The Gospel according to St Matthew is divided into five books each consisting of a discourse introduced and led up to by selected narrative matter; these five books, plus the stories of the Infancy and of the Passion are combined to form a well-knit whole of seven sections. Matthew used his sources with great freedom in order to reach his carefully mapped out ensemble which is so brilliantly adapted for teaching purposes. Matthew’s plan is completely different to Mark. The fact that this gospel also reports Christ’s teaching much more fully than Mark, and stresses specially the theme of ‘the Kingdom of heaven’ (4:17+), makes it a dramatic account in seven acts of the coming of the kingdom of heaven.

(to be completed)