The Gospel of Matthew was placed first in the New Testament canon, and not without reason. By the time the canonizing process began in earnest in the fourth century, Matthew was the most popular and widely-used Gospel for a whole host of reasons.
In the Western Church, certainly one of these reasons was because the book gave especial prominence and a special role to Peter in relationship to the community of Christ. This Gospel was also popular because it begins with a genealogy of Jesus' lineage, it offers a church order of sorts, and it is the only Gospel to mention the ekklesia. It also had a fuller Easter story than we find in the earlier Gospel, Mark. Indeed, it was a much fuller Gospel in most respects.
In this highly-anticipated volume of the Smyth & Helwys Bible Commentary series, Ben Witherington III, renowned author of more than thirty books on the New Testament, considers the fullness that the Gospel of Matthew offers for those who both study and attempt to live out the word