info This commentary was written by a volunteer for our Bible translation project. It’s not an official view of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.
Some critics have claimed that the Bible’s Gospel accounts weren’t written until over a century after Jesus’ death. However, internal proofs, such as Matthew’s use of the city name Caesarea Philippi, show that this book was likely written prior to the middle of the 1st Century CE. How so?
That city, near the modern-day border of Lebanon, was only called Caesarea Philippi during the brief reign of the Herods. The common name both before and after the Herods was Panas, after the Roman god Pan, whose idol was located there.
Since this fact would have been lost to history just a few years after the Herods, it demonstrates a greater likelihood that the Gospel of Matthew had been written sometime between Jesus’ execution and 50 CE.
This city is also mentioned three times in the Gospel of Mark, which was written after 50 CE. But that Gospel (which was written in Greek for Greek-speaking proselytes) was, in our opinion, based on the writings of Matthew (before Matthew’s Gospel became available in Greek), thus we find the same use of the name.