2.29 The Gospels of Matthew and Luke

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The gospel of Matthew is the most Jewish of the gospels. He insists that his readers must follow Jewish law. Yet his gospel contains the infamous blood cry. Matthew's community might have been Jews who went to synagogue, and believed that what we call Christianity was the right way to be a Jew. Or they might have been outside the synagogues. Matthew today is understood as a factional writer, one who contended against the emerging rabbinical community. The gospel of Luke is part of a package, with the book of Acts. Luke is the most polished of the gospels, yet ranks with Mark in the bottom of the popularity stakes, even though it contains some of our most beloved stories: the parables of the good Samaritan and the tax collector, the annunciation of Jesus and John the Baptist, the shepherds and their flocks, and Jesus ascension to heaven.

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