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The Sitz Im Leben of Matthew’s Community and the Author

3.1 Introduction

There appears to be a tension between what Jesus tells in Matthew 10:5-7 and 28:18-20. In Matthew 10:5-7 he instructs his disciples to limit their ministry to Israel, but in 28:18-20 he commands them to make disciples of all the nations. This tension in the Gospel of Matthew is popularly called “particularism and universalism.” A study of the Sitz im Leben of the recipients of the Gospel of Matthew and its author will possibly help to solve this tension. In other words, the primary objective of this chapter is to discover the original community of Matthew—to find out its composition, whether they were fully Jews or both Jews and Gentiles—and the author—to find out if he was a Jew or Gentile. Finally, these studies will help to understand the author’s intention for behind altering the traditional material (Mark).

3.2 What is Sitz im Leben?

The term Sitz im Leben was introduced by the German Protestant theologian Herman Gunkel. At first, the phrase Sitz im Volksleben (“setting in the life of the people”) was introduced in 1906 and later in 1918 it was termed as Sitz im Leben which basically refers to the alleged context in which a text has been created and also includes its function and purpose at that particular time. This kind of study enables a proper understanding of the text.[1] By this phrase, Gunkel refers to a specific life-situation of the people or community that gave rise to a story that could be in various types/genres. Gunkel employed the concept SitzimLeben to study the stories of Genesis[2] He believed that social situations gave rise to such things as cult, the legal institutions, the family life, the tribal institutions, and customs of the royal court.[3]

Eventually, this tool was employed for the study of the Gospel accounts because of the presence of various genres joined together, possibly out of the institutional life of the Christian communities.[4]

Those who employed this tool initially came up with two types of Sitz im Leben,namely Sitz im Leben of Jesus and Sitz im Leben of the Christian community, whereas Willi Marxsen came up with a third Sitz im Leben called an individualistic Sitz im Leben (the author) which was something new that Marxsen contributed to New Testament studies.[5]

Bock says that the Gospels were written from the perspective of the evangelist. He adds that Marxsen, who used this third Sitz im Leben (the author) in order to study Mark’s Gospel, concludes that Mark emphasizes Galilee over Jerusalem only because of the worrying situation of his community during the Jewish War of AD 66.[6]

Here, in relation to the issue of particularism and universalism, only two Sitz im Leben, those of the community and the author, will be studied on the basis of Matthean scholars’ arguments.

3.2.1 Sociological Sitz im Leben (the community)

The Sociological Sitz im Leben deals with the composition of the Matthean community, the social location and the time of origin. The composition of the Matthean community

The composition of the Matthew’s community (Jewish, gentile or mixed) is one of the hotly debated topics that often divides opinion, together with the issue of social location and time of origin. Hagner argues that Matthew’s community were obviously Jewish Christians. He adds that this group of people faced difficult situations. When Jews become Christians they were forced to manage relationships with their non-Christian Jewish brothers and sisters from whom they had been alienated.[7] Similarly, they had to cope with a largely gentile Christianity among whom they existed as a minor group of people. This group of people would have been accused with charges such as disloyalty to the religion of Israel, disloyalty to the Mosaic Law and being in affiliation with an alien community, the large majority of whose members were Gentiles.[8]

Stanton writes:

I am convinced that Matthew’s communities have parted company with Judaism and that some Gentiles have been accepted. Nearly every pericope of the gospel reflects rivalry between “church” and “synagogue.” Matthew’s communities are extra muros, but they are still responding in various ways to local synagogues… On this view the gospel can be seen, at least in part, as an apology – a defense of Christianity over against non-Christian.[9]

On the other hand, Overman strongly supports the view that Matthew’s group saw itself as Jewish but not as Christian:

In time the descendants of the Matthean community and the tradition to which they belonged came to be called ‘Christians’ and saw themselves as distinct and at best only vaguely related to Judaism. At the time of the writing of the Gospel of Matthew, of course, no such self-understanding existed. The people of Matthew’s community did not understand themselves as ‘Christians’. On the contrary they were Jews.[10]

A. J. Saldarini states his view pertinent to Matthew and his community:

The Matthean group and its spokesperson, the author of the Gospel of Matthew, are Jews who believe in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. The Matthean group is a fragile minority still thinking of themselves as Jews and still identified with the Jewish community by others.[11]

Sim says that the Matthean community were a conservatively Jewish community who were in conflict with other Jewish groups and then openly critical of the Gentiles and law-free Christianity.[12]

Hagner says that the Matthean community shared in two worlds, the Jewish and the Christian. He further states that evangelist’s community saw their Christianity as the true fulfillment of Judaism, and that they were very conscious that they had broken with their unbelieving brothers and sisters. Therefore, on one hand they were struggling to define and “defend a Jewish Christianity to the Jews,” and on the other hand, had a struggle “to realize their identity with gentile Christians.” Thus, this twofold struggle has been explained in the gospel.[13]

Hagner writes that because of these reasons, Matthew writes that “new wine is put into fresh wineskins and so both are preserved” (Matt. 9:17). He adds further that the last words “and so are both preserved” are found neither in Mark nor in Luke, so this is Matthew’s redactional addition. This harmonizes the emphasis on the abiding validity of the Law. The new wine of the gospel is preserved together with the new skins, i.e., the Law as definitively interpreted by Jesus the Messiah.[14] Hagner concludes that the evangelist has reached in both directions to stress continuity with Moses and the Torah and at the same time to confirm the radical newness of the gospel.[15]

Stanton argues that the synagogue has become “almost an alien institution” for the author of the Gospel of Matthew. Moreover, he has used συναγωγή in only three passages, 6:2, 5 and 23:6 and in each case, can be seen to have a strong “negative idea” toward it, because the disciples of Jesus are told not to imitate the example of the scribes and Pharisees in the synagogue, whereas in the same Gospel the ἐκκλησία has been promised “divine protection” (Matt. 16:18).[16] Matthew has used the term ἐκκλησία three times (16.18; and twice in 18.17), which is absence in other gospels.

Stanton says pertaining the “God’s presence (Shekinah),” that there were many Jews perpetually hoping that in the temple but Matthew writes and emphasizes that the temple would be “forsaken and desolate” (Matt. 23:38). And later he mentions that something even greater than the temple got appeared along with the coming of Jesus (Matt. 12:6). Stanton says that this is “the bold Matthean Christological claim, “God is present in Jesus to a greater extent than in the temple.”[17]

Stanton concludes saying that these above points evidence that Matthew’s community was predominantly Jewish at an initial phase of its development but in the evangelist’s day most members were Gentiles.[18] White comments that Matthew’s community seemed to be mixed—it was “composed of both Jews and gentiles,” from both village and urban society.[19]

Saldarini says that Matthew’s community was a mixed group of people, and because of the disputes which happened with the Jewish community leadership, Matthew’s community moved toward a new community organization. This resulted in Matthew’s emphasis on bringing non-Jews into the community (28:19); the focus changed from Jewish mission (10:5-10) to the entire humanity (28:19-20), and eventually led to the inclusion of a mixed group of people into his own community (21:43), though the community still was strongly Jewish.[20] Social Location of the Matthew’s Community

The Gospel of Matthew is totally silent “regarding the actual location where the gospel was written.” Many scholars have researched Matthew’s location, but it is not easy to have a particular affirmation in regard to the original location of Matthew’s community.[21] However, there is a general consensus among the scholars that the gospel was penned at the “eastern part of the ancient Mediterranean,” which includes “Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Caesarea Maritima, Phoenicia, Alexandria, Syria and Antioch.” The time of writing of the Gospel was in direct relation to the place of Matthew’s society.[22]

a. Palestine: France argues that, since the “patristic tradition”[23] believes that the gospel of Matthew was written basically for Jewish people in their own language, therefore, it is undoubted that the gospel was penned where most Jews were to be found, i.e., Palestine.[24] J. A. Overman proposes Galilee as the place where Matthew’s Gospel was written, because there were numbers of Matthew’s opponents the Pharisees.[25] He further says that during this point of time Matthew’s community was having a direct conflict with the “formative Judaism”[26] and its newly emerging leaders, the Pharisees.[27]

Sim argues that in fact the Matthew’s gospel was written in Greek and most of the people during the first century were acquainted with the language. It can be speculated that the first language of the evangelist and his readers was Greek, otherwise the gospel could have been written in Aramaic but not in Greek.[28] He adds that the Pharisees had already been moved into gentile territories, therefore, formative Judaism was highly saturated even outside Palestine. Therefore, Palestine is not the best option pertaining the actual location of the Matthew’s community.[29]

b. Transjordan: According to H.D. Slingerland, the most probable place for the composing of Matthew’s gospel was Transjordan. On the basis of Matthew 4:15 and 19:1 he says that it was somewhere to the eastward of the Jordan River.[30] In these two verses Matthew has done redaction and has reflected the geographical perspective of the first gospel. The first text cited in Matthew (4:15) is transported from an Old Testament source, the Masoretic text of Isaiah 8:25. If Matthew’s source had been brought from the LXX of Isaiah 8:23, he has deliberately removed the καὶ before πέραν τοῦ Ιορδάνου. In the same way, Matthew 19:1 is taken from Mark 10:1 but Matthew has deliberately added καὶ. Here, Slingerland argues that Matthew and Mark had different geographical perspectives.[31]

He goes on further saying that by redacting the Greek source Matthew has created his own geographical persective. Here, the perspective is that the gospel of Matthew was written somewhere “on the eastern side of the Jordan River.” Slingerland concludes that Matthew was composed at Pella, a city of the Decapolis, right after the Jewish war. This city represents the perpetual struggle with Judaism in addition to the internal struggle between Christian and Gentiles pertaining to the Torah.[32]

E. P. Sanders argues that one cannot come to the point of decision stating that Pella was indeed the place of the origin of Matthew’s Gospel.[33]  Sim argues that it does not matter whether Matthew got the sources at these points or whether he edited them as Slingerland states. He writes that Slingerland’s interpretation of πέραν τοῦ Ιορδάνου is certainly plausible in Matthew but another interpretation of the text is also possible.[34]

Hagner says that it was most probable that the expression “beyond the Jordan” was generally used for the territories to the east of the Jordan River.[35]  Sim argues that the expression πέραν τοῦ Ιορδάνου can be seen in plenty of other texts such as John 1:28; 3:26; 10:40, then Jesus went back across the Jordan. He adds that here the phrase stands independently and designates those areas to the east of the river in Transjordan.[36]

According to Josephus, all the cities (Philadelphia, Gerasa, Pella, Scythopolis, Gadara and Hippos) in the Decapolis were demolished by violent Israelite force (Jewish War 2: 458-459). Later this event triggered violence again and resulted in the killing and imprisonment of many Israelite citizens by the Gentile residents in these cities (Jewish War 2:466-468, 478). Sim concludes that while comparing all these historical considerations with the geographical location that Slingerland suggests, there is enough proof to reject his hypothesis.[37]

c. Caesarea Maritima: B. T. Viviano suggests that the great port city of Caesarea Maritima in Samaria could have been the location of Matthew’s community.[38] Sim argues that even though Viviano strongly holds “Caesarea Maritima” for the actual location of the Matthew’s community based on very late patristic references, indeed these writings do not state that the Gospel of Matthew was written in this coastal city. He states further that even Eusebius is completely silence on this issue, despite the fact that he himself was a resident of Caesarea Maritima. Therefore, Viviano’s hypothesis is unreliable because of lack of evidence.[39]

Sim says that one of the problems with this view is that according to the book of Acts the Christian movement in Samaria generally and in Caesarea Maritima specifically was of a Gentile but not a Jewish persuasion. It was Philip who first took the Christian message to Samaria (8:4) and his conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch on the road to Gaza (8:26-39) demarcates his interest in the Gentiles. Sim says furthermore, that even the episode of Peter’s conversion of Cornelius in Acts 10:1–11:18 evidences the Gentile nature of the Christian movement in Caesarea.[40]

Josephus reports a massacre of the Jewish people in Caesarea “at the time of the Jewish war.” When the war first began, many Jews were killed in this place by their Gentile neighbors. Later on this violent persecution triggered the departure of many Jews form Caesarea Maritima for a safer place.[41] Moreover, Viviano himself admits that there were few Jews in Caesarea Maritima in the period “following the Jewish war.”[42]

According to B.H. Streeter, it is not likely that there was a church in the area of Samaria, as Jesus sends his disciples on a mission with a strong instruction not to enter the towns of the Samaritans and the Gentiles (10:5).[43]

Sim argues that if Matthew had written the gospel for readers in Samaria, then he would have removed an offensive reference to the region on the lips of Jesus: “εἰς ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν μὴ ἀπέλθητε καὶ εἰς πόλιν Σαμαριτῶν μὴ εἰσέλθητε.” He concludes that therefore, Viviano’s hypothesis of Matthew’s community located at Caesarea Maritime seems impossible, and there are many more reasons to reject his suggestion for this particular place.[44]

d. Phoenicia: G. D. Kilpatrick suggests a Phoenician provenance for the Matthean community. He has produced “a number of arguments” in order to support his own view regarding “the location of the Matthean community.” He notes that Mark writes the Sea of Galilee as ἡ θάλασσα (Mark 5:13) whereas Matthew describes this body of water as τὰ ὕδατα (Matt. 8:32; 14:28-29). Kilpatrick proposed a port city for the Matthew’s community location.[45]

Secondly, he notes Matthew’s alteration of Mark’s Syro-Phoenician woman (Mark 7:26) to a Canaanite (Matt. 15:22). Matthew alters the offending term and portrays her as a Canaanite, which implies that she was not from a proudly Hellenized society but from the rather less Hellenized inhabitants of the Phoenician locality.[46]

Sim argues that Kilpatrick’s arguments make no sense at all. He says that in the story of the Gadarene demoniacs, as Kilpatrick mentioned, the swine rushed down the bank into the sea (ἡ θάλασσα, Matt. 8:32, so too Mark 5:13) and then perished in the waters (τὰ ὕδατα). Here, since the Sea of Galilee is clearly referred to as a sea, so, the distinction between Matthew and Mark cannot be seen in this point. Further, Matthew’s intention was to emphasise the severity of the punishment by rewriting Mark 9:42 rather than to describe the Mediterranean Sea.[47]

According to Sim, Matthew’s use of “Canaanite” in 15:22 constitutes an indication of his anti-Gentile stance, since this term describes the woman with a more negative character in his narrative. Therefore, Sim concludes that both of Kilpatrick’s arguments do not weigh heavily as evidence that Phoenicia was a proper location for the Matthean community. Moreover, we do not have any evidence of a Christian community living in Phoenicia.[48]

e. Alexandria: S.G.F. Brandon was the first who hypothesized that Matthew and his community should be placed in Alexandria. According to him, based on the story of the flight to Egypt in the Matthean infancy narrative (Matt. 2:13-23), Matthew’s community consisted of Alexandrian Christians who might have fled to the Egyptian capital during the Jewish war.[49]

Sim argues that Brandon’s thesis is not acceptable since there is no evidence pertaining to any Christian movement in Alexandria either before or after the Jewish war, but the only clear reference is Acts 18:24-28, which mentions “Apollos, a native of Alexandria,” who visited Ephesus, and was well studied in the Scripture.[50]

Sim says that this single passage in Acts does not provide adequate information for anything like a reasonable assessment of the Christian movement in Alexandria. He says further that Brandon is not able to provide evidence that Alexandria was the right provenance for the Gospel of Matthew.[51]

Davies and Allison strongly disagree on the hypothesis of Brandon as they say that Matthew’s Gospel would have had a highly Philonic flavor if the gospel had been written in Alexandria.[52]

However, Sim concludes that it is not good to presume that the entire Jewish Christian in Alexandria followed “the tradition of Philo.” Nevertheless, “the absence of Philonic influence in Matthew’s Gospel is of no real significance.” Therefore, Brandon’s hypothesis on the Matthean community’s location has neither external nor internal evidence for the location of the Gospel.[53]

f. Syria (outside Antioch): Since all these above proposals for the provenance of Matthew’s Gospel are improbable, most scholars locate the Gospel of Matthew in what finally remains, the province of Syria. A very minor point in favor of this hypothesis is Matthew 4:24, where the author writes, “The news about Him spread throughout all Syria … (NASV).[54]

A number of scholars have suggested that Matthew was written in a city which is positioned in the north-eastern Syrian hinterland. Among these scholars, B.W. Bacon is the one who first raised this possibility. He placed Matthew in Edessa.[55]

Similarly, Osborne too proposed “Edessa”[56] as a probable provenance for Matthew’s Gospel. He prepared his own case by comparing Matthew’s material and some eastern religious traditions, especially Mithraism, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism. Osborne came to the point that location like Edessa is a “melting-pot” of both eastern and western religious traditions.[57]

Sim thinks that arguments produced in favor of Edessa are not convincing. Moreover, there is no evidence pertaining to the origin and development of the Christian movement in this city.[58] Davies and Allison argue that the parallels that Osborne draws between Matthew and eastern traditions are neither very close nor very relevant.[59]

Meier writes that the common dialect of Edessa was Syriac but Matthew was written in Greek so obviously presupposes a Greek readership at the place. Thus the Edessa hypothesis seems unnecessary.[60] Therefore, all these above arguments provide evidence that Syria (outside Antioch) might not have been the correct location for the Matthean community.

g. Antioch on the Orontes: The most interesting support favors Antioch, the capital of Syria on the Orontes for the evangelist and his community. B. H. Streeter is the one who first located the Gospel in Antioch. Streeter came up with lots of evidence pertaining to the “provenance of Matthew’s community.”[61]

First, he dismisses all the patristic suggestions, which place Matthew in Palestine. He says that witnesses given by Papias and Irenaeus are noteworthy in a negative respect. Since they failed to locate the Gospel in either Rome or Asia Minor they postulated that Matthew was written somewhere in the eastern region of the Roman empire.[62]

Secondly, he argues “that the anonymity of the Gospel points to an important church behind” it and the only probable church is that of Antioch. Thirdly, the role of Peter in the Gospel evidences an Antiochene provenance for Matthew because of his status in Antioch (Gal. 2:11); according to church tradition Peter was the first bishop at this church.[63]

Here the main argument of Streeter is that the Petrine church of Antioch is to be seen as a moderate one, standing between the Jerusalem Church (led by James) and the antinomianism of certain followers of Paul.[64]

Fourthly, “Antioch, with its large Jewish population,” supplies “the best setting for the” “atmosphere” of this Gospel. He argues further that Antioch was the main base for the earliest Christian Gentile mission. Antioch, therefore, was a mixed state including both Israelites and Gentiles. He concludes that this dual picture is clear in numbers of places in the Gospel of Matthew.[65]

Fifthly, Streeter’s important argument is the interpretation of the monetary terms in Matthew 17:24-27. This points to Antioch as the location of the Gospel. He says that Antioch and Damascus are considered to have been the only places which had the official statera coin, worth two didrachmae. But France argues that scholars do not support this argument because Streeter failed to state any evidential documents.[66]

Sixthly, Streeter says that Ignatius was the first father of the Antiochean church who cited Matthew’s materials at least three times, and even refers to “the Gospel” as if it were the title of a book. According to Streeter, the presence of Matthew’s Gospel in Antioch is “evidence for the location of the community” in Antioch.[67]

Streeter proposes two further arguments based upon the contents of the Gospel. The first one was an interpretation of Matthew as “the Petrine compromise.” He explains that Matthew follows the earlier example of Peter, who attempted “to reconcile the law-observant party of James with the law-free gospel of Paul.” Nau explains that for Matthew Peter is so prominent, as can be seen numbers of times in Matthew’s description of Peter’s role.[68]

Sim states some of his criticisms of Streeter’s hypothesis, saying that the above arguments for the Antiochene provenance with reference to the Matthean community have both strengths and weaknesses.[69]

Sim argues that the hypothesis regarding Antioch and Damascus is not supported by any evidence. He says furthermore that Streeter’s other arguments regarding Matthew’s location in Antioch were not convincing. However, many scholars might have agreed with his view without any detailed investigation. Likewise, Sim points out some of the strong evidence that supports Streeter’s hypothesis, such as the Petrine connection to the gospel, the fact that Peter fulfilled an active role in Antioch, and his long standing connection with the Antiochean church, as patristic tradition evidences.[70]

Sim writes some of the major characteristics of the location of the Matthean community. He says that according to the internal and external evidence the gospel of Matthew was penned in a large and influential eastern city which had a common language, Greek. It had a large Jewish population, located far enough from Palestine so that it might not get involved directly in the Jewish war.[71]

Sim argues that only Antioch on the Orontes fulfils all these criteria. He concludes that with the relevant evidence Antioch is the most probable place where the gospel of Matthew was composed.[72] The Time of Origin of Matthean Community

Most of the scholars concur that Matthew’s gospel might have been written within the period between 60 – 100 CE.[73] However, it is still debated whether the Gospel was written before 70 CE or after 70 but prior to 100 CE. The actual date of writing can only be estimated on the basis of the internal and external evidences of the Gospel. The early church believed that Matthew was the first Gospel to have been penned, as Irenaeus believed.[74]

The priority of Matthew was accepted till the 19th century but modern scholars denied this perspective, saying that Matthew was written only after Mark, and this perspective gave two possibilities regarding the date of Matthew, either before 70 CE or post 70 CE.[75]

a. A date prior to 70 CE: There are some scholars such as Michaelis, Reicke, Robinson, Maier, Ellis and Gundry who do believe that Matthew was written before 70 CE. Similarly, scholars like Wilke and Weisse, Holtzmann, and Lachmann proposed the theory of the priority of Mark. Lachmann suggested that Matthew and Luke both had depended on Mark’s literary style. He further said that even the order of the narratives in the Gospel came from Mark. He concluded that these things support the view that Mark has literary priority.[76]

Tyson and Longstaff note that the “Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four gospels.” Out of 18,293 words that are found in Matthew, 7,392 have no parallelism with Mark, and in the same way, “of the 19,376 words” that appear “in Luke, 10,259 have no parallel” with Mark. Therefore, it is obvious that Mark would not have omitted so much material if Matthew and Luke were his fundamental sources.[77]

Stein suggests that Mark’s Gospel was not an abridgement of Matthew and Luke, since, although the Gospel of Mark is shorter than Matthew’s and Luke’s in its total length, his versions of the stories are often longer. Comparing the common pericopes of the Synoptic Gospels, among fifty-one common narratives, twenty-one of Mark’s narratives are the longest, eleven of Matthew’s are the longest, and ten of Luke’s are the longest. Thus Mark is the first gospel that Matthew and Luke used.[78]

Secondly, pertaining to Mark’s literary priority, Mark is poor in writing style. Mark’s writings contain not good grammar and colloquialisms, but these are absent in Matthew and Luke. For example, in Mark 2:4 the word for pallet, κράβαττον has been used as a slang expression. However, Matthew and Luke changed this term to bed, κλίνη in Matthew 9:6 and bed κλινίδιον in Luke 5:19. That is, Matthew and Luke improved on the style of the source. Therefore, poor writing style in Mark supports the view that Mark was written earlier to Matthew and Luke.[79]

The Gospel of Mark has used more Aramaic words and expressions, for example, in Mark 11:11 the word “Corban” is used, in Mark 14:36 “Abba,” in Mark 15:34 “Eloi Eloi.” In Mark 5:41 Jesus says, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you arise.” Of course, Matthew also has used Aramaic expressions such as “Golgotha” (Matt. 27:33; 15:22) but less than Mark. Here, one can assume that Matthew and Luke might have omitted these Aramaic expressions just to make sense to their Greek speaking audiences.[80] This evidences that Mark was the first Gospel.

Next the question arises, when the Gospel of Mark was written. In fact, Mark has been dated to three different decades, including 40 CE, 50 or 60 CE. On the basis of historical and papyrological considerations, the view that the Gospel of Mark was written around 40 CE has been supported. One of these considerations is the phrase, “the abomination that causes desolation” (Mark 13:14).[81] But Torrey argues that the historical background of the words “abomination that causes desolation” is the attempt in 40 CE of the Emperor Caligula to have his own image set up in the Jerusalem temple. So, he believes that the book of Mark was written after this event only.[82]

According to Carson, Moo & Morris Luke published his book in 62 CE.[83] Harnack says that if Luke had used the canonical Mark, then obviously Mark might have been written somewhere before 60 CE.[84] Guelich who supports the date 60 CE for the Markan date of writing.[85] Rist argues that the only valid reason to favor a date for the Gospel of Matthew after 70 CE would be the assumption that the matters depend on Mark.[86]

Robinson argues saying that the gospel of Matthew might have been written before 62 CE. He provides two evidences, first is that people were noticed pertaining the Christians who were living in the period 50 – 60 CE. Second, is that regarding the Temple tax (Matt. 17:24-27). According to Robinson Christians endured persecution in the period preceding 70 CE, as Eusebius and Josephus have recorded pertinent to the martyrdom of James, the brother of Lord in 62 CE. Looking at the date of gospel of Matthew on this evidence is crucial.[87]

Robinson’s hypothesis is partly founded as convincing specially based on the statement Jesus made to Peter concerning tax payment. Thus, this indicates that Matthew’s Gospel may have been written prior to the Temple demolished at Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE because after that date, the Israelites had to pay temple tax to the temple treasure, Jupiter Capitolinus, in Rome as Josephus mentioned.[88]

Thus, the above evidence shows the possibility that the Gospel of Matthew might have been written before 62 CE, but most of the New Testament scholars disagree with Robinson’s hypothesis. However, none of the arguments presented above are conclusive though a date before 70 CE seems to be the most probable date.[89]

b. A date after 70 CE: Sim argues that there are two strong pieces of evidence in regard to the “composition of the gospel of Matthew” after 70 CE, first, the influence of the Gospel of Mark on Matthew and then Matthew’s reference in regard to the devastation of the Jerusalem Temple (Matt. 22:7). He goes on saying that on the basis of these evidences many scholars accept Mark’s composition either “during or shortly after the Jewish war of 66 – 70.”[90] Hengel says that Mark was composed in the “year 69, just before” the tumultuous “events of 70.”[91]

Sim says that Matthew’s composition “in the post-war period” is confirmed by the Matthean “parable of the wedding feast (Matt. 22:1-10).” This is a Q pericope that can be found in a quite different form in Luke 14:16-24. Most of the commentators argue that Matthew himself made a heavy redacted and allegorized version of the tradition just to display his view of the history of the Christian mission.[92]

He goes explaining that in the parable, a king sends his messengers to call all the invited people for the feast but the messengers were rejected. Secondly, another group of people were not only rejected but also persecuted and killed. Finally, the king was enraged by their attitudes and killed the murderers, then a third invitation was thrown and called people from the streets, so these messengers gathered together people of both good and bad so that the hall would have filled with people.[93]

Sim says that scholars are in general agreed about Matthew’s intentions in this episode. Here, the king and his son represent God and Jesus and the wedding symbolizes the Kingdom of God, the messengers are Christian missionaries, the people who had been invited during the first and second time were the Jews. Finally, God sent the Romans to destroy Jerusalem, the city of the Jews, because of their mistreatment of these missionaries. Then the final invitation represents a new mission that happened in the post-70 period, which most of the scholars denote as the Gentile mission.[94]

J. P. Meier argues for the “late date for Matthew” by emphasizing “the delay of the parousia” (Matt. 24:48; 25:5) and is convinced that Jesus had been gone a long time (Matt. 25:19).[95] He adds that since Matthew’s community had been alienated from the synagogue, therefore, the date for Matthew could have been a late one.[96] He adds that since Matthew’s community had been alienated from the synagogue, therefore, the date for Matthew could have been a late one.[97] But Sim argues saying that these points do not provide any satisfaction to be a conclusive for the” late date” in regard to the composition of the Matthew’s gospel.[98]

Robert Gundry argues that Matthew 22:1-10 does not denote the fate of Jerusalem’s destruction by the Romans, but in fact “is an allusion to” Isaiah 5:24-25, “which speaks of God’s judgment against his people.” The first two invitations refer to the Old Testament prophets, the “burning of the city” refers to God’s judgment “on his people,” and then the final invitation symbolizes the “mission of the church to all nations” after “the resurrection” of Jesus.[99] Here again Sim argues saying that Gundry’s point is by no means convinced.[100] Meier argues that the first Christian generation of the Antiochene church was raised around 40 to 70 CE. The second Christian generation of the Antiochene church emerged around 70 to 100 CE. Meier believes that the community of Matthew belonged to the second Christian generation. Thus, the best choice of date for the gospel of Matthew is between 80 to 90 CE.[101]

Meier makes further clarification, saying that since the gospel of Matthew might not have been written immediately after the Jewish war and the “destruction of Jerusalem;” if so, 85 seems a possible date for Matthew’s Gospel. Meier also claims that Matthew’s community in the beginning consisted largely of Israelite Christian members, but later the community included Gentiles (Matt. 28:16-20). He concludes that on the basis of all these evidences the best choice for the date of Matthew is between 80 and 90 CE, and till then the community was a mixed one.[102]

Sim says that a date for the Matthean gospel could have been somewhere between 85 and 95 on the basis of the internal evidence and the external evidence. He says furthermore, the date cannot hinge on the narrow time-frame, rather consistent with either an earlier or a later date within the period between 70 and 100 CE, and moreover, the most important point is that Matthew wrote his Gospel after the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.[103]

3.2.2 An Individualistic Sitz im Leben (The Author)

The individual Sitz im leben deals with the author of the gospel of Matthew, moreove, whether he was a Jew or gentile. The Author of the gospel of Matthew

Talbert says that the Gospel itself makes no claim pertaining to authorship. Near the middle of the second century, Papias said that Matthew composed the Sayings (logia) in the Hebrew language and later was translated by everyone.[104]

Here, the view of Papias was reiterated by Iraneaus (ca. 130 – 200), Bishop of Lyons: “Matthew also among the Hebrews published a written gospel in their own dialect, when Peter and Paul were preaching in Rome and founding the Church there (Eusebius H.E. 5.8.2, quoting Iraneaus Adv. Haer. 3.1.1).”[105]

Similarly, Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea (ca. 260 – 234) attributed a statement to Papias, the Bishop of Hierapolis in Asia Minor (c. 60 – 130): “Now Matthew made an ordered arrangement of the oracles in the Hebrew (or: Aramaic) language, and each one translated (or: interpreted) it as he was able (H.E. 3.39).”[106]

However, Luz argues that the apostle Matthew was not the author of the First Gospel. So, in that case, the author would have used the book of someone who was not an eyewitness as his main source. But Vincent Taylor argues that it is very doubtful that an apostle might have used as a source the work of one who was not an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus.[107]

Donald Guthrie argues that, though it is surprising that an eyewitness could make use of a secondary source, it is not impossible, because more than fifty percent of Mark shows no verbal agreement with Matthew. In addition, in the ancient world, the approach pertaining to literary borrowing was different from our modern approach; the gospel traditions were common knowledge, and the wholesale incorporation of somebody’s work would not have been regarded as impermissible. Guthrie concludes that the apostle Matthew, who himself was an eyewitness of many of the events, would be in a position to acknowledge the authenticity of Mark.[108] Hagner argues that it is not at all inconceivable that Matthew (an eyewitness) relied on Mark (not an eyewitness) because ultimately Mark is essentially the preaching of Peter, so that Matthew might have depended upon a Petrine (an eyewitness) account represented by Mark.[109]

Luz says that even Matthew 9:9, the calling of Levi as an “original disciple,” is very clearly evidence against Matthew as author. S.E. Johnson rejects the apostolic authorship, saying that the author of the Gospel of Matthew might not be the apostle Matthew but rather “a compendium of church tradition” artistically edited. [110]

Luz argues that the title ΕΥΑΓΓΕΔΙΟΝ ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΘΘΑΙΟΝ is ancient, and it is prior to Papias, who presupposes it and later cites it in his testimony the Elder.[111]

He further says that based on the elder’s testimony, the one who arranged his Gospel in the Hebrew style of presentation was its author, just as Mark, the interpreter of Peter, was the author of the gospel of Matthew. Luz concludes that the best possibility could be that an unknown Christian by the name of Matthew composed the gospel of Matthew.[112]

Hagner says that it is more difficult to be confident that Matthew the apostle had written the Greek document which goes by his name, but in accordance with the tradition, it is probable that the Gospel of Matthew was written by none other than the apostle who was a tax collector.[113]

Morris argues that the gospel of Matthew must be considered as originally written in Greek, not as a translation. Even this Gospel is penned in good idiomatic Greek and there is no indication that it was written from a Semitic original. However, Matthew might have written a Gospel in Aramaic which was lost, the gospel behind this Matthew’s Gospel. According to Morris, throughout antiquity it is accepted that Matthew’s gospel was written by Matthew himself, the disciple among twelve, and there is no other name in the tradition than this one.[114]

Morris says that in fact Matthew is referenced to be “a tax collector” in 9:9 and 10:3 and was “a member of the Twelve” in 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15. He adds that “the tax collector” is called Levi in Mark 2:14; Luke 5:27. It is unusual to have two Hebrew names for the same person but he could have a Hebrew and a Greek name, like Saul who was called Paul. However, all these references seem to refer to the same man.[115]

In the gospel of Matthew, the author has used the general word for money, nomisma, and the word for “gold” 5 times, “silver” 10 times and “talent” 14 times, a total of 29 whereas Mark refers to “silver” once and Luke 4 times; moreover, they have none of the other words for big currency. Matthew also has references to coins such as the assarion, the chalkos, the denarius, the didrachma, the kodrantes, and the stater. Mark and Luke too have used these coins but not as much as Matthew. So, all these evidence that the author of the gospel of Matthew was a tax collector.[116]

a. Author: Jew or Gentile?: There has been a debate over whether the author of the gospel of Matthew was a Christian Jew (most scholars) or a Christian gentile for example, Clark, Nepper-Christensen, Strecker and Meier, Sato.[117]

Till the last few decades, Matthean scholars favoured that the redactor of the gospel was a Jew but in the last few decades some scholars came with the hypothesis that the author of the gospel of Matthew was a gentile.

According to Clark, Matthew’s Gospel was written by a Jew who was converted. There were many Jews in Syria who had been Hellenized, but it is doubtful that a Jew of AD 90 would be found writing a gospel on the final “rejection of Israel by her God.” But it is possible that one converted from Judaism would react strongly against the religion to which he had previously belonged.[118]

Here, Clark is arguing strongly in order to portray through the sources that the author of the first Gospel was a Gentile. He says that Jews rejected and killed God’s son (21:39) and now God has rejected them and shut them out of the kingdom and then transferred favor to Christian believers as the true Israel (21:43).[119]

He adds that Matthew’s unique stories such as the “Two Sons” (21:28-32), “the Vineyard Tenants” (21:33-43), “the Wedding Feast” (22:1-14), “the Ten Virgins” (25:1-13) and “the Talents” (25:14-30) speak of gentile bias in Matthew, and then it is obvious that “such a message would be natural only from the bias of a gentile author.” He says that often people argue for the Jewish author of Matthew based on the Matthean quotations of numerous scriptural passages but Clark argues that it is never noted that those quotations have been used, 109 in Luke’s gospel and 133 in Acts.[120] He furthermore states, regarding the phrase “Kingdom of God,” that it can be found even in the Pauline writings. So, it has nothing to do with this argument in the gospel of Matthew.[121]

Clark says that regarding the various Semitic words in Matthew, it seems that author even did not understand the vernacular of the Jews. He avoids the use of Mark’s Βοανηργές, (Mark 3:17) and ταλιθα κουμ (Mark 5:41) by omitting them. Similarly, κορβᾶν (7:11) and Βαρτιμαῖος, (10:46) ραββουνει, (10:51) and even αββα (14:36) instead using Greek. He does not understand the term “hosanna” (Matt. 21:9) nor the name “Golgotha” which he attempts to translate (Matt. 27:33). But Matthew has translated the meaning of “Jesus” and “Emmanuel.”[122]

Thus, based on all these above evidences Clark concludes saying that the author of the first gospel must be “a gentile Christian who wrote his gospel in Syria.” The author “was persuaded that the Christian gospel” was initially “delivered to the” Jewish people but was “rejected by them as a people” and later “that God had now turned his back upon Judaism and chosen the largely gentile Christianity (28:19).”[123]

However, Sim argues that despite Clark’s tremendous effort to hypothesize that Matthew was a Gentile rather than a Jew, a huge numbers of Matthean specialists have been unpersuaded by his thesis that “the Gospel of Matthew has a Gentile bias.” He further says that while there are certainly plenty of Gentile contents in Matthew’s Gospel, it is hard to come to the conclusion that the contents of Matthew are fully “pro-Gentile,” because there are significant anti-Jewish components in the Gospel of Matthew, such as the “successful exorcisms” at the place called Gadara, where Jesus was asked by the Gentile dwellers to leave the area, and this indicates that Jesus and his mission were rejected (8:28-34). Sim finally concludes that here, the primary point is not that Jesus entered into Gentile territory and did a miracle, but that Jesus was rejected by these Gentiles.[124]

T. B. Cargal argues that even though many interpret Pilate’s washing his hands of Jesus’ death as indicating his innocence, in fact it is not, for he is the one who is accountable for the death of Jesus.[125] Sim says that the Roman soldiers (Gentiles) were responsible for Jesus’ execution (Matt. 27:27-37). He further says that a number of accounts clearly “betray an anti-Gentile perspective,” such as (Matthew 5:46-47,NHEB), “For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do than others? Do not even the Gentiles (οἱ ἐθνικοὶ) do the same?”[126]

Second passage is, (Matthew 6:31-32,NHEB) “Therefore, do not be anxious saying, ‘What will we eat? or What will we drink?’ or ‘With what will we be clothed?’ For the Gentiles (τα ἐθνη) seek all these things, for your heavenly father knows that you need all these things.”[127]

Thirdly, (Matthew 6:7-8,NHEB“And in praying, do not use vain repetitions, as the Gentiles (οἱ ἐθνικοὶ) do; for they think that they will be heard for their much speaking. Therefore, do not be like them, for your Father knows what things you need, before you ask him.”[128]

Sim argues that the Great Commission (28:19-20) indicates the Jewish mission rather than the universal mission. The reason is that until the time the Gospel was penned, the mission of the church was primarily focused on the Jews but not on the Gentiles.[129]

Thus, Sim concludes his thesis saying that the “Matthaean story contains” both “negative as well as positive Gentile characters,” and a balanced treatment also can be found in regard to the Jews. He further says that “Matthew’s community was composed mainly of Jews with a few Gentile converts.”[130]

Dobschütz argues that a gospel like Matthew’s could have been written only by someone well acquainted by personal experience with the culture and of rabbinic Judaism, who identify as a converted rabbi, most probably a former pupil of Johanan ben Zakkai.[131]

France states that the author of the gospel of Matthew was none other than “Matthew the tax-collector,” a Galilean Jew, of the inner circle of twelve disciples. He goes on saying that the nature of the gospel points to a Jewish Christian tradition (the most Jewish book of the NT). The author himself is a Jewish Christian in the fullest sense “who is responsible for the final” shape and tone of the gospel. He adds further that, though it is undeniable that the entire work is done by a single individual, while observing the ‘theology of Matthew’ it is hard to imagine him working in isolation, therefore, his contribution must be understood within the context of the life of the community to which he belonged.[132]

3.3 Conclusion

After having analysed the Matthean Community and the author, it can be concluded that the author must have been none other than Matthew himself, a Galilean Jew, an eyewitnesses of Jesus, the tax collector before his calling to be an apostle (9:9; 10:3), and a member of the twelve (10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:15) who is named as Levi in Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27. He is the one who wrote the gospel of Matthew in Greek (evidences based on the literary relationship with Mark) by relying on the Markan tradition (who ultimately relied on Peter the Apostle), most probably written in Antioch on the Orontes in 85 – 95 AD during the time when the Matthean community had a struggle with formative Judaism.

The gospel’s original recipients (the Matthean community) might have been composed of mostly Jews and some Gentiles. Therefore, it can be seen in the gospel that the author was reaching in both directions (particularism and universalism) in continuity with Moses and the Torah (Jewishness) and yet with another significant side, the radical newness of the gospel (universalism).


[1] Guillermo Ramirez, The Social Location of the Prophet Amos in light of the Group/grid Cultural Anthropological Model,” in Prophets and Paradigms: essays in honor of Gene M. Tucker 1971, ed. Gene M. Tucker, Stephen Breck Reid (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971), 113.

[2] Edgar V. McKnight, “Form and Redaction Criticism,” in The New Testament and its Modern Interpreters 1989, ed. Eldon Jay Epp & George W. MacRae (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989), 152.

[3] Gene M. Tucker, Form Criticism of the Old Testament (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1946), 15.

[4] McKnight, “Form and Redaction Criticism,” 152.

[5] Marxsen, Mark the Evangelist, 23.

[6] Osborne, “Redaction Criticism,” 131.

[7] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 99.

[8] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 99.

[9] Graham N. Stanton, A Gospel for a New People: Studies in Matthew (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1992), 124.

[10] J. A. Overman, Matthew’s Gospel and Formative Judaism: The Social World of the Matthean Community (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990), 4-5.

[11] Anthony J. Saldarini, Matthew’s Christian-Jewish Community (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), 1.

[12] David C. Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian JudaismThe History and Sociological Setting of the Matthean Community, ed. John Barclay and Joel Marcus(Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1998), 9.

[13] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, WBC, vol. 33A (Dallas, Texas: Word Books, 1993), 20.

[14] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 20.

[15] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 20.

[16] Stanton, A Gospel for a New People: Studies in Matthew, 129.

[17] Stanton, A Gospel for a New People: Studies in Matthew, 129-130.

[18] Stanton, A Gospel for a New People: Studies in Matthew, 130 & 132.

[19] L. Michael White, “Crisis Management and Boundary Maintenance: The Social Location of the Matthean Community,” in Social History of the Matthean Community 1991, ed. David L. Balch(Minneapolis: Fortress press, 1991), 241.

[20] Anthony J. Saldarini, “The Gospel of Matthew and Jewish-Christian Conflict,” in Social History of the Matthean Community 1991, ed. David L. Balch(Minneapolis: Fortress press, 1991), 59.

[21] In-Cheol Shin, Matthew’s Inclusive Community: A Narratological and Social Scientific Reading (PhD diss., University of Pretoria, 2005), 110.

[22] Shin, Matthew’s Inclusive Community, 110.

[23] Patristic or Petrological tradition is the study of the early Church Fathers. The word is derived from the Greek word “pater” which means father. This period began at the end of the New Testament, that is, the end of the Apostolic Age (c. AD 100) and lasted until the 8th century, the Second Council of Nicaea. Alister E. McGrath, Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), 105.

[24] France, Matthew Evangelist and Teacher, 91.

[25] J. A. Overman, Matthew’s Gospel and Formative Judaism: The Social World of the Matthean community (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990), 17-19.

[26] After the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70, there was an urgency for a new religio-cultural synthesis, because the demolishment of the temple and city ultimately effected not only the political phenomena but also the culture and religion. A new movement started with a goal to survive Judaism. So, this synthesis and the course of its construction and emergence after AD 70 is known as formative Judaism. This term mostly focused on the “fluid nature of Judaism.” This time was when Judaism was in the course of being formed; “consolidating, organizing and obtaining a structure to ensure its existence.” Overman, Matthew’s Gospel and Formative Judaism, 35.

[27] Overman, Matthew’s Gospel and Formative Judaism, 153.

[28] David C. Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian JudaismThe History and Sociological Setting of the Matthean Community, ed. John Barclay & Joel Marcus(Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1998), 41.

[29] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 60.

[30] H. Dixon Slingerland, “The Transjordanian Origin of St. Matthew’s Gospel,” JSNT 18, no. 3 (1979): 18.

[31] Slingerland, “The Transjordanian Origin of St. Matthew’s Gospel,” 23.

[32] Slingerland, “The Transjordanian Origin of St. Matthew’s Gospel,” 26.

[33] E. P. Sanders, “Common Judaism and the Synagogue in the first century,” in Jews, Christians and Polytheists in the Ancient Synagogue: Cultural Interaction during the Greco-Roman Period 1992, ed. Steven Fine (London: Routledge, 1992), 13.

[34] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 42-43.

[35] Hagner, Matt. 1-13, 73.

[36] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 43.

[37] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 45.

[38] B. T. Viviano, “Where was the Gospel according to St. Matthew Written?” CBQ 41 (1979): 533-546.

[39] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 46.

[40] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 46.

[41] Titus Flavious Josephus, The Jewish Wars, Books I-III, trans. H. St. John Thackeray, LCL (London: William Heinemann, 1927), 284-292.

[42] B. T. Viviano, “Where was the Gospel according to St. Matthew Written?” CBQ 41 (1979): 540.

[43] Burnett Hillman Streeter, Four Gospels: A Study of Origins (London: Macmillan, 1930), 502.

[44] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 47-48.

[45] G.D. Kilpatrick, The Origins of the Gospel according to St. Matthew (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1946), 130-134.

[46] Kilpatrick, The Origins of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, 48.

[47] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 49.

[48] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 49.

[49] Samuel George Frederick Brandon, The Fall of Jerusalem and the Christian Church (Manchester: Manchester University Press,1957), 226-227.

[50] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 50.

[51] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 50.

[52] W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, Matthew 1-17, ICC, vol. I (London: T. &T. Clark, 1998), 139.

[53] David C. Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian JudaismThe History and Sociological Setting of the Matthean community, ed. John Barclay & Joel Marcus(Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1998), 51.

[54] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 51.

[55] Benjamin W. Bacon, Studies in Matthew (New York: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1930), 15-23.

[56] Edessa is a Greek name and its local name is Urfa. This spot falls in between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Mesopotamia. Within this wider area, there is a small spot close to the western flank by Tigris, this place is called Osrhoene and its capital was Edessa. Robert E. Osborne, “The Provenance of Matthew’s Gospel,” Studies in Religion 3, no. 3 (1973): 220-235.

[57] Robert E. Osborne, “The Provenance of Matthew’s Gospel,” Studies in Religion 3, no. 3 (1973): 220-235.

[58] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 52.

[59] W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, Matthew 1-17, ICC, vol. I (London: T. &T. Clark, 1998), 143.

[60] John P. Meier, “Antioch,” in Antioch & Rome (New York: Paulist Press, 1982), 21.

[61] Burnett Hillman Streeter, Four Gospels: A Study of Origins (London: Macmillan, 1930), 550-523.

[62] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 53.

[63] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 53.

[64] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 53-54.

[65] Karl H. Kraeling, “The Jewish community at Antioch,” JBL 51 (1932): 130-160.

[66] France, Matthew: Evangelist and Teacher, 93.

[67] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 54.

[68] Arlo J. Nau, Peter in Matthew: Discipleship, Diplomacy and Dispraise with and Assessment of Power & Privileges in the Petrine Office (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1992), 112-138.

[69] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 181-221.

[70] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 58.

[71] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 61.

[72] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 62.

[73] W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, Matthew 1-17, ICC, vol. I (London: T. & T. Clark, 1998), 127-138.

[74] A. Cleveland Coxe, Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. vol. 1: The Apostolic Fathers, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Revised and Chronologically arranged with brief prefaces and occasional notes by A. Cleveland Coxe (New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885), 3.1.1.

[75] Shin, Matthew’s Inclusive Community, 106.

[76] France, Matthew: Evangelist and Teacher, 21.

[77] Joseph B. Tyson and Thomas R.W. Longstaff, Synoptic Abstract, vol. 15 (Ohio: College of Wooster, 1978), 169-71.

[78] Robert H. Stein, The Synoptic Problem: An Introduction (Nottingham: Inter-Varsity, 1988), 49-50.

[79] Stein, The Synoptic Problem, 53.

[80] Stein, The Synoptic Problem, 58.

[81] Shin, Matthew’s Inclusive Community, 103.

[82] Charles Cutler Torrey, The Four Gospels (London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1993), 261-262.

[83] D. A Carson, Douglas J. Moo, and Leon Morris, An Introduction to the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 97.

[84] Adolf von Harnack, The date of the Acts and the Synoptic Gospels, trans. J. R. Wilkinson(New York: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 1911), 88.

[85] Robert A. Guelich, Mark 1-8:26, WBC, 34A (Dallas, Texas: Word Book, 1989), 31.

[86] John M. Rist, On the Independence of Matthew & Mark (London: Cambridge University Press, 1978), 5-7.

[87] John A. T. Robinson, Redating the New Testament (Oregon: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1976), 106-107.

[88] Robinson, Redating the New Testament, 104.

[89] Shin, Matthew’s Inclusive Community, 106.

[90] David C. Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian JudaismThe History and Sociological Setting of the Matthean Community, ed. John Barclay and Joel Marcus(Edinburgh: T. &. T Clark, 1998), 33.

[91] Martin Hengel, Studies in the Gospel of Mark (London: SCM Press, 1985), 7-28.

[92] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 34.

[93] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 34.

[94] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 34.

[95] J. P. Meier, “Antioch,” in Antioch & Rome (New York: Paulist Press, 1982), 17-18.

[96] Meier, “Antioch,” 17-18.

[97] Meier, “Antioch,” 18.

[98] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 35.

[99] Robert Gundry, Matthew: A commentary on his Handbook for a Mixed Church Under Persecution (Michigan: Eerdmans, 1982), 436-437.

[100] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 37.

[101] Meier, “Antioch,” 21.

[102] Meier, “Antioch,” 13.

[103] Sim, The Gospel of Matthew and Christian Judaism, 40.

[104] Charles H. Talbert, Matthew (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Academic, 2010), 3.

[105] W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, Matthew 1-17, ICC, vol. I (London: T. & T. Clark, 1998), 8.

[106] W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, Matthew 1-17, 8.

[107] Vincent Taylor, The Gospels, A Short Introduction (Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 1963), 81.

[108] Donald Guthrie, New Testament Introduction (Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, 1961), 41-42.

[109] Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, WBC, vol. 33A (Dallas, Texas: Word Books Publishers, 1993), 27.

[110] S. E. Johnson, The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1951), 242.

[111] Ulrich Luz, Matthew 1-7: A Commentary, trans. Wilhelm C. Linss (Edinburgh: T. &T. Clark, 1990), 94.

[112] Luz, Matthew 1-7, 94-95.

[113] Hagner, Matthew 1-13, 33A:27.

[114] Leon Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1992), 13-14.

[115] Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, 14.

[116] Morris, The Gospel According to Matthew, 14.

[117] Talbert, Matthew, 4.

[118] Kenneth W. Clark, “The Gentile Bias in Matthew,” Journal of Biblical Literature 66, no. 2 (1947): 165.

[119] Clark, “The Gentile Bias in Matthew,” 166.

[120] Clark, “The Gentile Bias in Matthew,”166.

[121] Clark, “The Gentile Bias in Matthew,” 168.

[122] Clark, “The Gentile Bias in Matthew,” 171.

[123] Clark, “The Gentile Bias in Matthew,” 172.

[124] David C. Sim, “The Gospel of Matthew and the Gentiles,” JSNT 57 (1995): 22.

[125] T. B. Cargal, “His Blood be upon us and upon our Children: A Matthean Double Entendre?” NTS 37 (1991): 101-102.

[126] Sim, “The Gospel of Matthew and the Gentiles,” 25.

[127] Sim, “The Gospel of Matthew and the Gentiles,” 25.

[128] Sim, “The Gospel of Matthew and the Gentiles,” 25.

[129] Sim, “The Gospel of Matthew and the Gentiles,” 41.

[130] Sim, “The Gospel of Matthew and the Gentiles,” 46-47.

[131] Ernst von Dobschütz, “Matthew as Rabbi and Catechist,” in The Interpretation of Matthew 1995, ed. Graham N. Stanton (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1995), 19-29.

[132] France, Matthew: Evangelist and Teacher, 70-72 & 74-76.

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