The Matthean Community in Early Christianity
Chapter 2. A Century of Research on the Matthean Community
Chapter2.ACenturyofResearchontheMattheanCommunity Although most academics working on the Gospel of Matthew have had either an explicit or implicit understanding of the historical matrix out of which the Gospel arose, specific studies on the Matthean Community are a relatively recent phenomenon in New Testament scholarship. Various conceptions of the historical matrix of the Gospel have emerged, which, while using the same basic data set, have approached it drawing on different methodologies and assumptions. The following survey of work on the Matthean Community is developed thematically, and presented in roughly chronological order.1 In a number of places a representative selection has had to be made between several significant writers who have taken a similar position. This review raises important issues that need to be taken into consideration in any investigation into the Matthean Community, particularly with regard to methodology, and these will be explored towards the end of this chapter and into the next. 2.1.TheMattheanCommunityasaSchool In 1928 E. von Dobschütz suggested that the first evangelist was a rabbi,2 and saw in his use of stereotyped phraseology and love of numbers a Jewish Christian with rabbinic training who “now used his catechetical skills in the service of the gospel.”3 Dobschütz did not follow this suggestion with the idea that a rabbi would imply some kind of school, although such an implication could clearly be made.4 It 1 See also Robert K. McIver, “Twentieth-Century Approaches to the Matthew Community,” AUSS 37 (1999): 23 –38 for an account of research into the...
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