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Critically examine the aim and purpose of Matthews Gospel

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Introduction

´╗┐Megan Clark Critically examine the aim and purpose of Matthew's Gospel ________________ Matthew's gospel is said to be around 90% based on Mark's gospel. But what makes Matthew's gospel different? We are almost certain that Matthew was a Jew as he was respectful of Jewish laws and customs therefore he was probably writing to a Jewish-Christian audience. He includes many themes within his gospel such as the importance of the church and the divine presence element. Some scholars see a single purpose, namely that Matthew wrote to show the Jews that Jesus was the Messiah they had been expecting. However others believe that he was trying to defend his Christian community. Other purposes are also argued such as Matthew's desire to highlight Jesus' divine presence. The Gospel of Matthew is probably the fullest and the most well rounded of the four. It is designed especially for use by the growing and expanding church. ...read more.

Middle

Matthew's is the only gospel in which Jesus talks explicitly about the church. He wants to emphasise that the church did not begin after the resurrection, but was instituted by Jesus himself. On the other hand, Matthew's purpose could be to present Jesus as the long expected Messiah. He is the king who has been sent to rule his people. There is from start to finish a royal aspect to this Gospel. At the beginning, Jesus' birth is announced, "Behold, a virgin hall conceive and bear a son and his name shall be called Emmanuel," which translates to 'God is with us'. So already, even before Jesus is born, Matthew attaches God to Jesus' status as the Messiah. Furthermore, Jesus' final words begin, "Lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." This suggests that the role of the Shekinah of God is with Matthew's community. Moreover, Matthew links his gospel to the Old Testament, quite frequently showing links to Moses. ...read more.

Conclusion

Matthew's impression of Jesus is that he is of royal roots, possesses divine authority, and has the privileges and powers of God. The Matthean motive in the presentation of Jesus is his inherent relationship to the Old Testament, showing he is not a contradiction to Judaism but rather the climax and completion of Judaic faith. Matthew seems to have various purposes. But, it most probably was written to demonstrate that Jesus was the Messiah. In this regard, the genealogy was probably meant to demonstrate Jesus' Messiahship to a Jewish audience that required proof of Jesus? heredity; the miracles of Jesus affirmed Jesus? authority as a spokesman for God; and the Old Testament links and quotations showed that Jesus is the fulfilment of the hope of Israel. Some motifs and themes in the Gospel indicate that Matthew wrote to encourage his audience to stand firm in their faith in their Messiah and resist the Jewish authorities who were persecuting them. ...read more.

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