Although the book of Matthew launches the New Testament Canon, it wasn’t written first. How, then, was it given that place of honor?
Early church history shows that new Christians studied and read from the Gospel according to Matthew so frequently that it was accorded the #1 position in the New Testament. For, just as today’s students of Scripture seek Bible study tips, so did those early followers want advice on how to be a new Christian.
Try to put yourself in their position. You, like they, would desire to know: What is required of me to be a follower of Jesus Christ? How do I love my neighbor? What is the Kingdom of God? How do I resolve relationship problems? How do I pray? The Gospel of Matthew supplied all those answers, and more. Thus it came to be known as the guidebook, or handbook, for new adherents of The Way. No wonder this Gospel takes the lead in the New Testament Canon.
A pattern of teaching and healing is seen throughout Matthew’s five sections that mimics the structure of the Torah, or Pentateuch, and shows the relationship between Jesus and the Old Testament.
By the way, we offer an accompanying book—a Matthew Bible Study Workbook—that’s filled with questions and study tips for those just starting group Bible study.
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Runtime: 1 hour, 18 minutes
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