An Orientation to the Gospel of St. Matthew

Date: 1/5/2020
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Topic: Bible Matthew
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

The Audience of Matthew - Matthew was written in the earliest Jewish/Jerusalem era of the Church (38 AD?) before Gentile inclusion, during the leadership of James bar Zebedee (martyred in Acts 12). It was originally written to that audience in Aramaic (Heb.) and later an edition in Greek. It is the first NT book and the first Gospel.

The Artistry of Matthew - Matthew is like a fine painting or tapestry with great depth and texture. It is masterful as a presentation of Messiah Jesus as the fulfillment of the hope of Israel, written by this wayward, but repentant tax collector (10:3; Levi cf Gen. 29:34). It is arranged around five speeches by Jesus which reflect the whole of Israel and the Hebrew Scriptures.


  • Matthew is not only the first Gospel, it is the first book written in the New Testament (NT). A late NT manuscript says “Matthew was written in Hebrew eight years after our Lord’s Ascension” (Minuscule 13 cf Wiki; cf Eusebius).
  • Augustine says, “Matthew is reckoned to have written in the Hebrew language.”
  • St. Bartholomew (apostle) refers to a copy of the Aramaic Matthew in India, and Jerome (b. 347) also saw an Aramaic Matthew.
  • The manuscripts and lists of the NT, as well as the fathers, unanimously thought Matthew was written first (Papias 70-163 AD; Muratorian Fragment, Ireneaus, Origen, Jerome, Augustine, etc.).
  • As RT France said, “There is a distinctly ‘Semitic’ touch to some of Matthew’s Greek.”
  • Jerome said: “Matthew, the tax collector with the cognomen Levi, is the first of all to have published a gospel in Judea in the Hebrew tongue. It was produced for the sake of those Jews who had believed in Jesus and who were serving the true Gospel at a time when the shadow of the Law had not disappeared”... "But who later translated it into Greek is not known” (Illus. Men, 36).
  • The Outline used is based on Peter J. Leithart, The Four: A Survey of the Gospels.
Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more