The Gospel of Matthew
"E. Schuyler English: The Gospel According to Matthew"
Introduction to Matthew

Eugene Schuyler English's book, The Gospel According to Matthew, is presented - spread across the full study of Matthew - in it's entirety. Mr. English was President of the Philadelphia School of the Bible from 1936-1939. His credits can be found at the bottom of the page.

Eugene Schuyler English: "Introduction to Matthew" [1]

(Dedication) To My Mother (Mrs. English)

By Donald Grey Barnhouse, D.D.

The first Gospel is the doorway to the whole of the New Testament. The Holy Spirit has undoubtedly placed it where it is in the order of the books. It is safe to say that whosoever understands the Gospel according to Matthew will be a fair distance along the road to an understanding of all the New Testament.

The misunderstanding of the Gospel of Matthew has been responsible for many a shipwreck. When it is the wreck of a Tolstoi who, enamored with the great utterances of the Sermon on the Mount, devoted the remainder of his life to an impossible attempt to force this discourse onto the pattern of an unregenerate world, it is sad enough. But when theologians and ministers forsake God's plan for the present age and improvise a plan of their own devising, attempting to build a Kingdom where God is calling out a Church, the result is disastrous to the whole body of Christendom.

There have been many commentaries on the Gospel according to St. Matthew. Some of them are mere paraphrases of the recognized translation without throwing any light on the meaning of the passages. There are some which start out with false premises of misunderstanding and move forward logically to conclusions that are confusion. There are some which are satisfactory on the main points of the Gospel but which turn a neat path around many of the real difficulties. There are, of course, volumes which cover the ground in large compass and in much detail and with a great degree of satisfaction.

What we have not seen in the course of our reading is a study that makes no claim to great erudition, no pretense to a detailed analysis, but without verbosity goes to the heart of every great passage, gives a clear silhouette of all the peaks of the first Gospel, covers none of them with fog, and descends into enough of the valleys to give the casual layman, the busy Sunday School teacher, the beginner in Bible study, a competent grasp of the Gospel. We believe that in large measure this book by Mr. English fills this particular need.

D. G. B.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

By Frank E. Gaebelein, Litt.D.

  So fundamental is the Gospel of Matthew to a proper understanding of Scripture that its thorough study ought to be required in every school or class that approaches the Bible with the aim of grasping God's message to humanity. Indeed, on one's understanding of the issues presented in this Gospel depends in good measure his thinking about such great subjects as the Person and Mission of the Lord Jesus Christ, the relation of Law and Grace, and the future of God's chosen people, and the divine purpose for the age in which we live. Mr. English deals with these subjects from the dispensational point of view -- and quite rightly so. For a comprehension of the exceedingly vital distinction between the old dispensation of Mosaic legalism, the present period of Grace, and the future Kingdom Age during which Israel will be restored to her land is an essential requisite for the study of the First Gospel. But it would be superfluous to anticipate by further discussion the author's clear treatment of these matters.

There are, however, several things that ought to be said regarding this book. At a time when dispensational teaching is being attacked its appearance is timely. It is written out of a heart warm in love for the Lord Jesus Christ. Consequently the devotional element is conspicuously present in these pages, and the searching evangelical appeal to the heart and will of the reader is frequent. Mr. English has avoided the barren hair-splitting that afflicts so many commentators, dispensational or otherwise, and has seized opportunity after opportunity to address himself directly to the consciences of his readers. It is safe to say that no one can go through this book, or even any considerable portion of it, without being directly confronted, and that more than once, with the great question of the ages, "What think ye of Christ?"

The author's experience as Managing Editor of a great Christian periodical has taught him the value of saying a thing with simple directness. There is in this book, therefore, no attempt at that wretched thing called "fine writing," the result being that, while it deals with many of "the deep things of God," it does so with a refreshing lack of pretence. Moreover, the spirit of the studies is one of positive but not dogmatic conviction; notice is generously taken of the views of others, although these views may in some instances run counter to those of the author.

As an introduction to the Gospel of Matthew this volume fills a real place in the shelves of literature helpful to that great group of Bible believing Christians which God is today raising up throughout the various denominations. It should find also long continuing use as a textbook for Bible classes in churches, schools, and colleges.

F. E. G.  The Stony Brook School, Stony Brook, Long Island.


The accompanying "Studies in the Gospel According to Matthew" are presented humbly, and in much prayer that the Lord will use them in a real way in the hearts of the readers of this book.

The author makes no claim to originality. He knows far too much of his own limitations, and far too little of the Word of God to be able to write such a volume. These notes were first prepared as a series on the International Sunday School Lessons appearing in the columns of Revelation, and have since been revised and published in book form at the request of some who have found them helpful. The very nature of their original purpose demanded reference to many commentators. Eleven commentaries on Matthew's Gospel were carefully consulted, as well as a score of volumes on the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the Parables and the Miracles. Thus there is little in this volume that cannot be found somewhere, but on the other hand we know of no book that contains all that will be found herein.

Whenever the author has quoted directly from another's work, he has so indicated in the accepted manner. In addition to this just formality, he wishes to express especial acknowledgment and gratitude to his esteemed friend, Dr. Arno C. Gaebelein, for without the help of Dr. Gaebelein's masterly exposition, The Gospel of Matthew (650 pages), which so clearly and faithfully sets forth the dispensational aspect of this Gospel, the present book could never have been written.

The author acknowledges his indebtedness also to the works of J. P. Lange, G. Campbell Morgan, Donald G. Barnhouse, Henry G. Weston, and Bishop J. C. Ryle, which were so helpful in the research entered into in preparation of this volume, and from which he appropriated certain expository thoughts.

Studies in the Gospel according to Matthew should be read only as a companion to the Word of God. In this way alone can the reader benefit from this book.

That a soul may be won to the Lord Jesus Christ through this book, or that a saint may be edified and strengthened in the faith -- this is our prayer. May God grant it to His glory.

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:5-7).

E. S. E.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.



The Bible contains no biography of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the contrary, there is much of His life which remains untold. The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are records of the facts which pertain to salvation, wrought out by our Lord Jesus Christ in His life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. The human authors of these accounts wrote as instruments of the Holy Spirit Who guided each hand so that the combined result is a universal Gospel message.

The three great civilizations of the first century of the Christian era were the Jewish, the Roman, and the Greek. The Jew was the man of history of the past, who could hark back to Moses and the prophets, who had Abraham as his father, whose very foundation was in the Scripture where he beheld the Genesis of all things in Eden, and before Eden, in God. The Roman was the man of the moment, of the present and the future. By his strength and prowess he had grasped victory and consequent power. The Greek was the dreamer, the man of philosophy. Though he had lost his political empire, he still reigned in the world of thought and culture. Three of the Gospels were written especially for these three race groups. For the Jew, the man of tradition, we find especially written Matthew's Gospel of fulfillment; for the Roman, the man of energy and action, Mark's Gospel, brief and direct in its account of the three years' ministry of our Lord; for the Greek, the man of thought and idealism, Luke's Gospel of our Lord's humanity in His Kingship. There is yet a fourth classification of the civilization of the first century, a class composed of Jews and Romans and Greeks, yet neither Jews nor Gentiles, but all one in Christ, the called-out-ones, believers on the Lord Jesus Christ. And there is yet a fourth Gospel, John's, the Gospel of love and of life -- God's love, and the believer's life through Jesus Christ.

The Old Testament closes with Israel looking for the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning their coming Messiah; the New Testament opens: "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham." Thus our Lord is instantly identified as the Messiah, the Anti-type of Old Testament history, the fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant of Sovereignty (2 Sam. 7:8-16), and the climax of the Abrahamic Covenant of promise (Gen. 12:3). The Gospel according to Matthew is the Genesis, not of the heavens and the earth, but of the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus, Who is the Crown of the Old Covenant, Whose death and resurrection instituted the new dispensation, Who is to return in glory to reign upon the earth, and Who is to make new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (Rev. 21:1, 5).

The Gospel according to Matthew is a Jewish book. Matthew presents Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of David, the promised King. In the genealogy of our Lord He is traced back to David the King; and the place of His birth is told, Bethlehem, the city of David (see Micah 5:2). In Matthew alone is recorded the visit of the wise men to worship Him "Who is born King of the Jews." The ministry of John the Baptist is reported in fulfillment of Malachi 3:1. Constantly throughout the Gospel there are to be found references to Old Testament Scriptures, with the comment, "for thus it is written by the prophet." In Matthew the King presents Himself and His Kingdom to His people, He is rejected, -- and then?

We know that Israel was God's "peculiar treasure," chosen to be "a Kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Ex. 19:5, 6). But we know also that the recognized people of God today are the saints, the Church, who have been made "a Kingdom of priests" (Rev. 1:5, 6). How can these facts be explained? Matthew answers the question. The Jews reject their Messiah-King; He pronounces judgment against them: He turns to the Gentiles with the blood- purchased offer of entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Not only does Matthew record the genealogy of Christ back to David the King, but he goes still further, to Abraham. But in point of time, it is not until after our Lord is rejected as the Son of David that He presents Himself as the Son of Abraham, obedient unto death, the Anti-type* of Isaac (Gen. 22). (See Appendix E.)

The Gospel according to Matthew is a Jewish book, but it is a book for the whole world, also, for flowing from the Cross of Calvary is the blood of the Lamb, by which all who believe on Him are washed clean from the stain of sin, and are presented "faultless before the presence of His glory."

The Gospel according to Matthew is dispensational* in its teaching. (See Appendix A.) To understand it fully, one must have a background knowledge of the place of the Jew, the Gentile, and the Church in the plan of God. The foundation of Matthew is Old Testament prophecy concerning the coming of Messiah and the promised Kingdom, but in its development it reaches forth into a new dispensation and the mysteries of the Kingdom, and points onward to the beginning of the millennial* age when Christ shall rule upon earth with His saints. (See Appendix G.) Our Lord's Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24 and 25) is the mold from which is taken much of the further teaching on yet unfulfilled prophecy. The course of this age, the Great Tribulation* period (See Appendix F.), the return of the King in glory* (See Appendix D.), and the Kingdom age are all outlined in detail here.

One must understand that the Kingdom of Heaven (lit., "the heavens") which John the Baptist preached and our Lord presented in His early ministry is to be distinguished from "the Kingdom of the heavens" of the thirteenth chapter; the former means that Messianic earthly rule of our Lord which was offered to the Jews but which was rejected, while the latter refers, not to the Church, but to Christendom, that is, the sphere of Christian profession, not only during the present Age of Grace (See Appendix C.), and through the Tribulation (See Appendix F.), but in the next dispensation also, the Kingdom Age, when the Lord Jesus shall return in glory as King to reign. "The Kingdom of the heavens" will one day merge into "the Kingdom of God" when Christ, having put all His enemies under His feet shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-28).

 One must recognize that the Sermon on the Mount was delivered when the Kingdom of the heavens was being announced as "at hand." The Beatitudes declare the principles of the Kingdom, the divine constitution for a government of righteousness upon the earth. If Israel had accepted the King, such a rule would have been established then and there. But Israel did not accept the King; and as a consequence there will be no reign of righteousness until He shall return in glory. To teach that all man needs to do to inherit eternal life is to live by the Sermon on the Mount is unscriptural and utter folly. This is purely ethical teaching, and denies the essential atoning work of our Lord Jesus Christ. On the other hand, one should be careful not to become so ultra-dispensational in his study and thought as to lose the practical value of Scripture for his daily living. Such an attitude borders on Pharisaism, living in the letter of the law rather than in its spirit. We are instructed to divide the Word of Truth aright, but we are also told that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for instruction in righteousness." The Christian must be careful to meditate upon the Word of God in true humility, his heart open to the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew, the one whom the Holy Spirit has used as the author of the first Gospel, was a Jew of Capernaum, and was known also as Levi. He was one of the twelve disciples of our Lord, and it is thought by some that the name Matthew, meaning Gift of God, was a new name given him by the Lord Jesus, as He called Simon, Peter. Matthew was a publican, a tax-collector serving the Roman government, and as such was despised by his own people. It is possible that he had been a man of corrupt life, and of avarice, because of his profession, but of this there is no Biblical proof. The date of the book's authorship is believed to have been A.D. 37.

Matthew's Gospel falls into three important divisions:  I. Jesus, Son of David

(a) Genealogy, birth and infancy of the King (Chaps. 1, 2)  (b) King and Kingdom presented and rejected (Chaps. 3-11:27)  (c) New Message of the King (Chaps. 11:28-12:50)  (d) Mysteries of the Kingdom (Chap. 13)  (e) Ministry of the rejected King (Chaps. 14-23)  (f) King will return in power and glory (Chaps. 24, 25)  II. Jesus, Son of Abraham

(a) Sacrifice of the Lamb (Chaps. 26, 27) III. Jesus, Son of God

(a) Resurrection of the Lord (Chap. 28:1-8)  (b) "I am with you alway" (Chap. 28:9-20)

  [1] English, Eugene Schuyler, 1900-1981, Editor in chief of The Pilgrim edition of the KJV, Head of the editorial committee for The Schofield Reference Bible, and The revised New Testament Berkley Bible, Author of Studies in the Gospel According to St. Matthew, 1935,  The Life and Letters of St. Peter, Studies in the Gospel According to St. Mark, and Studies in the Epistle to the Colossians, among others. This work is in the Public Domain.