By Barnard C. Taylor
1. AUTHOR. — Matthew, one of the apostles, at first called Levi. He was a “Publi can,” engaged in collecting the tribute demanded of the Jews by the Romans. His history after the ascension of Christ is not known. It is held by some that Matthew wrote his Gospel in Hebrew or Aramaic, the remainder of the New Testament haying been written in Greek.
2. DATE. — Uncertain, probably between 50 and 60 A. D.
3. FOR WHOM WRITTEN. — It is supposed that Matthew had in mind Jewish Christians especially when he wrote, though his Gospel is adapted to all.
4. HISTORICAL OCCASION. — At the time when there was needed a precise and authoritative statement of the relation of Christ to the Old Testament predictions concerning the Messiah, and the relation of the newly founded church to the Jewish nation.
5. LEADING TOPICS. — That part of Christ's life and words that exhibit especially his kingly character; the rejection of Christ as king by the Jews; the rejection of the Jews by Christ, and the establishing of the church.
6. CHIEF PURPOSE. — The Old Testament closed with the promise of a King to come to Israel. The Gospel of Matthew is to show that Jesus was that King, but that the Jewish nation rejected him, and that as a result they were them selves rejected from their position of pre eminence and especial Divine favor. It is to show that the church was chosen to be God's peculiar people, “founded on the divinely revealed knowledge of Christ, ” having ” a new life, a new covenant, a new constitution, a new commandment, new discipline, new ordinances.”
7. GENERAL ANALYSIS.
8 SPECIAL TEACHING OF THE BOOK. — Jesus was the promised Messiah; the kingdom of Heaven is spiritual; the condition of entering this kingdom is right character; Christ died for men; a day of judgment is to come.
9. RELATION TO OTHER N. T. BOOKS. — Matthew prepares the way for the succeeding Gospels by showing that Jesus, whose works and person they set forth, was the promised Messiah, the One whom God was to send to men. In its contents it is closely connected with Mark and Luke, but is distinct from these in purpose. It gives the founding of the church, and thus prepares the way for the Epistles which were intended for the development of the church.
10. TOPICS FOR SPECIAL STUDY. — The political condition of the Jews at the time of the birth of Christ; the Jews' idea of the Messiah at that time.
Book Navigation Title Page References Table of Contents Old Testament Introduction The Pentateuch ► Genesis ► Exodus ► Leviticus ► Numbers ► Deuteronomy History Books ► Joshua ► Judges ► Ruth ► 1 Samuel ► 2 Samuel ► 1 Kings ► 2 Kings ► 1 Chronicles ► 2 Chronicles ► Ezra ► Nehemiah ► Esther Wisdom Books ► Job ► Psalms ► Proverbs ► Ecclesiastes ► Song of Solomon Major Prophets ► Isaiah ► Jeremiah ► Lamentations ► Ezekiel ► Daniel Minor Prophets ► Hosea ► Joel ► Amos ► Obadiah ► Jonah ► Micah ► Nahum ► Habakkuk ► Zephaniah ► Haggai ► Zechariah ► Malachi New Testament Introduction Gospels & Acts ► Matthew ► Mark ► Luke ► John ► Acts Pauline Epistles ► Romans ► 1 Corinthians ► 2 Corinthians ► Galatians ► Ephesians ► Philippians ► Colossians ► 1 Thessalonians ► 2 Thessalonians ► 1 Timothy ► 2 Timothy ► Titus ► Philemon ► Hebrews General Epistles ► James ► 1 Peter ► 2 Peter ► 1 John ► 2 John ► 3 John ► Jude Prophecy ► Revelation