Themes in matthew Essay

Submitted By georgecpearce
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Pages: 4

Themes and Characteristics in Matthew’s Gospel

Theme
Notes
Important Scholars/ Bible quotes
Organisational patterns
Matthew seems rather fond of arranging his material in numerical patterns. Some think that Matthew arranged the main teachings of Jesus into five discourses, or blocks, to correspond to the five books of Moses.
In the genealogy which begins Matthew’s gospel (1:1- 17) there are fourteen generations corresponding to the number of King David’s name – in Hebrew each letter has a numerical value and DVD (there are no vowels in Hebrew) equals 4+6+4

Peter receives special prominence
Matthew includes a number of stories featuring Peter that are not found elsewhere.
Peter finds a coin I a fishes mouth (17:24- 27) to pay his and Jesus’ taxes; he asks Jesus about forgiveness (18:21- 22) and Peter is called ‘the rock on which I will build my church’ (16:17- 20)
The Church
Matthew is the only gospel in which Jesus talks explicitly about the church. He wants to emphasise that the church did not begin after his resurrection, but was installed by Jesus himself.
Peter is the rock on which the church will be built and in 18:15- 18 Matthews provides instruction about sorting out issues of church discipline.

Pro-Judaism
Matthew, in many ways, is the most Jewish of the gospels.
Jesus came for the ‘lost sheep of the house of Israel’ (15:24) and during Jesus’ lifetime the disciples are commanded to ‘go nowhere among the Gentiles’ (10:5). The Torah is enforced, ‘not an iota or dot shall pass away from the law’ (5:18), and even the Pharisees are said to ‘sit on Moses’ seat’ (23:2-3). All of these passages are peculiar to Matthew, suggesting he wishes to enforce, not contradict, Judaism and giving, perhaps, a hint if his Jewish- Christian origins.

Anti-Judaism
It is curious, given the pro- Judaism stance of Matthew, that he is also violently opposed to Judaism. He regards the Jewish religious leaders with great hostility. There is a strong note that God will reject and punish them rather than God.
They are a ‘brood of vipers’ (12:34; 23:33), evil (9:4; 12:34; 16:4) and suggests that they are on the side of the devil (15:13; 13:24-30).– ‘the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to the people that produce the fruits of the Kingdom’ (21:34). During the trials the Jews accept full responsibility for the death of Jesus in uttering the chilling line ‘his blood be on us and on our children!’ (27:25) – a verse which, for millennia, has been used to justify the persecution of the Jews.
The Law
As far as Matthew is concerned, the Old Testament laws are still in effect.
5:18 implies that not even the punctuation of the Law is to be abolished. Matthew ignores Mark’s declaration that all foods are declare clean (Mk 7:19 cf. Mt 15:17) suggesting such rules were not a feature of his community. The Sermon on…