Exegesis Of Matthew

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The Bible contains two parts, which are the Old Testament, the so-called the Jewish Bible, and the New Testament. Though many different writers involved in writing the Bible, the two Testaments are not independent; they are cross-referenced to each other. Christians often treat the Old Testament not only as the historical documents or literatures of the Israelites, but also as an important element of the foundation of the New Testament, because the writers of the New Testament lay strong emphasis on the relationship of Jesus with the prophecies of the Old Testament, which includes "the birth of Jesus, the place of His birth, the flight into Egypt, the return to Nazareth, the role of John the Baptist in preparing Jesus for His public ministry," the crucifixion of Jesus, and the resurrection of Jesus.

The New Testament is a collection of different spiritual literary works, which includes the Gospels, a history of early church, the epistles of Paul, other epistles and apocalypse. Without deeply thinking or researching of the chronological order of the Gospels, a reader should not have problem to observe that the Gospels begin with the Gospel of Matthew, and to notice that there are many common areas, including content and literary characteristics, among the first three Gospels, the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

The reason that the Gospel of Matthew is in the first place among the four Gospels is due to the early church tradition that Matthew was the earliest one who recorded Lord’s word and Jesus stories. In the fifth century, Augustine of Hippo claimed that "the canonical order of the four Gospels was the chronological order." In the late-eighteenth century, J. J. Griesbach stated that The Gospel of Mark was a short version of the combination of the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke. In the nineteenth century, German scholars concluded that the Gospel of Matthew was preceded by the Gospel of Mark and Matthew used the Gospel of Mark as his primary source. No matter which theory that most New Testament scholars accept, Matthew did not simply copy sources from other Gospels, but also included his own ideas and quoted verses from the Old Testament. So the question of readers should rise is "How strong relationship did the Gospel of Matthew have with the Old Testament?" or "How accurately did Matthew use the Old Testament?
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