Matthew the Evangelist Study Archive
Matthew had first preached to Hebrews, and when he was on the point of going to others he transmitted in writing in his native language the Gospel according to himself, and thus supplied by writing the lack of his own presence to those from whom he was sent.
Matthew the Evangelist
Robinson’s Date for the Gospel: c. 40-60+
Pre-A.D.70 Hebrew Work?
James Tabor: A Hebrew Gospel of Matthew (1999) “Eusebius, H.E. 3.24.6 “Matthew had first preached to Hebrews, and when he was on the point of going to others he transmitted in writing in his native language the Gospel according to himself, and thus supplied by writing the lack of his own presence to those from whom he was sent.”
Papias (Eusebius, H.E. 3.39.16)
“Matthew collected the oracles in the Hebrew language, and each interpreted them as best he could.”
Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 3.1.1
“Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews n their own dialect while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome and laying the foundations of the church.”
Origen (Eusebius, H.E. 6.25.4)
“As having learnt by tradition concerning the four Gospels, which alone are unquestionable in the Church of God under heaven, that first was written according to Matthew, who was once a tax collector but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it for those who from Judaism came to believe, composed as it was in the Hebrew language.”
Eusebius, H.E. 3.24.6
“Matthew had first preached to Hebrews, and when he was on the point of going to others he transmitted in writing in his native language the Gospel according to himself, and thus supplied by writing the lack of his own presence to those from whom he was sent.”
Epiphanius (ca. 315-403), bishop of Salamis, refers to a gospel used by the Ebionites (Panarion 30. 13.1-30.22.4). He says it is Matthew, called “According to the Hebrews” by them, but says it is corrupt and mutilated. He says Matthew issued his Gospel in Hebrew letters. He quotes from this Ebionite Gospel seven times. These quotations appear to come not from Matthew but from some harmonized account of the canonical Gospels.
- “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 3:2)
- “Who warned you to flee from the wrath about to come?” (Matt. 3:7)
- “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees.” (Matt. 3:10)
- “His winnowing fork is in His hand.” (Matt. 3:12)
- “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17)
- “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 10:7)
- “You shall not finish going through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man comes.” (Matt. 10:23)
- “….the age about to come.” (Matt. 12:32)
- “The Son of Man is about to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds.” (Matt. 16:27)
- “There are some of those who are standing here who shall not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” (Matt. 16:28; cf.Mk. 9:1; Lk. 9:27)
- “‘When the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?’ ‘….He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.’ ‘….Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.’ ….When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.” (Matt. 21:40-41,43,45)
- “This generation will not pass away until all these things take place.” (Matt. 24:34)
- “From now on, you [Caiaphas, the chief priests, the scribes, the elders, the whole Sanhedrin] shall be seeing the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matt. 26:64; Mk. 14:62; Lk. 22:69)
LANGUAGE OF ORIGIN
“Papias stated: “Matthew composed his history in the Hebrew dialect [Syro-Chaldaic], and every one translated it as he was able” (Ecclesiastical History, trans. Christian Frederick Cruse, section 3.39.)
“Pantaenus is said to have gone even to the Indies, and found there, among those who acknowledged Christ, the Gospel of Matthew which had reached them before his arrival. These believers Bartholomew the Apostle had instructed in the Christian faith, and left with them the book of Matthew, written in Hebrew, and it was preserved among them down to the time named.” (H. E. v. 19)
“Matthew issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect….” (Irenaeus, “Against Heresies,” in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, eds. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson section 3.1.1.)
DATE OF COMPOSITION
D.A. Carson (1984)
“While surprisingly little in the Gospel conclusively points to a firm date, perhaps the sixties are the most likely decade for its composition.” (“Matthew,” Expositor’s Bible Commentary, p. 21.)
“Theodor Zahn, a classicist and NT scholar, wrote a commentary on Matthew back in 1903. He wrote that: ‘Mt would hardly have written v. 23 if the escape of the Christians [to Pella] had already taken place at the time of his writing. Our gospel is written before A.D. 66.’ (Das Evangelium des Matthaus (Leipzig/Erlangen, 1903; 4th ed., 1922; repr. Wuppertal/Zurich, 1984), p. 407. Quoted by Thiede and D’Ancona, page 12.)” (“A Study on the Synoptic Gospels” Part 1: The Date of the Gospels)
“So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.” – Matthew 27:7-8. Would someone writing after the fall of Jerusalem know where the Field of Blood was located (Mt. 27:8)? Would anyone be interested in a rumor from that day and age that His disciples had stolen His body (Mt 28:15)?” (“A Study on the Synoptic Gospels” Part 1: The Date of the Gospels)
“A comparison of the Synoptic gospels reveals that Matthew refers to the Sadducees the most. It seems odd that he would do so if he wrote after the fall since they had already disappeared after the fall of Jerusalem because of their political cooperation with Rome.” (“A Study on the Synoptic Gospels” Part 1: The Date of the Gospels)
R.T. France (1985)
“There are a number of passages in Matthew ‘which presuppose that the temple was still intact (5:23-24; 17:24-27; 23:16-22); and these have not been edited out in the way a writer after AD 70 might have been expected to do.’ (D. G. Conklin, “A Study on the Synoptic Gospels” Part 1: The Date of the Gospels; p. 906)
“Other such indications are collected by Gundry into a detailed and persuasive argument for a date before AD70 for Matthew. Indeed, Gundry goes further and, after arguing that Luke-Acts, which he dates about AD63, was influenced by Matthew, concludes that Matthew was written before AD63. Whether this latter point be granted or not, there is certainly a good case to be made for a date in the sixties for the final ‘publication’ of Matthew.” (The Gospel According to Matthew; p. 30)
Jack P. Lewis (1976)
“While Clement of Alexander suggested that the Gospels with genealogies were written first (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History VI. xiv.5), of early writers on Irenaeus suggests an approximate date for the writing of Matthew. He asserts that it was written while Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome, which would require a date before A.D.64.” (The Gospel According to Matthew, The Living Word Commentary; Austin, TX: Sweet PC; p. 14)
“But none of our Saviour’s prophecies are more remarkable than those relating to the destruction of Jerusalem, as none are more proper and pertinent to the design of these discourses: and we will consider them as they lie in the twenty-fourth chapter of St. Matthew, taking in also what is superadded by the other evangelists upon parallel occasions. These prophecies were delivered by our Saviour about forty years, and were committed to writing by St Matthew about thirty years, before they were to take effect. St Matthew’s is universally allowed to be the first of the four Gospels;  the first in time, as it is always was the first in order was written, as most writers affirm, in the eighth year after the ascension of our Saviour.  It must have been written before the dispersion of the apostles, because St. Bartholemew  is said to have taken it along with him into India, and to have left it there, where it was found several years afterwards by Pantaenus. If the general tradition of antiquity be true, that it was written originally in Hebrew, it certainly was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, for there was no occasion for writing in that language after the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews into all nations. It is asserted upon good authority,  that the Gospels of Mark and Luke were approved and confirmed, the one by St. Peter the other by St. Paul. So Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, and Clemens Alexandrinus say expressly that the Gospel of St. Mark was written at the desire of the new converts, and ratified by St. Peter. So the learned Origen affirms, that the second Gospel is that of Mark, who wrote as Peter dictated to him; and the third Gospel is that of Luke, which is commended by Paul. So Tertullian saith, that Mark’s Gospel is affirmed to be Peter’s whose interpreter Mark was; and Luke’s Gospel they are wont to ascribe to Paul. So Jerome saith, that the Gospel according to Mark, who was the disciple and the interpreter of Peter, is said to be Peter’s. These authorities are more than sufficient to weigh down the single testimony of Irenaeus to the contrary; but besides these, Gregory Nazienzen, Athanasius, and other fathers might be alleged to prove, that the Gospelsor Mark and Luke received the approbation, the one of St. Peter, the other of St. Paul: and it is very well known, that both these apostles suffered martyrdom under Nero. ” (Prophecy of Matthew 24)
“…Careful examination of several features makes it probable that Matthew (in Greek) is earlier than AD 70, since he does not allude to the fall of Jerusalem, a matter which was so important to a Jew like himself that he could not have passed it over in silence.” (Luigi Pareti, The Ancient World)
“The evidence points to Matthew’s Gospel as having been written before A.D.70.” (“Matthew” in New Testament Survey; Harding faculty, p. 76)
(On Matthew 10:23)
“The situation presupposed by Matthew corresponds to what is known about Christianity in Palestine between A.D. 50 and ca. 64, but not after the flight of the Christians in ca. 64 and the start of the Jewish war in A.D. 66.” (“Synoptic Prophecies on the Destruction of Jerusalem” in Studies in New Testament and Early Christian Literature: Essays in Honor of Allen P. Wikgren, p. 133)
John Wenham (1991)
(On Matthew 10:23)
“The arguments for Matthean priority, though not overwhelming, are substantial. Matthew looks original. His eight thousand supposed departures from Mark’s text are cleverly disguised. It looks early and Palestinian, reflecting a terrible clash between Jesus and the religious authorities, rather than a post-70 clash between church and synagogue. Mark looks like Peter’s version of the same Palestinian tradition composed for Jewish and Gentile readers outside Palestine. Mark shows signs of conspicuously making omission, e.g. parables.” (Redating Matthew, Mark & Luke (1991), p. 88)
“After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?’” – Matthew 17:24
- Date: 13 Nov 2003
- Time: 21:25:36
I Just want to have some light. What ever happen to Matthew the Apostle? After Petecost although he is not mentioned by name, we can assume that he was in the upper room with the rest of the apostles. After that he is not mentioned ever again. Some light on this matter please, I am having nightmares with the subject.
- Date: 15 Nov 2003
- Time: 22:52:09
what was the exact date of composition of the 4 gospels, their main teaching, audience, symbols of 4 gospels and the meaning of the symbols?
- Date: 12 Dec 2003
- Time: 08:12:28
I really wanted to know more about the character of the apostle(s) who wrote the gospels so that I may appreciate more of the context.
- Date: 09 Jan 2004
- Time: 23:54:28
I have reciently discovered that what I have been seening in the scripture has a name…preterism. How strange the ministry has never brought up this subject up in any bible study though they are very learned men. God has been revealing various passages during my search for truth. Prayer brought a man named Pastor Larry Smith from El Campo Tx across my path, as it were. He wrote a very interesting book and suggested Bro. Bray book on Math. 24 which I am about to finish. So where to from here since obviously the rapture is a doctrine of error??? Everything I have ever believed about end times is in question. How does the age of man end??? Is there a general resurrection or is it on a person by person basis??? What prophecy is left unfinished??? Respectfully Bro. Butch
- Date: 03 Feb 2004
- Time: 05:03:57
hmmmmmm, it takes a truly great mind to twist inwardly. matthew mark luke and john may have been written earlier than 100 ad but they still got their facts absolutely wrong, from the virgin birth (that john clearly forgot) to the attendandance at the ressurection….. Did Paul mention that? and this confusion about james… fYs read the damn new testament for once — its clearly stated james is jesus’ brother im thinking this is a teenage site or one rubbed in the presence of other rubbers insult me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: 17 Feb 2004
- Time: 10:52:27
17 Feb 2004 A blah blah: Gospel of Matthew should have been written within 12 years immediately after that Pentecost, the first preaching of resurrection. Why? The reason is of course, he, apostle Matthew, the levite, was the only Apostle in the “writing-profession” being a tax collector. If Mark (a mere hearer, not a personal witness to the Messiah) later, at the side of, for and in behalf of, Peter, came up with the idea of “hard-copy-preaching”, even more did Matthew who personally RECEIVED that onerous commission. The contest of “early-ness” is only between Matthew and Mark, excluding Luke and John. Lk is an account by an honest “hearer”, while John although insisting to be admitted as one by its named author, is EVIDENTLY a work by another “hearer” not by John himself! :: a) The tenor of John is evidently one of a gentile, not a jew, but John is 100% a jew in blood and mentality like the Lord; b) The preamble of the gospel sounds that of a gnostic-theologian, but John was not a theologian, he was a full pledge apostle who is not expected to engage in a theological circus, at the expense of blurring authenticity of testimony; c)not a single testimony is given that John was written in hebrew, but the apostle could have written it in native language only had he written it before his stay at pathmos. ERGO, the gospel of John could not have been written by him, neither could it have been written earlier than 110 CE. Sometimes the best scholarship is not enough, when it goes beyond the basic fence of common sense. Had the Lord Jesus intended theologians to arrogate the truths of the gospel He would have erected and accredited universities first, recruited the students of Hillel or Shamai, grant them Ph.D’s then the commission. Or had He intended bishops to rule over-and-above the world, He would have established such “Priesthood-Kingship” first: He could have done better than what the uncircumcised Constantine did to establish an institutional church. But as you see, non of these did He. Why? Because the Lord’s gospel was intended to be a final upgrade of his then existing Operating System (religion). The gospel synoptics merely as guides. Christianity then is a way of LIFE, a holiness founded upon his work of redemption, as the follower walks according to the Law and Prophets….. Shalom to all.
- Date: 17 May 2004
- Time: 13:42:03
you guys are the bessstttt
- Date: 21 Nov 2004
- Time: 16:07:30
I think 1Tim. 5:17,18 is proof that Luke has an earlier date than most “higher critics” allow. Paul considers both Deut. 25:4 concerning the threshihng ox and Lk. 10:7 “The worker is worthy of his wages” to be regarded as equally inspired Scripture. Also, does not 1Cor. 15:3,4 imply that since Paul proclaimed the death, buriel, resurrection on the third day as according to the Scriptures, that at least two of the four Gospels had already been written and considered Scripture?
Date: 26 Feb 2006
It’s so clear! All the prophecies regarding the destruction of the temple and the rapture, mentioned by all the Holy Apostles, have ALREADY taken place.
Jaime M Gomez
San Jacinto, Cal.
Date: 10 May 2011
I can`t believe how far many has went from God really on many if not all matters on this site.
I mean asking everyone questions on scripture where is this one where is that one whats that mean that’s Calvinism that’s everybody isms people.
What does God say what does His spirit reveal to you . Stop being man centered and say Calvinism I use as an example there are many isms and so forth 100`s just what does scripture say end off line.
If you don`t understand a matter ask God these websites should be empty of mans comments on what a matter means God will show you but as is seen peoples complete lack of Faith in God and what he can do is shown by the questions asked.
Forget about man speak to God ask Him He wrote the Book only He can explain it.
If a matter is not there its not to be pondered over as it always ends with man says for example where did Matthew go ? If it was really that important to where then ask God He will tell us all things we need to know and understand.
As a child asks His earthly Father or parent should we not obey what is a simple matter God asks us to do . Father what does this mean I ask you in the Spirit as a child with knowing nothing but what you say but what you have revealed.
God tells us believe and I will show not as the world says show me then I might believe.
Nothing is more important to God that to save that which is lost man has no excuse to ponder things which are not put in second place to that of winning the lost to Christ.
Law to bring the knowledge of sin.
and only when the sinner is broken and contrite of heart scripture says give them the Grace of our Lord Jesus to save them from the wrath to come.
Never give it to a proud hardheart person the Spirit will break them before you ready to recieve the Gospel.
If you are spending all your time searching out the depths of the word when people pass to eternity with out God how selfish a believer you must be at heart.
So much so that if you don’t want others to be saved you ain`t saved yourself.
The other stuff is good but is always second place to what Gods will is. If you don`t understand a matter its simply that if you don’t want the same things that God wants the you don`t have the heart of the Son of God in you then you need to realize that’s why a matter is not explained . Are you slothful in the matters at hand simply have Faith in Christ and he will reveal all to you but get lost in the word and you forget what the word has told us to do.
Go forth and spread the Gospel to every living creature.
I have no pains in scripture For I through The Father have all things I need for my walk and Faith in him alone will save you not knowledge on that day but Faith that brought Him to declare you righteous on that day.
…. wise they became as fools….
There are too many rabbit holes the believer wastes his time on than the real task at hand.
examine yourself see if you are in the Faith and read and obey an seek to do exactly what He has asked told you to do nothing more nothing less.
I pray God will break your hearts with what breaks his so you to can server Him how you should a stop all this pointless information that God will deal with in His time not yours.
If you have Faith nothing else matters if you lack Faith the all this other stuff matters.
Who do you server man to show approved unto Him ?
God to be approved on to Him for Him alone shall I server.
Today make your calling election sure while He has given you breath to wake another day that you may come to really know Him.
Even so Lord I cry Come Lord Come. Amen