The Gospel of Matthew is ascribed to the Apostle Matthew. He was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. The early church fathers suggested indisputably Matthew as the author of the book. But in the recent time, there are many questions raised over the authorship of the book. The author has not imprinted his name, neither does the book clearly identifies him. Matthew also has not claimed to be the author. If speaking meticulously, the Gospel of Matthew is fundamentally anonymous.
Indeed, one of the major Greek manuscripts has the title “According to Matthew,” yet, it is not sure if the original document bears the same title. J. Knox Chamblin wonders that the title did not belong to the original documents, because modern day findings of the first century history reveal that the subscribed title was originated no later than 140 A.D. However, we should not forget that people in Jesus’ time would not attribute their names for authorship. Instead, some scribes would author and dedicate their work on someone’s name. That is why we have several pseudepigrapha, falsely attributed work to a significant person of the past, as extra biblical materials.
The Matthew could not have been written earlier than 40 A.D. and after A.D. 100. Since the first of four gospels, “Mark cannot be earlier than A.D. 40, for Caligula’s attempt to profane the temple is reflected in ch. 13; John, the latest of the Gospels, cannot be dated long after the year 100, for a papyrus fragment of it, found in upper Egypt, has been assigned to the second century by competent papyrologist.” When we try to date in between 40 to 100, the most likely result would be around A.D. 65-70. Elwell and Yarbrough affirm that the A.D. 70 is the most certainly correct. Bearing some first century historical events and writings of the early Church Fathers in our mind, we can safely put the gospel of Mathew in around A.D. 70.
Internal Evidences for Authorship
With some references from the text itself, the authorship of the gospel is established by scrutinizing the internal evidences within the passages. The writings reflect so much of Jewish school of thought. “The fact of his Jewish standpoint is further indicated by his Old Testament quotations.” The author has applied the Scripture from the Old Testament in an orderly way suggests he was trained in Jewish school of thought, so he had good understanding of Jewish methods of writing. A Gentile Christian could not have described the relationship of Jesus to the Jews so deliberately and clearly.
External Evidences for Authorship
The internal evidences, however, does not tell explicitly who the author was rather than indicating that he was a Jewish Christian. Still, the internal evidences do not nullify the supposition of Apostle Matthew being an author though. Moreover, we have many references from the early church fathers attesting Apostle Matthew as the author. Among the Church Fathers, Papias, Irenaeus, Origen, Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome are worth quoting who attested and quoted Matthew in their early writings. The gospel that bears the name of Matthew is identified by these Fathers.
According to Papias (circa A.D. 130), Matthew composed the gospel in the Hebrew language and later he himself interpreted it into Greek. Irenaeus (circa A.D. 180) adds, “Now Matthew among the Hebrews published a writing of the Gospel in their own language, while Peter and Paul were preaching the gospel in Rome and founding the Church.” Origen also confirms in the same tone of Irenaeus that “Matthew, who was once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of Jesus Christ,” a Jewish Christian composed in Hebrew. Eusebius (circa A.D. 330) writes that Panaenus (circa A.D. 190) himself found the Gospel of Matthew on the hands of the newly converted Christians in India whom Bartholomew preached and left behind the copy of Matthew which was in the Hebrews. All of these external evidences do not only verify the authorship of the gospel but also invite conflict about the language Matthew might have used originally to record the teachings and life of Jesus Christ. Since we do not have an original manuscript in order to confirm the original language of the book, it has evidently some substantial variations if we presume that the book was written in Hebrew. Nobody has seen it yet. Craig L. Blomberg suggests that the original manuscript is not unlikely in Hebrew, but the highest probability would be to say that Matthew himself or some other Greek-speaking Christian scribe would have later interpreted in incorporation with Mark and other hypothetical document (Q) into Greek.
Place of Writing
The writing styles, use of Jewish framework and method, and treatment of the historical issues from Jewish perspective largely exhibits the recipients are primarily the Jewish Christians. Blomberg also admits that the external evidences consistently corroborate that Jewish Christians are the main target group of this gospel. The fact is that the Gentile Christians who often are also addressed in the gospel cannot be overlooked. The modern scholars have conjectured most likely places from where the book was originated or they were destined to. The proposed possible regions of the origin of the books are Syria, especially center of Antioch or Sepphoris in Galilee. Majority of scholars takes side one of these two proposed places. Some view some of the later works of Ignatius’s letters and the Didache have supposedly similar characteristics and structure as of the Gospel of Matthew, thereby warranting justly to be suggested as the origin of the place of writing. On the other hand, the proposal of suggesting its origin of place as Palestinian region is not surprising, as the entire Gospel has Jewish characteristics and feelings in its writing which could have only come out of Jewish mind that was written for Jews in mind.
 Chamblin, J. K. “Matthew.” Baker Commentary on the Bible. Ed. Walter A. Elwell. 4th ed. (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2008), 719.
 George Arthur Buttrick, ed. The Interpreter’s Bible: the Holy Scriptures in the King James and Revised Standard Versions with General Articles and Introduction, Exegesis, Exposition for Each Book of the Bible: Matthew. Vol. 7 (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury, 1951), 240. Print.
 Walter A. Elwell and Robert W. Yarbrough, Encountering the New Testament: A Historical and Theological Survey (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2005), 79.
 H.D.M. Spence-Jones, and Joesph S. Exell, eds. The Pulpit Commentary: St. Matthew. 1st ed., Vol. 1. (Chicago: Wilcox & Follett Co., 1950) XI. Print.
 Ibid, XIV.
 Ibid, XV.
 Ibid, XV.
 Ibid, XV.
 Craig L. Blomberg, Jesus and the Gospels: an Introduction and Survey. 2nd ed. (Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Academic, 2009), 154. Print.
 Ibid, 150. Print.
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