This study of the Gospel of Matthew has been divided into 30 weeks of reading. Every week includes seven passages with corresponding questions in order to provide the reader with an opportunity for daily interaction with God’s Word and the Holy Spirit.
The divisions of the daily and weekly readings have been done through section breaks used in various translations of the Bible, those used by commentators and theologians, and through natural breaks assessed in the author’s personal reading and study of the book. The questions and commentary were developed out of his study of the book through his own interaction with the Holy Spirit as well as interacting with other works by various commentators and theologians.
The questions and commentary are meant to engage both the intellectual and emotional reader. There are questions and commentary that invite the reader to engage with scripture and apply it to their own life. The intent of this study is that it be accessible to Christians of a variety of denominational leanings and backgrounds.
This “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” study was born of the vision of the Oconee Bible Study leadership team. Certainly the one man who was inspired to do a lot more than speculate about it was Don Harper. He commissioned the study and devoted his time, energy and talents to make it come to fruition. Certainly Chris Ashley deserves the credit for authoring the study, but had it not been for Don Harper, it wouldn’t have been done. Furthermore, by commissioning the study, Don demonstrated that it is not something that only certain Christian publishing houses can do well.
As we have surveyed the landscape of study materials suitable for ongoing small study group based Bible studies, we have been surprised that many of them are either too watered-down or more suitable for seminary-level students. Many of the books of the Bible have been ignored. Many of the studies are short-term focused and try to ‘cover the highlights’ in 4-8 weeks. In short, we’ve had some difficulty recommending curricula that meets OBS needs and expectations. We are convinced that focused Bible studies that allow a student to slowly and surely build their Bible knowledge are effective. Chris Ashley and Don Harper have helped to fill that gap.