New Believers Bible Study Guide: The Gospel of Matthew

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The Greek term was Latinized as evangelium in the Vulgate , and translated into Latin as bona annuntiatio. The written accounts of the life and teaching of Jesus are also generally known as "Gospels".

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The Gospel of Mark probably dates from c. In the immediate aftermath of Jesus' death his followers expected him to return at any moment, certainly within their own lifetimes, and in consequence there was little motivation to write anything down for future generations, but as eyewitnesses began to die, and as the missionary needs of the church grew, there was an increasing demand and need for written versions of the founder's life and teachings.

Mark, the first gospel to be written, uses a variety of sources, including conflict stories Mark — , apocalyptic discourse —35 , and collections of sayings, although not the sayings gospel known as the Gospel of Thomas and probably not the Q source used by Matthew and Luke. All four also use the Jewish scriptures, by quoting or referencing passages, or by interpreting texts, or by alluding to or echoing biblical themes.

The four gospels share a story in which the earthly career of Jesus culminates in his death and resurrection, an event of crucial redemptive significance, but are inconsistent in detail. Each gospel has its own distinctive understanding of Jesus and his divine role.

The synoptic gospels represent Jesus as an exorcist and healer who preached in parables about the coming Kingdom of God.

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He preached first in Galilee and later in Jerusalem, where he cleansed the temple. He states that he offers no sign as proof Mark or only the sign of Jonah Matthew and Luke. He performs several miracles as signs, most of them not found in the synoptics. The Gospel of John ends: "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.

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The consensus among modern scholars is that the gospels are a subset of the ancient genre of bios , or biography. As Luke's attempt to link the birth of Jesus to the census of Quirinius demonstrates, there is no guarantee that the gospels are historically accurate. The creation of a Christian canon was probably a response to the career of the heretic Marcion c. Irenaeus of Lyons went further, stating that there must be four gospels and only four because there were four corners of the Earth and thus the Church should have four pillars.

Epiphanius , Jerome and other early church fathers preserve in their writings citations from Jewish-Christian gospels. Most modern critical scholars consider that the extant citations suggest at least two and probably three distinct works, at least one of which possibly two closely parallels the Gospel of Matthew. The Gospel of Thomas is mostly wisdom without narrating Jesus's life. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church says that the original may date from c. The Gospel of Peter was likely written in the first half of the 2nd century. It had been lost but was rediscovered in the 19th century.

The Gospel of Judas is another controversial and ancient text that purports to tell the story of the gospel from the perspective of Judas, the disciple who is usually said to have betrayed Jesus. It paints an unusual picture of the relationship between Jesus and Judas, in that it appears to interpret Judas's act not as betrayal, but rather as an act of obedience to the instructions of Jesus.

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The text was recovered from a cave in Egypt by a thief and thereafter sold on the black market until it was finally discovered by a collector who, with the help of academics from Yale and Princeton, was able to verify its authenticity. The document itself does not claim to have been authored by Judas it is, rather, a gospel about Judas , and is known to date to at least AD.

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The Gospel of Mary was originally written in Greek during the 2nd century. It is often interpreted as a Gnostic text. Read John ; , 2. This also became a sign. It showed that people wanted to follow Jesus. Read Matthew —20 and Romans There were two important religious groups. They were the main ones in Israel then. Members from both these groups came to John. We might expect that this would please John.


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But he was angry with them. They wanted God to accept them as his people. But John emphasised something. The same thing happens today. But this is not true. They must want to live in a way that will please God. They will obey God.

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In verse 7, John dealt with a problem. It was a sign for wicked things. A snake serpent first deceived humans. He told a lie to Eve; and he made it seem like the truth. But John wanted to give them a shock. They were not being honest with themselves. Both groups believed that God was especially pleased with them. There was a reason for this. But, surely, the good things that they had done would still count. So, the two groups believed that they could claim benefits from the past for themselves.

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Read verses 9— John was saying something important here. God is very good to us. But this means that we have responsibility. He promises to save. But there is a rule. What should the church expect to see in the parents? Also, there are the friends who will have a special interest in the child. What should they be like? Do you think that modern speakers should ever speak as John spoke?

Read verses 7— If so, where should they do this? To whom should they speak like this?


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  • On what occasions should they speak like this? We do not know how these two groups began. But, we do know some facts about them. They would not accept other cultures and customs. They felt that these things would stop them from being holy. So, they added many extra regulations.