Timing of the writing of the book of Matthew varies. Some think that it was written around 50 A.D. but others place it as late as the 70’s. One factor in the dating is whether Jesus truly predicts the fall of Jerusalem or whether it was written after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. An earlier date is geiven by those who believe in the authenticity of the miracles of Jesus.
Why is a date important? It gives us an idea of what was going on at that time. THe power of Rome was in its prime. The Jewish Christians were still finding their feet in the larger world. They had to stand up to their Jewish friends and also stand up to the Romans. Roman culture brought peace and ease of travel. It allowed for religious plurality, but it did not allow for Christianity and despised the in-fighting between traditional Jews and those of the new Christian sect.
- When was Matthew written?
- What was the major power at the time?
- What was the position of Jewish Christians at this time?
- How is our time similar to that of Palestine?
- Why is there tolerance for all faiths, but increasing descrimination against Christians and their beliefs today?