The name Matthew comes from the Greek Maththaios, which is derived from the Hebrew or Aramaic Mattiyah. His name means “gift of Yahweh” or simply “gift of God.” Saint Matthew was one of the twelve apostles and he wrote the Gospel according to Matthew. Although he was a publican, it is said the Saint Matthew was a Jew. Before his conversion, he was a publican, which was a tax collector, by profession. Not much is really known about Matthew later on in his life. His beginning of apostolic activity started in the communities of Palestine. He wrote for his countrymen in Palestine and composed his Gospel in his native Aramaic. This is refereed to as the “Hebrew tongue” which is mentioned in the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. It was written to convince Jewish readers that their anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus. His death was uncertain. It is not known weather he died of natural causes or was martyred. There is a disagreement as to the place of St. Matthew's
Martyrdom and the kind of torture inflicted on him, therefore it is not known whether he was burned, stoned, or beheaded. He is the patron of bankers and his feast day is September 21st. St. Matthew is represented under the symbol of a winged man, carrying in his hand a lance as a characteristic emblem.
II. Structure and Content of Matthew’s Gospel
Early Christian writers believed that the book of Matthew was the earliest of the synoptic Gospels. They believed that he wrote the Gospel in Palestine, just before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Although this opinion is still held by some, most scholars consider the Gospel According to Mark the earliest Gospel. They believe, based on both external and internal evidence, that the author of Matthew used Mark as one of his two major sources and a hypothetical collection of Jesus' sayings called Q as the second. They doubt though that the apostle Matthew wrote the book. Whoever the actual author was, he is identified as Jewish in origin, because his Gospel contains many references to Jewish Scripture, law, and ways of life. Although not clear, some authorities think it was Palestine, and others think is was another early Christian center, possibly the city of Antioch, where it was written.
Matthew’s Gospel has been understood as Jewish-Christian in outlook. Matthew had a number of purposes for writing the Gospel. One was “to instruct and exhort members of his community.” He has two broad categories of material: narrative and discourse. Many scholars...