Episode 2:
The Gospel of Matthew, Part 1

In this podcast episode titled “I Don’t Get The Bible,” the hosts discuss the authorship and reliability of the Book of Matthew. While it is believed to be written by the Apostle Matthew, they acknowledge alternative theories. They highlight the manuscript evidence and continuity within the Bible as factors that lead them to trust the Book of Matthew, emphasizing that faith and personal interpretation play a role in one’s perception of the evidence.

Long Description:

In this podcast episode titled “I Don’t Get The Bible,” the hosts discuss the Book of Matthew from the New Testament. They begin by addressing the question of who wrote the Book of Matthew, with the general belief being that it was written by the Apostle Matthew (also known as Levi), who was a tax collector before being recruited by Jesus as one of his Apostles. However, they acknowledge that there are alternative theories suggesting the authorship and origins of the gospel.

The hosts explore the evidences supporting Matthew as the author, such as manuscript evidence, writing style, and references to Matthew in early church writings known as the patristic fathers. While there is no absolute proof, the general belief and scholarly consensus, even among non-Christians, lean towards Matthew as the author. They also mention that there are no original manuscripts of the New Testament available today, only copies of copies, but there is a significant amount of manuscript evidence supporting the existence of the apostolic writings.

Regarding the availability of extra-biblical texts, the hosts explain that there are hundreds of thousands of manuscripts discovered through archaeological digs and research. These texts, when compared with older and newer manuscripts, provide evidence of the historical context and the people who lived during that time. They contrast this with the origins of the Quran and the Book of Mormon, which were claimed to be direct revelations but lack the same level of manuscript evidence.

When questioned about trusting the Book of Matthew, one host clarifies that they don’t trust it in the sense of perfection but rather in terms of presenting a reasonable view of what God wants. They acknowledge that there may have been abuses and corruptions throughout history but emphasize that the manuscript evidence supports its overall consistency.

The hosts also discuss the importance of studying the Book of Matthew within the context of the entire Bible, particularly the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) or Judaism. They address arguments against Judaism and the claim that it is a made-up narrative by Jews to control the story. They counter this by highlighting the continuity between the books of the Bible and the overall message they convey. The host finds the message and way of living presented in the Bible to be superior to other philosophies they have encountered.

In terms of Matthew’s role as an apostle, not much is known about his character traits except for his occupation as a tax collector. They mention that tax collectors were generally despised for their dishonest practices, but Jesus choosing Matthew as an apostle would have raised suspicions among the Jews.

The podcast episode concludes with the hosts expressing their enthusiasm for discussing more about the Book of Matthew in future episodes, indicating that they find the topic engaging and enjoyable.