Matthew was a tax collector that was called by Jesus in Mt. 9:9-13.

The books of Mark and Luke call Matthew, Levi. In Mt. 10:3 when the disciples are listed by name Matthew refers to himself as "Matthew the tax collector." In a similar list Luke and Mark do not mention his previous occupation when Mark and Luke simply call him "Matthew " (Mk. 3:18; Luke 6:15).



Matthew was written around 50 AD. Our first recorded quote of the book of Matthew is by Ignatius in 110. We have manuscripts from around 66 AD which contain Matthew 3:9, 15; 5:20-22, 25-28; 26:7-8, 10, 14-15, 22-23, 31. Some critics believe that Matthew used the book of Mark which was written around 65 AD, and so, Matthew could not have been written until around 70 AD or later.



Matthew wrote to the Jewish people. Matthew refers to Jewish customs and locations with out providing an explanation which indicates he assumed his readers were familiar with these. Matthew uses 129 OT quotes in his book.



The purpose of Matthew's book is to demonstrate that Jesus was the Messiah that the Jews were waiting for. So the details of Jesus life and ministry will prove in this book that Jesus fulfilled the prophecies, the expectation and the divine requirements needed to be the Messiah.


Eusebius, a church historian around 325, quotes Origen (220 AD):


            "Among the four gospels, which are the only indisputable ones in the Church of God under heaven, I have learned by tradition that the first was written by Matthew, who was           once a publican, but afterwards an apostle of          Jesus Christ, and it was prepared for the converts from Judaism."


Eusebius also records a quote from Papis (135 AD):


            "Matthew composed (or, compiled, arranged) the logia (or, sayings, Gospel) in Hebrew (or, Aramaic) language (or, style) and everyone translated them as he was able."


Irenaeus, in Gaul (135) wrote:


            "Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect, while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome, and laying the foundations of the Church."


Location of Writing

Antioch in Syria (Paul and Barnabus' church) is a good guess. Evidence to support this is that the earliest quote from Matthew's Gospel comes from the bishop of Antioch, Ignatius. Antioch also had a very large Jewish population with many of the Jews being members of the church there. It may have been written to strengthen the local assembly of believers first, and then used by evangelists as an apologetic source of information.



This book has universally been accepted as belonging to the inspired works of the apostles.


Chapter Organization of Matthew

Chapter 1-10 Jesus presents himself to the Jews as their King.

Chapter 11-13 The Jewish leaders reject Jesus.

Chapter 14-20 Jesus withdraws from crowd and prepares his disciples.

Chapter 21-27 Jesus is rejected by the Jewish nation but rises from the dead to send

the Jewish disciples to the Gentile nations.



Narrative Chapters

Five Discourses

1:1- 2:12





Foundation of Kingdom





Sermon on the Mount



Proclaiming the Kingdom





Evangelism & Discipleship



Conflict with the Kingdom





Parables of the Kingdom



Preparing for the Gentiles





Life and Character of the Kingdom



Final Conflict and Rejection





Eschatology: The Coming of the Kingdom



Crucifixion and Resurrection




Matthew 1:1-17 Jesus' Genealogy

          - a bridge between the OT and the NT


1:1- "A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham."


"a record of the genealogy" is "biblos geneseos" . "Biblos" is where we get our word Bible" from and it means "book" or "record". The word "geneseos" is the source of words like "genealogy" or "genesis (which means origin or beginning). The could accurately be translated: "a record of the genealogy", "the book or the genealogy" (ESV), "record of origins", "book of history".


If we are to guess what this phrase refers to we could apply and translate it to:

            1. "record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ" refers only to 1:1-17

            2. "record of the origins of Jesus Christ" refers to 1:1-2:23

            3. "book of the history of Jesus Christ" refers to the entire book of Matthew

This phrase is used twice in the LXX:

            1. Genesis 2:4 in reference to the account of creation

            2. Genesis 5:1 in reference to the genealogy of Adam to Noah

Luke's genealogy is recorded "backwards" when compared to the Jewish style used in Matthew. Luke uses the Greek/Roman style which begins with the living person and moves back. Luke 3:23 says "so it was thought" that Joseph was the father of Jesus.


"Christ" is a translation of the Greek "christos" which means anointed one. "Christos" is used in the LXX to translate the Hebrew word for "anointed one" or "Messiah." The term for "anointed one" in the OT was used to refer to the priests, the king, the Persian king Cyrus (Isaiah 45:1) and the promised Anointed One, or the Messiah, the Christ. 


Matthew uses  "Christ" (18 times) as a title for Jesus as in "Jesus is the Christ."


"Son of David" is used throughout the book of Matthew. David had a covenant with God in Psalm 89:29 and 2 Samuel 7:12-16 that included a son and a throne that would be established forever. Since Jesus was the Son of David he was legally a potential to fulfill these promises.


Isaiah mentions a "son" again in Isaiah 9:6-7 who will reign on David's throne forever. Isaiah then lists these titles for the son:

            1. Wonderful Counselor

            2. Mighty God

            3. Everlasting Father

            4. Prince of Peace


"Son of Abraham" is important because it brings to mind the original covenant made with the Jewish people - Genesis 12:1- 3; 17:7; 22:18. Through the line of Abraham "all nations" would be blessed. It is through Jesus this will take place. In fact, Matthew ends his book, 28:19, with Jesus sending his disciples to "all nations"  with the blessing of the Good News. Notice these words recorded by Matthew:

            1. John the Baptist in 3:9, "I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham."

            2. Jesus in 8:11, "I say to you that many will come from the east and  the    west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."


2:17 - Jesus' genealogy

            1. It showed that Jesus was in line to be the Messiah

            2. It shows how even in the Messiah's linage the Gentiles where not rejected. The line is consistently connected with Jewish males, but the Gentiles have entered it four times                with women.


Geneaolgy was important to maintain a person's identification with Israel, a tribe, the royal line or the Levitical priesthood. For example see the occupational loss in Ezra 2:61-63. Lineage was important for the average Jew to gain access into the temple for worship. Where would Matthew have gotten these records?

            1. 1 Chronicles 1-3

            2. Ruth 4:12-22

            3. After the return for exile the records would have been available in the temple. Josephus calls this the "public registers" and Josephus has access to them. These records                                  were kept in the temple until 70 AD, at least. Rabbi Hillel (30 BC09 AD) from the time right before Jesus was a descendent of David according to the scrolls found in                                    Jerusalem.

            4. Even after 70 AD, Emperor Domitian (81-96 AD) ordered the descendants of David to be killed.