Because of the tight relationships among the Synoptic Gospels, the contribution made by any one of them must be evaluated in light of the contribution made by all three. If Matthew suddenly disappeared, much of its material would still be found, more or less intact, in Mark and Luke. In that sense Matthew cannot be said to make the same sort of independent contribution that Hebrews or the Apocalypse does, for example.
But the Synoptic Gospels as a whole make an irreplaceable contribution. Alongside John, they constitute the foundational witness to the person, ministry, teaching, passion, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Nor are the three Synoptic Gospels to be seen as merely redundant testimony. Each provides its own slant, together providing a kind of stereoscopic depth that would otherwise be almost entirely missing. And at a secondary level, each provides a window onto the life of the church at the time each was written. But this window, it must be insisted, is never transparent: it is at best translucent, and the shadows one sees through it have to be interpreted with some care.
Within this framework, we may highlight some of Matthew’s emphases, and therefore some of the peculiar contributions this gospel makes to the canon.
D. A. Carson & Douglas J. Moo
An Introduction to the New Testament