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Using specific examples from the biblical texts, compare the theology of two of the gospels.

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Introduction

Student Number 0302062 Year 1 CCRS New Testament Component Using specific examples from the biblical texts, compare the theology of two of the gospels. Matthew Author: The general belief of many scholars (see Stanton) [Stanton 1989] is that the Gospel according to Matthew was written by the disciple of the same name who was formerly a tax collector ( Matt 9:9-13) . Luke and Mark refer to him by his other name of Levi although later scholars have stressed that Matthew's apparent reliance on Mark's Gospel is puzzling if we are to believe that Matthew was an eyewitness to Jesus' teaching ( 91% of Mark's Gospel is included in Matthew's writings according to the NIV Study Bible) [ The NIV Study Bible 1973]. However most still believe in Matthean authorship and that the similarities to Mark were deliberate in order to stress the apostolic tradition was not divided. Date: Most scholars date Matthew's Gospel to between 70-100 AD although those that still believe it to come before Mark's suggest that it was written around 50 AD. The later date is more commonly believed due to the reliance upon Mark ( see above) Audience: Matthew appears to have written for a Greek speaking Jewish audience. This can be seen from the outset ( 1:1-17) where Jesus is shown to be the descendant of Abraham and the Son of David ( 1:1, 9:27). ...read more.

Middle

but particularly as Son of David (e.g. 9:27, 15:22). Matthew uses this title eight times or more in order to link him with the Messiah talked of in the Old Testament particularly for the benefit of his largely Jewish audience. Further to this Matthew stresses that Jesus speaks for (if not as )God 'I am with you always' (28:20) Jesus and the fulfilment of the Jewish Scriptures One of the main purposes in Matthew's Gospel was to prove to the people of Jewish heritage that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. The main tool Matthew employs is to show how Jesus and his life fulfilled the Old Testament scriptures. Whilst all the Gospels include quotes from the Old Testament, Matthew provides an additional nine texts (1:22-23, 2:15, 2:17-18, 2:23, 4:14-16, 8:17, 12:17-21, 13:35, 27:9-10) as Reumann indicates to stress the continuity and sequence from the Old Testament to John the Baptist to Jesus to the disciples who are to further teach what Jesus has taught them. Jesus the Teacher Whereas Mark uses the words teacher, Rabbi, teaching or teach around 39 times in his Gospel, Matthew places a much greater emphasis upon the actual teaching discourses. Mark's Gospel is very much the unadorned account of Jesus' life and ministry, based upon his actions rather than his words. Matthew's, however, is clearly structured into 5 major teaching discourses interspersed by the narrative sections. ...read more.

Conclusion

Discipleship Mark is keen to express the difficulties in being a follower of Jesus. His Gospel is thought to have been written in Rome during (or just after) a period of intense persecution of the Christians by the Romans. The audience for the Gospel was enduring suffering and persecution for their belief- this appears to have led Mark to have given extra emphasis to the difficulties the disciples were told they would have to face. Jesus talks of having to give up family, riches, possessions and loved ones (8:34-9:1, 9:35-1.0:31, 10:42-45), but he also stresses the disciples will be rewarded. Mark does use the image of a follower having to 'take up his cross' (8:34)- that is showing a willingness to suffer and die for the Lord's sake. Personal response to the Gospels of Matthew and Mark Although, if the received wisdom about the author of Mark's Gospel is correct, the writer was not an eye witness to the events, this is the impression one receives when reading it. Mark's work seems to be a simple, succinct, brief yet captivating account of what Jesus did. John Mark seems to have collected his material from the preaching of Peter but in a time of persecution- this gives the Gospel an early feel, with teaching implied by action and inspiring faith in the face of hardship. Matthew's Gospel does not have the immediacy of Mark's. ...read more.

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