The Gospel of Matthew #3

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This entry is part 3 of 40 in the series The Gospel of Matthew

It is staggering to consider the amount of work that has gone into the scholarly study and analysis of the Bible. I mean, men will write whole chapters on one Greek word, whole books on the structure of a given chapter or book of the Bible. They want to analyze it in every possible way because what they want to do is get back as closely as they possibly can to the original text. I know that sounds funny to you because didn’t they translate the Bible from the original text? Well, no, they didn’t. The original text of Matthew (and Mark, Luke, and John, for that matter) perished long ago. I suspect that the original manuscript written by Matthew was used so much for copying that it was worn out within a very short period of time.

No, we don’t have originals, we have copies of copies. But these manuscripts were scattered all over the Middle East and thousands of their fragments have been studied. So scholars have come to a place where we can have a very high degree of confidence in the text the translators are working from. But one thing you should always do, if you are seriously studying the Bible, is have multiple translations of the Bible in your home. Because, as you read along, you’ll find something that doesn’t sound quite right to you, or that you really just don’t understand. And when you pop over to one of the other translations, you may be surprised at what comes off the page to you, so that you can understand what these writers were trying to say.

Let me tell you of another peculiarity of your New Testament, and of Matthew in particular…

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Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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Image Credits: Gerardos / Harleian Collection, British Library