Does this forward to the bible book of Matthew in my NIV, increase your faith or perhaps weaken it?

I recently purchase a NIV translation from and when about to read Matthew this forward caught my attention:


“Matthew’s purpose is to show that God has kept his ancient promises to Israel through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the messiah. The long expected reign of heaven is now coming to earth, bringing the Jewish story to its climax. Matthew begins by highlighting that Jesus was son of David, Israel’s most famous king and the son of Abraham Israel’s famous patriarch. Jesus is the true Israelite and God’s promised messiah.

The Messiah is shown as reliving the story of Israel….going down into the Jordan river, facing temptation in the wilderness, gathering twelve disciples as twelve new tribes, ascending a mountain to deliver a new Torah, etc. The author highlights the idea of Jesus as a new Moses by collecting his teachings into 5 long speeches. These are marked off by some variation of the phrase ‘When Jesus finished saying these things’. Just as the Torah had 5 books, Matthew presents five major sections.

The book culminates by telling how Jesus brought about the great new act of redemption for his people. As in the story of Israel’s Exodus, a Passover meal is celebrated and then deliverance comes. Jesus gives his life for the sake of the world and is then raised from the dead. At the beginning of the book Jesus is given the name Immanuel, meaning ‘God with us’. At the end, Jesus sends his follower into the world with the promise that ‘surely I am with you always’.”

I would enjoy hearing your comments on the above forward to the bible book of Matthew. Do the above statements strengthen or weaken your faith as a christian?? Thanks


@BR your comments are spot on. I found them rather disquieting, in the sense that the reviewer seemed to go overboard to show simile's to Jesus everyday life as ratification of Israels past. Almost alluding to some sort of grand prepackaged, foreordained puzzle that pulled the entire OT right into the NT. I understand why some have commented that they liked it, but instead of increasing my faith, it raised all sorts of red flags about the motives of the writer.

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'm critical of the forward. It seems to assume (or presume) quite a few things. It notes some things accurately (such as "5 long speeches"), but draws parallels with Torah that - importantly - may or may not have been the author's intent, but **it claims that it was**. Likewise the other parallels described by the intro.

    Now: all of these parallels mentioned may, in fact, have been intended by the author. Alternately, they might all be coincidence that the author of the notes has decided for himself or herself were parallels intended by the author but were not! The notes presume to know the intent of the author - repeatedly - when the author's true intent is NOT plainly stated by the author himself OR plainly recognizable in his work.

    There is a huge difference between,

    "I believe this was the author's intent, and it is a reasonably hypothesis, and here are the reasons that I believe so"


    "This was the author's intent, but I'm not going to tell you how I know that (probably because if I did you'd realize I was just making stuff up that *sounds* reasonable but in fact has no sound reasoning supporting it)"

    In a nutshell, the problem is this: the notes author proclaims with authority things that he only hopes are true, and he does not inform us as to *why* he hopes it is true.

    Many Christians - maybe even most Christians - are attracted by confident pronouncements whenever religion is the topic of discussion. I am not one of those. If you believe something religiously and you are confident in your belief, I want to know WHY. If you can't tell me why - using sound reason - then I will not share that confidence in your belief.

    So, I am skeptical of the author's notes. He could be correct, of course - but he has not bothered to demonstrate to us that he *is* correct, and I can get several opinions about "the author's intent" of Matthew without paying for them.

    The notes author seems to be offering his opinions as if they were facts. This is commentary - not analysis, not careful, critical scholarly evaluation. This is the personal religious beliefs of the author of the notes, handed down to us as if it were God's own truth.

    Take a look at the New Jerusalem Bible Regular Edition introduction to Matthew and you will see the difference between personal, opinionated commentary and a scholarly analysis of the known facts (which are at least mentioned in passing). Commentary is sometimes insightful but usually nothing more than one man's unsubstantiated and unsubstantiatable opinion - and this smacks of unsubstantiatable opinion. I want critical, reasoned analysis!

    Tell me what you know about Matthew - not what you believe!

    - Jim,

  • 8 years ago

    I don't particularly care for the NIV translation. I think it muddies some of the Biblical doctrines.

    However, I do like the introduction you have provided. It is accurate in what is stated, though not quite complete in regards to the spring Jewish feasts and how Jesus fulfilled them all.

  • ?
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    I think it's an excellent foreword. I would say it strengthens my faith just to read this summary of the Book of Matthew. In fact it makes me want to read it - so I will be starting on it tonight. Hope all is well with you, Dan.

  • Joshua
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    Why would you pay money to buy a bible when you can look it up online for free.

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  • Moi
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    I think they did a wonderful job if thats what you mean

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