In Matthew, Jesus is a master storyteller: he often tells parables as a teaching tool, especially to describe the kingdom of heaven…” Matthew Study, Introduction
Matthew has some of the most familiar stories of Jesus’ life, making it a great study for beginners. It is also beautifully nuanced which should appeal to those who have spent some time reading and thinking about the scriptures of the New Testament.
Tradition tells us that Matthew was authored by one of Jesus’ disciples, the former tax collector. As we work through our study, we will see that this author was educated. He is quite knowledgeable about Jewish scripture and demonstrates repeatedly the ways that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise of a messiah.
Matthew probably enhanced the story of Jesus’ life as told in Mark. He adds a poetic structure, dividing the stories into blocks of discussion around Jesus’ major teachings. He also adds stories not covered in earlier gospel writings, giving us a more complete picture. Finally, his character development brings more life and personality to the disciples.
Meet Our Professors for Matthew
Harold W. Attridge is the Sterling Professor of Divinity at Yale Divinity School. He taught at Southern Methodist University and the University of Notre Dame before joining the Yale faculty in 1997. From 2002 to 2012 he served as Dean of Yale Divinity School. He has made scholarly contributions to the the study of Hellenistic Judaism, Gnosticism and the development of early Christianity. Within the New Testament has special interest in the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Gospel of John. He has been involved in numerous publication projects and currently serves on the Board of the Hermeneia Commentary Series. He holds degrees from Boston College (AB), Cambridge University (BA, MA) and Harvard (PhD).
Michal Beth Dinkler is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Yale Divinity School. She holds a doctorate in New Testament from Harvard, a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and Master and Bachelor degrees in English from Stanford. She is especially interested in the usefulness of literary theory for interpreting the New Testament. Her first book, Silent Statements: Narrative Representations of Speech and Silence in the Gospel of Luke, explores the uses of speech and silence in Luke’s Gospel, and she currently is writing a book on literary theory and New Testament scholarship for Yale University Press. She also is a candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA).