Sorry to be so long in getting back to you. The following is a
summary of the reasons for an Antiochan provenance, each of which
needs further explication. But for what it is worth, here's my
1 .Patristic testimony re: Jerusalem, while deemed incorrect has a
negative value of demonstrating that noone thought Matthew came from
anywhere else except the East.
2. It is doubtful that it would have been accepted so early and so
widely unless one of the larger, more important churches sponsored
it. Since Rome, Ephesus, Alexandria, and Jerusalem all have very
important reasons against them, that leaves Antioch.
3. Peter's status in Matthew accords with his standing in Antioch,
said to be the first bishop there. Not a strong argument on its own,
but it fits the pattern.
4. Antioch had both a large Jewish population as well as being the
site of the earliest Gentile missions, Matthew more than the other
gospels reflects this duality.
5. Only in Antioch did the official stater equal 2 didrachmae, Matt
6. The two texts which seem to refer to Matthean tradition (in the
one case to the text of Matthew in the other case possibly to the
text, but more likely to M material) are the letters of Ignatius,
bishop of Antioch and the Didache whose provenance is also Syria or
northern Palestine thus placing Matthew fairly firmly in those areas
at the end of the first century.
7. We know that in the third century there was a school in Antioch
which claimed to go back to ancient times which had several OT
textual traditions available, if the tradition is true, then this
accords with both the Matthean citations of the OT as well as
the "Matthean School" tradition; particularly since members of this
Antioch school are said to have known Hebrew and Greek, which again
points out a strong parallel with the author of Matthew.
8. There are some strong similarities between the Lucianic text of
the Hebrew Bible and Matthew's citations of OT texts in some
instances. Lucian lived and worked in Antioch and is believed to have
worked with an Ur-Lucianic text, i. e. one of the above mentioned OT
traditions to which author Matthew had access.
9. One of the concerns within the Matthean text is a conservative
approach to the Torah which again accords well with Antioch as well
10. The text also seems to be concerned to react against some of the
material coming out of Yavneh, which again places it in an area which
Yavneh had some influence, thus northern Palestine and Syria, and
11. The community described in Matthew has usually been understood as
a wealthy one, which rules out Palestine after the war of 70.
These are culled from multiple sources, and I originally sent them to
Peter Kirby in an online discussion on some list or other; Kirby was
kind enough to include them in his discussion of Matthew at his Early
CHristian Writings site, from which I have restolen them. For what
its worth then....