The Matthean Community in Early Christianity
Chapter 6. Leadership & Structure of the Matthean Community
Chapter6.Leadership&StructureoftheMattheanCommunity The previous two chapters have established that the Matthean Community had well-defined boundaries, and so regarded itself as a recognisable entity. This chapter will explore some of the evidence that will enable an assessment to be made of the internal organisation of that community. Of particular importance is the emergence of some clearly-defined, if informal roles within the community, including some leadership roles, and these will be investigated first. Also of interest, and of potential relevance to the issue of leadership is a group of sayings unique to Matthew concerning Peter, which will receive attention towards the end of the chapter. 6.1.TheEmergenceofInformalRoleswithintheMattheanCommunity 6.1.1.Matt23andChristianRabbis/Teachers Matthew 23 provides the greatest concentration of clues concerning the roles emerging within the Matthean Community. It is a chapter rich in material that is unique to Matthew (Matt 23 :1–3, 5, 8–10, 15, 16–22, 27–28, 32–33), and structured in a way unique to the Gospel.1 Implicit in the comprehensive attack on the scribes and the Pharisees found in this chapter is the contrast between what they and Jesus teach about the law and the consequences of each set of teachings. The chapter begins by stating that because the scribes and Pharisees sit upon the seat of Moses, one should listen to what they say, but what they do is an entirely different matter (Matt 23:1–3, unique to Matthew). That several stone seats have been discovered by archaeologists in the ruins of synagogues2 raises the possibility that the...
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