Dating the gospel of matthew
A lot of people ask the question, "Why do I need to know all of this contextual stuff about the Bible?
The only tradition we have is that Matthew wrote this book." I like to say a text without a context is just a pretext for whatever you want it to mean.The problem is that all ancient texts are given in certain kinds of historical, literary, rhetorical, archeological, religious context, and those contexts are all different from ours.I think we can have a lot of confidence that Matthew, the apostle Matthew, really is the author of the Gospel of Matthew, though some scholars today doubt that.For one thing, we know that the early church fathers were very skeptical — in fact, that's an understatement actually — that they were absolutely opposed to accepting forgeries as being authentic, canonical works, as belonging to the inspired collection of Scriptures.
First, we'll consider the background of Matthew's book.