Back to the Roots – The Gospel of Matthew
For several weeks we have been studying the Gospel of Matthew together, and we are only about half way through it. It has been an amazing time of study and discussion about the characteristics of the book of Matthew. The Gospel of Matthew was written to address the Jews, and because of that it is filled with Old Testament quotations and allusions.
We are basing our studies on several books to help with the understanding of the context and the culture at the time of Jesus. One of the highlights that I became aware of in our last study session, was the fact that the Pharisees confronted Jesus because His disciples did not wash hands before eating. Some Pharisees and teachers of religious law now arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They asked him, “Why do your disciples disobey our age-old tradition? For they ignore our tradition of ceremonial hand washing before they eat.” Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God? (Matthew 15:1–3, NLT)
This is a normal tendency that we all have, we can make traditions created by others more important than the Scriptures, and Jesus was confronting the religious leaders by only teaching His disciples to obey the direct commandments of God. I believe that we can walk in the simplicity of the teachings of Christ, which are based on the Hebrew Scriptures of the Old Testament. Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose (Matthew 5:17, NLT).
In the Back to the Roots series of New Testament study, we read the Bible with historical, social, and cultural context information. This helps us to understand the people that were being addressed by each book, the needs that they had, the circumstances they were facing, and what the message’s application really is for us today.
Here are some of the books we are using for our studies:
- The Hebrew Gospel – George Howard
- The Real Kosher Jesus – Michael L. Brown
- The Parables, Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation – Brad H. Young
- Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus – Ann Spangler and Lois Tverberg
- Understanding the Difficult Words of Jesus – David Bivin and Roy Blizzard
- What Every Christian Needs to Know About The Jewishness of Jesus – Rabbi Evan Moffic
- The Hebrew Yeshua vs. the Greek Jesus – Nehemia Gordon
- The Naming of Jesus in Hebrew Matthew – Nehemia Gordon
Our Bible Study happens every Wednesday 7:00 PM