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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/86

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MATTHEW


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MATTHEW


larity of style betwei'ii Mattliow ;uul Mark. First of all, we may observe that the points of resemblance are less numerous than they are saiil to be. .^s wc have seen, they ai-e very rare in the narratives at all events, much more so than in the discourses of Christ . Why, then, should we not su[)pose thai the three Syiu>i)lists, depending ujjou the same .\ramaic catechesis, some- times agreed in rendering similar .\ramaic expressions in the same Greek words? It is also possible to sup- pose that sayings of Christ, which in the three Synop- tic Gospels (or in two of them) difTered only in a few expressions, were imified by copyists or other persons. To us it seems proljaljle that Matthew's Greek trans- lator used Mark's Greek Gospel, especially for Christ's discourses. Luke, also, may have similarly utilized Matthew's Greek Go.spel in rendering the discourses of Christ. Finally, even though we should suppose that Matthew were the author only of the Logia, the full scope of which we do not know, and that a part of his Greek Gospel is derived from that of Mark, we would still have a right to ascribe this First Gospel to Mat- thew as its principal author.

Other h>-potheses have been put forth. In Zahn's opinion, Matthew wrote a complete Gospel in Ara- maic; Mark was familiar with this document, which he used while abridging it. Matthew's Greek transla- tor utilized Mark, but only for form, whereas Luke depended upon Mark and secondary sources, but was not acquainted with Matthew. According to Belser, Matthew first wrote his Gospel in Hebrew, a Greek translation of it being made in 59-60, and Mark de- pended on Matthew's Aramaic document and Peter's preaching. Luke made use of Mark, of Matthew ( both m Aramaic and Greek), and also of oral tradition. According to Camerlynck and Coppieters, the First Gospel in its present form was composed either by Matthew or some other .'Apostolic writer long before the end of the first century, by combining the Aramaic work of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke.

III. Pl.in and Contents of the First Gospel. — The author did not wish to compose a biography of Christ, but to demonstrate, by recording His words and the deeds of His life, that He was the Messias, the Head and Founder of the Kingdom of God, and the promulgator of its laws. One can scarcely fail to rec- ognize that, except in a few parts (e. g. the Childhood and the Passion), the arrangement of events and of discourses is artificial. Matthew usually combines facts and precepts of a like nature. Whatever the reason, he favours groups of three (thirty-eight of which may be counted) — three divisions in the geneal- ogy of Jesus (i, 17), three temptations (iv, 1-11), three examples of justice (vi, 1-18), three cures (viii, 1-1.5), three parables of the seed (xiii, 1-32), three denials of Peter (xxvi, 69-75), etc.; of five (these are less numerous) — five long discourses (v-vii, 27; x; ,xiii, 1-52; xviii; xxiv-xxv), ending with the same formula (Kai ^Y^rero. Sre ir^Xeffev 6 'IijtroCs), five examples of the fulfilment of the law (v, 21-48), etc.; and of seven — seven parables (xiii), seven maledictions (xxiii), seven brethren (xxii, 25), etc. The First Gospel can be very naturally divided as follows: —

A. Introduction (i-ii). — The genealogy of Jesus, the prediction of His Birth, the Magi, the Flight into Egypt, the Massacre of the Innocents, the return to Nazareth, and the life there.

B. The Public Ministry of Jesxis (iii-xxv). — This may be divided into three parts, according to the place where He exercised it.

(1) In Galilee (iii-xviii). — (a) Preparation for the pubUc ministry of Jesus (iii, 1-iv, 11): Jolm the Bap- tist, the Baptism of Jesus, the Temptation, the return to Galilee, (b) The preaching of the Kingdom of God (iv, 17-xviii, .35): (i) the preparation of the Kingdom by the preaching of penance, the call of the disciples, and numerous cures (iv, 17-25), the promulgation of the code of the Kingdom of God in the Sermon on the


Mount (v, 1-vii, 29) ; (ii) the propagation of the King- dom in Galilee (viii, 1-xviii, 35). He groups together: (a) the deeds by which Jesus established that lie was the Messias and the King of the Kingdom: various cures, the calming of the tempest, inissi<inarv jdurneys through the l:ind, the calling of the 'I'wchr A[io.sllc,s, the principles that should guide them in their mission- ary travels (viii, 1-x, 42) ; (/3) divers teachings of .lesus called forth by circumstances: John's m&ssage and the Lord's answer, Christ's confutation of the false charges of the Pharisees, the departure and return of the un- clean spirit (xi, 1-xii, 50); finally, the jxiraliles of the Kingdom, of which Jesus makes known and explains the end (xiii, 3-52). (iii) Matthew then relates 1 he dif- ferent events that terminate the preaching in Galilee: Christ's visit to Nazareth (xiii, 53-58), the multiplica- tion of the loaves, the walking on the lake, discussions with the Pharisees concerning legal purifications, the confession of Peter at Caesarea, the Transfiguration of Jesus, prophecy regarding the Passion and Resurrec- tion, and teachings on scandal, fraternal correction, and the forgiveness of injuries (xiv, 1-xviii, 35).

(2) Outside Galilee on the way to Jerusalem (xix- xx). — Jesus leaves Galilee and goes beyond the Jor- dan ; He discusses divorce with the Pharisees ; answers the rich young man, and teaches self-denial and the danger of wealth; explains by the paraljle of the labourers how the elect will be called; replies to the indiscreet question of the mother of the sons of Zebe- dee, and cures two blind men of Jericho.

(3) In Jerusalem (xxi-xxv). — Jesus makes a trium- phal entry into Jerusalem; He curses the barren hg- tree and enters into a dispute with the chief priests and the Pharisees who ask Him by what authority He has banished the sellers from the Temple, and answers them by the parables of the two sons, the murderous hu.sbandmen, and the marriage of the king's son. New- questions are put to Jesus concerning the tribute, the resurrection of the dead, and the greatest command- ment. Jesus anathematizes the scribes and Pharisees and foretells the events that will precede and accom- pany the fall of Jerusalem and the end of the world.

C. The Passion and the Resurrection of Jesus (xxvi- xxviii). — (1) The Passion (xxvi-xxvii). — Events are now hurrying to a close. The Sanhedrin plots for the death of Jesus, a woman anoints the feet of the Lord, and Judas betrays his Master. Jesus eats the pasch with His disciples and institutes the Eucharist. In the Garden of Olives, He enters upon His agony and offers up the sacrifice of His life. He is arrested and brought before the Sanhedrin. Peter denies Christ; Judas hangs himself. Jesus is condemned to death by Pilate and crucified; He is buried, and a guard is placed at the Sepulchre (xxvi, 1-xxvii, 66).

(2) The Resurrection (xxviii). — Jesus rises the third day and appears first to the holy women at Jerusalem; then in Galilee to His disciples, whom He sends forth to propagate throughout the world the Kingdom of God.

IV. Object and Doctrinal Teaching of the First Gospel. — Immediately after the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, Peter preached that Jesus, crucified and risen, was the Messias, the Saviour of the World, and proved this assertion by relating the life, death, and resurrection of the Lord. This was the first Apostolic teaching, and was repeated by the other preachers of the Gospel, of whom tradition tells us that Matthew was one. This Evangelist pro- claimed the Gospel to the Hebrews and, before his de- parture from Jerusalem, wrote in his mother tongue the Gospel that he had preached. Hence the aim of the Evangelist was primarily apologetic. He wished to demonstrate to his readers, whether these were con- verts or still unbelieving Jews, that in Jesus the an- cient prophecies had been realized in their entirety. This thesis includes three principal ideas: (A) Jesus is the Messias, and the kingdom He inaugurates is the Messianic kingdom foretold by the prophets; (B) be-