"And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.'" (Matthew 28:18-20 NRSV)
With this stirring command and promise, the author of the Gospel of Matthew closes his account of the good news (euaggelion).
A reference from Papias, Bishop of Hieropolis in Asia Minor (~110 to 125 AD) is our earliest account that the gospel's anonymous author was named Matthew. The best conjecture of modern scholars is that the author was part of a Hellenized Jewish culture and lived in an early Christian community in Syria, possibly Antioch (Acts 11:26). He could write a good Greek (more elegant than the author of Mark) and was well versed in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Matthew was the favorite gospel of the early church. In the early manuscripts of the new Testament, the order of the books often varied, but Matthew was always the first gospel. It is the gospel most-quoted by the early Church fathers.
We studied Matthew in a 12 part series, using as our primary references Reading Matthew. A Literary and Theological Commentary (Reading the New Testament Commentary Series), by David E. Garland, professor of Christian Scriptures at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, and The Gospel of Matthew (Interpreting Biblical Texts Series), by Donald Senior, professor of New Testament Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Presentations were by David Monyak.
Reading Matthew. A Literary and Theological Commentary (Reading the New Testament Commentary Series), David E. Garland, Smyth & Helwys, 2001, ISBN1-57312-274
Sacra Pagina. The Gospel of Matthew. Daniel J. Harrington, S.J. The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1991. ISBN 0-8146-5803-2
The Gospel of Matthew (Interpreting Biblical Texts Series), Donald Senior, Abingdon Press, 1997, ISBN 0-687-00848-4
Commentary on Matthew, John A. Broadus, Kregel Classics, 1990, ISBN 0-8254-2283-3
"Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections on the Gospel of Matthew," by M. Eugene Boring, in: The New Interpreter's Bible. A Commentary in Twelve Volumes. Volume VIII: New Testament Articles. Matthew. Mark. Abingdon Press, 1995, ISBN 0-687-27821-X