Matthew

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Matthew being inspired by an angel.

Gospel of Matthew or simply Matthew is one of the four canonical gospels, one of the three synoptic gospels, and the first book of the New Testament. The narrative tells how the Messiah, Jesus, rejected by Israel, finally sends the disciples to preach his Gospel to the whole world.

Many scholars believe the Gospel of Matthew was composed between 80 and 90 CE. There are others who imagine a broader range of possibilities as early as 70 CE to as late as 110 CE. Few suspect an earlier date but sources like the Gospel of Mark, the Q source and something called "Special Matthew", or the M source.

This was not the Matthew of the Gospel mentioned for the first time in Matthew 9 but remains somewhat anonymous. He is believed to have been a male Jew with some non-traditional Jewish values. His Greek was a polished Semitic "synagogue Greek" and some of his sources were in Aramaic or possibly he wrote in Aramaic and it was translated by him or someone else.

The gospel of Matthew emphasizes Jesus' teachings as much as his acts to express his divine nature. What Mark "young man"[1] who appears at Jesus' tomb, for example, becomes a angel with "countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:"[2] in Matthew 28:5.[3]

The divine nature of Jesus was a major issue for the community and times of the author. He does more to show Jesus as the Son of God from his birth and that his coming was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

The biblical texts we read today are established by collating major surviving manuscripts, and citations of early church writers in order to produce versions. Through a process of consensus scholars approximate the form of the lost autographs which we accept today.

The Greek-speaking Jewish-Christian community to which Matthew belonged, was a part of the larger Jewish community that did not see Jesus as a messiah much less divine. The authors his vision of the assembly or congregations of the Church included both Jew and Gentile together.

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Footnotes

  1. Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man [3495 νεανίσκος neaniskos] sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
  2. Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
  3. Matthew 28:5 And the angel<32 ἄγγελος aggelos also translated messenger] answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.