Return to Front Page

Introduction to the Books of the Bible

Return to

Contents Page

Matthew's Gospel



BOOK : Matthew

Description : 1st of the three Synoptic (same or similar) Gospels

Author: Matthew, a tax collector, one of the twelve (please see rider below)

Date written : Opinions vary but probably somewhere between 56-58AD

Chapters : 28



Rider: Accuracy of dating, authorship etc.

Depending on which scholar you read, when they wrote, and so on, dates and opinions about authors will vary because the truth is that we do not know these things definitely. Therefore hold the dates lightly although they will probably only vary a few years one way or another. As far as authorship is concerned we have tended to go along with ancient tradition, what the Early Church Fathers (senior leaders in the centuries following Christ) said. For more detail on each of these Gospels, please go to the INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS page.


Brief Synopsis:

•  The genealogy of Jesus (through Joseph), his birth and time in Egypt, the preparation for his ministry and then the three years of ministry leading up to his death and resurrection.
•  Matthew's Gospel appears to appeal particularly to the Jewish audience (see Introductory page)

Outline :


Ch.1-2 The Birth and Early Years of Jesus
1:1-17 His Genealogy
12:18-2:12 His Birth
2:13-23 His time in Egypt
3:1 - 4:11 The Preparations for Jesus' Ministry
3:1-12 His Forerunner
3:13-17 His Baptism
4:1-11 His Temptation
4:12 - 14:12 Jesus' Ministry in Galilee
4:12-25 The Beginning in Galilee
Ch.5-7 The Sermon on the Mount
Ch.8-9 A Collection of Miracles
Ch.10 The Commissioning of the 12 Apostles
Ch.11-12 Ministry throughout Galilee
Ch.13 Parables of the Kingdom
14:1-12 Herod's Response to Jesus' Ministry
14:13 - 17:20 .Jesus' Withdrawals from Galilee
14:13-15:20 To the Eastern Shore of the Sea of Galilee
15:21-28 To Phoenicia
15:29-16:12 To the Decapolis
16:13-17:20 To Caesarea Philippi
17:22 - 18:35 Jesus' Last Ministry in Galilee
17:22-23 Prediction of Jesus' Death
17:24-27 Temple Tax
Ch.18 Discourse on Life in the Kingdom
19:1- 20:34 Jesus' Ministry in Judea and Perea
19:1-12 Teaching concerning Divorce
19:13-15 Teaching concerning Little Children
19:16-30 The Rich Young Man
20:1-16 The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard
20:17-19 Prediction of Jesus' Death
20:20-28 A Mother's Request
20:29-34 Restoration of Sight at Jericho
Ch.21-27 Passion Week Events
21:1-11 The Triumphal Entry
21:12-17 The Cleansing of the Temple
21:18- 23:39 The Last Controversies with the Jewish Leaders
Ch. 24-25 The Olivet Discourse concerning the End of the Age
26:1-13 The Anointing of Jesus' Feet
26:14-16 Judas agrees to betray Jesus
26:17-30 The Last Supper
26:31-35 Jesus predicts Peter's denial
26:36-46 Praying in Gethsemane
26:47-27:66 The Arrest, Trials and Death of Jesus
26:47-56 The Arrest
26:57-68 Before the Sanhedrin
26:69-75 Peter disowns Jesus
27:1-10 Judas kills himself
27:11-26 Jesus before Pilate
27:27-37 The Crucifixion
27:38-56 On the Cross Jesus' death
27:57-66 Jesus buried and guarded     
Ch. 28 The Resurrection
28:1-8 Seekers at the tomb encounter angels
28:9,10 Jesus resurrected, appears
28:11-15 False report concocted
28:16-20 The risen Christ give the Great Commission in Galilee



Matthew, the Author

•  For more details about this Gospel please go to the INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS page.


Concluding Comments


Unique elements of this Gospel are

•  The genealogy in chapter 1 note especially the women included, despite a male orientated culture God is for women

•  The information about Jesus' birth in the end of chapter 1 and the whole of chapter 2. (complemented by Luke 1 & 2).

•  The Sermon on the Mount three chapters of pithy teaching (a shorter version appears in Luke) challenges to live God's way that are only possible with God's help. Comes very much from a Jewish background but with a much wider impact now. Jesus takes the Law and applies it into the new kingdom.


Watch for

•  The number of prophetic references appealing to the Jewish readership.


You may wish to expand on some of the divisions in the outline above for a study, e.g.

Ch.8-9 A Collection of Healing Miracles

•  8:1-4 A man with leprosy
•  8:5-13 A centurion's paralyzed servant healed at a distance
•  8:14-15 Peter's mother-in-law healed
•  8:16-17 Crowds healed
•  8:28-34 Two Gadarene demoniacs delivered
•  9:1-7 A paralytic healed
•  9:18-26 A ruler's daughter healed
•  9:20-22 A woman's bleeding healed
•  9:27-31 Two blind men healed
•  9:32-34 A possessed mute healed and delivered


Other resources available on this site: