Summary of the Book of Matthew
There was this preacher named Jesus, with a martyr complex, who got himself killed. His cult plugged him into the old die-and-come-back-in-three-days meme that was floating around since Sumerian times.
To which I can only say:
The book is odd. They call it the Bible, but that just means “the book”. I think I knew that before I picked it up. The cover says “the New Testament”, which doesn't tell me much either.
The Beatitudes, chapter 5,6 and 7, stand out as better than the rest. They're supposed to have come from a different writer. Outside of that there's nothing special.
Claims some miracles, that's SOP, and they're pretty third rate. Jesus changed water into wine, big deal: Izamai gave birth to the eight Islands of Japan (ouch), and Indra grew a thousand vaginas on his body. Now those are some impressive miracles.
The first thing this book says is “Matthew” so immediately I asked, “Who the hell is Matthew?”, and now I've read the whole thing and I still don't know. Maybe he wrote it, maybe he is the Matthew in the story, maybe he's the rich cousin who funded it, maybe he's the unrequited love for whom the author's heart pines, fuck I don't know.
The NIV has all these little section headings, you'd think they could put in an explanation, like “This is Matthew's testimony about Jesus”, but no, you have to figure that out for yourself, and you know what? It never says any such thing. It's just a story about Jesus, and the author could be Stephen King for all I know.
Hint for future scripture writers. Go to a courtroom. Listen to testimony. Notice how the first thing they do is establish the credibility of the witness. They want to avoid this:
That would explain a lot.