In past weeks I’ve quoted or otherwise called attention to my new book, Modern Matthew: Good News for Today–College Edition. And I can assure you that releasing the college edition of the Gospel of Matthew is purely coincidental to Joyful Noise (2012), starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, thundering into theaters everywhere.
Bible Outdated?: Subjects like parthenogenesis, obstetrics, astronomy, astrophysics, pediatrics, and psychiatry are found in just the first two chapters of Matthew’s Gospel. Numerous other subjects like microbiology, binary coding, and even cloud computing also find their popularity and roots in Matthew. You have to see it to believe it.
Matthew First: Although Matthew is listed before Mark, some scholars believe Mark wrote his shorter Gospel first. The evidence proves otherwise. For example, Mark wrote his Gospel in Greek whereas Matthew first wrote his in Hebrew and then later translated it into Greek.
“Matthew would naturally write his Gospel in Hebrew since, when giving ministerial instructions, Jesus told his apostles to ‘Go only to the Jewish nation of lost sheep.’ (Matthew 10:6) Therefore, while on earth, Jesus and all his disciples targeted only ‘lost sheep’ who were Jews.”
“It is the catalyst book, the gateway or swing book from the Hebrew Scriptures to the Christian Greek Scriptures. In other words, it is the spine that binds all the books of what is commonly known as the Old Testament with each of those of the popularly-known New Testament.
“Put another way, the Gospel of Matthew is the single multifaceted thread that stitches the Hebrew Scriptures (commonly known as the Old Testament) in to the Christian Greek Scriptures (commonly called the New Testament).
“While all Scripture is inspired of God, the Gospel of Matthew is arguably the most pivotal book of the inspired library, and it is the intent of this translation to accurately reflect what Jesus did and said from birth to death–all things related to the totality of his ministry.”
Christian Pentateuch?: “The first five books of the Christian Greek Scriptures are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts. These form the infrastructure of the remaining 22 books of what is commonly known as the New Testament.” One source notes:
“There are five books in the New Testament which represent the basic teachings of Christ within a historical framework. They are called the four Gospels and the Book of Acts. The first four books account for the period when Christ taught in the flesh (both before and after His resurrection) and the fifth occupies the period from the conclusion of his earthly teaching (Acts 1:4-11) and continues with the progression of that teaching (now directed from heaven) until it reached the city of Rome.
“There is a unity of purpose and design within these five historical books. Indeed, the Book of Acts is as much a ‘Gospel’ as the first four, though it is common to designate only Matthew, Mark, Luke and John by the literary term ‘Gospels.’ This is a proper designation because the fifth book is simply a continuation of Luke’s Gospel. It would be perfectly proper to call Luke’s first composition ‘The First Gospel of Luke,’ and the Book of Acts ‘The Second Gospel of Luke.’ The internal evidence shows that both are truly ‘Gospels’ in the strict sense of the word. This means there are really five Gospels in the New Testament, not four.”
“The nation of natural Israel was born by the completion of the Jewish Pentateuch (Exodus 19:1; Galatians 3:19; Hebrews 2:2; 9:16-20); the nation of spiritual Israel was born by the conclusion of the Christian Pentateuch.-Luke 22:20; 2 Corinthians 3:6, 8, 9; Hebrews 8:10; 12:22-24; Galatians 6:15, 16; 3:26-28; Romans 2:28, 29.”
Matthew “Genesis”?: If there really is a Christian Pentateuch, then Matthew is the Genesis of the New Testament. Interestingly, “the books of Genesis and Matthew have more in common than what meets the eye. Not only are they the first books of their respective sections of the Bible, but in the first verse of Matthew’s Greek Gospel we find that he uses a word based on the Greek word for ‘genesis.'”
The Significant Seventh?: “Curiously, [Matthew] was selected despite being the seventh (seven being a number with special significance in the Bible) disciple of record selected by Jesus. The six before him were Andrew, Peter, John, James, Philip, and Nathaniel.-John 1:35-51; Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9-13; Mark 1:16-20.”
Modern Matthew: Good News for Today-College Edition is available on amazon.com. Get the “highest” form of higher education. Peace and blessings to all. Amen.