A profound analysis of the Christian religion leads to the perception of the four existing gospels of the New Testament as unique vital writings essential for understanding the figure of Jesus Christ. The first three Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and Mark outline the history of life of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of John is separated for the other three Christian gospels due to the differences in positioning of the biblical and historical priorities. The primary discrepancies of the forenamed gospels were dictated not solely by the subjective opinion of the authors. They were simultaneously affected by the target audience of each gospel. For instance, the focus of the Gospel of Matthew on the Jewish Christian audience was created to support those proponents of Judaism who had already revealed their faith in Jesus Christ and His miracles.
Undoubtedly, each of the four canonical Christian gospels was originally self-sufficient. Jewish Christians used Matthews Gospel; pagan Christians used the Gospels of Mark and Luke, while Egyptians followed the Gospel of John (France, 2007). Thus, each Christian community had only one gospel in its disposal, and, therefore, learned the essence of Christianity solely from one concrete reading. To be precise, the Gospel of Matthew taught the Christian community of Jews that the parents of Jesus Christ originally lived in Bethlehem (and not Nazareth), and that Jacob was the father of Joseph…by whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 1:16) (Brown, 1999). According to the Gospel of Matthew addressed to the Jewish people, Jesus was born to the world as a result of Immaculate Conception, consequently baptized by John and crucified after a year of preaching (France, 2007). The Gospel scripted by Mark aimed to reach the hearts of newly converted pagans proclaimed that Jesus Christ was conceived in a biologically natural way and was consequently delivered to this world in Nazareth (New American Standard Bible, Mark 6:1), baptized by John, and also crucified after a year of preaching. The Gospel of Luke told the Christian community that Jesus was conceived by the laws of nature, his parents originally lived in Nazareth, and Josephs father name was Heli (New American Standard Bible, Luke 3:23). Lastly, the Gospel of John aimed at the hearts of Egyptians and constituted that Jesus Christ was conceived naturally and born in Nazareth (New American Standard Bible, John 1:45-46). This particular gospel insists on the process of emanation as the driving force of the merger of entities of divine Logos and human Jesus. Each of the listed details made the gospels (biographies) more comprehensive and adapted each separate writing to the consciousness of certain Christian community. Thus, the Christian community, which was raised with the Gospel of Matthew, would consider that the opening chapters of Lukes Gospel portray a completely different Jesus. Matthews Gospel was presumably written between the years 55 till 65. Therefore, it is considered the first written Gospel in the history of Christianity. The intent of writing the Gospel of Matthew was to provide evidence that Jesus indeed was to the Messiah as described in the books of the Old Testament. The fact that the Gospel of Matthew was targeted at the Jewish Christian community is supported by the evidence that it was initially written in a so-called Jewish dialect known as Aramaic. Overall, Matthew’s Gospel presents the words of Jesus Christ that call the Christian Jewish community to start their way to achieving perfection: Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 5:43-48).
The Motif of Miracle in the Matthews Gospel
As mentioned above, Matthews Gospel is the primary book of the New Testament and the main of the four central gospels. It is traditionally followed by the gospel of Mark, Luke, and John. The leading theme of the Gospel is the lifeline and lessons presented by Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The forenamed facts prove that the main feature of the Gospel emerges from its origin as a writing designated for the Jewish audience. It presents frequent citations from the Old Testament to emphasize the messianic prophecies and highlight the fulfillment of these prophecies in Jesus Christ. The Gospel begins with the genealogy of Jesus Christ presenting the uplink from Abraham to Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary.
The resemblances and contradictions between Matthews and Lukes Gospels have become the subject of numerous studies conducted by historians and biblical scholars. Chapters five to seven provide the most complete presentation of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, setting out the quintessence of the Christian doctrine, including the Beatitudes (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 5:2-11) and the Lord’s prayer (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 6: 9-13). The lessons and deeds of Jesus Christ in the Matthews Gospel are described in three sections concordant to the three sides of the Messiah’s sermon: as a prophet and lawmaker (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 5 – 7), the King of the world – visible and invisible (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 8 – 25) and the High Priest who brings himself as a sacrifice for the sins all people (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 26 27; France, 2007). As the major goal of the analyzed gospel is to confirm that Jesus was the Messiah mentioned in the Old Testament, besides the presented genealogy, the writing supports this notion with the presentation of a wide range of miracles (Eve, 2002). The Matthews Gospel consists of unique miracles found only in this specific reading. Only the Gospel of Matthew mentions the healing of two blind men (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 9:27-31), the mute person possessed by a demon (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 9:32-33). In addition, it presents the episode with the coin found in the mouth of a fish (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 17:24-27) presenting the miracle, which Jesus knew in advance, that Peter would find a coin in the mouth of the fish (Eve, 2002). Only this gospel provides such Christian lessons as the parable of the tares (New American Standard Bible, Matthew 13:24), the treasure in the field (13:44), the pearl of high price (13:45), the net (13:47), the unmerciful lender (18:23), the laborers in the vineyard (20:1), the two sons (21:28), the feast of marriage (22:2), the ten virgins (25:1), and the talents (25:31). The overall miracle of the Gospel of Matthew is that it provides its reader with a clear and transparent comprehension of the teaching and lessons of the Son of God. In comparison to other gospels, the Matthews Gospel reveals the profound message of how a righteous Christian man is to conduct himself in relation to himself and others. The Gospel of Matthew largely reflects the natural interest of the early Christians in obtaining the messianic promises in relation to the personality of Jesus Christ. Thus, it is hard to underestimate the role of the saturation of the gospel with a great amount of divine transformations manifested by Jesus Christ.
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The Gospel of Matthew was written for new believers among the Jews. Therefore, it contains a lot of minor Jewish realities and relies heavily on the books of the Old Testament (Eve, 2002). In addition, it relies on the readers good knowledge of the text of the Old Testament, which, in concordance with the standards of that time, was expected to be known almost by heart. The major contribution of the Matthews Gospel and the unique miracles it originally presented to the Jewish audience deal with the knowledge of the essence of the teachings of Jesus Christ. In other words, Matthews gospel may be interpreted as an in-depth explanation of the mans constant necessity to strive for self-perfection. Matthew used a unique presentation of the miracles produced by the Son of God to reinforce the initial audience in the face of newly converted Jews and transform it into a kind of manual for perfection.