Carolin Ziethe

Das Schriftkolorit der matthäischen Jesusdarstellung

Section: Articles
Early Christianity (EC)

Volume 11 () / Issue 3, pp. 342-363 (22)
Published 15.09.2020

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The importance of the scriptures of Israel for the Gospel of Matthew is indisputable and visible throughout the Gospel. As Matthew narrates the story of Jesus in his Gospel, the question arises how Jesus and the scriptures are related. In order to answer this question, my contribution will proceed as follows: First, I will reflect on the authority of the scriptures for the Matthean community. Second, I will draw out their relevance for Christology as it occurs, for example, when the narrator uses citations of the scriptures in his comments. Third, Iwill consider Jesus's use of scripture in particular in his direct speech, but also concerning his teaching and his obedience. In this paper, I argue that by constantly referring to the scriptures of Israel the Matthean community shows clearly how they define their own identity, especially regarding the community's location within early Judaism and their interpretation of Jesus's life and death. This role is implemented by the Christological evidence throughout the whole Gospel, starting with the justification of Jesus's origin by scriptural allusions. Furthermore, Jesus's direct speech as characterized by Matthew is through and through referring to scripture. Matthew extends scriptural references in Jesus speaking as well as he includes new references. This way, Jesus himself is presented as a well-versed expert in the scriptures of Israel as he quotes them extensively, up to and including his self-interpretation. As the Son of God, he is the one who is empowered to interpret the scriptures in full authority. At the same time, he is the one who knows himself and his ministry bound by these scriptures. As such he is also the obedient son, and therein fulfills the will of God.

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