summer solstice!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Matthew: RCL A Intro

On the first Sunday of Advent the church begins a new year of grace; gospel scriptures for the year are mostly passages from Matthew.

Date

circa 80 - 90

Author

No indication of "Matthew" until the second century, but for discussion purposes we can assume followers of the apostle and tax collector Matthew similar to the way we consider the gospel according to John authored by the community that surrounded John the beloved disciple.

Sources

Matthew contains 90% of the verses in Mark, the earliest canonical gospel. (Luke contains about 50% of Mark.) Matthew and Luke both contain parallel, sometimes identical passages not found in Mark. Scholars still speculate there might have been a no longer extant written collection of Jesus' sayings, sometimes referred to as "Q", from the first word of the German Quelle—river or source. Matthew's community may have had a third written "M" source.

Language

Semitic Greek, or possibly Aramaic, the vernacular Hebrew Jesus spoke. Not really certain.

Setting

Greek-speaking Jewish Christians in Antioch in Syria, where they first called Jesus' followers Christian – Acts 11:28. That Antioch's now part of present-day Turkey.

World View, Content

Kingdom of Heaven rather than Kingdom of God

Concerned about fulfilling Hebrew Bible prophecies and predictions

Jesus as new Moses, new David, "son of David"

Matthew's genealogy goes back to Abraham, father of the Jewish nation

Visit of the Magi at Epiphany – God for the world. Scripture doe not say how many kings there were, but tradition has it at three.

Flight into Egypt – New Exodus

The only gospel that uses the word "ecclesia," and brings us some ecclesiology related to church order and structure. Ecclesis is the Roman city council, New England town meeting.

Before Jesus' resurrection Matthew calls God's people "Israelites"; after the resurrection he calls them Jews.

Great Commission – Gospel for the world

Five discourses, possibly to reflect structure of the Pentateuch, possibly presenting Jesus as a new Moses, the gospel as a new Torah.

(1) chapters 5–7
(2) chapter 10
(3) chapter 13
(4) chapter 18
(5) chapters 24–25

Parables unique to Matthew

• weeds among the tares of wheat
• the treasure
• the pearl
• the net
• the unforgiving servant
• the laborers in the vineyard
• the two sons
• the ten virgins

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