Dating the gospel of matthew
by Maxim Cardew The author of the Gospel has traditionally been identified with “Matthew,” who according to this Gospel is one of Jesus’ twelve disciples (see Matthew 9:9; he is called “Levi” in Luke ).The main source of this tradition is Irenaeus (a second-century bishop) who writes: “Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect” (Against Heresies 3.1.1).
Obviously borrowing heavily from Mark, the author of Matthew often explicitly indicates a prophecy fulfillment where the Old Testament passage was merely alluded to in the parent work.Matthew 18 and 19 list out many of the formal moral guidelines Jesus wishes people to live by.Matthew 20-25 are full of rich and vague parables, worthy of study for anyone wanting to understand both Jesus, and his followers.Mark, after all, did not even belong to the circle of the apostles.Indeed Matthew's Gospel surpasses those of the other synoptic writers neither in vividness of presentation nor in detail, as we would expect in an eyewitness report, yet neither Mark nor Luke had been among those who had followed Jesus from the beginning of His public ministry.The material from Mark was either supplemented with the Q document (as posited by the dominant ).
Per church tradition the author was Matthew the Apostle, although there is no evidence to support this attribution.
This summary of the Gospel of Matthew provides information about the title, author(s), date of writing, chronology, theme, theology, outline, a brief overview, and the chapters of the Gospel of Matthew.
Although the first Gospel is anonymous, the early church fathers were unanimous in holding that Matthew, one of the 12 apostles, was its author.
Matthew also uses the typically Jewish expression “kingdom of heaven,” thus avoiding unnecessary use of the word “God.” As we will see below, Matthew also seems to soften Mark’s negative approach to the Jewish law.
There are, however, important arguments against identifying the author as a Jew.
The Gospel of Matthew begins with a genealogy of Jesus as traced from David through Joseph (which does not match the one in Luke), and a section discussing John the Baptist.