Essay about The Portrayal of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel

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Most people would agree that Matthews’s gospel is the most Jewish of the four gospels. This first century Jewish writer, set within the Jewish tradition, wants the reader to learn about Jesus, the one he called Messiah. It is thought the work of Matthews’s gospel is unlikely to be a translator; there is no evidence to say if it is the same, Matthew mentioned in the gospel. We can say for certain the author was a Jew. And safely dated to the last quarter of the first century; the Didache and Ignatius of Antioch reference Matthew’s gospel in the first part of the second century. The gospel of Matthew appears to have a dependence on Mark with early rabbinic Judaism possibly trying to consolidate itself after the Jewish war.

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God’s plans for his people are now laid out through Jesus the true Israel. Throughout Matthews gospel the theme of fulfilment is noticeable with ten distinct quotes, regarding prophets saying “then was fulfilled” or “this was to fulfil”. Matthew names the prophet concerned in half of the quotes. Of the ten quotes all but one are unique to Matthew and interestingly some scholars believe them to be inserted into the text, on the basis when removed the text of the gospel carries on seamlessly. C.F.D Moule comments this was a symptom of discovery, Jesus fulfilled on a deeper level what was in the basic whole of scripture.

I think it is worth mentioning a study by Dale C Allison who has developed an approach to Matthews’s gospel where there are typological allusions to Moses; his argument depends on the strength of Jewish literature before Matthew. These allusions of Jesus to Moses are not explicit but are for the reader to notice them self. What is the implication of this on our understanding of Matthew’s Christology? Matthew is attempting to root the new permission in the old, pouring new wine into old wineskins. Allison claims Matthew is drawing on the typological traditions which would have been quite normal at that time, these being interchangeable with Moses, the prophet king, miracle worker, Messiah, mediator of Israel, giver of Torah and suffering servant. Moses is set not as the rival to Jesus but his
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