Journeying through Matthew

A Traditional Bible Study

Syllabus



Format for the Bible Study:

Materials: Serendipity Bible (a few are available), spiral notebook or note pad, pen or pencil

The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday nights.  If a daytime group makes it will meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays at 2 PM.  Meetings will last one hour.  Coffee and tea are available in Houghton Hall.

Each section includes some pages with questions for personal reflection and study.  Participants are invited to use these questions in their preparation and bring comments or questions to class.  Focus passages for group reflection are identified in this syllabus, however as the group evolves the focus might very well shift with the prayer and discernment shared in the group.

Format

  1. Open with prayer (Responsibility shared by participants)
  2. 15 minutes – check in and reading observations and/or questions
  3. 20 minutes – looking at particular passages from varying perspectives, where might the scripture intersect with our lives – or not?
  4. 20 minutes – What is God telling me through this scripture?  Where is God calling me to act?  After studying these passages how might I respond to God’s call?
  5. 5 minutes – Wrap up and final comments.
  6. Close with prayer (Responsibility shared by participants)

Notes on the Gospel of Matthew

Some of the recurring themes:  The Gospel of Matthew, probably written in the 80s therefore after the destruction of the Temple, is the first book of Christian scripture as it was accepted in the 1500s at the Vatican Council of Trent and later with the establishment of the 39 Articles of the Anglican Church.  Matthew is a great teaching resource for the catechist as it is easily divisible into 5 “discources” of Jesus and the inclusion of birth and resurrection stories gives shape to the life and teachings of Jesus.  Matthew has little ambiguity.  There is a lot of judgment talk in the parables and in the teachings.  It also contains references to Matthew’s own church and therefore has implications for the modern church.  One of the difficult consequences of this Gospel is the harsh rhetoric concerning the Jews.  Matthew shifts the blame for the crucifixion from Pontius Pilate and the Roman governors to the Jewish leadership and to the non-believers among the Jews. As we journey watch for Hebrew scripture that is sometimes inappropriately interpreted as a fulfillment of Hebrew prophecy in Jesus and the ways in which Jews are demonized.


 

 


October 12,  7 – 8 PM Library

Reading to be done prior to group –  1:1 – 2:23

Focus for reflection:  Birth Narrative

 

October 19,    7 -8 PM Library

Reading – 3:1 – 4:25

Focus for reflection:  Temptation

 

November 9,    7 -8 PM Library

Reading: 5:1 – 7:29

Focus for reflection:   Sermon on the Mount

 

November 30 (Fifth Wednesday)    7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  8:1 – 9:34

Focus for reflection:  Jesus and deeds of healing

 

December 14,  7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  9:35 – 11:30

Focus for reflection:  Kingdoms in conflict

 

January 11,  7 – 8 PM Library

Reading to be done prior to group – 12:1 – 13:52

Focus for reflection:  The Kingdom grows

 

 

 

January 25,    7 -8 PM Library

Reading – 13:53 – 16:12

Focus for reflection:  Kingdom kindness

 

February 8,    7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  16:13- 17:27

Focus for reflection:   Who do you say I am?

 

February 22,    7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  18:1 – 18:35

Focus for reflection:  Stumbling blocks

 

TBD,  7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  19:1 – 20:34

Focus for reflection:  Keeping commandments

 

TBD,  7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  21: - 23:39

Focus for reflection:  Hosanna hosanna

 

TBD,  7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  24:1 – 25:6

Focus for reflection:  Truth or consequences

 

TBD,  7 -8 PM Library

Reading:  26:1 – 28:20

Focus for reflection:  Go to the nations…


 

 

 

 

The final (noted TBD) will occur in Lent if taken in sequence.  As a group we will decide whether to continue through Matthew or spend some time in Lenten reflection and pick up Matthew after Easter.

 

 

Much of the material for this study will come from the Serendipity Bible, however, any good study Bible will be adequate and in fact in some ways better than the small print of the Serendipity Bible!!


 

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