Gospel of Saint Matthew
The first book of the New Testament.
Its author is the Apostle Saint Matthew, who wrote an account of Our Lord's life in the Hebrew dialect then in use by the Palestinian Jews (Aramaic), about 40 or 50.
He wrote the Gospel in Palestine for converts from Judaism, to confirm them in their faith in Jesus as the promised Messias, and to convince the unbelievers that they had rejected the Redeemer.
The characteristic which especially distinguishes this Gospel from the others is the frequent citations of and allusions to the Old Testament prophecies.
The fulfillment of these prophecies in Jesus proves Him to be the Messias.
The 28 chapters of the Gospel may be divided according to the following topics Jesus is proven the Messias in His ancestry, birth, and infancy (1-2); He is shown to be the Messias in the preparation for the public ministry (3-4); He manifests Himself as the Messias in public life, being teacher and legislator (5-7), wonder-worker (8-9), founder of the Kingdom of Goa (10-25); He is shown to be the Messias in the humility of His sufferings and the glory of His Resurreetion (26-28).
The Biblical Commission, 19 June 1911, declared that the universal and constant tradition dating from the first centuries and expressed in early writings, ancient codices, versions and catalogues of the Bible, proves beyond doubt that Saint Matthew wrote the first Gospel, as we now have it in our Bibles, before the year 70, and that the Gospel is in conformity with historical truth.
Chapters specially commendable for reading: 1-2, the hidden life; 5, 6, 7, Sermon on the Mount; 13, 16, 18, 19, parables, and instructions on the Kingdom of God; 15, last judgment; 26-28, Passion, Death and Resurrection.
New Catholic Dictionary