The Bible Book by BookEach Gospel was written with a view to creating a definite result and written to a particular people and they differ accordingly. In this book, therefore, each Gospel is discussed with the hope of so outlining its purpose and consequent peculiarities as to stimulate a thorough study of the questions raised.
Date. Written about 60 A. D., but after Mark.
The Author. The Author always speaks of himself as "the publican," which may indicate his sense of humility, felt in having been exalted from so low an estate to that of an apostle. He was the son of Alpheus (Mar. 2:14; Lu. 5:27), and was called Levi until Jesus called him and gave him the name Matthew, which means "Gift of God." We know nothing of his work except his call and farewell feast (9:9-10), and that he was with the apostles on the day of Pentecost. Thus silent and observant and qualified by former occupation, he could well undertake the writing of this book. It might be possible that he was chosen by the others for this great task. We know nothing of his death.
Characteristics and Purpose.
1. It is not a Chronological but a Systematic and Topical Gospel. There is order in the arrangement of materials so that a definite result may be produced. Materials are treated in groups, as the miracles in chapters eight and nine and the parables of chapter thirteen. There is order and purpose also in the arrangement of these groups of miracles and parables. The first miracle is the cure of leprosy, and is a type of sin; while the last one is the withering of the fig tree, which is a symbol of judgment. The first parable is that of the seed of the kingdom, which is a symbol of the beginning or planting of the kingdom; the last is that of the talents and prophesies the final adjudication at the last day. This same orderly arrangement is also observed in the two great sections of the book. The first great section 4:17-16:20, especially sets forth the person and nature of Jesus, while the second section, 16:20 end, narrates his great work for others as seen in his death and resurrection.
2. It Is a Didactic or Teaching Gospel. While giving the account of a number of miracles, the book is marked by several discourses of considerable length, as The sermon on the Mount, chapters 3-7, the denunciation of the Pharisees, chapter 23, the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world, chapters 24-25, the address to the apostles, chapter 10; and the doctrines of the kingdom, 17:24-20:16. These portions and the parables noted above will indicate how large a portion of the book is taken up in discourses. The student can make lists of other and shorter sections of teaching.
3. It Is a Gospel of Gloom and Despondency. There are no songs of joy like those of Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon, Anna and the Angels, recorded in Luke. Nor do we see him popular and wise at the age of twelve. Instead, we have his mother almost repudiated and left in disgrace by Joseph and only saved by divine intervention. Jerusalem is in trouble, the male children are killed and mothers are weeping for them. The child Jesus is saved only by the flight into Egypt, his whole life after the return from Egypt is covered in oblivion and he is a despised Nazarite. The cross is one of desolation with no penitent thief nor sympathy from any one, with his enemies reviling, smiting their breasts and passing by. Nor is there much optimism or expectation of success. The disciples are to be rejected and persecuted even as their Lord; many are to be called and but few are chosen; only a few are to find the narrow way; many are to claim entrance into the Kingdom because they have prophesied in His name and be denied. Even Matthew himself is a despised and rejected publican.
4. It Is a Kingly Gospel. The genealogy shows the royal descent of Jesus. The Magi came seeking him that was "born king of the Jews," and John the Baptist preaches that the "Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Here we have the parables of the kingdom, beginning with "the Kingdom of heaven," etc. In Luke a certain man made a great supper and had two sons, while in Matthew it was a certain king. In the other evangelists we always have the term gospel while, with one exception, Matthew always puts it "the gospel of the Kingdom". The "keys of the kingdom" are given to Peter. All the nations shall gather before him as he sits on the throne and "the king say" unto them, and the "king shall answer," etc. (Matt. 25:34, 40).
5. It Is an Official and an Organic Gospel. This is suggested in that Matthew represents Satan as head of a kingdom; also, in that those connected with Jesus' birth are official persons and most of the acts are official in their nature. Pilate, the judge, washed his hands of the blood of Jesus, the Roman guard pronounces him the Christ, and the guards say he could not be kept in the tomb, Jesus denounces the officials and calls his own disciples by official names. It is Peter, not Simon, and Matthew, the apostolic name, and not Levi as in Luke. Jesus indicates his official capacity in his rejection of the Jews, telling them that the kingdom is taken away from them (21:43). He makes ready for the establishing of his own kingdom and tells them who is to wield the keys of the kingdom which is not to be bound by time or national relations as was the former kingdom. In Matthew alone do we find full instructions as to the membership, discipline and ordinances of the church. Here alone are we given in the gospels the command to baptize to administer the communion and the beautiful formula for baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and here we have his official command to "Go" backed by all the authority of heaven and earth.
In the further pursuit of this official work, we find Jesus giving especial recognition to the Gentile believers-giving them full place in his kingdom. The genealogy through grace and faith includes Gentiles; the second chapter shows how the Gentile Magi do him honor; the Roman centurion displays a faith superior to any Israelite; the great faith of the Canaanite woman led him to heal her daughter, and the Gentile wife of Pilate because of her dreams sends a warning that he have "nothing to do" with him. All this tended to show the official and organic way in which Jesus worked.
6. It Is a Gospel of Jewish Antagonism and Rejection. On the one hand the Jews antagonize and reject Jesus. On the other the Jews, especially the scribes and Pharisees, are exposed and rejected by Jesus. The Pharisees plotted against Jesus and resented his violation of their regulations and customs concerning the Sabbath and their ceremonies about eating and washing and his associations with publicans and sinners. Their opposition culminated in their putting him to death. On the other hand Jesus also rejects the Jews. John calls them a generation of vipers and Jesus designated them with such terms as hypocrites, blind guides and whited sepulchers, the climax being reached in chapter 23. It is here that in their wickedness they are unable to discern between the work of God and of Beelzebub. They are told of the application of Isaiah's prophecy, that they have ears and hear not and that on account of their unworthiness, the kingdom is taken from them. The blasting of the fig tree with which the miracles of Matthew ends shows what is to be the fate of the Jewish nation.
7. It Is a Jewish Gospel. This is seen in his use of Jewish symbols, terms and numbers without explanation. He never explained the meaning of a Jewish word, such as Corban, nor of a custom, such as to say that the Jews eat not except they wash. The other evangelists do. He calls Jerusalem by the Jewish terms, "City of the great king," and "Holy City," and Christ the "Son of David" and the "Son of Abraham." He speaks of the Jewish temple as the temple of God, the dwelling place of God and the holy place. The genealogy is traced to Abraham by three great Jewish events of history. All this would be calculated to win the Jews, but, much more, the sixty-five quotations from the Old Testament and the oft repeated attempt to show that deeds and sayings recorded were that the "Scripture (or saying) might be fulfilled." And, while not seeing as much in the numbers as Plummer and others, one can hardly believe that all numbers, so characteristic of Jews, are accidental here. The genealogy has three fourteens being multiples of seven. There are fourteen parables, seven in one place and seven in another. There are seven woes in chapter 23. There are twenty miracles separated into two tens. The number seven usually, if not always, divides into four and three, the human and the divine. Of the seven parables in chapter 13, four touch the human or natural while three refer to the divine or spiritual side of his kingdom. There are seven petitions in the Lord's prayer, the first three relating to God and the last four to man. A like division is perhaps true in the beatitudes.
Subject. The Kingdom of God or of Heaven.
I. The Beginning of the Kingdom, 1:1-4:16.
II. The Proclamation of the Kingdom, 4:17-16:20.
III. The Passion of the Kingdom, 6:21-27 end.
IV. The Triumph of the Kingdom, Ch. 28.
For Study and Discussion. (1) Some events of Christ's childhood, (a) The story of the Magi. (b) The massacre of the infants, (c) The flight to Egypt, (d) The return to Nazareth. (2) Two miracles, (a) Cure of the blind man, 9:27-31. (b) Fish with money in its mouth, 17:24-27. (3) Ten Parables, (a) The Tares, 13:24-30. (b) The draw net, 13:47-50. (c) The unmerciful servant. 18:23-25. (d) The laborers in the vineyard, 20:1-16. (e) The two sons, 21:28-32. (f) The marriage of the king's son, 22:1-14. (g) The hidden treasure. 24:44. (h) The pearl, 24:45-46. (i) The ten virgins. 25:1-13. (j) The talents, 25:14-30. (4) Ten passages in Christ's discourses: (a) Parts of the Sermon on the Mount, chs. 5-7. (b) Revelation to babes, 11:25-27. (c) Invitations to the weary, 11:28-30. (d) About idle words, 12:36-37. (e) Prophecy to Peter, 16:17-19. (f) Humility and forgiveness, 18:14-35. (g) Rejection of the Jews, 21:43. (h) The great denunciation, ch. 23. (i) The judgment scene, 23:31-46. (j) The great commission and promise, 28:16-20. (5) Some terms by which Jesus is designated in Matthew should be studied. Let the student make a list of the different places where each of the following terms are used and from a study of the passages compared with any others form opinions as to the significance of the term, (a) Son of Abraham, (b) Son of David, (c) Son of man, (d) Son of God, (e) Christ, the Christ, (f) Jesus, (g) Lord, (h) Kingdom of heaven or Kingdom of God. (6) Make a list of all the places where the expression "That the saying (or scripture) might be fulfilled" and tabulate all the things fulfilled. (7) Show how many times and where the phrase "The Kingdom of Heaven" (or of God) occurs and from a study of these passages tabulate in list the nature, characteristics and purpose of the Kingdom. (8) Make a list of all the places mentioned and become familiar with the history and geography of each and memorize the leading events connected with each.
For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
1916 BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS Waco, Texas
ChaptersMatthew 1. The Genealogy, Conception and Birth of Jesus
1. The genealogy of Jesus from Abraham to Joseph.
18. He is miraculously conceived of the Holy Spirit by the Virgin Mary.
19. The angel satisfies the doubts of Joseph,
21. and declares the names and office of Jesus;
25. Jesus is born
Matthew 2. Visit of the Magi; Escape to Egypt; Slaughter of Infants; Return to Nazareth
1. The wise men from the east enquire after Jesus;
3. at which Herod is alarmed.
9. They are directed by a star to Bethlehem, worship him, and offer their presents.
13. Joseph flees into Egypt with Jesus and his mother.
16. Herod slays the children;
20. himself dies.
23. Jesus is brought back again into Galilee to Nazareth.
Matthew 3. John Preaches Repentance and Baptizes Jesus in the Jordan
1. John preaches: his office, life, and baptism.
7. He reprimands the Pharisees,
13. and baptizes Jesus in Jordan.
Matthew 4. The Temptation of Jesus; Jesus Begins to Preach, Calls First Disciples, Ministers in Galilee
1. Jesus, fasting forty days,
3. is tempted by the devil and ministered unto by angels.
12. He dwells in Capernaum;
17. begins to preach;
18. calls Peter and Andrew,
21. James and John;
23. teaches and heals all the diseased.
Matthew 5. The Sermon on the Mount; Beatitudes; Salt; Law; Murder; Adultery; Divorce; Oaths; Enemies
1. Jesus' sermon on the mount:
3. The Beattitudes;
13. the salt of the earth;
14. the light of the world.
17. He came to fulfill the law.
21. What it is to kill;
27. to commit adultery;
33. to swear.
38. He exhorts to forgive wrong,
43. to love our enemies;
48. and to labor after perfection.
Matthew 6. Giving to the Poor; Lord's Prayer; Fasting; Treasure in Heaven; Do Not Worry
1. Giving to the Needy
5. The Lord's Prayer
16. Proper Fasting
19. Store up Treasures in Heaven
25. Do Not Worry
33. but seek God's kingdom.
Matthew 7. Do Not Judge; Ask; Seek; Knock; Golden Rule; Narrow Gate; Good Fruit; Foundation on Rock
1. Do Not Judge
7. Ask, Seek, Knock
13. Enter through the Narrow Gate
15. A Tree and Its Fruit
24. The Wise and the Foolish Builders
28. Jesus ends his sermon, and the people are astonished.
Matthew 8. Jesus Heals Leper; Centurion's Servant; Peter's Mother-in-Law; Cost of Discipleship; Rebuking the Storm; Demons into Pigs
1. Jesus cleanses the leper;
5. heals the centurion's servant,
14. Peter's mother in law,
16. and many others;
18. shows the cost of following him;
23. stills the storm on the sea;
28. drives the demons out of two men possessed;
31. and tells them to go into the pigs.
Matthew 9. Jesus Heals a Paralytic, Calls Matthew and Heals; the Workers are Few
1. Jesus heals a paralytic
9. calls Matthew from the receipt of custom;
10. eats with tax collectors and sinners;
14. defends his disciples for not fasting;
20. cures the sick woman;
23. raises Jairus' daughter from death;
27. gives sight to two blind men;
32. heals a mute man possessed of a demon;
36. and has compassion on the multitude.
Matthew 10. Christ Sends out His Twelve Apostles, enabling them with power to do miracles
1. Jesus sends out his apostles, enabling them with power to do miracles;
5. giving them their charge, teaches them;
16. comforts them against persecutions;
40. and promises a blessing to those who receive them.
Matthew 11. John's Disciples and Jesus' Tribute; Woe to Unrepentant Cities; Rest for the Weary
1. John sends his disciples to Jesus.
7. Jesus' testimony concerning John.
16. The perverse judgment of the people concerning the Son.
20. Jesus upbraids Korazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum;
25. and praising his Father's wisdom in revealing the Gospel to the simple,
28. he calls to him those who are weary and burdened.
Matthew 12. The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath; By Their Fruit; Sign of Jonah; Who are my Mother and Brothers?
1. Jesus reproves the blindness of the Pharisees concerning the Sabbath,
3. by scripture,
9. by reason,
13. and by a miracle.
22. He heals a man possessed that was blind and mute;
24. and confronting the absurd charge of casting out demons by Beelzebub,
32. he shows that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall never be forgiven.
36. Account shall be made of idle words.
38. He rebukes the unfaithful, who seek after a sign,
46. and shows who is his brother, sister, and mother.
Matthew 13. Parables of the Sower; Weeds among Wheat; Mustard Seed; Yeast; Treasure; Pearls; Net; Prophet without Honor
1. The parable of the sower and the seed;
18. the explanation of it.
24. The parable of the weeds;
31. of the mustard seed;
33. of the leaven;
36. explanation of the parable of the weeds.
44. The parable of the hidden treasure;
45. of the pearl;
47. of the drag net cast into the sea.
53. Jesus is a prophet without honor in his own country.
Matthew 14. John the Baptist Beheaded; Jesus Feeds Five Thousand, Walks on Water
1. Herod's opinion of Jesus.
3. Wherefore John Baptist was beheaded.
13. Jesus departs into a solitary place,
15. where he feeds five thousand men with five loves and two fishes.
22. He walks on the sea to his disciples;
34. and landing at Gennesaret,
35. heals the sick who touch of the hem of his garment.
Matthew 15. Clean and Unclean; Jesus Heals the Canaanite Woman's Daughter, Feeds Four Thousand
1. Jesus reproves the Scribes and Pharisees
7. for transgressing God's commandments through their own traditions;
10. teaches how that which goes into the mouth does not defile a man.
21. He heals the daughter of the woman of Canaan,
29. and other great multitudes;
32. and with seven loaves and a few small fish feeds four thousand men
Matthew 16. Pharisees Demand a Sign; Peter's Confession of Christ; Jesus Foretells His Death and Rebukes Peter
1. The Pharisees require a sign.
5. Jesus warns his disciples of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
13. The people's opinion of Jesus,
16. and Peter's confession of him.
21. Jesus foretells his death;
23. reproves Peter for dissuading him from it;
24. and admonishes those who will follow him, to bear the cross.
Matthew 17. The Transfiguration of Christ; Healing a Boy with a Demon; Paying the Temple Tax
1. The transfiguration of Jesus.
14. He heals the boy with a demon,
22. foretells his own passion,
24. and pays tribute.
Matthew 18. Greatest and Least in the Kingdom; Parables of the Lost Sheep, Brother who sins, Unmerciful Servant
1. Jesus warns his disciples to be humble and harmless,
7. to avoid offenses,
10. and not to despise the little ones;
15. teaches how we are to deal with our brothers when they offend us,
21. and how often to forgive them;
23. which he sets forth by a parable of the king who took account of his servants,
32. and punished him who showed no mercy to his fellow servant.
Matthew 19. Divorce; Jesus and the Little Children; the Rich Young Ruler
1. Jesus heals the sick;
3. answers the Pharisees concerning divorce;
10. shows when marriage is necessary;
13. receives the little children;
16. instructs the young man how to attain eternal life;
20. and how to be perfect;
23. tells his disciples how hard it is for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God;
27. and promises reward to those who forsake all to follow him.
Matthew 20. Parable of the Vineyard Workers; Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection, Heals Two Blind Men
1. Jesus, by the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, shows that God is debtor unto no man;
17. foretells his passion;
20. by answering the mother of Zebedee's children, teaches his disciples to be humble;
29. and gives two blind men their sight.
Matthew 21. The Triumphal Entry; Moneychangers; Withered Fig Tree; Jesus' Authority; Parables of the Two Sons, Landowner
1. Jesus rides into Jerusalem upon a donkey
12. drives the buyers and sellers out of the temple;
17. curses the fig tree;
23. puts to silence the priests and elders,
28. and rebukes them by the parable of the two sons,
33. and the husbandmen who slew such as were sent to them.
Matthew 22. Parable of the Wedding Banquet; Render to Caesar; the Greatest Commandment; Sadducees Question Jesus
1. The parable of the marriage of the king's son.
9. The vocation of the Gentiles.
12. The punishment of him who lacked a wedding garment.
15. Tribute ought to be paid to Caesar.
23. Jesus confutes the Sadducees for the resurrection;
34. answers which is the first and great commandment;
41. and puzzles the Pharisees by a question about the Messiah.
Matthew 23. Woes Pronounced on Pharisees; Lament over Jerusalem
1. Jesus admonishes the people to follow good doctrine, not bad examples
5. His disciples must beware of their ambition.
13. He denounces eight woes against their hypocrisy and blindness,
34. and prophesies of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Matthew 24. Christ Foretells the Destruction of the Temple and His Glorious Return
1. Jesus foretells the destruction of the temple;
3. what and how great calamities shall be before it;
29. the signs of his coming to judgment.
36. And because that day and hour are unknown,
42. we ought to watch like good servants, expecting our Master's coming.
Matthew 25. Parables of Ten Virgins, Talents, Sheep and Goats
1. The parable of the ten virgins,
14. and of the talents.
31. Also the description of the last judgment.
Matthew 26. Plot to Kill Jesus; Jesus Anointed at Bethany; Last Supper; Judas' Betrayal; Jesus before Caiaphas; Peter Disowns Jesus
1. Jesus foretells his own death.
3. The rulers conspire against him.
6. The woman anoints his feet.
14. Judas bargains to betray him.
17. Jesus eats the Passover;
26. institutes his holy supper;
30. foretells the desertion of his disciples, and Peter's denial;
36. prays in the garden;
47. and being betrayed by a kiss,
57. is carried to Caiaphas,
69. and denied by Peter.
Matthew 27. Judas Hangs Himself; Jesus' Trial, Crucifixion and Burial
1. Jesus is delivered bound to Pilate.
3. Judas hangs himself.
19. Pilate, admonished of his wife,
20. and being urged by the multitude, washes his hands, and releases Barabbas.
27. Jesus is mocked and crowned with thorns;
50. dies, and is buried;
62. his tomb is sealed and watched.
Matthew 28. Christ's Resurrection; The Guards' Report; The Great Commission
1. Christ's resurrection is declared by an angel to the women.
9. He himself appears unto them.
11. The chief priests pay the soldiers to say that he was stolen out of his tomb.
16. Christ appears to his disciples,
18. and sends them to baptize and teach all nations.