Authorship and purpose of Matthew's gospel

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  • Authorship and purpose of Matthew's gospel
    • Who?
      • We don't really know but all traditional attemptes link Matthew with a tax collector who became one of Jesus' disciples but this is difficult to sustain as he is not mentioned as one of the 12 in Mark's list
        • All that is certain is the Matthew was a Jew as he was respectful of Jewish laws and customs and was engaged in some from of fight with Judaism and its religious leaders
    • When?
      • If Matthew used Mark as a source then he must have been writing after 70 CE and there appears to be an allusion to the destruction of the Temple
        • Ignatius of Antioch quotes Matthew in about 115 CE
          • Most scholars place Matthew in the middle of this 70-15 CE period at about 80-90 CE
    • Where?
      • As he is quoted by Ignatius of Antioch it has led scholars to believe he was connected to the church in Antioch, a Syrian city
        • We know that both Peter and Paul ministered in Antioch and quarrelled over a question of whether Christians bneeded to continue observing Jewish law
          • It seems like Antioch sided with Peter who thought Jewish law should reamin in place
            • Ultimately we can't be sure about his location but there does seem to be a fit with the theological environment that Antioch suggests
    • Why?
      • WD Davis thinks the most likely reason why Matthew wrote his gospel was as a Christian answer to Jamina
        • After the destruction of the Temple Judaism practically collapsed, the Sadducees had been wiped out and so it was left to the Pharisees to re order and re formulate Judaism
          • The Pharisees gathered  at Jamina and took steps to guide the community to make it appear stable and permanent
            • Matthew was writing to encourage his readers to keep going but also to define and defend his Christian community
              • He emphasised the law and Jesus' status in the community

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