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Matthew tells us there were two demoniacs, while Mark and Luke only mention one of the two.

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For whatever reason, Matthew simply gives us more information than Mark and Luke.
It is also the consensus position that the evangelist was not the apostle Matthew. Such an idea is based on the second century statements of Papias and Irenaeus. As quoted by Eusebius in 3.39, Papias states: "Matthew put together the oracles [of the Lord] in the Hebrew language, and each one interpreted them as best he could." In 3.1.1, Irenaeus says: "Matthew also issued a written Gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect while Peter and Paul were preaching at Rome and laying the foundations of the church." We know that Irenaeus had read Papias, and it is most likely that Irenaeus was guided by the statement he found there. That statement in Papias itself is considered to be unfounded because the Gospel of Matthew was written in Greek and relied largely upon Mark, not the author's first-hand experience.

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Why are there two demon-possessed men in the Gerasene tombs in Matthew, but only one in Mark and Luke?


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As the place of origin, Syria is still the most likely possibility. On the one hand, an association with Palestinian Judaism and its interpretation of the Law is clearly discernable; on the other hand, a full recognition of the gentile world and the admission of pagans into the post-Easter community are accepted facts. The destruction of Jerusalem plays some role; but it was not experienced firsthand, and the exodus of Christians from Jerusalem is perceptible only in the tradition borrowed from Mark, not in Matthew himself. . . But Syria is suggested by the major role assigned to Peter, esepcially his authoritative interpretation of Jesus' commands as referring to new situations (see the discussion of 16:9); for according to Acts 12:17 Peter had left Jerusalem. He was certainly in Syrian Antioch, as we know from Galatians 2:1 ff.

To set the , Ignatius of Antioch and other early writers show dependence on the Gospel of Matthew. Dependence on Mark sets a for the dating of Matthew, which should be assumed to have been written at least a decade after the gospel upon which it relies. Several indications in the text also confirm that Matthew was written c. 80 CE or later.

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This means, however, that we can no longer accept the traditional view of Matthew's authorship. At least two things forbid us to do so. First, the tradition maintains that Matthew authored an Aramaic writing, while the standpoint I have adopted does not allow us to regard our Greek text as a translation of an Aramaic original. Second, it is extremely doubtful that an eyewitness like the apostle Matthew would have made such extensive use of material as a comparison of the two Gospels indicates. Mark, after all, did not even belong to the circle of the apostles. Indeed Matthew's Gospel surpasses those of the other synoptic writers neither in vividness of presentation nor in detail, as we would expect in an eyewitness report, yet neither Mark nor Luke had been among those who had followed Jesus from the beginning of His public ministry.

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It is usually thought that Mark's Gospel was written about A.D. 65 and that the author of it was neither one of the apostles nor an eyewitness of the majority of the events recorded in his Gospel. Matthew was therefore dependent on the writing of such a man for the production of his book. What Matthew has done, in fact, is to produce a second and enlarged edition of Mark. Moreover, the changes which he makes in Mark's way of telling the story are not those corrections which an eyewitness might make in the account of one who was not an eyewitness. Thus, whereas in Mark's Gospel we may be only one remove from eyewitnesses, in Matthew's Gospel we are at one remove further still.