POSTED 24 OCTOBER, 2017
Approximate date: early-to-mid 70s C.E., possibly into the 80s C.E.
Time period: the conception/birth of Yeshua to the ascension of Yeshua
Author: Matthew the disciple
Location of author: Phoenicia, Transjordan, Alexandria, Syrian Antioch (all debated)
Target audience and their location: the Jewish Diaspora, possibly Antioch
Theological Summary: While Matthew is canonically listed as the first of the Gospels in the Apostolic Scriptures, there are a significantly large number of scholars and theologians who do not think that it was the first Gospel compiled. Yet, while Markan priority is often now adhered to in New Testament studies, throughout Christian history the Gospel of Matthew has not only been extremely valued, but it has practically eclipsed the three other Gospels in terms of both its appropriation in liturgy and theological/spiritual examination. While teaching from the four Gospels does seem to be a bit more even among interpreters today, the Gospel of Matthew continues to be highly regarded and remains a key source of much instruction, reflection, and contemporary application for Messiah followers.
An undeniable feature recognized by almost all readers, is that the Gospel of Matthew demonstrates the most Jewish character of the four Gospels, and that the primary readership of Matthew’s Gospel was Jewish. This is evidenced by the fact that Yeshua’s ancestry from the Patriarchs of Israel is documented (1:1-17); the author does not explain Jewish customs or traditions in the text (which can differ in comparison to Mark and Luke); he makes references to God as “Heaven” or “the Kingdom of Heaven” consistent with First Century Jewish practice that avoided usage of the Divine Name YHWH; and the author emphasizes Yeshua as the “Son of Man” or the “Son of David.” The author wants his readers to know in no uncertain terms that Yeshua is the Messiah and the anticipated King of Israel.
As a Messianic Believer, do you have a problem reading the New Testament? When you read the Apostolic Scriptures, are you confused when you encounter the Gospels, Acts, or Epistles? Have you possibly been taught that the “New Testament” replaces the “Old Testament,” and that there are contradictions between the two, only to be reconciled by the coming of Yeshua? Do you have difficulty reconciling the words of the Torah to Yeshua, Peter, Paul, John, and the other Apostles?
If you have ever asked any of these questions, it is time that you receive a re-introduction to the Apostolic Scriptures. These texts record the ministry and teachings of Yeshua the Messiah, the history of the First Century Messianic community, and the challenges that the early Believers in Yeshua faced. These texts are not contrary to the Torah, but do continue God’s progressive story that begins in Genesis. They have valuable lessons that every Messianic Believer and Messianic congregation must learn in this hour, as the Messianic community grows and matures.
A Survey of the Apostolic Scriptures for the Practical Messianic takes you on a journey through the New Testament from a distinct Messianic point of view. The student, in company with his or her study Bible, is asked to read through each text of the Apostolic Scriptures, jotting down characters, place names, key ideas, and reflective questions. Each book of the New Testament is then summarized for its compositional data and asks you questions to get a good Messianic feel for the text. This workbook can be used for both personal and group study, and will be a valuable aid for any Messianic Believer wanting to study the whole Bible on a consistent basis.