Lectionary Year A

Lectionary Year A focuses on the Gospel of Matthew—“ The Gospel of John is read throughout Easter, and is used for other liturgical seasons including Advent, Christmas, and Lent where appropriate.” (Wikipedia)

Matthew: The Gospel according to Matthew (Greek: κατὰ Ματθαῖον εὐαγγέλιον, kata Matthaion euangelion, τὸ εὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ματθαῖον, to euangelion kata Matthaion), commonly shortened to the Gospel of Matthew, is one of the four canonical gospels and is the first book of the New Testament. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story beginning with his genealogy through to his Great Commission.

The Gospel of Matthew is closely aligned with first-century Judaism and has been linked to the Jewish-Christian Gospels. It stresses how Jesus fulfilled Jewish prophecies. Certain details of Jesus' life, of his infancy in particular, are related only in Matthew. His is the only gospel to mention the Church or ecclesia. Matthew also emphasizes obedience to and preservation of biblical law. Since this gospel has rhythmical and often poetical prose, it is well suited for public reading, making it a popular liturgical choice.

Most scholars believe the Gospel of Matthew was composed in the latter part of the first century by a Jewish Christian. Early Christian writings state that Matthew the Apostle wrote the Hebrew Gospel. Most scholars today believe that "canonical Matt was originally written in Greek by a non eyewitness whose name is unknown to us and who depended on sources like Mark and Q", a position known as Markan priority. However, other scholars today, notably Craig Blomberg,[citation needed] disagree variously on these points and believe Matthew did write the gospel.

The Gospel of Matthew can be broken down into five distinct sections: the Sermon on the Mount (ch 5-7), the Mission Instructions to the Twelve (ch 10), the Three Parables (ch 13), Instructions for the Community (ch 18), and the Olivet Discourse (ch 24-25). Some believe this was to reflect the five books of the Pentateuch. (Wikipedia)

Rev. Julia A. Bruton-Sheppard © November 26, 2010 (revised)

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