The idea for these readings is that Christianity is a continuation and fulfillment of Judaism.  Matthew was probably a righteous rabbi, in the sense of systematically searching for the truth.  Matthew is not a Gospel for the Gentiles, as was the work of Saint Paul.  Matthew comes later, as a solace for those Jews who saw the light of Christianity and tarried to cope with the internal conflict of their previous instructions on Faith.[1]


The above version of Matthew is the one I find most convincing.  The other version is that of a wild-eyed radical declaring a new covenant, excluding everything else.  Matthew uses Jeremiah as a prototype of Jesus.  When listening to the Gospel of Matthew, one should think “Jeremiah.”  Like Jesus, Jeremiah said things that the established religious authorities did not like.  These authorities silenced Jeremiah, not by crucifying him, but by throwing him into a “dry” well, from which he could not be heard.


Annotated Bibliography

Material above the double line draws from and is based upon material below the double line.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some of the interesting details scholars and others are presenting.

The fact that, except for the Gospels, the readings for the Ascension are the same, from Cycle to Cycle, means I only have to go back one year, to last July, for new scholarly work.


Acts 1:1-11

Acts 1:8

Paul Lawrence, The IVP Atlas of Bible History[2]

When Jesus prophecies “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth,” he is prophesying early Church history from A.D. 33, Pentecost, to A.D. 60-62, the house arrest of Paul in Rome.


Psalm 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9 (6)



Ephesians 1:17-23 (though some variety is available through the Cycles, I doubt it will be used.)


Matthew 28:19a, 20b


Matthew 28:16-20 (58A, 58B=Mark 16:15-20, 58C=Luke 24:46-53)


Matt 28:16-20

Mark F. Whitters, "Jesus in the Footsteps of Jeremiah"[3]

Some of the material above the double line draws from this article.


Matt 28; 16-20

Boris Repschinski, "`For He Will Save His People from Their Sins’ (Matthew 1:21): A Christology for Christian Jews”[4]

Some of the material above the double line draws from this article.


Matt 28:16-20

John E. Thiel, "For What May We Hope?  Thoughts on the Eschatological Imagination"[5]

According to Thiel, the life of Jesus after the resurrection is what the Faithful should anticipate what life will be like after their own resurrections.  Just as Christianity is a continuation of Judaism, so will life after death be a continuation of life before death.


Matt 28:16-20

Karen A Barta, review of John Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text and Ulrich Luz, James E. Crouch (tr.), Matthew 21-28: A Commentary[6]

Barta quotes Luz,


… L. titles the final scene of Matthew 28:16-20 as “The Commission of the Lord of the World for All Nations,” but in the section on “Meaning for Missions Today” he acknowledges that missions have “become controversial today after our eyes have been opened to the reality that there is something ambivalent about Modern Christian missions.


In other words, neither book reviewed has much to offer.


Matt 28:17

Kelli S. O'Brien, "Written That You May Believe: John 20 and Narrative Rhetoric"[7]

O’Brien argues that the doubting Thomas and other pericopes, “is not simply a report of others’ experience, but it provides the possibility of a substitute experience for the reader.”


Matt 28:19-20

Daniel W. Ulrich, “The Missional Audience of the Gospel of Matthew[8]

Ulrich argues that Matthew wrote within a Jewish community, all the while reaching out to a broader world community.


Matt 28:19

Daniel C. Olson, "Matthew 22:1-14 as Midrash"[9]

The material above the double line that regards Matthew as an early rabbi or a “wild-eyed apocalyptic” draws from this article.



For more on sources see the Appendix file.


[1] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3 (July 2005) 452.


[2] Downers Grove, Illinois, InterVarsity Press, 2006 148.


[3] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 2006) 231, 232, 239, 241, 245, 246.


[4] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 68, No. 2 (July 2006) 249. 250.


[5] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 3 (September 2006) 530.


[6] Theological Studies, Vol. 69, No. 1 (March 2008) 187.


[7] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 2 (April 2005) 285.


[8] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 1 (January 2007) 64-83.


[9] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3 (July 2005) 452.