The Gospel According to Matthew

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The Gospel according to Matthew, although being the first book of the New Testament canon, it was not considered the first gospel genre to be written. Matthew’s gospel gives an account of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. In this essay, I intend to look at how the exegesis and interpretation of this gospel may be affected by our understanding of the authorship, its intended readership and where and when it was written. Although all these categories are important in their own right, I will focus more of the intended audience and readership of this gospel.
Authorship
Mitch & Sri suggest that early in biblical history, everyone from Irenaeus in the second century to Origen and Tertullian in the third century, through to Augustine in the fifth century declared that Matthew the apostle was the author. However, by the nineteenth century this theory was less supported. The theory behind this shift was that the author of Matthew extensively used material from the earlier gospel of Mark and if the author of Matthew had been an apostle and eye witness to Jesus work, why did he rely on Mark’s material.
Bockmuehl also joined the debate on whether the apostle Matthew wrote the gospel bearing his name.
Schnackenburg on the other hand suggested that evidence based on Papia’s writing in 130AD, points to the author of Matthew’s gospel, being “Levi the tax collector.”
Bock supports this theory by saying that “the association of this gospel with the apostle Matthew dates back to a remark by Papias, about Matthew having collected sayings of Jesus in the Hebrew or Aramaic and later translating them into Greek.” Although this citation has been disputed, superscripts that accompany manuscripts of this gospel un...

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...’s date, like the dates of many other Old and New Testament Books, remains obscure. It could be argued that Matthew is written specifically to Jews in order to explain and defend the deity of Christ. Matthew contains a great deal of Old Testament prophecy fulfilment which the author intentionally points out to his Jewish audience in order to argue that Jesus truly is the Messiah.
By looking at how original material has been used differently by gospel writers, it highlight the need of the reader to enquire into the original source of the material, how it has been altered and what motives the author had in changing the details and composition of the original material. Bornkamm warns, “Care will have to be taken to guard against reading out of the text or into the text more than is warranted.” Which could lead to the misunderstanding of information?

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