The Book Of Matthews
April 29, 2015
The gospel according to Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. The book of Matthew basically tells how the Messiah, Jesus Christ, rejected by Israel, finally sends the disciples to preach his gospel to the world. It does not so much indicate a literary genre but characterizes the contents of the book: good news about Jesus Christ. The book of Matthew may be considered a Midrash theological interpretation on the gospel of Mark. Matthew, whose name means “gift of the Lord,” was a tax collector who left his work to ...view middle of the document...
It is quite obvious and widely accepted that Matthew was written to the Jews. For one, he focuses on the fulfillment of the Old Testament, even quoting from it sixty-two times, which is more than any other Gospel writer. Secondly it is interesting that Matthew does not explain Jewish culture like the other evangelists (Mark 7:3, John 19:40), which also adds to the argument that he is writing to Jews. Matthew uses the phrase, "kingdom of heaven," which can be considered as a "reverential Jewish expression". Some scholars say that Matthew was written during the 80s of the first century, only a few years after the end of the First Roman-Jewish War and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. His purpose in writing to the Jews was to show them that Jesus of Nazareth was the expected messiah and both his genealogy and his resurrection were legitimate proofs of this.
Some have argued on the basis of its Jewish characteristics that Matthew’s Gospel was written in the early church period, possibly the early part of A.D. 50, when the church was largely Jewish and the gospel was preached to Jews only (Acts 11:19). Most scholars conclude that Matthew was written in either Palestine or Syria because of its Jewish nature. Antioch of Syria is usually the most favored because many in the early church dispersed there (Acts 11:19, 27).
The early church unanimously held that the Gospel of Matthew was the first written Gospel and was penned by the apostle of the same name (Matt. 10:2-4). The priority of Matthew as the first written Gospel has come under...