Tradition, Form, and Theological Investigation
The present analysis of the five dream accounts of Matthew 1:18-2:23 reveals that they fall into the message dream category. Each dream has at least one narrative function. In other words, Matthew does not merely record the dream experiences of the individuals but uses dreams to achieve his narrative objective.
Chapter Seven: Conclusion 201
Chapter Seven CONCLUSION Matthew employs dreams in ch. 1:18–2:23 as a literary device in the following ways: (1) to answer questions surrounding the birth of Jesus (1:18– 25); (2) to present etiological reasons why Jesus goes to Egypt (2:1–12, 13– 18); and, (3) to give an etiological explanation how Jesus becomes a native of Nazareth (2:19–21, 22–23). Therefore, the dream passages of Matt 1:18– 2:23 do not merely narrate the dream experiences of the dreamers, but they carry narrative intentions of the narrator. The dream narrative 1:18–25 explains two important concerns: (1) why Joseph decided to marry Mary even after he knew about Mary’s pregnancy; and, (2) how Jesus is the Son of God and is not a biological son of Joseph. Chapter 2 contains four dream narratives. Each dream transitions the narrative to the scene that follows. The dream of the Magi (2:12) exits them from the narrative and prepares the readers for moving baby Jesus out of Bethlehem. Joseph’s first dream in Bethlehem takes him to Egypt (2:13–18), his second dream brings him back to Judea (2:19–21), and his third dream settles the family in Nazareth (2:22–23). Dreams of ch. 2 provide movement and transition to the narration: The first dream explains why Herod, who wanted kill the baby Jesus, could not locate him; The second dream explains why Jesus went to Egypt; The third dream explains Jesus’...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.