Matthew is believed to have written his Gospel sometime around the year 80AD.
Probably he wrote, in the first place, for a community of Jewish converts to Christianity living in Syria.
One of Matthew’s concerns is to help these people to understand how the Way of Jesus fulfils the tradition of God’s covenant with Israel.
They had fled Israel following the Jewish War in which the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, and in which the Promised Land was no longer safe for them. As Jews they had been drawn to faith in Christ, but now in exile other Jews viewed them with suspicion, believing they had betrayed their faith in the One God.
Matthew speaks into this developing context. As we will see he makes regular direct quotation from the Jewish Scriptures, showing how they are fulfilled in Jesus. And in the opening verses of the Gospel goes to some…
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