The official website for the Monroe Bible Quiz Team from Beacon Hill Evangelical Free Church.

Monday, July 30, 2012

GETTING READY: When was the Gospel of Matthew written?

The timing of the writing of this gospel is important, because it tells us exactly how close to the life of Jesus the facts were put to paper. There are some who argue the gospels were written a hundred years or more after Christ - claiming they must be inaccurate. But what about Matthew?

Some have argued on the basis of its Jewish characteristics that Matthew's Gospel was written in the early church period, possibly the early part of a.d. 50, when the church was largely Jewish and the gospel was preached to Jews only (Ac 11:19). However, those who have concluded that both Matthew and Luke drew extensively from Mark's Gospel date it later -- after the Gospel of Mark had been in circulation for a period of time. Others, who assume that Mark was written between 65 and 70, place Matthew in the 70s.
The Jewish nature of Matthew's Gospel may suggest that it was written in the Holy Land, though many think it may have originated in Syrian Antioch.

Monday, July 23, 2012

GETTING READY: Outline of the Gospel of Matthew

One highly effective way to learn a new book, is to create an outline showing its structure. This allows you to view the book at a high level, and understand how it is put together. The outline of the gospel of Matthew could be a powerful study tool for you, as you prepare to quiz on this amazing book!

I. The Incarnation and Preparation of the King (1:1–4:11)67
  • A. The Incarnation of the King (1:1–2:23)
    • 1. The Genealogy of the King (1:1-17)
      2. The Birth of the King (1:18-25)
      • a. The Betrothal to the Virgin (1:18-19)
        b. The Angelic Visit to Joseph (1:20-21)
        c. The Fulfillment of Prophecy (1:22-23)
        d. The Birth of Jesus (1:24-25)
    • 3. The Childhood of the King: Foreshadowing Events to Come (2:1-23)
      • a. The Worship of the Magi: Foreshadowing of Gentile Worship (2:1-12)
        • 1) Magi Coming to Jerusalem (2:1-5)
          2) The Fulfillment of Prophecy (2:6)
          3) Magi Worshipping the King (2:7-12)
      • b. The Escape to Egypt: Foreshadowing of Jesus’ Withdrawals (2:13-15)
        • 1) The Escape to Egypt (2:13-14)
          2) The Fulfillment of Prophecy (2:15)
      • c. The Slaughter of the Innocent Ones: Foreshadowing of Death of Christ (2:16-18)
        • 1) Herod’s Slaughter of the Babes (2:16)
          2) The Fulfillment of Prophecy (2:17-18)
      • d. The Return to Nazareth: Foreshadowing of Jewish Rejection of Jesus (2:19-23)
        • 1) The Return to Nazareth (2:19-22)
          2) The Fulfillment of Prophecy (2:23)
  • B. The Preparation of the King (3:1–4:11)
    • 1. The Preparation for the Kingdom by John the Baptist’s Preaching (3:1-12)
      2. The Inauguration of Ministry by John’s Baptism of Jesus (3:13-17)
      3. The Demonstration of Worthiness by the Devil’s Temptation of Jesus (4:1-11)
II. The Declaration of the Principles of the King (4:12–7:29)
  • A. The King’s Ministry Begun (4:12-25)
    • 1. The Occasion: John’s Imprisonment (4:12-16)
      2. The Message: The Nearness of the Kingdom (4:17)
      3. The Calling of the First Disciples (4:18-22)
      4. Summary of the King’s Ministry (4:23-25)
      • a. Proclamation (4:23a)
        b. Proof (4:23b-25)
  • B. The King’s Message Declared (5:1–7:29)
    • 1. The Setting (5:1-2)
      2. The Subjects of the Kingdom (5:3-16)
      • a. Blessings by God (5:3-12)
        b. Responsibilities before Men (5:13-16)
    • 3. The Truth about the Kingdom (5:17–7:12)
      • a. Exposition of the Intent of the Law (5:17-48)
        • 1) The Law’s Principles Affirmed (5:17-20)
          2) The Law’s Intentions Explained (5:21-48)
          • a) Regarding Hatred and Murder (5:21-26)
            b) Regarding Lust and Adultery (5:27-30)
            c) Regarding Commitment and Divorce (5:31-32)
            d) Regarding Honesty and Oaths (5:33-37)
            e) Regarding Rights and Retaliation (5:38-42)
            f) Regarding Love and Hatred (5:43-48)
      • b. Exhortation toward Internal Righteousness (6:1-18)
        • 1) Summary: External Vs. Internal Righteousness (6:1)
          2) Specifics: The Rewards of External and Internal Righteousness (6:2-18)
          • a) The Rewards for Almsgiving (6:2-4)
            b) The Rewards for Praying (6:5-15)
            c) The Rewards for Fasting (6:16-18)
      • c. Examination of the Intentions of the Heart (6:19–7:11)
        • 1) Regarding Investments (6:19-24)
          2) Regarding Worry (6:25-34)
          3) Regarding a Critical Spirit toward Believers (7:1-5)
          4) Regarding Discernment toward Unbelievers (7:6)
          5) Regarding Petitions toward God (7:7-11)
      • d. Summary on the Intent of the Law (7:12)
    • 4. The Way to Enter the Kingdom (7:13-27)
      • a. The Two Gates (7:13-14)
        b. The Two Trees (7:15-23)
        c. The Two Houses (7:24-27)
    • 5. Conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount: Response of the Multitudes (7:28-29)
III. The Commission of the Messengers of the King (8:1–11:1)
  • A. The Power of the King Demonstrated (8:1–9:34)
    • 1. Compassionate Miracles (8:1-17)
      • a. Leprosy (8:1-4)
        b. Paralysis (8:5-13)
        c. Fever and Demons (8:14-17)
    • 2. The Cost of Discipleship (8:18-22)
      3. Authoritative Miracles (8:23–9:8)
      • a. In the Realm of Nature (8:23-27)
        b. In the Realm of the Supernatural (8:28-34)
        c. In the Realm of the Spiritual (9:1-8)
    • 4. The Nature of Discipleship (9:9-17)
      • a. The Calling of Matthew (9:9-13)
        b. The Question about Fasting (9:14-17)
    • 5. Courageous Miracles (9:18-34)
      • a. Life (9:18-26)
        b. Sight (9:27-31)
        c. Speech (9:32-34)
  • B. The Proclamation of the King Delegated (9:35–11:1)
    • 1. The Compassion of Jesus (9:35-38)
      2. The Commission of the Twelve (10:1-42)
      • a. The Delegation of Authority (10:1-4)
        • 1) The Nature of the Authority (10:1)
          2) The Names of the Apostles (10:2-4)
      • b. The Directions to the Apostles (10:5-42)
        • 1) The Sphere and Nature of their Work (10:5-8)
          2) The Provisions for their Work (10:9-15)
          3) Their Perseverance in the Work (10:16-31)
          • a) In Spite of Persecution (10:16-23)
            b) In Light of the Rejection of their Master (10:24-25)
            c) In Response to God’s Sovereignty (10:26-31)
            d) In the Hope of Heavenly Acknowledgment (10:32-33)
            e) In Recognition of the Claims Jesus Makes on them (10:34-39)
        • 4) The Reward for Hospitality (10:40-42)
    • 3. Conclusion of Commission, Continuation of Ministry (11:1)
IV. The Opposition to the King (11:2–13:53)
  • A. The Antagonism of the Jews (11:2–12:50)
    • 1. Commendation of John in spite of his Doubts (11:2-19)
      • a. The Doubts by John (11:2-6)
        b. The Commendation by Jesus (11:7-15)
        c. The Capriciousness of the Multitudes (11:16-19)
    • 2. Condemnation of the Cities because of their Unbelief (11:20-24)
      3. Invitation to the Weary to Find Rest (11:25-30)
      4. Confrontation with the Pharisees in Light of their Mounting Hostility (12:1-45)
      • a. Concerning Jesus’ Authority over the Sabbath (12:1-21)
        • 1) Plucking Grain (12:1-8)
          2) Doing Good (12:9-14)
          3) Foreshadowing: Prediction of Gentile Reception (12:15-21)
      • b. Concerning Jesus’ Power over the Supernatural (12:22-37)
        c. Concerning Jesus’ Proof of Spiritual Source (12:38-45)
    • 5. Invitation to the Willing to Become God’s Children (12:46-50)
  • B. The Parables of Jesus (13:1-53)
    • 1. The Setting (13:1-2)
      2. The Responsibility of those who Hear (13:3-23)
      • a. The Parable of the Sower (13:3-9)
        b. The Purpose of the Parables (13:10-17)
        c. The Parable of the Sower Explained (13:18-23)
    • 3. The Parables of the Kingdom (13:24-50)
      • a. The Parable of the Wheat and Weeds (13:24-30)
        b. The Parable of the Mustard Seed (13:31-32)
        c. The Parable of the Leaven (13:33)
        d. Fulfillment of Prophecy (13:34-35)
        e. The Parable of the Wheat and Weeds Explained (13:36-43)
        f. The Parable of the Hidden Treasure (13:44)
        g. The Parable of the Pearl (13:45)
        h. The Parable of the Net (13:46-50)
    • 4. The Responsibility of those who Understand the Parable of the Householder (13:51-52)
      5. Conclusion to the Parables, Continuation of Ministry (13:53)
V. The Reaction of the King (13:54–19:2)
  • A. The Withdrawals from the Antagonists because of Rejection (13:54–16:20)
    • 1. The Catalyst (13:54–14:12)
      • a. Unbelief in Hometown of Nazareth (13:54-58)
        b. Beheading of John by Herod (14:1-12)
    • 2. The Withdrawals (14:13–16:20)
      • a. To a Deserted Place (14:13–15:20)
        • 1) Miracles Performed (14:13-36)
          • a) Feeding of the Five Thousand (14:13-21)
            b) Walking on the Water (14:22-33)
            c) Healings at Gennesaret (14:34-36)
        • 2) Pharisees Confronted: Clean Vs. Unclean (15:1-20)
          • a) Confrontation with the Pharisees (15:1-9)
            b) Declaration to the Crowd (15:10-11)
            c) Instruction of the Disciples (15:12-20)
      • b. To the Region of Phoenicia: The Healing of the Canaanite Woman’s Daughter (15:21-28)
        c. To the Sea of Galilee: The Feeding of the Four Thousand (15:29-38)
        d. To Magadan (15:39–16:12)
        • 1) The Withdrawal to Magadan (15:39)
          2) The Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ Demand for a Sign (16:1-4)
          3) The Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ Teaching Warned Against (16:5-12)
      • e. To Caesarea Philippi: The Revelation of Jesus’ Person (16:13-20)
  • B. The Return to Judea in spite of Rejection (16:21–19:2)
    • 1. The Catalyst: The Prediction of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection (16:21-28)
      2. The Comfort: The Transfiguration (17:1-13)
      3. The Instruction of the Disciples in Galilee (17:14–18:35)
      • a. Concerning Faith (17:14-21)
        • 1) The Healing of a Demon-Possessed Boy (17:14-18)
          2) The Challenge to the Disciples (17:19-21)
      • b. Concerning His Death and Resurrection: Second Mention (17:22-23)
        c. Concerning Tribute (17:24-27)
        d. Concerning Humility (18:1-4)
        e. Concerning Salvation (18:5-14)
        • 1) Warning against Stumbling Blocks (18:5-9)
          2) Searching for Lost Sheep (18:10-14)
      • f. Concerning Discipline (18:15-20)
        g. Concerning Forgiveness (18:21-35)
    • 4. Conclusion of Instruction, Continuation of Journey (19:1-2)
VI. The Presentation and Rejection of the King (19:3–26:1)
  • A. The Instruction of the Disciples in Judea (19:3–20:34)
    • 1. Concerning Divorce, Marriage, and the Kingdom (19:3-12)
      • a. Confrontation about Divorce (19:3-9)
        b. Celibacy and the Kingdom (19:10-12)
    • 2. Concerning Childlikeness and the Kingdom (19:13-15)
      3. Concerning Wealth and the Kingdom (19:16–20:16)
      • a. The Rich Young Man: Security in Riches (19:16-26)
        b. The Disciples: Security in Christ (19:27-30)
        c. The Parable of the Vineyard: Rewards in the Kingdom (20:1-16)
    • 4. Concerning His Death and Resurrection: Third Mention (20:17-19)
      5. Concerning Servant-Leadership and the Kingdom (20:20-34)
      • a. John’s and James’ Request (20:20-23)
        b. Jesus’ Response (20:24-28)
        c. Jesus’ Example: Healing of Two Blind Men (20:29-34)
  • B. The Presentation of the King (21:1-17)
    • 1. The Preparation for the King’s Coming (21:1-7)
      2. The Entrance into Jerusalem (21:8-11)
      3. The Entrance into the Temple (21:12-17)
  • C. The Rejection of the King by the Nation (21:18–22:46)
    • 1. The Withering Fig Tree: Foreshadowing of the Judgment of the Nation (21:18-22)
      2. Jesus’ Authority Questioned: Foreshadowing of Conflict (21:23-27)
      3. Three Parables: Stimulus for Confrontation (21:28–22:14)
      • a. The Parable of the Two Sons (21:28-32)
        b. The Parable of the Wicked Tenants (21:33-46)
        c. The Parable of the Wedding Banquet (22:1-14)
    • 4. Four Confrontations: Evidence of Rejection (22:15-46)
      • a. By the Pharisees and Herodians: Paying Taxes to Caesar (22:15-22)
        b. By the Sadducees: Marriage at the Resurrection (22:23-33)
        c. By the Pharisees: The Great Commandment (22:34-40)
        d. Against the Pharisees: Whose Son is the Christ? (22:41-46)
  • D. The Rejection of the Nation by the King (23:1-39)
    • 1. Instructions to the Crowd and Disciples concerning the Pharisees (23:1-12)
      2. Warnings to the Pharisees concerning Themselves: The Seven Woes (23:13-36)
      • a. First Woe: Shut out of the Kingdom (23:13-14)
        b. Second Woe: Swearing (23:15-22)
        c. Third Woe: Straining out a Gnat (23:23-24)
        d. Fourth Woe: Cleaning the Cup (23:25-26)
        e. Fifth Woe: Whitewashed Tombs (23:27-28)
        f. Sixth Woe: Murdering the Prophets (23:29-32)
        g. Seventh Woe: Pronouncement of Judgment (23:33-36)
    • 3. Lamentation over Jerusalem (23:37-39)
  • E. The Predictions of the King concerning the Judgment of the Nation and the Consummation of the Kingdom (24:1–26:1)
    • 1. The Setting in the Temple (24:1-2)
      2. The Discourse on the Mount of Olives (24:3–25:46)
      • a. Signs of the End of the Age (24:3-35)
        b. The Day and Hour Unknown (24:36-51)
        c. The Parable of the Ten Virgins (25:1-13)
        d. The Parable of the Talents (25:14-30)
        e. The Sheep and the Goats (25:31-46)
    • 3. The Conclusion of the Olivet Discourse (26:1)
VII. The Crucifixion and Resurrection of the King (26:2–28:20)
  • A. The Crucifixion of the King (26:2–27:66)
    • 1. The Prediction of His Death: Fourth Mention (26:2)
      2. The Plot to Kill Jesus (26:3-5)
      3. The Preparation for His Death (26:6-46)
      • a. The Anointing at Bethany (26:6-13)
        b. Judas’ Agreement to Betrayal (26:14-16)
        c. The Last Passover (26:17-30)
        d. The Prediction of Peter’s Denials (26:31-35)
        e. Gethsemane (26:36-46)
    • 4. The Arrest of Jesus (26:47-56)
      5. The Trials of Jesus (26:57–27:26)
      • a. The Trial Before the Sanhedrin (26:57-67)
        b. Two Disciples’ Responses (26:68–27:10)
        • 1) Peter Denies Jesus (26:68-75)
          2) Judas Hangs Himself (27:1-10)
      • c. The Trial Before Pilate (27:11-26)
    • 6. The Crucifixion of Jesus (27:27-56)
      • a. The Mocking of the Soldiers (27:27-31)
        b. The Actual Crucifixion of Jesus (27:32-44)
        c. The Death of Jesus (27:45-56)
    • 7. The Burial of Jesus (27:57-66)
      • a. Joseph’s Tomb (27:57-61)
        b. Pilate’s Guard (27:62-66)
  • B. The Resurrection of the King (28:1-20)
    • 1. The Empty Tomb (28:1-10)
      2. The Guards’ Report (28:11-15)
      3. The Great Commission (28:16-20)

Monday, July 16, 2012

GETTING READY: Why was the Gospel of Matthew written?

Every book has an intended audience - textbooks are written for students, manuals for users, and novels for bored people looking to escape daily life. So, who was the gospel of Matthew written for? And what does it tell us about this "Good News" that Matthew is talking about?
Matthew's gospel is clearly written for a Jewish Christian audience living within the immediate proximity of the homeland itself. Matthew's is the most Jewish of all the gospels. The community for which Matthew was written was a Jewish Christian community that was encountering some new tensions in the period of reconstruction after the first revolt. It would appear that they've been there for quite some time. They actually show a consciousness of an older legacy of Jesus' tradition, going back to before the war. But now they're experiencing new tensions and new problems in the aftermath of the revolt as a political and social reconstruction is taking place.

Monday, July 9, 2012

GETTING READY: Who wrote the Gospel of Matthew?

If you want to understand any written document, it is wise to start by learning a little something about it's author. A person writing about events they were close to, is much more likely to be speaking accurately about what actually happened. Matthew - the author of the Gospel of Matthew - was an apostle who walked with Jesus throughout his early ministry. This is a man who saw most of what he was writing about, first-hand!
Since the times of the early church fathers, the apostle Matthew has always been accredited with the authorship of the first gospel (canonically). Even the title “According to Matthew” is found in the earliest manuscripts, and was the most highly regarded and quoted of the gospels by the church fathers. Matthew is also called Levi (Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27), and was the son of Alphaeus (Luke 5:27). He was a tax collector, probably stationed on a main trade route near Capernaum where he would have collected tolls for Herod Antipas from commercial traffic. Additionally, being a tax collector might better qualify Matthew for his role as an official recorder of the life and actions of Christ. After the resurrection there is no other mention of him in the New Testament.

Monday, July 2, 2012

GETTING READY: Introduction to the Gospel of Matthew

Summer is here, which means it is time to start thinking about next year's Bible Quizzing.  No, you don't need to start studying!  But it is good to start familiarizing yourself with the material we'll be covering.  Let's start out with a brief introduction to the book, and there are few better tools for a "getting to know you" session in the New Testament than the NIV Study Bible Introdutions.

Although the first Gospel is anonymous, the early church fathers were unanimous in holding that Matthew, one of the 12 apostles, was its author...
Some have argued on the basis of its Jewish characteristics that Matthew’s Gospel was written in the early church period, possibly the early part of a.d. 50, when the church was largely Jewish and the gospel was preached to Jews only (Ac 11:19). However, those who have concluded that both Matthew and Luke drew extensively from Mark’s Gospel date it later—after the Gospel of Mark had been in circulation for a period of time.
Matthew’s main purpose is to prove to his Jewish readers that Jesus is their Messiah. He does this primarily by showing how Jesus in his life and ministry fulfilled the OT Scriptures. Although all the Gospel writers quote the OT, Matthew includes nine proof texts unique to his Gospel (1:22–23; 2:15; 2:17–18; 2:23; 4:14–16; 8:17; 12:17–21; 13:35; 27:9–10) to drive home his basic theme: Jesus is the fulfillment of the OT predictions of the Messiah. Matthew even finds the history of God’s people in the OT recapitulated in some aspects of Jesus’ life (see, e.g., his quotation of Hos 11:1 in 2:15). To accomplish his purpose Matthew also emphasizes Jesus’ Davidic lineage (see Recipients, p. 1945). 
Click on through for the whole entry.  It is worth reading!