The Synoptic Gospels are notably similar. At the same time, their distinctive differences underline the individuality of the three evangelists and clearly point to the exuberant pluralism of New Testament theology and, more specifically, christology.
Matthews portrait of Jesus is coloured by two factors. He is a committed Jewish-Christian, wholly convinced that Jesus is the Messiah of Jewish hope and expectation. As a member of a predominantly Jewish-Christian community, he is grieved by the antagonism of contemporary official Judaism. Matthews Jesus, while prophet and healer, is more firmly in the line of the sages of Israel. He is pre-eminently a teacher.
Like the other titles in this series, Mark: Realistic Theologian, Luke: Gracious Theologian and John: Spiritual Theologian, this book is simply and clearly written and will be invaluable to all who preach or teach or simply want to understand better the gospel of Matthew.
Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, is a professor of New Testament at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has written numerous works, including What Are We Hoping For? New Testament Images, Why Do We Hope? Images in the Psalms, and Jesus Ben Sira of Jerusalem: A Biblical Guide to Living Wisely, all published by Liturgical Press. Harrington is editor of the Sacra Pagina series, for which he also authored The Gospel of Matthew and coauthored The Gospel of Mark.