Over the next few months (or for as long as it takes) I’m going to blog all the way through the book of Matthew. This won’t be a verse-by-verse commentary so much as a section-by-section exploration, in which I’ll pick out anything that seems to be of particular interest or importance.
Why? Matthew is the first book of the New Testament according to most canons, making it a natural place to start. But more importantly, it contains Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount,” which I view as foundational for everything else. Scattered throughout the rest of the book are scores of other topics I’d like to address. And I expect to discover some new insights along the way.
Additionally, I’m hoping that this exercise will help improve my blogging consistency. If I always have the next post planned, I’ll have fewer excuses to let my blogging slide. (That said, I will almost certainly be interrupting the Matthew series with posts on different topics from time to time.)
I’ll be referencing multiple commentaries and various authors, but I won’t be relying on any of them. The World English Bible will provide the main translation for these posts (due to its unrestricted licensing, as well as the manuscripts it is based on), but I’ll be checking with a large number of versions for any given verse.
In preparation for this series, I’ve read through the book of Matthew twice so far, using two translations (Phillips and Goodspeed), and I’ll be continuing to read straight through the book in various translations as I go along, to help me keep the context of the whole book in mind throughout.Based on my preparatory reading, one primary theme has appeared to unite the book of Matthew: God sent his Messiah to the Jews, but they were scandalized by Jesus’ radical inclusion of Gentiles and sinners in the kingdom of God. We’ll see how well this theme holds up as we proceed.
Now this is where your part comes in. I really want your interaction with me during this endeavor. Here are four ways you can participate:
- Let me know ahead of time about anything specific you’d like me to cover—hard sayings, favorite passages, confusing parables, disputable interpretations, etc. If it comes from the book of Matthew, I’ll do my best to cover it when we get there.
- Read along and comment. Do you agree with my understanding of a passage? Disagree? Have something else to add? Please let me know!
- Share these posts with your friends—especially if a post taught you something new. The more folks we have reading, the more interaction we’ll have, and the better we’ll all learn together.
- This fourth one is optional, but if you have a blog, and if you’re up for it, I’d love to have you blog through Matthew at the same time.
Finally, I’ll be using this page as a hub for the series, updating it with an index of posts as I publish them. So be sure to check back here from time to time.