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Matthew is generally held to have been written about AD 80, although scholars have argued for dates as early as 65 and as late as 100. Tradition ascribes authorship to the Apostle Matthew, but modern scholars, acknowledging Matthew as a source, contend that a disciple or school of disciples were responsible for its present form.
Matthew is the most topical of the Synoptic Gospels. The teachings and sayings of Jesus are gathered into five thematic discourses and structured around Mark's narrative framework. Each discourse is followed by a summary statement (7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 28:1). A prologue and epilogue are added (1 - 2; 28:9 - 20). Because of the emphasis on law, teaching, and righteousness, scholars believe that Matthew was addressed to a predominantly Jewish audience, presumably in Palestine or Syria. Jesus is presented as the messianic fulfiller, especially in the role of king, and the teacher of the way of righteousness.
W G Kummel, Introduction to the New Testament (1975); J L McKenzie, "Matthew," in Jerome Biblical Commentary (1968).
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