Revised Common Lectionary Year A has featured the Gospel According to Matthew. Along with Luke and Mark, Matthew is one of the three synoptic gospels that have a similar perspective, although each has a distinctive focus and personality.
• No indication of "Matthew" as author until the second century, but we can assume followers of apostle and tax collector Matthew.
• Circa 80 - 90. By the time Matthew's community recorded this gospel, the second Jerusalem Temple had been destroyed, but the J-Temple still was standing during Jesus' earthly life.
• Matthew contains 90% of the verses in Mark, the earliest canonical gospel. (Luke contains about 50% of Mark.) Matthew and Luke contain parallel, sometimes identical passages not found in Mark. Matthew may have drawn upon one or two other written sources, but there's no consensus.
• Semitic Greek, or possibly Aramaic, the vernacular Hebrew Jesus spoke.
• Book of Beginnings, Book of Origins = biblios geneseos. Matthew presents a new Genesis, a New Creation as he narrates Jesus of Nazareth's birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
• Matthew's genealogy goes back to Abraham, father of the Jewish nation; Luke's genealogy goes back to Adam, father of all humanity.
• Greek-speaking Jewish Christians in Antioch, Syria, where they first called Jesus' followers Christian – Acts 11:28. That particular Antioch is part of present-day Turkey. There's also an Antioch, Ohio, USA.
World View – Content
• Salvation (integrity, wholeness, redemption, shalom) for all the world, for everyone everywhere
• Kingdom of Heaven rather than Kingdom of God
• Concern about fulfilling Hebrew Bible prophecies and predictions
• New David, "Son of David" not a temporary short-term monarch; this new David reigns forever.
• Jesus as God-with-us, from the time an angel instructs Joseph to name the baby Emmanuel, to Jesus' Great Commission at the end of the gospel and his promise to be with us forever.
• Matthew tells us about Jesus' earthly father Joseph; Luke tells us about Mary.
• Visit of the Magi at Epiphany: ethnic foreigners from a different religion reveal God for the world, the young Jesus as Savior of all. Tradition says three kings because of three gifts.
• Flight into Egypt: a new Exodus out of Egypt with Jesus as the new Moses/liberator; Jesus' family unwillingly uprooted as refugees parallels dislocation during the Babylonian exile.
• Five discourses parallel the five books of Torah/Pentateuch. Sermon on the Mount explains ten commandments/ten words God gave the people through Moses from Mount Sinai.
• Some parables are unique to Matthew.
• The only gospel that uses the word "ecclesia" with some guidelines for church order and structure. Ecclesia is the Roman city council, New England town meeting. Ecclesiastical and ecclesiology are words about the church.
• Before Jesus' resurrection Matthew calls God's people "Israelites"; after the resurrection he calls them Jews.