Matthew, A Chronological Narrative -- By: J. F. Springer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 080:318 (Apr 1923)
Article: Matthew, A Chronological Narrative
Author: J. F. Springer

Matthew, A Chronological Narrative

J. F. Springer


Corroborative Evidences

I begin by setting forth a series of fifteen evidences, which taken singly are each corroborative of the chronological character of Matthew.

The Life of Jesus. We observe that the narrative is occupied primarily with the life of but one person. References and statements having to do with others are quite subsidiary. Viewed broadly, the life with which the document so exclusively concerns itself is presented chronologically. We have the Genealogy and Birth, and then an account of the Infancy. These things are placed at the beginning. At the end, we have, in proper order, the Arrest, Trial, Death and Resurrection. The narrative thus begins and ends in strict accordance with the historical sequence of events. The active, public ministry lies between, and this is chronologically right. Then, the preaching of John the Baptist is set in between the Infancy and the Galilean ministry. And this, too, is chronologically right as may be gathered from Paul’s statement in Ac. 13:23–25, and John the Baptist’s in Jn. 1:30. The summonses to Simon, Andrew, James, John and Matthew are put early in the narrative (4:18–22; 9:9). In short, numerous large features of the life of Jesus are presented in chronological order.

The Life Of John The Baptist

Similarly with the life of John the Baptist, his ministry comes first, then the casting into prison (3:1–17; 4:12). Later on in the narrative, John is still in prison but has heard of the works of Christ (11:2–6). The interval necessary between his separation from Jesus and his sending two disciples is sufficiently accounted for by the position of this latter episode. The death of John is placed further along, being narrated at 14:3–11. When

the Matthaean narrative has reached 17:12, John’s death is regarded as a past event. All these matters have their place in the text in proper accordance with the historical order of their occurrence. The outstanding references to John (9:14; 11:2–19; 14:2; 16:14;

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