The Gospel According to Matthew - Introduction
The Gospel of Matthew has long been regarded as the most Jewish of the Gospels: the author's preference for the term kingdom of Heaven (see 3.2 n. ), description of Peter's commission in scribal categories ( 16.19 n. ), and interest in the Law ( 5.17–19 nn. ) are traits which point in this direction. Yet the Evangelist shows an anti-Pharisaic bias (e.g. ch. 23 ), probably intends 23.37–24.2 to imply the repudiation of Israel, and concludes the book with a scene which directs the disciples out into the Gentile mission ( 28.16–20 ). With good reason (see 16.18 n.; 18.1–19.1 nn. ), this has also been called an “ecclesiastical” Gospel; on almost every page the author's concern for the life of the church may be detected.
The feature of the book which attracts immediate attention is the organization of the teaching tradition into five great discourses (chs. 5–7; 10; 13; 18; 24–25 ). A narrative section precedes each discourse. This scheme is prefaced by chs. 1–2 , which introduce the Messiah-Son of David, and is climaxed by the concluding report of the crucifixion and resurrection in chs. 26–28 .
The book was probably written about 90 C.E.