In this podcast episode, the hosts discuss the Book of Matthew and its purpose. They explore the limited information provided about Matthew, the writer, and his specific audience—the Jews. They delve into the concept of the Old Testament and its dual purposes, as well as the differences between the Jewish Tanakh and the Christian Old Testament.
In this podcast episode titled “I Don’t Get The Bible,” the hosts discuss various aspects of the Book of Matthew and its significance. They begin by briefly summarizing the story of Matthew, who was a tax collector. They mention that Jesus found Matthew while he was collecting taxes, and Matthew immediately left everything behind to follow Jesus.
The hosts express their frustration with the limited information provided in the biblical account. They highlight the fact that the Gospels offer only a narrow view of what was happening during that time. They speculate that Matthew’s purpose in writing the Gospel was to show that Jesus was the promised Messiah to the Jewish people. They note that Matthew extensively cites passages from the Tanakh (Old Testament) to support this claim.
One of the hosts brings up the point that the Old Testament also includes prophecies and reflections for future events. They explain that some Old Testament writings have dual purposes, addressing the people of that time while also containing implications for future generations. The hosts acknowledge that the writing style of ancient scripture, including the Bible, often lacks extensive details, and this is attributed to the idea that God wants people to have faith.
The discussion then shifts to the nature of the Old Testament and how it differs from the Jewish Tanakh. The hosts explain that the Christian Old Testament includes additional books known as the apocryphal books, which are not recognized in the Jewish tradition. They mention that the Catholic Church includes these books in their Bible, but Protestant Bibles do not. The hosts note that the selection and organization of these books have been debated and influenced by various factors, including their consistency with the existing writings.
The hosts also touch upon the transmission of Old Testament documents and how they were passed down orally and in written form. They emphasize the Jewish tradition of storytelling and the trust placed in the historical events described in the scriptures.
The conversation continues with a brief discussion on the term “gospel” and its meaning, which refers to the “good news” in Greek. The hosts clarify that the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and the book of Acts (till chapter 10) are doctrinally part of the Old Testament and were primarily written to show the Jews that the promised Messiah had come. They point out that these texts were not intended for the Christians of today.
The episode ends with the hosts promising to explore these topics further in future episodes. They also mention that the content of the Gospels is primarily focused on Jesus’ interaction with Jews rather than with Gentiles, emphasizing the specific audience for which these texts were written.
Overall, this podcast episode delves into the Book of Matthew, its purpose, and its significance within the larger context of the Bible. The hosts express their observations, frustrations, and curiosity regarding the narrative style and the differences between the Old Testament and the Jewish Tanakh.