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New Testament Survey – Introduction and the Gospel of Matthew January 4, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Matthew, New Testament, Religion, Sermon on the Mount.

We begin on Sunday night a new series surveying the New Testament. Here are the notes from this weekend’s lesson. The second follows in three weeks. The reading plan reflects that. 


The base of the mountain is Genesis with the lower heights being the Old Testament books. The New Testament books are the upper parts of the mountain. When you get closer to the top, you are looking at things from God’s perspective, Bible Doctrines. Seeing the universe as God sees it. The pinnacle of spiritual maturity, i.e., being like Jesus Christ, is based on what is in knowledge of God’s Word and understanding of His truth.


How we study the Bible, that is, the method used, largely determines the fruit of our Bible study. There are two primary methods, survey and analysis. Survey is observation. Good observation results in correct interpretation and profitable application. Also, analysis is difficult to make without first doing survey.  

1.     With survey you see the emphasis God wants to make.

  • By observing the total structure — Example: Ephesians 6:2 “The first commandment with promise.”
  • Learning not only what is said but also how. A sermon is different from a song, a story different from a list of laws, a genealogy different from a proverb.
  • Get a feel for the book’s atmosphere. Galatians is at times angry. Philippians is a joyful book.
  • The lessons we will learn come from this emphasis. We learn to emphasize what God wants to emphasize and not set our own agendas during Bible study.

2.     With survey you see the relation of the different books to each other.   

Reading Plan for the Survey through the end of Mark’s Gospel.

January 7 Matthew 1-2
January 8 Matthew 3-4
January 9 Matthew 5-7
January 10 Matthew 8-9
January 11 Matthew 10-11
January 12 Matthew 12-13
January 13 Matthew 14-15
January 14 Matthew 16-17
January 15 Matthew 18-19
January 16 Matthew 20-21
January 17 Matthew 22-23
January 18 Matthew 24-25
January 19 Matthew 26
January 20 Matthew 27-28
January 21 Mark 1-3
January 22 Mark 4-7
January 23 Mark 8-10
January 24 Mark 11-13
January 25 Mark 14
January 26 Mark 15-16


I.     Date – between 50 and 70 AD; Author – Matthew

 II.  “Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism” {Origen (ca. A.D. 185-254) quoted by Eusebius (ca. A.D. 265-339) in his Ecclesiastical History}.

  • Matthew quotes Old Testament prophetic passages more than 60 times emphasizing how Christ is the fulfillment of all those promises.
  • In contrast to other gospels, Matthew cites Jewish custom without explaining it.
  • He constantly refers to Christ as the “Son of David”.
  • He shows a strong interest in the Messianic kingdom mentioning the “kingdom of heaven” 32 times. His use of this phrase is unique in Scriptures. 

III.   Is Matthew applicable for the church today?

  • The recipients lived in the “church age”.
  • The purpose of the book is primarily doctrinal and secondarily practical. James’ epistle is a good example of how the doctrine taught in Matthew can be applied in our lives.
  • It is a mistake to treat the teachings of Jesus in the same way as we treat the law which was supplanted by the cross. Understanding the kingdom context should help us to know how to apply its teachings in today’s context rather than excusing us from taking the teachings seriously.  
  1. Matthew has five major teaching sections:  the Sermon on the Mount (5-7), the commissioning of the apostles (10), the kingdom parables (13), a discourse about the childlikeness of the believer (18), and the Olivet Discourse (24-25).
  2. The beginning of the book (1-4) establishes Jesus’ credentials and credibility.
  3. The ending of the book (28:16-20) shows how the disciples as well as the recipients of the gospel are to apply the truth of Christ.
  4. Key turning point:  Matthew 16:21, “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.”
  5. Matthew emphasizes the credibility of the historical Jesus as the Messiah. 


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