Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Beginning of the Beginning of the New Testament

I have been doing some preliminary work for studying through the book of Matthew. The more I study it and the more I talk to others about it, the more I look forward to preaching through the first gospel. I will be posting my thoughts throughout the study on and off. I am not sure my posts will be a complete representation of the entire book. We will have to see. Nevertheless, posting helps me communicate my thoughts and maybe they will be an encouragement to you, too.

This first post I want to address the approach I will take to the book of Matthew. I have been through many studies of the different gospels and usually the study turns into a study of the harmony of the gospels: John said this, Mark said that, and it all takes place between these two verses in Luke. While I think a study of the harmony of the gospels is an important one, and while I think anyone going through one of the gospels needs to understand how they all fit together to tell the story of our Savior, I also think that each gospel writer had a message to tell in their own individual gospels.

Thus, I want to study Matthew and understand his message to his audience. I know studying Matthew will necessitate some reference to the other gospels. But I think Matthew placed the events of Christ's life and ministry in the order he did and mentioned the events he did to contribute to his overall message. And when these events are place in the appropriate chronological order with the other gospels, then Matthew's message becomes muted if not silent.

So, as I post my thoughts regarding my study through Matthew, I expect to only rarely refer to the other gospels unless that will contribute and clarify the story and message Matthew is conveying.

So let me know what you think of my approach. Is it valid? Do you agree? Let me know.

Next, I will post an overview of Matthew.


Mark said...

Good thoughts to start the study. I agree that harmony of the Gospels is a good study and there is benefit, but while preaching through a Gospel, each writer had a specific audience and reason for sharing. I am looking forward to reading your comments as you go through the process.