what are we studying now

Gospel of Matthew:

The Gospel According to Matthew also called (the Gospel of Matthew, or simply Matthew) is the first book of the New Testament and one of the three synoptic gospels. The core of its story, tells how Israel's Messiah, rejected and executed in Israel, pronounces judgement on Israel and its leaders and becomes the salvation of the gentiles.

Most scholars believe it was composed between AD 80 and 90, with a range of possibility between AD 70 to 110, and although early Christian tradition attributes it to the apostle Matthew, this is rejected by modern scholars. The anonymous author was probably a male Jew, standing on the margin between traditional and non-traditional Jewish values, and familiar with technical legal aspects of scripture being debated in his time. Writing in a polished Semitic "synagogue Greek", he drew on the Gospel of Mark as a source, plus the hypothetical collection of sayings known as the Q source and material unique to his own community, called the M source or "Special Matthew".

Author of the Book:

The gospel itself does not specify an author, but he was probably a male Jew, standing on the margin between traditional and non-traditional Jewish values, and familiar with technical legal aspects of scripture being debated in his time. Early Christian tradition attributes the gospel to the apostle Matthew, but this is rejected by modern scholars.

The majority of modern scholars believe that Mark was the first gospel to be composed and that Matthew (who includes some 600 of Mark's 661 verses) and Luke both drew upon it as a major source for their works. The author of Matthew did not, however, simply copy Mark, but used it as a base, emphasising Jesus' place in the Jewish tradition and including other details not covered in Mark. He likely took an additional 220 (approximately) verses, shared by Matthew and Luke but not found in Mark, from a second source, a hypothetical collection of sayings to which scholars give the name "Quelle", or the Q source. This view, known as the two-source hypothesis, allows for a further body of tradition known as "Special Matthew", or the M source, meaning material unique to Matthew; this may represent a separate source, or it may come from the author's church, or he may have composed these verses himself. The author also had the Greek scriptures at his disposal, both as book-scrolls and in the form of "testimony collections", and, if Papias is correct, probably oral stories of his community. These sources were predominantly in Greek, but mostly not from any known version of the Septuagint; a few scholars hold that some of them may have been Greek translations of older Hebrew or Aramaic sources.

Setting and date:

The majority view among scholars is that Matthew was a product of the last quarter of the 1st century. This makes it a work of the second generation of Christians, for whom the defining event was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans in AD 70 in the course of the First Jewish–Roman War (AD 66–73); from this point on, what had begun with Jesus of Nazareth as a Jewish messianic movement became an increasingly Gentile phenomenon evolving in time into a separate religion. The Christian community to which Matthew belonged, like many 1st-century Christians, was still part of the larger Jewish community: hence the designation Jewish Christian to describe them. The relationship of Matthew to this wider world of Judaism remains a subject of study and contention, the principal question being to what extent, if any, Matthew's community had cut itself off from its Jewish roots. Certainly there was conflict between Matthew's group and other Jewish groups, and it is generally agreed that the root of the conflict was the Matthew community's belief in Jesus as the Messiah and authoritative interpreter of the law, as one risen from the dead and uniquely endowed with divine authority.

What Are We Studying Now

Our Sunday School class is now studying The Gospel of Matthew.

The Gospel According to Matthew also called (the Gospel of Matthew, or simply Matthew) is the first book of the New Testament and one of the three synoptic gospels. The core of its story, tells how Israel's Messiah, rejected and executed in Israel, pronounces judgement on Israel and its leaders and becomes the salvation of the gentiles. Come join us!

 

Who is the Teacher

Mark is the primary leader of the class.  We also rely on class participation to help teach each other through the sharing of personal experiences.  It is not required that everyone participate but we encourage everyone to do so.

What we Study

Our lessons almost always are directly from the Bible.  Our workbook is the Bible.  We welcome anyone to our class who wants to study God’s word.  Once we pick a book of the Bible to study we go through each chapter picking out information that we can use to make us better Christians and to learn more about God.  We also help each other use the information we glean to help us in today’s world.

Who is the Class Designed for?

We welcome anyone who wants to study the Bible along with us.  We are a diverse co-ed group.  We have found that the more diverse the class is the more interesting it will be so we encourage everyone to join us.  God’s gift is for everyone.  We can learn from each other.

 

Class Location

Class Location First Baptist Church - 1407 East Main Street - Hope Building H103 next to the coffee and donuts. – Fredericksburg, Texas 78624 - Sundays 9:15 am to 10:15 am (See map)