This the third of a series of four books covering the four gospels. Based on the work of contemporary scripture scholars, and using the New Revised Standard Version, they are an attempt to offer some overall insights into the four gospels for the general reader.
Matthew’s gospel was written somewhere between 80 and 90 AD by a Jewish Greek-speaking Christian who knew Aramaic or Hebrew or both. After the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple by the Romans in 70 AD, the centre of Jewish worship, tensions emerged among Jewish groups about the continuation and identity of Judaism. Matthew’s gospel set out to define the Christian community’s identity, situating it within the Jewish tradition, and helping its members see that Christian faith was consistent with their Jewish heritage and a continuation of it.
These pages should not replace reading and meditating on the gospel itself. While it is important to understand what the evangelist means, the reader is also invited to let the gospel speak to the heart as well as the head. There is an age-old tradition of contemplating the gospels, and so the reader is invited to undertake an imaginative journey, looking at the people, places and actions of the various actors in the gospel stories, identifying with them imaginatively in the hope of better understanding the gospel’s message.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Philip Fogarty SJ, an Irish Jesuit, is a former Headmaster of Clongowes Wood College and of Coláiste Iognáid, Galway. He is the author of several books, the latests of which being Navigating the Gospels: Luke, Navigating the Gospels: John and The Missing God who is not Missed are published by Columba Press.