Exploring Anti-Semitism in the Gospel of Matthew Essay

Exploring Anti-Semitism in the Gospel of Matthew Essay

Length: 1431 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The issue between the Gospel of Matthew and Judaism is a convoluted one. The picture that emerges when talking about whether Jesus’s teaching is anti-Semitic or not becomes ambivalent and it is not easy to interpret, as Coogan has pointed out, “Matthew functions as a bridge between the two Testaments . . .”(Coogan, 1746). In the context of Jewish-Christian dialogue, the fundamental question is how much of Judaism’s principles and practices ascribed to Jesus are preserved from traditional Judaism? As much as Matthew’s Gospel has been considered to be an extremely anti-Semitic, especially in the Christian realm, there remains substantial evidence indicating how Jesus, as presented by Matthew, had preserved the quintessence of Judaism.
Before going on to demonstrate Jesus’s anti-Semitic qualities in the biblical text, it is necessary to identify how Matthew begins the gospel with the story of Jesus’s birth. The purpose of opening the Gospel with the genealogy of Jesus, which fits the foreshadowed description of Jesus from the Old Testament, is to increase the validity of the Gospel. He pronounced his pro-Jewish elements, namely how the events of his birth are a reminiscent of those in the traditional Jewish prophecy. The Gospel of Matthew illustrates its strong connection to the Old Testament as Matthew dedicates a chapter of his text to tracing back Jesus’s ancestry, linking him to the founding father of the Israelites’ bloodline, Abraham. “Abraham was the father of Isaac . . . of whom Jesus was born, who is called Messiah” (Matthew 1:1-16). It is important for Matthew to carefully draw attention to Jesus’ genealogy in order to elucidate that Jesus is a descendent of David and that his birth fulfills the Old Testament prophesies...


... middle of paper ...


...s proven himself to be a sympathetic teacher of his followers.
Throughout Matthew’s Gospel, he proposes a complex situation to the readers. He delineates the pro-Jewish traits of Jesus and how his birth fits the description of the prophecies and also how his teachings remain grounded on the traditional Jewish laws. Even though some of Matthew’s accounts of Jesus’ instructions are seemingly contradictory to that of the established tenets of Judaism, they are justifiable by Jesus’ humane character. The narrative on Jesus’ life depicts Matthew’s intention to blatantly portray that Jesus is not anti-Semitic and has no deliberation of revolutionizing the long-established Jewish laws but only to instill faith and help his followers to reach salvation.

Work Cited


The New Oxford Annotated Bible. Ed. Michael D. Coogan. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Gospel Of Matthew Is The Most Important Essay

- The Gospel of Matthew is the most Jewish gospel in the New Testament. It is placed first in the New Testament because people find it to be the most helpful. It is the second written Gospel. This Gospel maintains the hope in Parousia, the final coming of Jesus Christ. This Gospel also presents a great concern: the mission of the Church to all nations is to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus is presented as the new Moses in the Gospel of Matthew, who prophetically challenged his listeners to live the radical demands of beatitudinal living....   [tags: New Testament, Jesus, Gospel of Matthew, Gospel]

Powerful Essays
715 words (2 pages)

Essay about The Gospel Of Matthew Analysis

- Book: The Gospel of Matthew The Gospel of Matthew was the first volume of the New Testament, edited and compiled approximately between 70 and 110 Anno Domini. The literary genre is in the name (Gospel). It is one of the four gospels found in the Bible. The main personalities are; Jesus, Mary, Joseph, John the Baptist, the 12 disciples, the Jewish religious leaders, Caiaphas, Pilate, and Mary Magdalene. Although the author is unknown, evidence points to Matthew of being the author of this book. The Gospel of Matthew cited the Gospel of Mark, paraphrasing and complementing the plot written by Mark....   [tags: Jesus, New Testament, Gospel of Matthew]

Powerful Essays
700 words (2 pages)

Essay about The Portrayal of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel

- 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....   [tags: Essays on the Gospel of Matthew]

Powerful Essays
2653 words (7.6 pages)

Essay about The Gospel Of Matthew Was Written

- I chose this pericope because it reveals how many individuals look at religion and focus on the differences even though there is more in common than we think. It was touching to know that God was not only addressing His people, Jews, but also outsiders. Religion is not the only thing that divides people; race and socioeconomic status are other divisors. This periscope shows that God wanted us to live in unity rather than alienating any specific group. God reveals Himself to those who have been shunned by society to show that He is also with those who are being oppressed....   [tags: Jesus, Gospel of Matthew, Judaism, Old Testament]

Powerful Essays
1591 words (4.5 pages)

The Gospel Of Mark Is Much Shorter Than Matthew And Luke Essay

- One of the main characteristics of the gospel of Mark is it’s length. Mark is much shorter than Matthew and Luke, but what it lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. The author of Mark does not slow down the gospel story and makes sure that only important and relevant details are included. When Mark is compared with Matthew and Luke, it becomes obvious to see what Mark has eliminated. The author’s omission of Jesus’ birth, lineage, resurrection, and ascension denote careful planning and purpose in the gospel of Mark....   [tags: Jesus, Gospel, Gospel of Mark, Gospel of Matthew]

Powerful Essays
793 words (2.3 pages)

The Gospel Of Matthew : Our Understanding Of The Holy Bible As A Whole Essays

- The Gospels are integral to our understanding of The Holy Bible as a whole. The entire Old Testament builds to them, and the New Testament builds from them. Furthermore, The Gospel of Matthew is the foundation on which The Gospels themselves are built.Written for a Jewish audience- It is in Matthew that Jesus Christ, his ministry and his place in God’s plan for his children is revealed to us. Matthew wrote his Gospel primarily for his fellow Jews. He started by sharing the genealogy of Jesus. He needed to prove to us that Jesus was the child of David, and trace this back to Abraham....   [tags: Jesus, New Testament, Gospel of Matthew, Gospel]

Powerful Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

John And The Gospel Of Matthew Essays

- Comparative Study Final Paper It is from the differences between the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew that one can understand why the Gospel of John is not included in the Synoptic gospels. While there are many similarities between them, there are also numerous differences as well. In the next few pages, I would like to share some of those differences. Right away when one looks at Chapter One of each of these gospels, it is most noticeable from the start a difference in their opening prologues....   [tags: Jesus, New Testament, Gospel of John]

Powerful Essays
1216 words (3.5 pages)

The Gospel Of Matthew And Luke Essay

- It is easy to see the similarities between the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke; both are estimated to have been written between 80 AD and 95 AD, and share close to seventy percent of their content according to many biblical scholars. Among the features shared by the gospel is the common description of the nature of the kingdom of God inaugurated by Jesus. In examining Jesus’s parables, teachings, and miracles in the gospels, one can glean “knowledge of the kingdom of God” in being observant towards who the kingdom is for and what the kingdom accomplishes according to the two gospel writers....   [tags: Jesus, Gospel, New Testament, Christianity]

Powerful Essays
1002 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on The Last Gospel Matthew Jesus

- In the next gospel Matthew Jesus was taken in front of the governor and was asked “Are you the king of the Jews?” Saying that he was would be treason, therefore leading to a conviction. Pilate released Jesus to soldiers of the governor to be crucified. They dressed him in a scarlet robe, took him to Golgotha, gave him wine he tasted it but didn’t drink it all, and then he was mocked for being the son of God once again. Eventually his clothes were divided and he was crucified. The resurrection in Matthew began with Mary Magdalene and the other Mary going to the tomb....   [tags: Jesus, Gospel, New Testament, Christianity]

Powerful Essays
1004 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Gospel of Matthew

- Gospel of Matthew Matthew portrays a very God like, all-powerful Jesus, with very few humanistic characteristics. Matthew 2:3, “at this news King Herod became greatly disturbed.” I thought the king would be happy to hear about the birth of Jesus. Apparently the kings intentions were not very nice. I really find this passage interesting, mainly because it separates God from the kingdom. Meaning the King has power and is afraid of losing it to the Son of God. Matthew’s description of healing is very interesting; he gives Jesus more powers then Mark did....   [tags: Religion Religious Matthew Essays]

Powerful Essays
505 words (1.4 pages)