The Birth of Jesus According to Matthew.
The first Gospel presented in the New Testament of the Christian Bible is the Gospel of Matthew. Said to have been written in Syria during the last third of the first century, it is most likely the third of the four Gospels created (Brown: Messiah 45). Like that of Luke's, Matthew's Gospel draws its content from the Gospel of Mark, the elusive "Q" source, and from stories and other preexisting information from Pagan, Jewish and Christian sources (Wilkinson: 165). In Matthew's description of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, this diverse inclusion of sources is noticed. .
Having been created in Syria, Matthew's Gospel is centered around references to aspects of the religious beliefs of the people of his community. During the latter half of the first century in Syria, there was a mainly Jewish and Gentile population present there (Brown: Messiah 45). Because both these groups inhabited the Serian area, the author of Matthew constructed the material presented in the infancy narrative with details that favored many aspects present in the beliefs of the majority of the community. Intended for an audience of Jews and Gentile, Matthews Gospel was organized in a way that it mirrored many important aspects of both group's religions. This allowed the people of Matthew's community to relate the text to certain beliefs and traditions that existed in either of their religions. .
The evangelist attributed to Matthew's Gospel is believed to have been a Greek speaking Jewish-Christian and a former scribe (Brown: Messiah 45). With his experience in writing, Matthew's author was able to construct the story of the birth of Jesus in a clear-cut and comprehendible fashion for both groups.
The text was written after the Jewish revolt and the destruction of the Jewish temple and of Jerusalem. In an attempt to insure the stability and divinity of the Christian religion to individuals who lived in an anti-Christian society, the evangelist describes the birth of Christ with an emphasis on Jesus" importance to the Jewish religion, along with the beliefs of the Gentiles in the Matthean commmunity.