The Gospel of Matthew


In The Gospel of Matthew, we have an unusually clear picture of how a gospel writer shapes his portrayal of Jesus’ life and teachings according to the writer’s particular beliefs, audience, and purpose. There are several very important examples of how Matthew is doing this in the “Introduction to The Gospel of Matthew” in your textbook. (Please read this Introduction carefully!)   Matthew is trying to make the case that Jesus represents the true and authentic line of Moses, the prophets, and Israel as a whole – over and against the other Jewish sects/groups of the time (Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, etc.).  This is why Matthew repeatedly inserts sections of scripture from the Hebrew Bible (called “Old Testament” by Christians) – to show that Jesus is the fulfillment of those ancient scriptures (even if Matthew sometimes makes a complete mess of things in the process.  For example:  Read Matthew 21:6-7 to see that Matthew has Jesus riding on both a colt and a donkey at the same time in his slightly misbegotten attempt to have Jesus fulfilling a passage found in Zechariah.)

In our Discussion Forum for Matthew, we are going to consider the Sermon on the Mount. This Sermon is one of the most beloved and well-known messages of Jesus. Our textbook says, “The famous Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5 – 7) sets forth a Christian interpretation of the Jewish Law.” But really, this statement is not quite accurate because Jesus was a Jew who was often speaking to largely Jewish audiences – and there WAS no Christianity and that time. Therefore, Jesus’ re-interpretation of Jewish Law was Jesus’ own interpretation – not a Christian interpretation (see 5:21 – 48 for examples).  And it is worth noting that sometimes Jesus’ teachings are not the same as Christian Church teachings. For example: Many churches take a very hard stand against homosexuality as being against Christian principles. However, Jesus never spoke about or against homosexuality, but he did speak constantly of love and compassion for ALL people – most especially marginalized people.

Jesus paid no attention to social or religious boundaries, he violated Jewish purity laws, and he demonstrated over and over that the compassionate spirit of God’s law is far more important than the letter of religious laws (especially given that religious laws are sometimes cruel and exclusionary).  Clearly, Jesus was opposed to hypocrites of every size, shape, and color and he called his followers to live according to higher standards.

Writing Prompts:

Please read Chapters 5 – 7 very carefully, and then do the following:

  1. Write a summary (including chapter and verse) of how Jesus says we should live and how we should not live.  What things are necessary and what things are not necessary?
  2. What are some of Jesus’ main points (including chapter and verse) about religious hypocrisy?

dicussion 6


: There is generally no grace period for discussion board. Discussion board is our learning forum for each of the learning modules. We learn from each other. You cannot afford to get behind in readings and discussion, because before you know it, we would have already moved on to new learning module topics.   Reminder: refer to all Discussion Board Guidelines, and REFER TO YOUR SOURCES WHEN MAKING CLAIMS! THIS IS KEY!  How to Cite Sources from the Reilly Textbook?

Initial Discussion Post

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TASK: Carefully analyze the secondary source “Europe’s Last Summer” by David Fromkin Preview the document(remember: the lesson content page WWI: Causes (Background)WWI: Causes (Background) provide good background knowledge for the Fromkin essay) by answering the questions that are visible in lavender chart below.  Write an analytic summary using the questions below.  No Q & A.

How to cite this source?

1David Fromkin, “Europe’s Last Summer” in Worlds of History: A Comparative Reader Volume II since 1400, ed. Kevin Reilly (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2013), xx.


1. The main purpose of this article is ____________________________. 

2. The key question that the author is addressing is ____________________.

3. The most important evidence in this article is ______________________.  (include 3-5 pieces of evidence used by the author to support their conclusions/argument)

4. The key concept(s) we need to understand in this article is/are ____________.  (Concepts are organizing ideas used in reasoning and explanation. So, what are the key ideas expressed in this article?)  These can be a single word or a short phrase (Examples: freedom, oppression, violence, rights, cult of true womanhood).

5. The main conclusions in this article are _________________________.  (Author’s thesis statement)

6. The main assumptions underlying author’s thinking is/are _______________________. 

7. What are the consequences of this author’s line of reasoning? 

8. The main point(s) of view presented in this article is/are _______________. 

Topic 8

Attention, please! For Discussion Topics 8-10, we are to go a little beyond our required course materials and you can do EITHER of the following:

  1. Discuss one of our reference books The Panda and Monkey King Christmas–A Family’s Year in China by Nelly M. Case & Stephen F. Ledoux. [Available in SUNY Canton’s Southworth Library] Dr. Ledoux is a SUNY Canton’s professor who has been to China several times teaching at Xi’an Foreign Language University (currently known as Xi’an International Studies University) and traveling extensively around China; therefore, the book he co-authored has proved to be a good resource which you may find experientially closer to you Americans than the other texts we use. Hopefully, Dr. Ledoux will have the time to join our discussion. But, if not, you can probably pay a visit to him at FOB 312 or give him a call at 386-7423 at his convenience. To help you better understand the book, your instructor has prepared a booklet of “Study Questions, “which you can click to download for reference. For Topic 8, let’s just focus our discussion on the topic: How can this book help you if you get to plan a trip to China?
  2. In case you live off campus and have no access to the college library, read this article about Education in China at the official website of the Chinese Ministry of Education ( and share with us your thoughts, insights, comments, or questions, criticisms, constructive suggestions, etc. 

Show references

Descartes’ Discourse on the Method

 Reading selection from Descartes’ Discourse on the Method (Part IV). Descartes begins with a  proof of one basic conclusion and ends with a proof of something much grander. Remember to focus on the surprise and point of realization, not the details of the philosophical argument. Read Part IV of the Discourse on the Method located at (then scroll down to Part 4, pp. 14-18). This is only four or five (4 or 5) pages of the larger work. 


For the reading selection you choose:

  1. Clearly state in your own words the “surprise ending” in the reading you selected. Clearly identify the point in the reading when you realized that there were elements in the reading that surprised you. Not all of the surprises come at the end.
  2. Evaluate how successful the author was in convincing you to accept the validity of the “surprise ending” that was different from what you expected. 

Your assignment must follow these formatting requirements:

  • Be typed, double spaced, using Times New Roman font (size 12), with one-inch margins on all sides; citations and references must follow APA Style format. Check with your professor for any additional instructions. (Note: Students can find APA style materials located in the Additional Resources section of their Student Center within their course shell for reference)
  • Include a cover page containing the title of the assignment, the student’s name, the professor’s name, the course title, and the date. The cover page and the reference page are not included in the required assignment page length.
  • Use the source(s) identified above for the topic you choose, focusing on the main primary source of that author. You may use additional sources also if they are of good academic quality for college papers (Wikipedia and similar websites do not qualify). Use proper APA style in-text citing and also a matching APA style References list at the end.  

The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:

  • Explain how key social, cultural, and artistic contributions contribute to historical changes.
  • Explain the importance of situating a society’s cultural and artistic expressions within a historical context. 
  • Examine the influences of intellectual, religious, political, and socio-economic forces on social, cultural, and artistic expressions. 
  • Identify major historical developments in world cultures from the Renaissance to the contemporary period. 
  • Use technology and information resources to research issues in the study of world cultures.
  • Write clearly and concisely about world cultures using proper writing mechanics.