Biblical Studies/New Testament Commentaries/The Gospel of Matthew/Introduction

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Matthew Introduction

Welcome to the Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew[edit | edit source]

This is a good place to begin looking for information on Matthew. This incomplete commentary was begun as a course assignment by students in "New Testament Interpretation" in the Spring of 2010 at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. If you cannot find the information you need, there are plenty of sources listed in the bibliography below in which you can continue your own research. Since only 19 students were involved, not every chapter is treated. Time constraints also meant that not every chapter was thoroughly commented on.

A Brief Summary of Matthew[edit | edit source]

Matthew has 28 chapters. It begins with the genealogy and an account of the birth of Jesus. It concludes with reports of his resurrection appearances. Throughout the book are various stories from the ministry of Jesus, including his baptism, temptation, call of disciples, ministry of teaching, preaching and healing, final journey to Jerusalem where he was betrayed and executed by the Romans.

Some More Information[edit | edit source]

Matthew is the first book in the traditional order of the New Testament. It was certainly not the first of the books written that eventually came to be included in the New Testament. Nor was it likely the first of the Gospels to have been written. However, Matthew is cited by Origen as, by early church tradition, "...the first was written by Matthew." (Origen - Ecclesiastical History, 6:15) It was certainly written prior to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD.

The theme of this Gospel is Christ as the Jewish Messiah. Matthew, the author, was a Jewish tax collector who became an apostle of Jesus. This was related by Matthew himself. This Gospel is rich with Jewish elements. The Genealogy presented by Matthew begins with Abraham and traces Jesus through the Davidic line to Joseph, the "step father" of Jesus. Lineage of this type was integral to the Jew as proof of inheritance, spiritually and physically. The Davidic Covenant from God promises that the Messiah would come from the direct line of David and sit on the throne of Israel. And Jesus is called "Son of David" repeatedly through this Gospel.

Matthew also emphasizes numerous Jewish customs without explanation, since the Jew would readily understand such traditions. Further, Matthew relates many Old Testament references to the Messiah as directly related to the actions and words of Jesus throughout His ministry. In particular, Matthew focuses on making the distinction between the Mosaic Law as portrayed by the Pharisees and Sadducees and the Mosaic Law as portrayed directly by Moses - The superiority of the Moral Law over the Ceremonial Law.

This Gospel should not be read as a chronology of the life of Christ. Instead it is a compilation of topical themes which are designed to bring the Jew to a clear understanding that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah promised by God in the garden of Eden and described by the Prophets.

Sources Cited in This Commentary[edit | edit source]

Allen, Leslie C., Ralph W. Klein, C.L. Seow, Sidnie C. White, and Lawrence M. Wils. The New Interpreter's Bible . Volume 3. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995.

Argyle, A. W. "The Gospel According the Matthew" Vol. 1. London: Cambridge Univ., 1963. Print. The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible.

Bauer, Walter. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd Ed. (BDAG). Ed. Frederick William Danker. Third ed. Logos Bible Software, 2000.

Buttrick, George A. “Matthew, Mark.” The Interpreter's Bible. New York: Abingdon Press, 1951.

Dietrich, Suzanna De. "The Gospel According to Matthew" Vol. 16. Richmond: John Knox, 1961. Print. The Layman's Bible Commentary.

Douglas, J. D., ed. "Pray." New Bible Dictionary. Third ed. Leicester: InterVarsity, 1996. 1019.

Earle, Ralph. "The Gospel According to Matthew." Pages 17–259 in volume 6 of the Beacon Bible Commentary. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 1964.

Easton, M.G. "Houses." Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary. Third. Thomas Nelson, 1897. Web. <>.

Eiselen, Frederick C., ed. The Abingdon Bible Commentary. New York: Abingdon, 1929.

Freedman, David N. “ Family and Messiah.” The Anchor Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

Freedman, David Noel. "Forgiveness." The Anchor Bible Dictionary. Vol. 2. New York: Doubleday Dell, 1992. 947+.

Hagner, Donald A. "Matthew 1-13" Vol. 33A. Dallas: Word Incorporated, 1993. Print. Word Biblical Commentary.

Hagner, Donald A. “The Birth and Infancy Narratives.” Word Biblical Commentary. Dallas: Word Books, 1993.

Hagner, Donald A. Word Biblical Commentary: Matthew 14–28. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1995.

Hagner, Donald A. Word Biblical Commentary: Matthew 14–28. Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1995.

Hare, Douglas R. A. "Matthew" Louisville: John Knox, 1993. Print. Interpretation A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.

Hare, Douglas R.A. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching. Louisville: John Knox, 1993.

Hendricksen, William. The Gospel According to Matthew. Grand Rapids: Erdmens Publishing Company, 1967.

Hendriksen, William. New Testament Commentary: Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1973.

Hill, David. "The Gospel of Matthew" Grand Rapids: Marshall Morgan & Scott, 1972. Print. The New Century Bible Commentary.

Hill, David. New Century Bible Commentary: The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Company, 1972.

Hobbs, Herschel H. Preacher's Homiletic Library. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House Company,1961.

Jonge, Marinus de. "Messiah." Pages 777-88 in vol. 4 of the Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by David Noel Freedman. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

Luke. New American Standard Bible. The Lockman Foundation. Web. <>.

Luz, Ulrich. “Geneology.” Matthew 1–7. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007.

Luz, Ulrich. Matthew 21-28 A Commentary. Augsburg Fortress, 2005.

Mark. New American Standard Bible. The Lockman Foundation. Web. <>.

Matthew. New American Standard Bible. The Lockman Foundation. Web. <>.

Merriam-Webster, I. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. Eleventh ed. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 2003.

Mounce, Robert H. New International Biblical Commentary. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1991.

Perkins, Pheme. "First and Second Peter, James and Jude." Louisville: John Knox, 1995. Print. Interpretation A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching.

Schwagger, Don. "The Gospel of Matthew." The Gospel of Matthew. Don Schwagger, 2007. Web. 22 Mar. 2010. <>.

Senior, Donald. Abingdon New Testament Commentaries: Matthew. Nashville: Abingdon, 1998.

Strong, James. The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990.

Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament)(electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Turner, David L. Matthew. Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008.

Wright, C. J. H. "Family." Pages 761–69 in vol. 2 of the Anchor Bible Dictionary. Edited by David Noel Freedman. New York: Doubleday, 1992.