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Bible book Summary: Matthew

Matthew

Author and Date

The authorship of the first gospel has been widely unanimous in stating that Matthew, the tax collector and disciple of Jesus penned the account (Matt. 9:9). The earliest church fathers, including Origen, did not hesitate to ascribe credit to Matthew as the author. This is significant in the sense that the earliest church fathers would have had a connection to the apostles and would have been able to confirm the gospel’s origins. 

Matthew
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The dating of Matthew’s writing comes with a bit of ambiguity. Some believe that the events in Matthew that surround the teaching of Jesus on the destruction of the Temple suggest a later date for writing than 70 A.D. However, Ireneaus suggests that Matthew wrote during the time of Paul and Peter’s life, which would give it its traditionally accepted dating of the late 50s or early 60s A.D. 

Theme

Matthew’s sole concern is presenting Jesus as the “King of the Jews.” It was a promise of the Messiah, that he would reign, and “Jesus as King” is the entire purpose of his gospel. The genealogy that begins the book shows Christ’s descent as an heir of the kingly line of Israel. This coupled with the rejection of Israel’s Messiah is seen throughout the book, specifically in Christ’s showdowns with the Pharisees and the Sadducees. 

Background and Purpose

This gospel was predominantly written for a Jewish audience. Many of the Jewish customs throughout the book are given without explanation and the genealogy that begins the book only traces Christ’s lineage back to Abraham, the father of the Jewish race. There are 32 references to “the Kingdom of Heaven” as opposed to the usage of “Kingdom of God” in other gospels, given the audience and protection of Jewish sensitivities toward speaking the name Yahweh. 

Christ in Matthew

The key focus is portraying Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah. He is the messianic King that came to earth and usher in the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Key Verses

  • Matt. 1:1-17
  • Matt. 1:18-23
  • Matt. 5-7, Sermon on the Mount
  • Matt. 11:28-30
  • Matt. 12:40
  • Matt. 16:16
  • Matt. 20:28
  • Matt. 22:37-39
  • Matt. 27:32-44
  • Matt. 28:1-10
  • Matt. 28:19-20

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