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.

Matthews’s intentions are to link Jesus to the Prophesies and great Patriarchal figures such as Moses concerning the coming of the Messiah. At the start of Matthews gospel is the genealogy to show the unbroken line from Abraham through David to the husband of Mary, Joseph. I think it is worth briefly mentioning gematria here a numerological study assigned to words and letters, there appears a manipulation by Matthew counting Jechonia twice. Scholars have noted this means there are 42 generations between Abraham, Mary and Joseph, 42 has a scriptural symbolic reference to the unfolding of God’s plan. All the names in each set is 86.8, 80 is the number of salvation, and 6 is the number of man. Has Matthew left us an encrypted message, is the son of David represented by the number 14? The answer is unclear by the author but we must acknowledge the manipulation of information as Matthew trying to prove the Jewish heritage of Jesus, born of the spirit, adopted son of Joseph, son of David and son of Abraham.


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...nd reflection on the complex figure of this teacher with such powerful expression pondering deep theological interpretation. Matthew asserts the new community with the past tying Christianity to the traditions of the old, ensuring the Christian compilation of the bible in two testaments.

As a separate study it would be interesting to compare Matthews theology and Christology to the other gospel writers, especially intriguing for me would be a direct comparison with Paul.

Works Cited

Matthew’s Christian-Jewish Community Anthony J.Saldarini

Matthew John Riches

The New Moses A Matthean Typology Dale C Allison

Tyndale New Testament Commentaries Matthew R.T.France

The Theology Of The Gospel Of Matthew Ulrich Luz

What are they saying about Matthew? Donald Senior, C.P

The Oxford Bible Comentary Edited by John Barton And John Muddimen

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