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.
Ricky and I began the bible study tonight and again we are in awe of the lineage to Christ. I often wondered if there were people around today who were the family of Joseph, Mary, or the apostles????
Great to see that you are reading Matthew! I am sure that they are descendants of Joseph and Mary or the apostle today! It would be interesting to do genealogical search and see what happens.
Based on Jesus’ lineage it makes sense for Pontius Pilate to question if he was “king of the Jews” based on Herod’s fears that Jesus was going to try to usurp his throne. Because Jesus had a following and was gaining more people listening to what he had to say Pilate was forced into making a decision he did not agree with and that’s why he “washed his hands” of the matter. Herod and Pilate were looking at Jesus through a political standpoint, whereas Jesus was trying to save people not gain an earthly kingdom.
Yes, Jesus’ ministry was to bring forth “the Kingdom of God here on earth as it is in heaven.” From the time Jesus was a baby, Herod tried to kill him because he thought that Jesus was in competition with him for his earthly kingdom. How wrong Herod was; and thanks be unto God that Herod was wrong. Jesus’ mission was to save humanity from eternal damnation, and Herod could not stop it–no one could! Hallelujah!
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