Possible Reasons Why Matthew’s Gospel was Written | O Level Religious Studies and IGCSE Religious Studies

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The post does not represent the personal beliefs of the author. It just follows the syllabus content of Religious Studies subject of O Level and IGCSE.

  • Jewish Readership
    • The most important focus of the Matthew was to communicate the ideas to the Jewish population of the area where the author was situated
      • It was intended to the people in a small area
      • People of Jewish origin
      • The writer himself was a Jewish Christian
      • Remember
        • Mark was written to the people of Rome
        • Luke was written to the people of Theophilus
        • John was written to Gentile Christians
    • It was an attempt to convince Jews that the definite Messiah has arrived
      • How?
        • He quotes some stories to specifically prove this point
        • Uses Old Testament ideas to interpret the life of Jesus at multiple points.
        • Refers to both texts and Prophets who spoke about the birth of Jesus
        • Main verses 5 – 15 and 16-22
      • He also relates all aspects of Jesus’s life to different prophecies to prove his point.
    • It attempts to address the relationship between Christianity and Judaism and built a bridge to make Jews more accepting of the new faith
    • He proves the presumptive and definite assumptions for the Messiah
      • Proving that Jesus was from the people of Israel i.e. a descendant of Prophet David.
    • Remember
      • It was not the wider Jewish audience
      • It was instead the audience that lived closer to the homeland of Matthew
    • It focused on taking benefit of the Social reconstruction of Jews after the fall of the Second Temple to make them more admiring of Christianity
    • The Pharisees had increased in importance since Jesus
      • They weren’t really strong In Jesus’s lifetime.
      • They became powerful afterwords.
      • Matthew evidently created a group through his work of Jewish Christians who will argue with Pharisees Jews over the future of Judaism.
      • Because if Jewish Christians turn out to be correct and Jesus was in fact the Messiah, then he had to be followed by all Jews, including Pharisees.
        • Pharisees were against this and denounced Jesus as the Messiah
    • Jewish Christians DO NOT denounce the Torah
      • Matthew quotes that Jesus says he has not come to destroy other religions
        • Another aspect of presumptive messiah
    • Matthew even goes as far as presenting Jesus to be like Moses
      • A reincarnation of some sort.
  • Messiah Concept
    • One other reason for writing the Gospel of Matthew was the pin point the fulfillment of prophecy.
      • The prophecies that Jesus was in fact the Jewish Messiah
      • Linked to old testament.
      • The church considered it a way to bring Jews to Christianity.
  • The Connection to the coming of Jesus
    • It tries to prove everything in a way that links it to the Jewish prophecies.
    • For example, proving the link to Prophet David by citing the 41 generations in between.
    • In other words, it is determined to prove Jesus as the rightful Messiah.
    • In 1:1, Jesus is directly called son of David or a direct ancestor.
  • Proving the Fulfillment of the Assumption
    • For example, it mentions in Matt 1:22-23 that the prophecy of the birth to a virgin was fulfilledĀ  by Jesus’s birth. This prophecy was made in Isaiah 7:14
    • Similarly, the escape of Jesus’s family to Egypt mentioned in Matthew 2:15 fulfills the prophecy mentioned in Hosea 11:1
    • Another aspect is the ministry of Galilee mentioned in Isaiah 9:2 that Matt 4:14-16 proves was done by Jesus
  • Jesus to be presented as the new savior of people of Israel
    • Shown in Matt 4:1-11 that Jesus will connect people to each other. and create the wider Israel.
    • Similarly, it focuses on the idea of Servant of Lord mentioned in Old Testament as well.

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