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Matthew\’s life was dramatically changed by his encounter with Jesus. Before becoming Jesus\’ disciple, Matthew aka Levi was a Jewish tax collector. From the perspective of the Jews, Jewish tax collectors were traitors (due to their relationship with Rome) and thieves because they often collected more taxes than what Rome demanded and pocketed the difference. Matthew not only became one of Jesus\’ 12 disciples, but wrote the Gospel of Matthew which most scholars agree was directed toward the Jewish people. Because Matthew references the temple before it was destroyed in 70 A.D. (see, Matt, 24:2), many scholars maintain the book was written in the 50s-60s A.D. (i.e., about 20-30 years after Jesus was crucified). Other scholars disregard this verse and date Matthew\’s gospel in the 80s or 90s.

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