Gospel of Matthew


The Gospel of Matthew is the first book in the Christian New Testament and is one of the four gospels. It is named for its traditional author, Matthew the tax collector and disciple, and was written sometime in the later 1st century CE.

The Gospel of Matthew, more commonly called simply "Matthew," is 28 chapters long. It is the longest of the four gospels when counting chapters, however the Gospel of Luke is longer when counting verses and words. It is organized around five discourses of Christ, with a prologue and epilogue (Ch. 5-7; Ch. 10; Ch. 13; Ch. 18; Ch. 24-25).

There is widespread agreement that Matthew was written for a Jewish audience and its primary purpose is to convince Jews that Jesus of Nazareth is the promised Messiah of the Hebrew Scriptures. Matthew contains 65 Old Testament quotations, while by comparison, Luke has 43.

Narratives Unique to Matthew

Christ's geneaology from Abraham to Joseph through the male line; the succession to the throne, from Abraham through king David to Joseph, 42 generations, with omissions. Mt. 1: Joseph's dreams. Mt. 2: Christ worshipped by the wise men, Herod's massacre of the children at Bethlehem, Herod's death, and Christ's return to Nazareth. Mt. 5--7: the Sermon on the Mount in full. Mt. 9: healing of two blind men. Mt. 11: call to the heavy laden. Mt. 13: parables of the hidden treasure, the pearl, and the drag-net. Mt. 16: Peter's confession of Christ, and Christ's confirmation of Peter's name (compare at an early time John 1:42). Mt. 17: Christ's paying the tribute with money from a fish. Mt. 20: cures two blind men while going from Jericho. Mt. 22: parable of the wedding garment. Mt. 25: parables of the ten virgins, talents, and sheep and goats at the judgment. Mt. 27: dream of Pilate's wife, appearance of many saints after the crucifixion. Mt. 28: soldiers bribed to say that Christ's disciples had stolen His body.

Outline of Matthew

Introduction; Christ's genealogy, birth; visit of the wise men; flight to Egypt; return to Nazareth; John the Baptist's preparatory ministry; Christ's baptism and consecration to His office by the Holy Spirit, with the Father's declared approval (Mt. 1--3). Temptation; ministry in Galilee; call of disciples (Mt. 4). Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5--7). Events in order, proving His claim to Messiahship by miracles (Mt. 8--9). Appointment of apostles; doubts of John's disciples; cavils of the Pharisees; on the other hand His loving invitations, miracles, series of parables on the kingdom; effects of His ministry on Herod and various classes; prophecy to His disciples of His coming death (Mt. 10--18:35). Ministry in Judea and Jerusalem (Mt. 19--20). Passion week: entry into Jerusalem; opposition to Him by Herodians, Sadducees, Pharisees; silences them all; denunciation of the Pharisees (Mt. 21--23). Last discourses: His coming as Lord and Judge (Mt. 24--25). Passion and resurrection (Mt. 26--28).


  1. Kenneth Barker, ed., The NIV Study Bible (Zondervan, 1985), pp. 1440-41.
  2. David W. Bercot, ed., A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs: A Guide to More Than 700 Topics Discussed by the Early Church Fathers (Hendrickson, 1998).

Online Text of the Gospel of Matthew

Online Guides to the Gospel of Matthew

Books on the Gospel of Matthew

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