THE HISTORY OF MATTHEW'S GOSPEL
The date of Matthew's Gospel must be prior to A.D. 70, for their is no hint in it that Jerusalem was in ruins. (All predictions of it's destruction being clearly prophetic). Such passages as 27:8 ("unto this day") and 28:15 ("until this day") argue for an interval of some lenght, but fifteen or twenty years following the Resurrection would be sufficient.
Another important aspect of the Gospel of Matthew is that it is clearly aimed at Jews, or converts to Judaism. We know this because he bases every appeal upon the witness of the Old Testament. There are more than 100 allusions to or quotations from the Old Testament. (source: The Open Bible, page 885)
It explains that the study we are doing in Matthew 28:17 to 20, was written to a group of Jews who believe only in One God (Judaism).
And when Matthew was writing the gospel A.D. 70, he already knew what he meant when he wrote "in the name". He already knew what the name of the father is, what the name of the Son is, and what the name of the Holy Ghost is. He also understood what Jesus meant of "I am he", "all power is given", "I will be with you alway", Matthew was already filled with the Holy Ghost ..."and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." - 2 Peter 1:21.
"They wrote not in words of human wisdom but in words taught by the Holy Ghost." I Corinthians 2:13.
THE HISTORY OF THE EARLY CHURCH A.D. 70
At first, the Roman government considered Christianity a legal Jewish sect. But about A.D. 70, the Romans began to persecute Christians for refusing to worship the Roman emperor. Rather than weakening the young church, persecution strenghtened it. Persecution gave believers an opportunity to prove their faith by dying for it.
The first account that started this persecution by the Romans was in Acts 4. Peter and John imprisoned because "the priest, and the Sadducess, came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead."
And Peter before the High Priest.....
And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, "By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?"
If you will read on (the whole chapter 4) the issue was teaching and preaching the name of Jesus by the Apostles. The Roman council saying, "What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable (an amazing) miracle hath been done by them is manifest (clear) to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it.
But that it spread no further among the people, let us straightly (sternly) threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name (Jesus name).
But the church continued in their salvation message, so the persecution, this time with executions applied first to Stephen, the first martyr (Acts 7:54,60)
"As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling (arresting) men and women committed them to prison."
"Therefore they (the believers) that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word (message)." - Acts 8:3,4.
The 12 Apostles also scattered, suffered from persecution, and eventually died of execution, except John who died of natural causes.
Andrew -it was in Achaia, Greece, in the town of Patra that Andrew died a martyr. He was crucified on an X-shaped cross.
Bartholomew -his death seems to have taken place in India. He was flayed alive with knives.
James -the Elder, was beheaded by Herod, A.D. 44 (Acts 12:1,2).
James -the Lesser or younger. He was crucified in Egypt, then his body was sawn in pieces.
John -He preached among the Asia Minor. Banished to the Isle of Patmos, he was later freed and died a natural death. John mellowed with time. At the latter part of his life, he had forgotten everything, including his ambition and explosive temper, except his Lord's command of love. It is said that an attempt was made on his life by giving him a chalice of poison from which God spared him.
Jude -it is said that Jude went to preach the gospel in Edessa near the Euphrates River. There he healed many and many believed in the name of Jesus. Jude went from there to preach the gospel in other places. He was killed with arrows at Ararat.
Matthew -died a martyr in Ethiopia.
Peter - was martyred on the cross, head downward, in Rome.
Philip -tradition says that he preached in Phrygia and died a martyr at Hierapolis. He died of hanging.
Simon -tradition says he was crucified.
Thomas -tradition says he labored in Parthia, Persia, and India, suffering martyrdom near Madras, at Mt. St. Thomas India. He was killed with a spear as a martyr for his Lord.
Up to about A.D. 100, these men wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21)
And when all the Apostles were dead and gone around A.D. 275, Constantine the Great declared amnesty to the remaining Christians who survived th onslaught.
continue reading to THE ROOT OF CONFUSION
Researched and Prepared by Frank Buhain
for the Christian Investigator's Account (C.I.A.)
NSW Sydney, Australia October 3,1997