Many scholars believe that the gospel of Mark was written first, and that may be so, although there is no definite proof that can be given for that position. Regardless of which gospel was written first, Matthew is first in the canon.
Do you have any reasons why it might have been put first?
We obviously do not have access to any records of those who, by the providence and wisdom of God, collected the inspired books and put them in the order in which we now have them. But there may be some indications, as we consider the collections of books, to help us understand that process.
For various reasons of self-interest and faulty theology there are those in the religious world who believe and teach that the “word’s of Paul” should be rejected.
If one were to reject the “words of Paul” then they by default have to reject basically every other letter that makes up the New Testament.
Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Peter’s words either since he endorsed what Paul taught and considered him to be a brother in Christ (2 Peter 3:15-16).
Don’t like “Paul’s word’s” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Mark’s words either since history/tradition teaches that Mark wrote through the guidance of Peter who, again, endorsed the “words of Paul” and due to the fact that Mark was very familiar with Paul and considered him a brother in Christ who taught the truth (2 Timothy 4:11).
Don’t like “Paul’s words” huh? Well I guess you can’t like Luke’s words either since Luke greatly supported Paul and due to the fact that they labored together on missionary trips teaching the same thing to others who were coming to Jesus through their preaching (Colossians 4:4, 2 Timothy 4:11, Acts 21:1-19…notice how many times “we” and “us” are used).
So I guess that leaves a person with the words of John and James and Jude…except for the fact that both John and James endorsed Paul’s preaching (Acts 15:6-29) and Jude is just too judgmental!
So you still want to reject the “words of Paul” huh? I don’t know about you, but to me that sounds a whole lot like, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
Failing to listen to “Paul’s words” is a failure to listen to the word of God.
“If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:37)
Someone asked in an email discussion group why the letter to Laodicea, mentioned in Col. 4:16, is missing from the New Testament canon. This assumes that the suggestion that it is our Ephesian letter is unfounded.
My reply mentioned that one could broaden that question to include all the documents mentioned in the NT that were written by inspired men, such as the epistle to the Corinthians mentioned in 1 Cor. 5:9 and perhaps a letter written between our 1st and 2nd Corinthians. There’s also the possibility of a “missing” letter in 3 John 9. (What have I missed?)
Suffice it to say that the Lord in his wisdom saw that these documents were unnecessary to our faith and devotion and chose not to have them preserved as a part of the NT canon.
Beyond that is speculation, whether they were subpar (though how could that be?) or redundant, or whatever the theory. Speculation may be interesting, but ultimately has no spiritual profit, so such questions are probably best left to gather dust.