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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Working through Matthew's Gospel

The outline or major segments of Matthew's Gospel can be determined only by paying attention to the contours of his story. In harmony with the discussion found in the introduction (see NT, pp. 1248–52 ), we propose the following division:

  • The Origin of Jesus ( 1, 1–2, 23 ). Here Matthew presents the events surrounding Jesus' birth and infancy.

  • Preparation for the Ministry of Jesus ( 3, 1–4, 7 ). The test in the desert and the ministry of John the Baptist help prepare for the formal beginning of Jesus' mission.

  • The Galilean Ministry of Jesus ( 4, 7–16, 12 ). This major section spans the ministry of Jesus from his entrance into Galilee until his announcement of the Passion and his intent to go to Jerusalem. It can be subdivided into other important segments:

    • 1. The Sermon on the Mount ( 4, 17–7, 29 )
    • 2. Jesus the Healer ( 8, 1–9, 35 )
    • 3. The Mission Discourse ( 9, 36–11, 1 )
    • 4. Mounting Hostility to Jesus ( 11, 2–12, 50 )
    • 5. The Parable Discourse ( 13, 1–53 )
    • 6. The Kingdom and the Disciples ( 13, 54–16, 12 ). This section includes the ongoing activity of Jesus and reactions to it, but with special emphasis on Jesus' relationship with Peter and the rest of the disciples.
  • The Way to Jerusalem ( 16, 13–20, 34 ). Jesus' fateful journey to Jerusalem with his disciples dominates this section. Three times during this journey Jesus predicts his Passion and Resurrection ( 16, 21; 17, 22f; 20, 17–19 ) and instructs his disciples on the cost of following him. There is also the important discourse on community life ( 18, 1–35 ).

  • Final Teaching in Jerusalem ( 21, 1–25, 46 ). This section of the Gospel takes place in Jerusalem. It concentrates on Jesus' final exchanges with his opponents (esp. 21, 12–22, 46 ), his condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees ( 23, 1–39 ), and the long discourse on the final age and judgment ( 24, 1–25, 46 ).

  • Death and Resurrection ( 26, 1–28, 20 ). The concluding segment of the narrative contains the Passion narrative and the account of Jesus' burial ( 26, 1–27, 66 ), the events surrounding the discovery of the empty tomb ( 28, 1–15 ), and Jesus' final appearance to the eleven disciples on a Galilean mountaintop ( 28, 16–20 ).

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