AUTHOR: The early church fathers were unanimous in holding that Matthew, one of the 12 apostles, was its author. However, some modern critical studies stress Matthew’s alleged dependence on Mark for a substantial part of his Gospel. This have caused some Biblical scholars to abandon Matthean authorship. Matthew, whose name means “gift of the Lord,” was a tax collector who left his work to follow Jesus (9:9–13). In Mark and Luke he is called by his other name, Levi.
DATE AND PLACE OF WRITING: 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 (Ac 11:19). However, some scholars feel that Matthew would have been written in the late 50s or in the 60s; while others assume that Mark was written between 65 and 70.The Jewish nature of Matthew’s Gospel may suggest that it was written in the Holy Land, though many think it may have originated in Syrian Antioch.
RECIPIENTS: Since his Gospel was written in Greek, Matthew’s readers were obviously Greek-speaking. They also seem to have been Jews. For example, Matthew’s concern with fulfillment of the OT; his tracing of Jesus’ descent from Abraham (1:1–17); his emphasis on Jesus’ role as “Son of David” (1:1;9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30–31; 21:9,15; 22:41–45). This does not mean, however, that Matthew restricts his Gospel to Jews. He records the coming of the Magi (non-Jews) to worship the infant Jesus (2:1–12), as well as Jesus’ statement that the “field is the world” (13:38). He also gives a full statement of the Great Commission (28:18–20). These passages show that, although Matthew’s Gospel is Jewish, it has a universal outlook.
PURPOSE: Matthew’s main purpose is to prove to his Jewish readers that Jesus is their Messiah. He does this primarily by showing how Jesus in his life and ministry fulfilled the OT Scriptures. Matthew includes nine proof texts unique to his Gospel (1:22–23; 2:15; 2:17–18; 2:23;4:14–16; 8:17; 12:17–21; 13:35; 27:9–10) to drive home his basic theme: Jesus is the fulfillment of the OT predictions of the Messiah.
OUTLINE – Monday, February 13- February 19, 2017
The Birth and Early Years of Jesus (Chapters 1 and 2):
His Genealogy (1:1–17)
His Birth (1:18—2:12)
His Sojourn in Egypt (2:13–23)
The Beginnings of Jesus’ Ministry (Chapter 3:1-17 to Chapter 4:1-11):
His Forerunner (3:1–12)
His Baptism (3:13–17)
His Temptation (4:1–11)
Please read the chapters assigned in the outline and comment on the BLOG or by email or just send us a note: We will be posting summaries of the chapters during the week.