New Testament, Summary of Each Book

Research Notebook
Religion 112
Mount Olive College
Michael Olsen

The Gospel According to Matthew
While there are numerous theories about when this gospel was written, the Harper Collins Study Bible states that it was probably written between 80-90 A.D. Harpers Collins states that according to the Two Source Theory, one of the sources for the author of this gospel as the Gospel According to Mark, which was probably written in the late 60's to early 70's C.E. This means that it almost certainly was not written by the disciple Matthew, as he would probably be deceased by then.
Since it is likely that Matthew was deceased, it leads to a question of who the writer of this gospel actually was.   It is believed that a multilingual Israelite who has intimate familiarity with Jewish traditions wrote this Gospel, and that Matthew was honored within this writers circle (Duling, Dennis C. “The Gospel of Matthew”, in Aune, David E. (ed.) (2010). The Blackwell companion to the New Testament).
The Gospel According to Matthew was written (likely) during the 1st century C.E. During that time, Palestine was still under Roman rule. People were set up within a hierarchical system, with a ruling “elite” and a lower (or common) class, with no middle class. Some of the elite included the Roman rulers (i.e., governors, centurions, local aristocrats) and the Jewish religious sects (i.e. Pharisees, Sadducees,   the scribes). Lowers castes included (among others) prostitutes, tax collectors, and fishermen. The higher classes believed that a person that wished to be included in their ranks should act a certain way and only socialize with certain types of people.
It appears as if Matthew was written to justify Jesus as the Messiah to the Jews. It tracks is ancestry from Abraham through David and all the following kings of Israel. He also includes a number of references back to his lineage, such as in Matthew 21:15, when Jesus was cleansing the temple and the children were crying...