The Gospel of Mathew: Introduction.

“The New Testament begins with the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. No part of the Bible is so important as this, and no part is so full and complete. Four distinct Gospels tell us the story of Christ’s doing and dying. Four times over we read the precious account of His works and words. How thankful we ought to be for this! To know Christ is life eternal. To believe in Christ is to have peace with God. To follow Christ is to be a true Christian. To be with Christ will be heaven itself. We can never hear too much about Jesus Christ.” –J.C. Ryle

“Because of the tight relationships among the Synoptic Gospels, the contribution made by any one of them must be evaluated in light of the contribution made by all three. If Matthew suddenly disappeared, much of its material would still be found, more or less intact, in Mark and Luke.”

“But the Synoptic Gospels as a whole make an irreplaceable contribution. Alongside John, they constitute the foundational witness to the person, ministry, teaching, passion, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Nor are the three Synoptic Gospels to be seen as merely redundant testimony. Each provides its own slant, together providing a kind of stereoscopic depth that would otherwise be almost entirely missing. And at a secondary level, each provides a window onto the life of the church at the time each was written. But this window, it must be insisted, is never transparent: it is at best translucent, and the shadows one sees through it have to be interpreted with some care.” – D.A. Carson & Douglas J. Moo

The Gospel of Matthew is the first Gospel, and book, in the New Testament, or the New Covenant Canon. The Gospel of Matthew contains the greatest amount of Jesus’ ethical teaching than anywhere else in the New Testament. From the earliest days of the church, Matthew’s Gospel has been one of the most widely read and perhaps the most influential of the four Gospels. Therefore, a study of this Gospel is imperative.  

Matthew means “gift of the Lord.” It was the alternative name of Levi, the tax collector (Matt. 9:9-13), who left everything to follow Christ (Luke 5:27–32). Matthew was one of the 12 apostles (Matt. 10:3Mark 3:18Luke 6:15Acts 1:13). In his own list of the Twelve, he explicitly called himself a “tax collector” (Matt. 10:1-3). Nowhere else in Scripture is the name Matthew associated with “tax-collector.” The other Gospels always use his former name, Levi, when speaking of his life prior to his conversion.

The canonicity and Matthew’s authorship of this Gospel were unchallenged in the early church. Eusebius (c. A.D. 265–339) said that the early church father Papias spoke of Matthew arranging the oracles of Jesus.

“Among the four Gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism” explains Origen (c. A.D. 185–254) in his Ecclesiastical History, 6:25.

Most biblical scholars claim this Gospel was written at a relatively early date—prior to the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. Some scholars propose a date as early as A.D. 50, but no later than A.D. 100.

“The writer of this Gospel must have used the Gospel of Mark as a source. Assuming that Mark was composed to preserve the oral testimonies of the Apostle Peter in Rome, an appropriate date for Matthew would be between A.D. 64 and A.D. 70,” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.

I encourage you to begin reading the Gospel of Matthew. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!  

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: