The man of St Matthew



Welcome to our reading of the Gospel of Matthew, the first Gospel: it is placed first in order in the New Testament. In many ways it is also the first in its importance for the Church.
Yet, almost certainly it was not the first Gospel to be written, that as we will see would have been the Gospel of Mark.

Our aim is to read the Gospel of Matthew as his story of the good news of Jesus. Following an overview of the whole Gospel, we will begin at the beginning and read steadily through the Gospel, chapter by chapter. Our aim therefore is to watch the story unfolding step by step.

In Advent 2019, cycle A of the Sunday Gospel readings began once again. This is the year when passages from Matthew's Gospel are read on Sundays, especially during Ordinary Time. We will therefore be looking at the Sunday readings as we go along, including a special consideration of the Old Testament reading chosen to accompany that Sunday's Gospel.


My aim with this Gospel Reading project is to be practical: I hope to help you to read well and so to discover the Gospel for yourself. I will be trying to help you to build up an experience of reading so that you are able to approach the gospel story with the right questions in mind. This aim is not academic in itself - though the guidance will have a good academic basis.
Good reading is the essential first step for our meditation and prayer with the Bible. It is the beginning of the ancient practice known as Lectio Divina.

Try to make more time available during the first few weeks of reading when there will be more background to cover. It is important to make a good beginning. After a while, an hour each week ought to be enough time.

Always of course have your Bible with you. The Gospel has many quotations and allusions to other passages in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. Part of our reading will aim to help us to get used to thumbing through the Bible and getting to know your way around. The Bible itself is often the best interpreter of the Bible.

Our first step will be an overview of the whole Gospel. There are many signs that Matthew the evangelist planned his Gospel carefully. A sound reading of the Gospel must be based on the evangelist's own framework. We need to discover that framework before we begin our reading.