

iii) Jesus Heals the Multitudes in Gennesaret — Matthew 14:34-36

2. The Rejection of Old Testament Scriptures — Matthew 15:1-39

a) Jesus Challenges False Teachings of the Pharisees — Matthew 15:1-9

b) Jesus Teaches in Parables on Defilement of the Heart — Matthew 15:10-20

c) The Syro-Phoenician Woman's Great Faith in Jesus' Words — Matthew 15:21-28

d) Jesus Feeds the Four Thousand — Matthew 15:29-39

3. The Rejection of the Miracles of Jesus — Matthew 16:1-20

a) The Jews Seek After a Sign — Matthew 16:1-4

b) Jesus Warns Leaven of the Pharisees — Matthew 16:5-12

c) Peter's Confession of Christ's Deity — Matthew 16:13-20

4. The Revelation of the Atonement of Jesus Christ — Matthew 16:21 to Matthew 17:27

a) The Revelation of Cost of the Atonement & Discipleship — Matthew 16:21-28

i) Jesus Begins to Foretell His Death & Resurrection — Matthew 16:21-23

ii) The Cost of Discipleship — Matthew 16:24-28

b) The Revelation of Divine Authority of Jesus & Church— Matthew 17:1-21

i) The Transfiguration of Jesus on the Mount — Matthew 17:1-13

ii) The Healing of the Epileptic Son — Matthew 17:14-21

c) The Revelation of the Divine Provisions — Matthew 17:22-27

i) Jesus Foretells of His Death & Resurrection — Matthew 17:22-23

ii) The Payment of the Tax Money — Matthew 17:24-27

B. The Fourth Discourse: Dealing with Offences — Matthew 18:1-35

1. Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Humility)— Matthew 18:1-5

2. Offences Will Come— Matthew 18:6-9

3. Members Valued in the Kingdom (Parable of Lost Sheep)— Matthew 18:10-14

4. Judging Offences Within the Kingdom— Matthew 18:15-20

5. Forgiveness (Parable of Unforgiving Servant)— Matthew 18:21-35

VII. Glorification: The King's Second Coming— Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 25:46

A. Narrative: Jesus Prepares to Depart— Matthew 19:1 to Matthew 23:39

1. Introduction— Matthew 19:1-2

2. The Testimony of Scripture— Matthew 19:3 to Matthew 20:16

a) Trusting in the Knowledge of the Scriptures— Matthew 19:3-15

i) Pharisees on the Law— Matthew 19:3-9

ii) The Inquiry of the Disciples— Matthew 19:10-12

iii) Example of Those Entering the Kingdom— Matthew 19:13-15

b) Trusting in Earthly Riches— Matthew 19:16-30

i) Earthly Riches & the Law— Matthew 19:16-22

ii) The Inquiry of the Disciples— Matthew 19:23-26

iii) Example of Those Entering the Kingdom— Matthew 19:27-30

c) The Parable of Workers in the Vineyard— Matthew 20:1-16

3. The Testimony of Jesus— Matthew 20:17 to Matthew 21:17

a) Exaltation in the Kingdom thru Servanthood— Matthew 20:17-34

i) Jesus Foretells of His Death & Resurrection — Matthew 20:17-19

ii) The Mother's Request— Matthew 20:20-23

iii) The Inquiry of the Disciples— Matthew 20:24-28

iv) Healing of Two Blind following Jesus— Matthew 20:29-34

b) The Revelation of Jesus as King— Matthew 21:1-17

i) The Multitudes Honor the King— Matthew 21:1-11

ii) The Pharisees Reject their King— Matthew 21:12-17

c) The Servant's Work in the Kingdom: Prayer and Faith — Matthew 21:18-22

4. The Testimonies of John the Baptist & God the Father— Matthew 21:23 to Matthew 22:40

a) The Authority of Jesus' Testimony Challenged— Matthew 21:23-27

b) Three Testimonies on the Authority of John the Baptist— Matthew 21:28 to Matthew 22:14

i) The Parable of the Two Sons— Matthew 21:28-32

ii) The Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers— Matthew 21:33-46

iii) The Parable of the Wedding Feast— Matthew 22:1-14

c) Three Testimonies on the Authority of God the Father— Matthew 22:15-40

i) The Question Concerning Paying Taxes unto Caesar— Matthew 22:15-22

ii) The Question Concerning the Resurrection— Matthew 22:23-33

iii) The Question Concerning the Greatest Commandment— Matthew 22:34-40

d) Jesus Testifies of His Own Deity — Matthew 21:41-46

5. A Revelation of Divine Judgment against the Jews — Matthew 23:1-39

a) The Criminal Offense: False Humility— Matthew 23:1-12

d) Seven Woes as Evidence to the Crime— Matthew 23:13-36

e) Judgment Predicted upon Jerusalem— Matthew 23:37-39

B. Fifth Discourse: The King's Second Coming— Matthew 24:1 to Matthew 25:46

1. Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple— Matthew 24:1-2

2. Events Preceding the Great Tribulation— Matthew 24:3-14

3. The Great Tribulation— Matthew 24:15-28

4. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ— Matthew 24:29-31

5. The Parable of the Fig Tree— Matthew 24:32-35

6. No One Knows the Day Nor Hour— Matthew 24:36-44

7. The Parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servants— Matthew 24:45-51

8. The Parable of the Ten Virgins— Matthew 25:1-13

9. The Parable of the Talents— Matthew 25:14-30

10. The Judgment of the Nations— Matthew 25:31-46

VIII. The Messiah's Departure— Matthew 26:1 to Matthew 28:20

A. Introduction: Jesus Foretells His Passion— Matthew 26:1-2

B. The Testimony of Jesus Christ — Matthew 26:3-30

1. The Predictions of Jesus' Death— Matthew 26:3-13

a) The Jews Plot to Kill Jesus— Matthew 26:3-5

b) Jesus Is Anointed at Bethany — Matthew 26:6-13

2. The Predictions of Jesus' Betrayal— Matthew 26:14-30

a) Judas Seeks to Betray Jesus— Matthew 26:14-16

b) Jesus Predicts His Betrayal— Matthew 26:17-30

C. The Testimony of the Scriptures— Matthew 26:31-75

1. Jesus Predicts His Arrest and Peter's Denial— Matthew 26:31-35

2. The Fulfillment of Zechariah's Prophecy— Matthew 26:36-56

a) Jesus Prays in the Garden of Gethsemane— Matthew 26:36-46

b) The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus in the Garden — Matthew 26:47-56

3. The Fulfillment of Peter's Denial— Matthew 26:57-75

a) Jesus Stands before the Sanhedrin — Matthew 26:57-68

b) Peter Denies Jesus Three Times — Matthew 26:69-75

D. The Testimony of Man— Matthew 27:1 to Matthew 28:15

1. The Testimony of Jesus' Innocence at His Trial— Matthew 27:1-26

a) The Testimony of Judas Iscariot — Matthew 27:1-10

b) The Testimony of Pontius Pilate— Matthew 27:11-26

2. The Testimony of Jesus' Deity at His Death— Matthew 27:27-56

a) The Soldiers and People Mock Jesus — Matthew 27:27-44

b) The Testimony of the Centurion Regarding Jesus' Deity— Matthew 27:45-56

3. The Testimony of Jesus' Burial at the Tomb— Matthew 27:57-66

a) The Women Watch the Tomb — Matthew 27:57-61

b) Pilate's Guards Watch the Tomb — Matthew 27:62-66

4. The Testimony of Jesus' Resurrection at the Tomb— Matthew 28:1-15

a) The Women Report the Resurrection— Matthew 28:1-10

b) The Guards Report the Resurrection— Matthew 28:11-15

E. The Great Commission — Matthew 28:16-20

BIBLIOGRAPHY

COMMENTARY BIBLIOGRAPHY

Albright, W. F. and C. S. Mann. Matthew. In The Anchor Bible. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Co, c 1971, 1987.

Allen, Willoughby C. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew. In The International Critical Commentary. Eds. Charles Augustus Briggs and Samuel Rolles Driver. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1907.

Aquinas, Thomas. Catena Aurea: Commentary on the Four Gospels, Collected out of the Works of the Fathers, vol 1, part 1, second edition. Oxford: John Henry, 1864.

Aquinatis, Divi Thomae. in omnes S. Pauli apostolic epistolas commentaria, tom 3, edition nova. Leodii, 1858.

Barnes, Albert. The Gospel According to Matthew. In Barnes" Notes, Electronic Database. Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000).

Blomberg, Craig L. Matthew. In The New American Commentary, vol 22. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1992.

Broadus, John A. Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. In An American Commentary on the New Testament. Ed. Alvah Hovey. Philadephia, PA: American Baptist Publication Society, 1888.

Calvin, John. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists, Matthew ,, Mark ,, Luke , 3 vols. Trans. William Pringle. Edinburgh: The Calvin Translation Society, 1845.

Carson, D. A. Matthew. In The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 8. Eds. by Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, and Dick Polcyn. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992. In Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD_ROM], Grand Rapids: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001.

Clarke, Adam. The Book of the Prophet Jonah. In Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database. Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000.

Clarke, Adam. Matthew. In Adam Clarke"s Commentary, Electronic Database. Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000.

Collins, Raymond F. 1 & 2Timothy and Titus. In The New Testament Library. Eds. C. Clifton Black and John T. Carroll. Louisville, Kentucky, Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Constable, Thomas L. Notes on Mark. Garland, Texas: Sonic Light, 2008 [on-line]. Accessed 28 December 2008. Available from http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes.htm; Internet, 4.

Constable, Thomas L. Notes on Matthew. Garland, Texas: Sonic Light, 2008 [on-line]. Accessed 28 December 2008. Available from http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes.htm; Internet.

Davies, W. D. and Dale C. Allison. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew: Commentary on Matthew XIX-XXVIII, vols 1-3. In The International Critical Commentary. London: T. & T. Clark Ltd, 1988.

Erdman, Charles R. The Gospel of Matthew An Exposition. Philadelphia: PA: The Westminster Press, 1920.

Exell, Joseph S, ed. Matthew. In The Biblical Illustrator. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Pub. House, 1954. In Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM], Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2002.

France, R. T. The Gospel of Matthew. In New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007.

Gibson, J. M. Matthew. In The Expositor's Bible. Eds. William R. Nicoll and Oscar L. Joseph. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1956. In Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM]. Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001.

Gill, John. Matthew. In John Gill's Expositor. In e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005.

Gill, John. Numbers. In John Gill's Expositor. In e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005.

Green, H. Benedict. The Gospel According to Matthew in the Revised Standard Version. The New Clarendon Bible (New Testament). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1975.

Gundry, Robert H. Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook of a Mixed Church Under Persecution, 2nd ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1994.

Guthrie, Donald. The Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary, in The Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1990, 2002.

Hackett, Horatio B. A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles. In An American Commentary on the New Testament. Ed. Alvah Hovey. Philadelphia, PA: American Baptist Publication Society, c 1882.

Hagner, Donald A. Matthew 1-13. In Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 33A. Eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker. Dallas: Word Inc, 2002. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004.

Hagner, Donald A. Matthew 14-28. In Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 33B. Eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker. Dallas: Word Inc, 2002. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM]. Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004.

Harrington, Daniel J. The Gospel of Matthew. In Sacra Pagina Series, vol 1. Collegeville, Minn: The Liturgical Press, 1991.

Henry, Matthew. Matthew. In Matthew Henry"s Commentary on the Whole Bible, New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc, 1991. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000).

Hindson, Edward E. The Gospel According to Matthew. In The KJV Bible Commentary. Eds. Edward E. Hindson and Woodrow M. Kroll. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1994. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM]. Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

Ironside, H. A. Expository Notes on the Gospel of Matthew. New York: Loizeaux Brothers, Inc 1948; Reprint 1955.

Jamieson, Robert, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown. The Gospel According to Matthew. In Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary, Electronic Database. Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1997. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM]. Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000.

Jerome. Commentary in the Gospel of Matthew. In Jacques Paul Migne. Scripturae Sacrae Cursus Completus, Patrologia Latina, 221vols, vol 26. Parisiis: Excudebat Migne, 1844-55.

Keener, Craig S. A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1999.

Ksterberger, Andreas J. John. In Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004.

Lange, John Peter. The Gospel According to Matthew , Together with a General Theological, and Homiletical Introduction to the New Testament, in A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homilectical, with Special Reference to Ministers and Students. Ed. John Peter Lange. Trans. Philip Schaff. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clarke, 1872.

Lightfoot, J. B. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians. London: MacMillan and Co, c 1868, 1903.

Lightfoot, John. Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae: Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations Upon the Gospels, the Acts , Some Chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans and the First Epistle to the Corinthians, vol 1. Ed. Robert Gandell. Oxford: The University Press, 1859. In e-Sword, v 951 [CD-ROM] Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2009.

Lightfoot, John. Horae Hebraicae et Talmudicae: Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations Upon the Gospels, the Acts , Some Chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans and the First Epistle to the Corinthians, vol 2. Ed. Robert Gandell. Oxford: The University Press, 1859.

Lightfoot, John. The Whole Works of the Rev. John Lightfoot, D.D. Master of Catharine Hall, Cambridge, vol 11. Ed. John Rogers Pitman. London: J. F. Dove, 1823.

Lloyd-Jones, D. Martin. God's Way of Reconciliation: An Exposition of Ephesians Two. Edinburgh, UK: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1972, reprint 1995.

Luz, Ulrich. Matthew 21-28 : A Commentary, in Hermeneia - A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Trans. James E. Crouch. Ed. Helmut Koester. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2005.

MacArthur, John. Matthew 24-28. In The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Chicago: Moody Press, 1989.

MacDonald, William. The Gospel According to Matthew. In Believer's Bible Commentary. Ed. Arthur Farstad. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1995. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

McGee, J. Vernon. The Gospel According to Matthew. In Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM]. Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

McNeile, Alan Hugh. The Gospel According to St. Matthew. London: MacMillan and Co, Limited, 1915.

Metzger, Bruce M, David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker, eds. Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas, Texas: Word Incorporated, 1989-2007.

Meyer, Heinrich August Wilhelm. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of Matthew. Trans. Peter Christie. Eds. Frederick Chrombie and William Steward. New York: Funk and Wagnalis, 1884.

Meyer, Heinrich August Wilhelm. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Gospel of Matthew , vol 1. Trans. Peter Christie. Ed. Frederick Crombie. In Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Trans. and eds. Willam P. Dickson and Frederick Crombie. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1880.

Morgan, G. Campbell. The Gospel According to Matthew. New York: Fleming H. Revell Co, 1929.

Morris, Leon. The Gospel According to Matthew. In The Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992.

Newman, Barclay M. and Philip C. Stine. A Translator's Handbook on the Gospel of Matthew. London: United Bible Societies, 1988.

Nolland, John. The Gospel of Matthew - A Commentary on the Greek Text. In The New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.

Nolland, John. Luke 9:21 to Luke 18:34. In Word Biblical Commentary, vol 35B. Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

Osborne, Grant R. Matthew. In Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Ed. Clinton E. Arnold. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010.

Pfeiffer, Charles F. and Everett F. Harrison, eds. The Gospel According to Matthew. In The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Chicago: Moody Press, c 1962. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM] Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000.

Pink, Arthur W. An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount. Carlisle, PA: Evangelical Press, 1977 [on-line]. Accessed 23February 2010. Available from http://www.pbministries.org/books/pink/Sermon/sermon_intro.htm; Internet, "Introduction, 2nd paragraph."

Pink, Arthur W. An Exposition of the Sermon on the Mount. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1982.

Pfeiffer, Charles and Everett F. Harrison, eds. The Gospel According to Matthew. In The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Chicago: Moody Press, c 1962. In P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM]. Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000.

Plummer, Alfred. An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew. London: Robert Scott Roxburghe House Paternoster Row, 1909.

Plummer, Alfred. An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to S. Matthew. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1910.

Poole, Matthew. Annotations Upon the Holy Bible, vol 3. New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1853.

Poole, Matthew. Matthew. In Matthew Poole's New Testament Commentary. In OnLine Bible, v 20 [CD-ROM]. Nederland: Online Bible Foundation, 1992-2005.

Radmacher, Earl D, Ronald B. Allen, and H. Wayne House, eds. The Gospel According to Matthew. In Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1999. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM]. Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004.

Salmon, George. Matthew. In The Biblical Illustrator. Ed. Joseph S. Exell. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Pub. House, 1954. In Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2002.

Simonetti, Manlio, ed. Matthew 14-28. In Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (New Testament Ib). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

Turner, David L. The Gospel of Matthew. In Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, vol 11. Ed. Philip W. Comfort. Carol Stream, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 2005. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 30b [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2004.

Turner, David L. Matthew. In Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Eds. Robert Yarbrough and Robert H. Stein. Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2008.

Wallace, Daniel B. Matthew: Introduction, Argument, and Outline. Biblical Studies Foundation, Richardson, Texas [on-line]. Accessed 6 July 2010. Available from http://bible.org/seriespage/ Matthew -introduction-argument-and-outline; Internet.

Weiss, Bernhard. A Commentary on the New Testament, vol 1. Trans. George H. Schodde and Epiphanius Wilson. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1906.

Wesley, John. Notes on the New Testament. In The Wesleyan Heritage Library. Rio, WI: Ages Digital Library: Wesleyan Heritage Publications, 2002.

Williams, A. Lukyn and Benjamin C. Caffin. John. In The Pulpit Commentary. Eds. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950. In Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001.

Williams, A. Lukyn and Benjamin C. Caffin. Matthew. In The Pulpit Commentary. Eds. H. D. M. Spence and Joseph Exell, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co, 1950. In Ages Digital Library, v 10 [CD-ROM] Rio, WI: Ages Software, Inc, 2001.

Wordsworth, Christopher. The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in the Original Greek: with Introductions and Notes, vol 1, fifth edition. London: Rivingtons, Waterloo Place, 1867.

GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY

1Enoch. Translated by R. H. Charles. In The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2. Ed. R. H. Charles. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913.

II Baruch. Trans. R. H. Charles. In The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2. Ed. R. H. Charles. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913.

The Accidental Scientist. "The Science of Cooking." [on-line]. Accessed 22September 2010. Available from http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/activity-yeast.html

"Acts and Martyrdom of St. Matthew the Apostle." In Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , and Revelations. Trans. Alexander Walker. Edinburg: T. & T. Clark, 1870.

Adam of St. Victor. The Liturgical Poetry of Adam of St. Victor. Trans. Digby S. Wrangham, vol 1. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Co, 1881.

Adam of St. Victor. The Liturgical Poetry of Adam of St. Victor. Trans. Digby S. Wrangham, vol 3. London: Kegan Paul, Trench and Co, 1881.

Aland, Kurt, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, eds. The Greek New Testament, Third Edition. United Bible Societies, 1975.

The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol 8. Trans. Alexander Walker. Eds. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Cox. Grand Rapids and New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916.

Anton, Paul. "Exegetical essays on the Pastoral Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus ," (1753, 1st pub, 1755, 2nd pub. in Halle).

Appian's Roman History, vol 3. Trans. Horace White. In The Loeb Classical Library. Eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse. London: William Heinemann, 1964.

Associated Press. "DNA Study Traces Ancient Ancestry of Europe." In Science, November 10, 2000 [on-line]. Accessed 8 September 2009. Available from http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/GENEALOGY-DNA/2000-11/0973877169; Internet.

Athanasius. "Letter 39 (for 367)."In A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series, vol 4: Athanasius: Select Works and Letters. Eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, Grand Rapids; Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997 [electronic edition]. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM]. Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2009.

Bacon, Benjamin W. Studies in Matthew. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1930.

Badger, George Percy. The Nestorians and their Rituals, vol 2. London: Joseph Masters, 1852.

Bailey, Kenneth E. Poet and Peasant and Through Peasant Eyes: A Literary-Cultural Approach to the Parables in Luke. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1983.

Baruch -Hebreaus, Gregory. History of the Dynasties. Ed. Edward Pocock. Oxford, 1663, Beruit, 1890.

Bartlet, J. N. " Matthew , Apostle." In A Dictionary of the Bible, vol 3. Eds. James Hastings and John A. Selbie. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901.

Baxter, Mary K. A Divine Revelation of Heaven. New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1998.

Bentley, Todd. Journey Into the Miraculous. Victoria, BC, Canada: Hemlock Printers, Ltd, 2003.

Berdot, D. N. Exercitatio theologica-exegetica in epistulam Pauli ad Titum (1703).

Berkholf, H. "Hoe leest het Nieuwe Testament het Oude?" In Homiletica en Biblica, vol 22, no 11. Dec 1963.

Berkhof, Louis. The Gospel of Matthew. In Introduction to the New Testament, electronic edition 2004-04-02. Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library [on-line]. Accessed 23April 2010. Available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/berkhof/newtestament.html; Internet.

Berkhof, Louis. New Testament Introduction. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans-Sevensma Co, 1915.

Bernard, A. R. Interviewed on "Praise the Lord." On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program, 16 January 2007.

Blessitt, Arthur. Interviewed on Praise the Lord. On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program.

Blessitt, Arthur. Interviewed by Matthew Crouch. Praise the Lord. On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program, 24February 2009.

Blomberg, Craig L. Interpreting the Parables. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1990.

Blomberg, Craig L. Preaching the Parables: From Responsible Interpretation to Powerful Proclamation. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2004.

The Book of Jubilees. Trans. R. H. Charles. In The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol 2. Ed. R. H. Charles. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913.

Booth, Wayne C, Gregory G. Colomb, Joseph M. Williams. The Craft of Research. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Brim, Billye. Interviewed by Gloria Copeland. Believer's Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas). On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program, 22May 2003.

Brubaker, Ray. The Rapture: God's Reward for Readiness [on-line]. Assessed 23February 2010. Available from http://www.raybrubaker.com/books/Is_the_Rapture_the_Reward_of_Readiness.pdf; Internet.

Bruce, F. F. The Books and the Parchments. Old Tappan, New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963.

Budge, E. A. Wallis. The Contendings of the Apostles being the History and the Lives and Martyrdoms and Deaths of the Twelve Apostles and Evangelists, vol 2. London: Henry Frowde, 1901.

Bullinger, E. W. Appendix 30: Massrah, in The Companion Bible Being The Authorized Version of 1611With The Structures And Notes, Critical, Explanatory and Suggestive And With 198 Appendixes. London: Oxford University Press, c 1909-22.

Bullinger, E. W. The Witness of the Stars. London: E. W. Bullinger, c 1893.

Burton, Ernest De Witt. "The Purpose and Plan of the Gospel of Matthew." In The Biblical World 111 (January 1898): 37-44.

Caelii Sedulii Opera Omnia. Ed. Francisco Antonio de Lorenzana. Romae, 1893.

Chase, Chris. "Tebow Time: The three Matthew 3:16 references, boffo TV ratings and Lady Gaga love." Yahoo! Sports. 9 January 2012 [on-line]. Accessed on 19 January 2012. Available from http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/tebow-time-three-3-16-references-boffo-tv-172145772.html; Internet.

Church, Joseph E. Quest for the Highest. Exeter, UK: The Paternoster Press, 1981.

Cicero. The Treatises of M. T. Cicero on the Nature of the Gods; on Divination; on Fate; on the Republic; on the Laws; and on Standing for the Consulship. Trans. C. D. Yonge. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1853.

Claudius Apollinaris. "From the Book Concerning the Passover." In The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D 325, vol 8: Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementina, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First Ages, American ed.. Eds. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, & A. Cleveland Coxe. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, Grand Rapids; Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997 [electronic edition]. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM]. Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2009.

Claudius Apollinaris. In Reliquiae Sacrae, vol 1, second edition. Oxonii: 1846.

Copeland, Kenneth. Believer's Voice of Victory. Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas. On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program.

Cowper, B. Harris. The Apocryphal Gospels and Other Documents Related to the History of Christ. Edinburgh, London: Williams and Norgate, 1867.

Cross, F. L. and E. A. Livingstone, eds. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, revised. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.

Crouch, Paul. "Yes, It's All in the Family." In Trinity Broadcasting Network Monthly Newsletter, vol 39 number 9 (June 2012).

"Crucifixion." In Encyclopdia Britannica [on-line]. Accessed December 21, 2011. Available at http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/144583/crucifixion; Internet.

Curtis, Eastman. "Sermon." Uganda Youth Forum, Kampala, Uganda, January 2005.

Darmesteter, James. The Zend-Aesta, part 1: The Vendidad. In The Sacred Books of the East. Ed. F. Max Mller. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1880.

Davis, Marietta. Caught Up Into Heaven. New Kensington, Pennsylvania: Whitaker House, 1982.

Deane, Anthony C. How to Understand the Gospels. In Hodder and Stoughton's People's Library. Ed. Sidney Dark. London: Hodder and Stoughton, n.d.

de Broglie, Albert. "The First Christian Emperors." (130-190). In The Christian Remembrancer (vol 50 July-December) London: J. and C. Mozley, 1860.

Delzell, Dan. "Tim Tebow Praises Tom Brady and Jesus Christ." The Christian Post. 12January 2012 [on-line]. Accessed on 19 January 2012. Available from http://www.christianpost.com/news/tim-tebow-praises-tom-brady-and-jesus-christ-66990/; Internet.

Derickson, G. W. "Matthew's Chiastic Structure and Its Dispensational Implications." Bibliotheca Sacra 163 (2006):423-437.

Dindorfii, Ludovici, ed. Diodori Bibliotheca Historica, vol 1. Libsiae: Aedibus B. G. Teubneri, 1866.

Dionysius of Halicarnasus. The Roman Antiquities of Dionysius of Halicarnasus, vol 3. Trans. Earnest Cary. In The Loeb Classical Library. Eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse. London: William Heinemann, c 1940.

Dodd, C. H. The Parables of the Kingdom. London: Nisbet & Co. Ltd, 1935.

Donne, William Bodham. "Spartacus." In Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol 3. Ed. William Smith. Boston: Charles C. Little and James Brown, 1849.

Dollar, Creflo. Changing Your World (College Park, Georgia: Creflo Dollar Ministries). On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program.

Dollar, Creflo. "Sermon." Fort Worth, Texas: Kenneth Copeland's Southwest Believer's Conference, 7 August 2007.

Dollar, Creflo. "Sermon." Kampala, Uganda: Miracle Center Cathedral, 14June 2007.

Dubschtz, E. von. "Matthas als Rabbi und Katechet." In Zeitschrift fr die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 27 (1928): 338-348.

Dubschtz, E. von. "Matthew as Rabbi and Catechist." In The Interpretation of Matthew. Ed. Graham Stanton. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1983.

Duncan, William C. The Life, Character, and Acts of John the Baptist: and the Relationship of His Ministry to the Christian Dispensation. New York: Sheldon and Company, 1860.

Duplantis, Jesse. Heaven Close Encounters of the God Kind. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Harrison House, 1996.

Duplantis, Jesse. Jesse Duplantis (Jesse Duplantis Ministries, Destrehan, Louisana). On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program, 5 November 2012.

Easton, Burton Scott. "Parousia." In International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Ed. James Orr. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939. In The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-200).

Edersheim, Alfred. The Bible History Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eedmann Publishing Company, c 1876-1887, 1984.

Edersheim, Alfred. Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ. New York: Hodder & Stoughton, n.d..

Edersheim, Alfred. The Temple: Its Ministry and Services as They were at the Time of Jesus Christ. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1908.

Ephiphanius. S. Epiphanii Episcopi Constantiensis Panaria Eorumque Anacephalaeosis, tomi prioris, pars prior. Ed. Franciscus Oehler. In Corporis Haereseogolici, tomus secundus. Berolini:Apud A. Asher et Socios, 1859.

Ephiphanius. The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis, Book I (Sects 1-46). Trans. Frank Williams. Leiden, The Netherlands: Koninklijke Brill, c 1987.

The Epistle of Barnabas. In The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D 325, vol 1: The Apostolic Fathers With Justin Martyr and Ireneaus, American ed. Eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, Grand Rapids; Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997, electronic edition. In Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2009.

Epstein, Isidore. ed. Contents of the Soncino Babylonian Talmud. Trans. Jacob Shachter and H. Freedman. London: The Soncino Press [on-line]. Accessed 3July 2010. Accessed from http://www.come-and-hear.com; Internet.

Fendon, J. C. "Inclusio and and Chiasmus in ‘Mathew.'" In Studia Evangelica I (1959): 177-179.

Fendon, J. C. Saint Matthew. In Pelican Gospel Commentaries. Baltimore, MD: Penguin, 1963.

Findley, J. A. In The Expositor, series 8, vol 20. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1920.

Fox, John. Fox's Book of Martyrs. Ed. William Byron Forbush. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1926.

Franklin, Jentezen. Interviewed by Benny Hinn. "This Is Your Day." On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program, 9 January 2004.

Gibson, Margaret Dunlop. Ed. and trans. The Commentaries of Isho'dad of Merv Bishop of Hadatha (c 850 A.D.) in Syriac and English. In Horae Semiticae, vol 5. Cambridge: The University Press, 1911.

Goldsworthy, Graeme. Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture. Eerdmans: Michigan, 2000.

Goll, Jim W. The Seer: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams, and Open Heavens. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc, 2004.

Godley, A. D. Herodotus, vol 1. In The Loeb Classical Library. Eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse. London: William Heinemann, c 1920, 1975.

Goodspeed, Edgar J. "The Gospel of Matthew." In Introduction to the New Testament. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1937. Accessed 8 September 2008. Available from http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/goodspeed/; Internet.

Graham, Billy. "Sermon." Billy Graham Classics: Billy Graham in Memphis, The Liberty Bowl, Memphis, Tennessee, 1978, (Charlotte, North Caroline: Billy Graham Evangelistic Association), On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), 20 March 2010.

Green, E. M. B. and C. H. Hemer. "Bernice." In New Bible Dictionary, second edition. Ed. J. D. Douglas. Wheaton, Illinois: Tyndale House Publishing, c 1962, 1982.

Green, H. B. "The Structure of St. Matthew's Gospel." In Studia Evangelica IV (1965): 47-59.

Gregory, D. S. Why Four Gospels? Or, The Gospel for All the World. New York: Sheldon and Company, 1877.

Gundry, Robert H. A Survey of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981.

Gunkel, Hermann. The Psalm: A Form-Critical Introduction. Trans. Thomas M. Horner. In Biblical Series, vol 19. Ed. John Reumann. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press, 1967.

Guthrie, Donald. New Testament Introduction. Downers Grover, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 1990.

Hagin, Kenneth. The Believer's Authority. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1984, 1992.

Hagin, Kenneth. Bible Faith Study Course. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1991, 1999.

Hagin, Kenneth. A Commonsense Guide to Fasting. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1981, 1994.

Hagin, Kenneth. Hear and Be Healed. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1987, 1991.

Hagin, Kenneth. How You Can Be Led by the Spirit of God. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1986, 1997.

Hagin, Kenneth. I Believe In Visions. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1984, 1986.

Hagin, Kenneth. Plans Purposes and Pursuits. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 1988, 1993.

Hagin, Kenneth. The Spirit Upon and the Spirit Within. Tulsa, Oklahoma: Faith Library Publications, c 2003, 2006.

Harman, Henry M. Introduction to the Study of the Holy Scriptures, vol 1. In Library of Biblical and Theological Literature. Eds. George R. Crooks and John F. Hurst. New York: Hunt and Eaton, 1878.

Harrison, Everett F. Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1964, 1971.

Hayford, Jack. "Spirit Formed with Jack Hayford." On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program.

Head, Peter M. "The Date of the Magdalen Papyrus of Matthew: A Response to C.P. Thiede." Tyndale Bulletin 46 (1995) 251-285. Accessed 28 March 2010. Available from http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/Tyndale/staff/Head/P 64TB.htm; Internet.

Heard, Richard. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1950 [on-line]. Accessed 7 July 2010. Available from http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=531&C=551; Internet.

Hervey, Arthur C. "Genealogy: Genealogy of Jesus Christ." In Dr. William Smith's Dictionary of the Bible,vol 1. Eds. H. B. Hackett and Ezra Abbot. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co, 1889.

Herodotus I. Trans. A. D. Godley. In The Loeb Classical Library. Eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse. London: William Heinemann, c 1920, 1975.

Herodotus II. Trans. A. D. Godley. In The Loeb Classical Library. Eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse. London: William Heinemann, c 1928.

Herodotus III. Trans. A. D. Godley. In The Loeb Classical Library. Eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse. London: William Heinemann, c 1938.

"High school backetball players beaten for ‘Tebowing'." Foxnews.com. 15 January 2012 [on-line]. Accessed 20 January 2012. Available from http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/01/15/high-school-basketball-players-beaten-for-tebowing/; Internet.

Hinn, Benny. "Fire Conference." Miracle Center Cathedral, Kampala, Uganda, 5-6 June 2009.

Hinn, Benny. Monthly Newsletter, April 2009. Benny Hinn Ministries, Irving, Texas.

Hinn, Benny. This is Your Day (Irving, Texas). On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program.

Hinn, Benny. This is Your Day (Irving, Texas). On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program, 5 November 2012.

Hultgren, Arland J. The Parables of Jesus. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000; paperback 2002.

Ioanne Baptista, R. P. and Georgius Moesinger, trans. Evangelii Concordantis Expositio facta a Sancto Ephraemo Doctore Syro. Venetiis: Libraria PP. Mechitaristarum in Monasterio, 1876.

James , Montague Rhodes. The Apocryphal New Testament being the Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , Epistles, and Apocalypses with Other Narratives and Fragments newly Translated. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c 1924, 1963.

Jameson, Anna. Sacred and Legendary Art, vol 1. Boston, MA: Houghton Miffin & Co, 1900.

Jeffery, Grant R. "Extraordinary Evidence About Jesus in the Dead Sea Scrolls." [on-line]. Accessed 13February 2010. Available from http://www.grantjeffery.com/article/article 1.htm; Internet.

Jeffery, Grant R. "The Mysterious Shroud of Turin." [on-line]. Accessed 1September 2009. Available from http://www.grantjeffrey.com/article/shroud.htm; Internet.

Jeremias, Joachim. The Parables of Jesus. Trans. S. H. Hooke. London: SCM Press Ltd, 1954; Revised 1972.

Jeremias, Joachim. Rediscovering the Parables. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1966.

Jones, Jeremiah. A New and Full Method of Settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament, vol 3. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1827.

Joyner, Rick. The Final Quest. Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1977.

Jukes, Andrew. The Characteristic Differences of the Four Gospels. London: James Nisbet and Co, 1853.

Keathley, III, J. Hampton. "Introduction and Historical Setting for Elijah." (Bible.org) [on-line]. Accessed 23May 2012. Available from http://bible.org/seriespage/introduction-and-historical-setting-elijah; Internet.

Keating, Corey The Criteria Used for Developing the New Testament Canon in the First Four Centuries of the Christian Church (2000). Accessed 15 April 2012. Available from http://www.ntgreek.org/SeminaryPapers/ChurchHistory/Criteria%20for%20Development%20of%20the%20NT%20Canon%20in%20First%20Four%20Centuries.pdf; Internet.

Keener, Craig S. The Historical Jesus of the Gospels. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Company, 2009).

Kennedy, A. R. S. "Money-changers." In A Dictionary of the Bible Dealing with its Language, Literature, and Contents Including the Biblical Theology, vol 3. Eds. James Hastings and John A. Selbie. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901.

Kennedy, Rann, and Charles Rann Kennedy, trans. The Works of Virgil, vol 1. London: Stevens and Co, 1849.

Kingsbury, Jack Dean. Matthew: Structure, Christology, Kingdom. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, c 1945, 1975.

Kirkpatrick, G. D. The Origins of the Gospel According to St. Matthew. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1946.

Knowles, Michael. "Jeremiah in Matthew's Gospel: The Rejected-Prophet Motif in Matthean Redaction," in Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 68. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1993.

Koester, Helmut. Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development. Harrisburg, PA: Trinity Press International, c 1990.

Ksenberger, Andreas J. Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Virtue. Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway, 2011.

Lairdon, Roberts. I Saw Heaven, Tulsa, Oklahoma: Albury Publishing, 1991.

Lake, John G. John G. Lake: His Life, His Sermons, His Boldness of Faith. Fort Worth, Texas: Kenneth Copeland Publications, 1994.

Lang, G. H. Pictures and Parables: Studies in the Parabolic Teaching of Holy Scripture. London: Paternoster Press, 1955.

Lapide, Cornelius. The Great Commentary of Cornelius Lapide. Trans. Thomas W. Mossman, third edition. London: John Hodges, 1887.

Lardner, Nathaniel. The Works of Nathaniel Lardner, 10 vols. London: Joseph Ogle Robinson, 1829, 1838.

Larson, Bob. Bob Larson in Action. On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program.

Larson, Frederick A. "The Star of Bethlehem." [on-line]. Accessed 6 January 2010. Available from http://www.bethlehemstar.net; Internet.

Lon-Dufour, Gaechter X. tudes d'vangile. Ed. du Seuil, Paris, 1965.

Lon-Dufour, Gaechter X. "Vers l'announce de l'glise. Matthieu 14 ,1-16 ,20." In L'homme devant Dieu I. Mlanges H. de Lubac, Paris, 1963

Leonard, William Ellery. The Fragments of Empedocles. Chicago: The Open Court Publishing Company, 1908.

Lockyer, Herbert. All the Parables of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Mich: Zondervan Publishing House, 1963.

Lucian, vol 3. Trans. A. M. Harmon. In The Loeb Classical Library. Eds. T. E. Page, E. Capps, and W. H. D. Rouse. London: William Heinemann, 1960.

MacGorman, Jack "Class Notes." In New Testament Greek. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, 1981-82.

Macrobius. Macrobii Ambrosii Theodosii Opera quae supeersunt, vol 2. Ed. Ludwig von Jan. Quedlinburghi et Lipsiae: Typis ed sumptibus GG. Bassii, 1852.

Malcolm X. By Any Means Necessary (Malcolm X Speeches & Writings). New York: Pathfinder Press, 1992.

Malick, David. An Introduction to the Book of Matthew. In Biblical Studies Foundation. Richardson, Texas: Biblical Studies Press, 1996. [on-line]; Accessed 1September 2000. Available from http://www.bible.org; Internet.

Masterman, E. W. G. "Fig, Fig-tree." In International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Ed. James Orr. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939. In The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008.

Masterman, E. W. G. "Frankincense." In International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Ed. James Orr. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939. In The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008.

Masterman, E. W. G. "Gall." In International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Ed. James Orr. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939. In The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008.

McIver, Robert K.. "Twentieth Century Approaches to the Matthean Community." In Andrews University Seminary Studies (Spring 1999): 23-38.

Medlycott, A. E. India and the Apostle Thomas: An Inquiry with a Critical Analysis of the Acta Thomae Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2005.

Metzger, Bruce M. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. Corrected edition. London: United Bible Society, 1975.

Meyer, Joyce. Life in the Word (Fenton, Missouri: Joyce Meyer Ministries). On Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California). Television program.

Migne, Jacques Paul. Patrologia Graecae, 161vols. Parisiis: Excudebat Migne, 1857-66.

Migne, Jacques Paul. Patrologia Latina, 221vols. Parisiis: Excudebat Migne, 1844-55.

Milton, Helen. "The Structure of the Prologue to St. Matthew's Gospel." In Journal of Biblical Literature 812 (June 1962): 175-181.

Morgan, G. Campbell. The Parables and Metaphors of Our Lord. New York: Fleming H. Revell Co, 1943.

Morosco, Robert E. "Redaction Criticism and the Evangelical: Matthew 10 a Test Case." Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 224 (December 1979): 323-331.

Moulton, James Hope and George Milligan. The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-literary Sources. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1914-1929.

Mller, F. Max, ed. The Zend-Aesta, 3vols. In The Sacred Books of the East. Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1880-87.

Murphy-O'Connor, Jerome. "The Structure of Matthew XIV-XVII." Revue Biblique 82 (1975): 360-384.

Museveni, Yoweri K. Sowing the Mustard Seed. London: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 1997.

Nesfield-Cookson, Bernard. The Mystery of the Two Jesus Children: And the Descent of the Spirit of the Sun. Forest Row, London: Temple Lodge Publishing, 2005.

Nichols, Bob. "Sermon." Calvary Cathedral International, Fort Worth, Texas.

Origen. "de Principiis." In A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, American edition, vol 4: Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius Felix; Commodian; Origen, Parts First and Second. Eds. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, Grand Rapids; Michigan: William