Appendix 3: Matthew

Ray Sutton

Narrated By: Devan Lindsey
Book: That You May Prosper


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Chapter Text

Every ”Adam” up to the time of Christ had failed to redeem man. The first Adam’s sin led to death, and his death spread to the whole world (Rom. 5:12). He legally represented the rest of humanity. Before each person was even born, he was guilty of the “original sin” of Adam. Like the old Puritan primer says, “In Adam’s fall we sinned all.” Adam’s own family bore the consequences, as brother killed brother.

But God had promised a “Seed” (Gen. 3:15). Not many “seeds,” but one Seed who would come to redeem the world (Gal. 3:16). Every mother waited to see if her son would be the savior. What were they really waiting for? A New Adam. Not only would this New Adam save the world, but he would raise up faithful sons to dominate the earth.

Was it Seth, Adam’s replacement son for Abel? No, Seth failed to be the new Adam and provide true sons. Within a few generations, his sons were marrying covenant-breakers. Their offspring were so vicious and corrupt that God was willing to destroy His entire creation (Gen. 6:1ff.). God found one righteous man left, Noah.

Was it Noah? No, but in a way he was. The world was delivered by his ark. He started to re-build the world in God’s image. Before long, however, one of his sons apostatized, bolted from the faith, and started another line of covenant-breakers. The power of sin was greater than grace. The Tower of Babel episode plunged the world into another horrible fall. Noah’s life came to a sad end. He proved to be like the “old” Adam. There was still no New Adam.

How about Abraham? No. Yet, Abraham seemed to begin the world all over again after the Tower of Babel had thrown everything into “confusion.” The Tower of Babel created the need for a new priesthood. God chose the Hebrews. Abraham was circumcised and given a “seed,” Isaac. The Messianic line was narrowed. But the fact that Isaac came meant Abraham was not the New Adam. He died like the rest. Also, the line of the Patriarchs, Abraham’s successors (Isaac, Jacob, etc.), wound up in serious trouble. Jacob’s sons turned on the one faithful son, Joseph, sold him into slavery, and a famine (death) came to the land. Joseph ended up in Egypt. Eventually, he rescued the Patriarchs and his whole race, when God’s revelation to him resulted in his being second in command to Pharaoh. Before long, however, Joseph had died, his sons had failed, and Israel was in bondage in a foreign land.

Who would save them? Moses? No. He certainly was the next deliverer, but in the end he also died. He successfully led Israel out of bondage, across the Red Sea, and on their way to the Promised Land. But Moses was like the old Adam. His impatience and anger caused him to fall. He died outside the Land of Promise. A new savior was needed. Who would he be? Joshua? Samson? Gideon? These were all likely candidates, but each could not save Israel or the world from its sin. What was the answer? Israel asked for a king. The first one was Saul whose life ended in apostasy. The second became the most powerful king in the history of Israel.

Was the new Adam David? No. Prohibited by God from building His house, he died. But his beginning was glorious. He was the “man after God’s own heart.” His remarkable career indicated that he was going to deliver Israel and set up the kingdom of God. When he was crowned the “son of God” (II Sam. 7), the “Davidic Millennium” began, a time roughly 1,000 years before the birth of Christ (Matt. 1:1ff.). His millennium began a time of unprecedented peace, but it was short-lived. He too fell, and all his sons apostatized. Only Solomon came back to the faith. Even so, by the middle of this millennium, in the sixth century before Christ, Israel was in captivity. David had not succeeded any better than the very first Adam. God brought His covenant lawsuit against the nation time and again through His prophets. Israel would not repent, so He judged them with captivity and slavery to foreign powers (Deut. 28:60-68).

During captivity in Babylon, half way through David’s millennium, God revealed to Daniel that a Messiah would come in another 500 years or so. He would make a new covenant.

Seventy weeks [literally “sevens” = approximately 490 years] have been decreed for your people to build your holy city (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy place.

So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; It will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.

Then after the sixty-two weeks [the sixty-ninth week] the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined.

And He will make firm a covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week He (Christ) will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering (by His death); and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate (A.D. 70 [Dan. 9:24-27]).

Daniel had prayed that God would be faithful to His covenant (Dan. 9:4). He wanted his people to be sent back to Jerusalem, but he also wanted to know exactly how long they had to turn away from their sins. Answer: they had until forty years after the death of the Messiah which would be approximately 490 years from the “decree” referred to, the prophecy God was revealing to Daniel.[1] So, God told him that there would be the coming of the Messiah, and that His true atonement would stop the sacrificial system of the Temple. This also meant the end of Israel’s religion, the end of the holy city Jerusalem and the Temple, the place of sacrifice.

The prophecy of Daniel sums up the complete failure of Israel to be the New Adam. In fact, it brings to an end all of the “Adams” of history who had proven not to be the true sons of God, and draws Biblical history to the time of Christ. When Christ came, apostasy had again filled the land. Israel was run by demon-possessed apostates (John 8:44). Yet, in spite of the previous Adams’ lack of success, the coming of the true New Adam had been progressively revealed, each new fall being followed by more redemptive light.[2] Finally, Christ did come, and the covenant to which Daniel referred, a New Covenant, was sealed.

Jesus and the Deuteronomic Covenant

Daniel confirms that Jesus was coming to establish a covenant. From Jesus’ own lips, it was called a “new” covenant. At the Last Supper, taking the cup He said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood” (Luke 22:20). What was this “covenant” to which Christ referred? Matthew gives an indication by the fact that he structured his account of the Gospel according to the Deuteronomic covenant.

Matthew arranges his book in five sections around Jesus’ five discourses or sermons (Matt. 5-7; 10:1-42; 13:1-52; 18:1-35; 23-25). He repeats a key phrase at the close of each “book” and/or sermon to mark the end: “It came to pass when Jesus had finished these sayings” (7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1). R. V. G. Tasker, in his excellent commentary on Matthew says, “This is in effect another way of saying, ‘Here endeth the first (or second, etc.) book of the oracles of Jesus the Messiah.'”[3] Matthew clearly follows some kind of five-fold structuring.

Why five? I believe Matthew develops a covenantal framework of the life of Christ. The book organizes around the five points of covenantalism. Thus, Matthew’s Gospel simultaneously arranges according to Deuteronomy and the Pentateuch. Some work has been done comparing Matthew to the Pentateuch,[4] but none (to my knowledge) develops the book according to Deuteronomy. For the remainder of the chapter, let us compare the Deuteronomic model to Matthew.

The Covenantal Structure of Matthew

True Transcendence: Matthew 1:1-7:28
Hierarchy: Matthew 7:29-11:1
Ethics: Matthew 11:2-13:53
Sanctions: Matthew 13:54-19:2
Continuity: Part I – Matthew 19:3-26:1

Part II – Matthew 26:2-28:20

  1. True Transcendence (Matt. 1:1-7:28)

Matthew begins his Gospel by emphasizing transcendence. Remember that there are three common ways by which God distinguishes Himself and establishes His Lordship: creation, redemption, and revelation. Matthew opens his Gospel by the first two but definitely focuses on the revelation theme, just as we saw in the Deuteronomic covenant.

First, the Genesis creation appears in the introductory statement, “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ” (Matt. 1:1). The word “genealogy” is from the Greek word “genesis,” meaning origin or lineage. It is the same word after which the first book of the Bible is named. Genesis is divided into ten sections that end, “these are the generations of” (Gen. 5:1; 6:9; 10:1; 11:10; 11:27; 25:12; 25:19; 36:1; 36:9; 37:2).

Second, the redemption theme appears in the announcement of the coming of Jesus Christ to Mary. Matthew emphasizes joseph, a man who is caught in a moral dilemma but is delivered by God’s revelation. Twice this happens. He decides to divorce Mary because she is pregnant (Matt. 1:19-25), and he has to flee to Egypt to escape the wrath of Herod, a descendant of Esau: the firstborn of Isaac (Matt. 2:1-15). Apparently, Matthew intends the reader to make the connection back to the first Joseph (Jacob’s son) who experienced similar moral dilemmas, and was delivered by special revelation (Gen. 38-50). He too was taken to Egypt to escape the wrath of his elder brothers (the firstborn). Yet, Israel was sent to Egypt to escape judgment during the famine. Later, they came up out of Egypt at the Exodus for redemption.

Third, Matthew emphasizes the revelation theme of transcendence more than the others by means of Jesus’ sermon that closes this section: the Sermon on the Mount. As Deuteronomy opened by pointing out that the words of the Deuteronomic covenant were transcendent (Deut. 1:3), from God not man, so the thrust of the first sermon contrasts Jesus’ interpretation of the Law with the words of men, the “interpretations” of the Pharisees. Some have mistakenly thought that He was comparing His words to the teachings of Moses. This is not true. To pit Christ against Moses results in pitting Scripture against Scripture. As Daniel Fuller has observed, “It makes one section of Scripture anathematize another portion.”[5] Moreover, Christ says, “Do not think I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets” (Matt. 5:17). Careful reading of the “you have heard it said…” statement, shows that Moses did not teach these ideas. Rather, they were distorted interpretations of him.

The conflict had become one of God’s Word against the words of map. The Pharisees had elevated their own interpretations and writings above Scripture. Christ spoke as Divine interpreter showing that the Pharisees were wrong. This proved that God’s Word and His Son are truly transcendent and immanent. Man’s words are neither. By so doing, Jesus re-established the Deuteronomic covenant and placed Himself at the Head as the new Moses. At the end of the book, like Moses, He died before entering the new Canaan (the whole world), but unlike Moses He did not remain dead. He rose to become the true Joshua. From the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel, therefore, we see how the author self-consciously structured according to the Deuteronomic pattern.

At the end of the sermon, we read, “The result was that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching: for He was teaching them as one having authority” (Matt. 7:28-29). This hinge draws to a conclusion the true transcendence segment and takes us to the next subject: hierarchy.

  1. Hierarchy (Matt. 7:29-11:1)

Matthew follows Book I with the theme of hierarchy. Matthew 8 takes us right to the idea of authority. Beginning with the account of the Leper, we read of an encounter which is the classic passage on “authority,” the story of the Centurion. A Centurion came to Christ because his servant was lying at home, paralyzed and suffering much pain (Matt. 8:6). Christ said He would be willing to come, but the Centurion told Jesus that he was not worthy to have Him under his roof. Then the Centurion made a remarkable comment. He said, ‘just say the word and my servant will be healed. For I, too, am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it” (Matt. 8:8-9). Jesus was taken by his comment and said He had not seen “faith” like this in all of Israel.

The Centurion understood authority in terms of the power of mediation. He gave an order, and the servant, or the one to whom the command was given, carried out what was commanded. The Centurion could therefore extend his authority over great distances. He saw that Christ had a similar but even greater authority. Jesus was able to bring things to pass with His Word. Through the “Word,” life (or death) could be mediated to someone. The Centurion says, ‘just say the word.” The Roman officer believed in a mediated system of government. The following passages contain a series of healings where Christ mediates judgment unto life and death. For example, not only does Christ heal the Centurion’s servant, but He heals Peter’s mother-in-law (Matt. 8:14-17). He also judges unto death when He casts out and effectively destroys the demons of the Gadarene demoniac (Matt. 8:28-34).

The concept of a mediated system of authority comes to full force during Jesus’ second sermon. He names and then commissions His disciples to exercise His authority on the earth (Matt. 10:1-15). They have the power to bless and curse. Any city that does not receive them will be judged worse than Sodom and Gomorrah (Matt. 10:15). By placing a harsher judgment on the cities that refuse Christ’s ordained mediators of authority, the sermon parallels the second section of Deuteronomy, with one exception. In Deuteronomy, Moses was head of the covenant. In Matthew, Christ is the Head. His authority is being applied to the earth. This explains why judgment intensifies in the New Covenant.

Matthew concludes Book II with a reference to the role of the prophet. The disciples are compared to the prophets. Christ promises that anyone who receives His servants receives His authority and the reward will be great (Matt. 10:40-42). This points us toward the ethical section.

  1. Ethics (Matt. 11:2-13:53)

The ethics segment of Deuteronomy concentrated on the fulfillment of righteousness. Three subordinate ideas formed around this concept: conquest, consecration, and image-bearing. Matthew makes all of the same emphases by starting Book III with the account of John the Baptist, the prophet (Matt. 11:2-19). Why the prophet and what does this have to do with the ethical theme? The prophet was the embodiment of the Word of God. Literally, he was a miniature incarnation of the fulfillment of righteousness. He reminded the people of the basic ethical cause/effect relationship. He did so by means of a covenant lawsuit.

Additionally, the prophet was a special image-bearer. Remember, the image-bearer was tied to sonship in the third section of Deuteronomy (p. 61). Only a son could properly image the Father. Sonship was purely in terms of ethics and not any physical or metaphysical reflection. The one who obeyed was the true image-bearer and son of God. When all of God’s sons turned away, the prophet was always there to recall to the minds of God’s people that they needed to live like “sons.” Since he was the incarnation of the Word of God, he represented living sonship to them.

Matthew also develops the fulfillment of righteousness theme in the third section around the difficult ethical question of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:1-14). By placing this sequence here, Matthew focuses our attention on the heart of the covenant, law. The Pharisees accused Jesus of changing the law of the covenant (Matt. 12:2). But He turned their arguments against them and said, “Have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath, and are innocent? But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here” (Matt. 12:5-6). So the ethics of the Old Covenant had not changed, only its application. Jesus was the new temple and that meant that the Sabbath could be broken in His presence. Since He is the true Rest of God, however, the Sabbath continues forever in Him. Christ had become the Law of God. Ironically, when Christ was present, the Sabbath was broken and kept simultaneously. How could this be? He declared Himself the “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matt. 12:8).

Finally, Matthew concludes the ethics section with Jesus’ third sermon. He uses the medium of parables to present the fulfillment of righteousness in the coming of the kingdom. Remember that Moses taught that conquest came as a result of faithfulness to the righteousness of the covenant in Deuteronomy. In the same manner, strong ethical as well as dominical concerns surface in Jesus’ words. He begins with the famous “parable of the soils” (Matt. 13:1-23). The message is simple. The Word of God is the seed that falls in different types of soils. Only the soil that perseveres in obedience becomes fertile ground for the birth of the kingdom. Jesus perfectly fulfills this parable in the narrowest sense in that He completely fulfilled the righteousness of the Father and gave birth to the kingdom of God. In its broadest application, however, the followers of Christ would be the new soil in which the kingdom would be born.

Jesus continues to use parables to weave ethical faithfulness together with the coming of the kingdom. He finishes on the parable of the dragnet (Matt. 13:47-50). At the “end of the age” the kingdom of God will be fully established when the wicked are separated from the faithful on the basis of fulfilled righteousness (Matt. 13:49). The parallel with Deuteronomy continues in full force.

  1. Sanctions (Matt. 13:54-19:1)

Matthew’s fourth section of his book attests to the sanctions theme. Immediately we see sanction and counter-sanction at the end of the 13th and 14th chapters. The evangelist returns to the “prophetic” theme with a discussion about how a “prophet is not welcome in his own home town” (Matt. 13:48-54), provoking the question “Why?” The prophet is not welcome because he brings sanctions by means of covenant lawsuit. Not a very popular role. As a matter of fact, Jesus’ own friends and family sanctioned Him by disregarding His teaching and miracles. With this introduction, Matthew prepares us for the sanction emphasis.

In the very next chapter, the first full chapter of this segment, he tells us about the beheading of John the Baptist. John is the prophet who has brought covenant lawsuit against King Herod. In the sanctions section of Deuteronomy, I said that this function was to be performed by the “witness” of the covenant. As a “witness,” John publically prosecuted the king (Matt. 14:4). The king had John put in prison, and Herodias had him put to death. John had sanctioned and the king had counter-sanctioned. When Christ learned of the prophet’s death, He withdrew. But instead of letting the people starve by the loss of His presence, He gave them blessing sanction in the feeding of the five thousand (Matt. 14:13-21). Christ countered the sanction of Herod, which took away the Word, by providing a better sanction in the sacrament of communion.

The same pattern of sanction and counter-sanction repeats itself through the remainder of the section. For example, in chapter 15, the Pharisees initiate covenant lawsuit against Jesus, charging Him with breaking the tradition of the elders (Matt. 15:2). Christ counters with a sanction of cursing, calling them “hypocrites” (Matt. 15:7). In effect, He was issuing His own covenant lawsuit, thus picking up where John the Baptist had left off. In the following section, again Jesus withdraws and feeds the blessing sanction of communion to the 4,000. Chapter 15 parallels the sanction/counter-sanction pattern of chapter 14.

Finally, Jesus concludes the sanction section with His fourth sermon (Matt. 18). The topic is church discipline, most certainly a sanction theme. He leads into the discussion by talking about the need to excise that member that causes the rest of the body to stumble (Matt. 18:6-14). He even starts with a sanction word, “woe,” meaning “curse” (Matt. 18:7). Then He presents the actual process of discipline (Matt. 18:15-20), concluding on how the unrepentant should be excommunicated. But Jesus closes His sermon on the very practical note of forgiveness (Matt. 18:21-35). Why? Forgiveness is the sanction of blessing, the appropriate response to the one who has responded properly to the sanction of cursing. The sermon ends with the familiar refrain added by Matthew, “And it came about that when Jesus had finished these words” (Matt. 19:1).

  1. Continuity (Matt. 19:2-28:20)

The final section breaks into two halves: covenantal discontinuity (Matt. 19:2-26:1) and covenantal continuity (Matt. 26:2-28:20). Because the book climaxes in the greatest continuity and discontinuity of history, this is the largest section. Matthew begins first with the complete disinheritance of Israel through repeated emphasis on judgment. Then, he concludes the book with the Death and Resurrection of Christ, the establishment of new heirs, and new inheritance.

  1. Discontinuity

The opening passage of this section sounds a clear note of covenantal discontinuity. Matthew 19 starts with the great divorce question. Divorce is the covenantal process of creating discontinuity. Specifically, divorce cuts off inheritance. While the Pharisees are asking questions about divorce between man and woman, Jesus answers in such a way as to turn the matter to the issue of inheritance. He argues that true inheritance can only be found in the kingdom of God (Matt. 19:12).

In the same context, we find the rich young ruler coming to Christ to find out how to “obtain eternal life” (Matt. 19:16). The word “obtain” means “inherit” because in the Lukan account it says, “What must I do to inherit eternal life” (Luke 18:18). Jesus tells him that he must give up his inheritance (everything that he has) to have eternal life. In other words, he loses his inheritance to gain God’s. Of course the new inheritance includes the old plus an expansion. Jesus says as much when He tells His disciples in the same context, ”And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life” (Matt. 19:29).

The key to this encounter is that the rich young ruler represents Israel. Israel’s inheritance via the Old Covenant had become its god. It worshipped the land, namely its own inheritance, committing the ancient sin of Baalism. Jesus called them to repentance, therefore, by forfeiting what they had come to worship. As a result, His inheritance would be their previous land plus the whole world. One would think that such an offer would not be refused. Israel did refuse and was disinherited. More to the point, Israel refused because they were envious of the fact that God was willing to include the gentiles into His inheritance. In the parable of the vineyard, those who grumble because they receive the same amount as the man who comes late in the day are fired (Matt. 20:14). They are Israel, receiving covenantal discontinuity.

For the next several chapters, one section after another pronounces judgment and total discontinuity between God and Israel. First, Jesus enters Jerusalem, cleanses the temple, and curses the fig tree, a symbol of Israel (Matt. 21:1-22). Second, He tells the parable of the landowner where the wicked tenants who kill the prophets and the owner’s son are brought to a wretched end, and the owner rents out the vineyard to other vinegrowers and pays the proceeds (inheritance) at seasons (Matt. 21:41). Third, Jesus tells another parable about a man who shows up at the king’s wedding feast without wedding clothing on. He is thrown out of the “kingdom” (Matt. 22:1-14). The man represents Israel being cut off from its inheritance. Fourth, Jesus pronounces eight “woes” (curses) over Jerusalem (Matt. 23:1-39). Fifth, Jesus gives his last sermon of the book and describes the actual destruction of Jerusalem. Its total devastation implies the complete discontinuity we have been examining. Then finally, Christ applies the destruction of Jerusalem to the final judgment of the world where the wicked receive their just rewards: total disinheritance (Matt. 25:31-46).

  1. Continuity

Unique to the fifth section of Matthew, Matthew attaches his usual formula to the end of Jesus’ sermon (Matt. 26:1). But it is not the end of the book or section. He has discussed total discontinuity, but now he directs his attention to covenantal continuity. It begins with the institution of the Lord’s Supper at the time of Passover. Remember, this meal originally disinherited the Egyptians, and transferred the wealth of the wicked into the hands of the Israelites. Jesus’ meal and death is the Passover in reverse. This time, the Jews are disinherited, and the Gentiles receive the wealth of the Jews. We can say that through Jesus’ taking of man’s discontinuity -loss of inheritance due to the Fall-the world receives continuity.

Jesus, of course, is the “lamb” without blemish. After the meal, He is led to be slaughtered. The First-born Son dies – not the first-born of the Egyptians, but the First-born of God. But this First-born does not stay in the grave. The first-born of the Egyptians had all died (Ex. 12:30). They were helpless. God’s First-born rises again at dawn, the time the original Passover march was to have begun. On this Resurrection Day, however, Christ begins a triumphal march into Jerusalem. He gathers His people and holds another meal. This time the inheritance is regained. Continuity is created with the covenant-keepers.

Matthew concludes his book with the Great Commission, drawing both the section of the covenant and our study of Jesus’ covenant to a close. The best statement of the Great Commission is found at the end of Matthew. This is the new dominion charter attached to the end of the covenant: a statement of the Church’s new inheritance. We saw the same thing at the end of Deuteronomy. Jesus appears as the new Joshua commanding His army to take the land that belongs to them. A significant shift has taken place, one from the Land of Palestine to the world. Since this Commission is structured according to the covenant, I will develop it later. Nevertheless, Matthew verifies that the Gospel ends in dominion in the form of another mini-covenant, proving dominion by covenant.


Matthew follows Deuteronomy’s covenant structure. Without a doubt, the structure of the two books is parallel. But the theological ramifications are important. It means the New Covenant is not completely new in structure and content. It builds on the Old Covenant, making the New simply a refurbishing of the Old.

But someone might say, “The Gospels, for the most part, are still in the Old Covenant economy, coming just before the death of Christ where the transition from Old to New took place. Does the Deuteronomic covenantal pattern still continue to influence the rest of the New Testament? How about the epistles? They don’t have this structure do they?” Yes they do, and with a simple over-view of the book of Romans, I believe we will see the pattern again.

[1] Meredith Kline, “The Covenant of the Seventieth Week,” The Law and the Prophets, ed. John H. Skilton (Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1974), pp. 452-69. Kline argues that the 490 years of Daniel ought to be viewed in a more symbolic sense, although not entirely to the exclusion of a more literal reference. His point is that 490 should be understood in a covenantal context. To the Hebrew, 490 is ten Jubilee cycles indicating a fullness. That is why I use the word “approximately.”

[2] Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, [1948] 1975). Vos’s thesis is that Revelation is progressive, gradually unfolding more of the New Covenant until Christ comes in history. Actually, I believe that the Old Testament is the constant re-publishing of the first covenant with Adam, necessitating a New Covenant. As each re-publication of the Old Covenant fails, therefore, the New Covenant draws closer and becomes progressively clearer.

[3] R. V. G. Tasker, The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978), p. 19.

[4] B. W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (London, 1931), pp. 80ff. and passim. Bacon was one of the first to make the observation that there were five parts. He even went further and said that the five sections of Matthew parallel the five books of the Pentateuch. Austin Farrer makes a similar observation with the exception that he proposed six sections, “On Dispensing with Q,” in Studies in the Gospels, ed. D. E. Nineham (Oxford, 1954). Louis Bouyer, The Spirituality of the New Testament and the Fathers (New York: Seabury, 1982), Vol. I, pp. 92-93, also refers to the work of Farrer and agrees that Matthew has a Pentateuchal structure. For an additional comparison of Bacon and Farrer, see M. D. Goulder, Midrash and Lection in Matthew (London: SPCK, 1974), pp. 171ff.

[5] Daniel P. Fuller, Gospel and Law (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), p. 69.