Some interesting aspects of Matthew:

Length: Twenty-eight chapters

Date of Composition: Between 80-90 CE

Author: The title of this gospel was added long after its original composition. It is unlikely that Matthew, one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus, was the actual author. It is more likely that the name Matthew was attached to the writing to add canonical authenticity at a later date. We do know that the author incorporated almost all of the Gospel of Mark into his own writing, and as well as many of the traditional sayings of Jesus (Q source), and then he added a significant amount of his own material.

Matthew’s gospel begins with a genealogy of Jesus, tracing his ancestral lineage through King David and all the way back to Abraham.

Matthew is one of two gospels (the other being Luke) which includes an infancy narrative about Jesus. As we approach the Christmas season, it is interesting to notice some of the differences between the two:

-Matthew focuses on Joseph, and his dream when he is told not to divorce Mary (1:19-25)

-Matthew tells us about the visit of the wise men after Jesus’ birth (2:1-12)

-Matthew tells us about the family’s flight to Egypt to escape Herod (2:13-23)

 

Matthew emphasizes Jesus as the ultimate fulfillment of Jewish prophecy. Notice how Matthew uses variations of the written formula “this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophets.” (1:22, 2:5, 2:15, 2:17, 4:14, 5:17, 8:17, 12:17, 13:14, 13:35, 21:4, 26:54, 26:56, 27:9)

Matthew is the only gospel where Jesus talks specifically about the “church” (16:17-20; 18:15-21)

Scholars note that there are five distinct sections where Jesus gives lengthy sermons or discourses in Matthew

-The Sermon On The Mount (chapters 5-7)

-The Missionary Discourse (chapter 10)

-The Parables of the Kingdom (chapter 13)

-The Community Discourse (chapter 18)

 The Eschatological (end times) Discourse (24-25)

 

At the end of the Gospel of Matthew we find the great commission, a continual re-minder to us of our own mission as followers of Jesus Christ: (Matthew 28:18-20)