The Life Of Christ


The life of Christ is the most important event in the history of the world. Every Bible student should obtain as clear an understanding of the leading events as possible and associate them with the places where they occurred. The chronological arrangement of these events is of inestimable value to any student.

There are about 150 events mentioned by the gospels. In about a hundred of these events there seems to be no difficulty as to their chronological order. In the remaining fifty there is some doubt. In arranging these events we have pretty much followed J. W. McGarvey’s arrangement of events and dates.

A number of maps have also been inserted to help visualize the location of our Lord at the time of these events. So often we read the names of cities and places in the Bible without any concept as to their location.

Lesson 1

The Gospel of Matthew

The Bible provides us with four accounts of the life of Christ called “The Gospels.”

The first one in the order arranged in our Bible is Matthew. It is said to be the most widely read book in the world because of its distinct position as the first book of the New Testament.

The word “gospel” is a translation of the Greek word “euangelion” which means, “good News.” Very little is known about this Galilean Jew who lived in Capernaum. He is also called Levi. He is listed as an apostle. The only other mention of him is his call to follow Jesus.

We know that he was a Publican or a collector of taxes. These public officials were notorious as extortioners and were generally despised by the Jews. However there is every indication that he was trustworthy, competent and efficient. It is a credit that he looses sight of himself and devotes his attention to Christ.

There have been many false theories about Matthew and His gospel. One says he wrote his gospel in Hebrew or Aramaic and it was later translated into Greek. There is no evident that such a text ever existed.

Another theory is that Matthew copied from Mark’s gospel. As an eyewitness to the life of Christ why would he have to depend on someone like Mark? Some place the date of this book as early as AD 37 while others have it as late as AD 70. It makes very little difference as to when.

His purpose was to show that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah foretold by the Old Testament prophets. He uses the word “fulfilled” 17 times quoting repeatedly from the Old Testament. There about 40 proof passages from the Old Testament involving minor details of Christ’s life which are cited to show Christ fulfilled these prophesies.

He devotes more attention than the other three writers to these prophecies. Almost every chapter quotes from the Old Testament. In all there are 65 quotations.

For this reason, it seems evident that he wrote specifically for the Jews, frequently translating into Greek, Hebrew words for the benefit of Greek-speaking Jews (Matthew 1:23; 27:33, 46). He also mentions Jewish customs without an explanation. It is as if his readers were already familiar with them.

He does not arrange events in chronological order. Instead there is an arrangement of His speeches, His parables and His miracles. He devotes more space to them than any writer of the teachings of Jesus. Emphasis is placed on the kingdom. The expression “Kingdom of Heaven” is found 32 times.

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The Life Of Christ