The Traditional View of Matthew As Author – Arguments in Favor – Arguments Against

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Traditional Supporting View of Matthew

  • Placed first in the range of Gospels despite the fact that it was not the first to be written.
  • Contains stories not found in any other Gospel
  • Systematic way of arrangement
    • It allows the better understanding of the content
    • Quite advanced for its time
    • 5 distinct passages
    • Introductory Section as well
    • Concluding Section as well
    • Common end for each section
  • Most sayings are from older documents
    • Making them authentic for most Christians
    • Sequence is the same as Mark
      • Gives chronological validity
    • Has supported the text with sayings of Jesus
    • Better management than Luke
      • For example the Sermon on the Mount is all at one place in Matthew but in Luke it is spread all around
  • For historical Jews
    • Matthew gives more regard to the Old Testament than MOST gospels
    • He uses Old Testament to interpret the life of jesus
    • In a way, Jews think Matthew was in support of the Christianity being a sub-sect of Judaism and not a separate sect.
    • So more acceptable to the Jews than most other Gospels
  • He even writes a few events from Jesus’s life to prove that he fulfilled the Jewish Prophecy
    • Tries to create a bridge between Jewish and Christianity
  • Matthew connects Christian ancestry to Abraham
    • That makes Christianity an inherent Abrahamaic religion
  • Matthew combines teachings and narrative in a single form
    • He narrates events as in  Mark
    • Then takes pauses in between and tells Jesus’s words
    • This way, the teachings become more in line and more understandbale
  • Matthew does NOT agree with the individualistic attitude supported by Saint Paul
    • He even indirectly accuses Paul and his followers to be broken from the Kingdom of Heaven based on Jesus’s teachings.
  • Matthew was focused on ALL people, not specifically the Jews
    • It is more encompassing than most other Gospels
    • For example, different parables about common life.
  • He asks for more than formal obedience
    • He asks for the implementation of the ideas of religion in common life.
    • Formal obedience alone is not the correct motive according to him when it comes to living life according to someone’s teachings.
  • He does not polarization regarding the establishment of the Church
    • He supports both the views
      • 1. Church will be established in the future
      • 2. Already present in the hearts of people
  • It is based on temporary sources that were existent
    • Not a personal narrative
    • More authority
    • Like Logia, mark and Q source
  • Represents different point of views to avoid polarization.

Against Arguments For Matthew

  • The fact that it contains stories not found elsewhere
    • Raised questions about the authenticity of the Gospel
    • Some writers consider it to be the personal opinion of the author more than a text of historical evidence and sancticity
    • A few analysts have gone as far as to declare it a traditional work of fiction.
  • The arrangement
    • The highly systematic arrangement shows that the Gospel is a work of writing significantly than quoting reality.
    • It could very well be a work a historical dilemma one way or another.
    • The fact that it contains introductions and conclusions place it in more a formal writing contemporary than a religious text.
  • Most sayings are from TEMPORARY SOURCES
    • Some of these sources are no longer available.
      • No one has the original copy of the Logia or Q source,
      • No one knows if they REALLY existed
      • The sayings in the Gospel can be fabricated as well.
        • Jesus never said them
        • OR Jesus said different versions of the them
    • The key question here is
      • If Jesus actually said them, why didn’t the other three canonical Gospels quoted some of these sayings?
      • If they were from sources already present, they would have been quoted.
  • A rearrangement of other Gospels with fabrication
    • Most of the data in Gospel of Matthew has been taken from Mark, Luke and others and rearranged.
    • The sayings are fabricated to support the same text in a unique way.
    • It could be a thoughtful attempt to write a better version of Luke.
  • Matthew remained too neutral or too inclined to gain Jewish support
    • The views of Matthew DO NOT polarize the difference between Christianity and Judaism
    • In essence, he could have taken the optimistic approach to gain support from the majority Jews.
  • The text of Matthew focuses on sub-sect philosophy
    • The writer places Christianity as a sub-sect of Judaism and deliberately inserts stories to show the Jesus fulfilled the prophecy in Old Testament.
    • His views may have been personally biased being a Jewish Christian himself
    • No objectivity in the material: subjectivity takes over.
  • Matthew’s version places a close relation with Christian movement and Herod
    • He links the physical movement from one location to another based on Herod
      • It places Judaism as a more important and crucial determinant of Christianity
      • Takes away religious solidarity from Christianity
  • He disagrees with the notion set by Paul
    • In Christian theology, Paul’s interpretation has not been as criticized as Matthew to quote a Jesus’s reference to declare them infidel to the religion indirectly.
  • Formal obedience vs non formal obedience is a crucial determinant between Christians and different sects.
    • His ideas align with Jewish ideas of whole-hearted following
  • His views of Christian Church are vague
    • Supports both ideas.

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