The Jewish Target of Matthew

Discussion and debate not related to prophecy.

The Jewish Target of Matthew

Postby Keeping Alert on Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:52 am

I have observed that one of the common debate on this board is the target audience of Matthew and especially Matthew 24 which of course has significant end-time implications depending on how we view the target audience. Recently, I remember seeing a video by Pastor Sanderson who ridiculed the idea that Matthew wrote for the Jews.

Well, I found this brilliant 10-point summary by Andy Woods explaining why Matthew did write particularly for the Jews in mind.

http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teaching/ ... 72.pdf?x=x


Matthew's Jewish-Christian Audience
Understanding Matthew's overall argument helps elucidate the meaning of Matthew 6:9-13. Although no specific target audience is mentioned, various clues make it apparent that Matthew had a believing Jewish audience in mind.7 The Jewish nature of the book is apparent by noting several factors.

First, the book contains a disproportionate number of Old Testament citations and allusions. Of the book's 129 Old Testament references, 53 are direct citations and 76 are allusions. On thirteen occasions, Christ’s actions are said to be a fulfillment of the Old Testament.

Second, the book follows a fivefold division. The five major sermons of the book are delineated through the repetition of the concluding formula “when He had finished saying these things” (7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1). This fivefold structure would have immediately been recognizable to the Jewish mind since Jews had a tendency to categorize items, such as the Book of Psalms and the Pentateuch, according to a fivefold division.

Third, although originally written in Greek, the book evidences a Hebraistic style, parallelism, and elaboration.

Fourth, tote (“then” or “at that time”) reflects a Jewish style. While this term is employed ninety times in Matthew, it is only used six times in Mark, fourteen times in Luke, and ten times in John.

Fifth, the vocabulary of the book is distinctly Jewish. The following Jewish terms are found in the book: David, Jerusalem as the Holy City (4:5; 27:53), city of the great king (5:35), lost sheep of the house of Israel (10:6; 15:24), kingdom of God, and kingdom of heaven.8

Sixth, the subject matter of the topics covered is distinctly Jewish. Among the topics covered are the Law, ceremonial defilements, Sabbath, kingdom, Jerusalem, temple, Messiah, prophecy, prophets, David, Abram, Moses, scribes, Sadducees, and Pharisees.

Seventh, Matthew’s genealogy reveals a Jewish audience. Matthew traces Christ back to David and Abraham rather than back to Adam (Luke 3).

Eighth, Matthew places a special focus upon the Apostle Peter. Because Peter was the apostle to the circumcised (Gal 2:7-8), Matthew’s focus on Peter harmonizes with the Jewish emphasis of his book.

Ninth, unlike the other Gospels that explain Jewish customs to Gentile audiences, Matthew leaves these same Jewish customs unexplained. This is true not only with regard to Jewish rulers (Matt 2:1, 22; 14:1; Luke 2:1-2; 3:1-2) but it is also true with regard to ceremonial cleansing (Matt 15:2; Mark 7:3-4). The customs that Matthew does explain are of Roman rather than Jewish origin (Matt 27:15). Although some of Matthew’s writings seem to anticipate at least some kind of Gentile audience by giving the interpretation of some Jewish words (1:23; 27:33, 46), it does seem to be a general rule that Matthew provides fewer interpretations of Jewish customs than any other Gospel writer.

Tenth, various church fathers, such as Irenaeus, Origen, and Eusebius believed that Matthew wrote to a Jewish audience. Not only was Matthew written to a Jewish audience but to a believing audience as well. In other words, Matthew’s audience primarily consisted of Jewish Christians. Both Eusebius9 and Origen10 indicated that Matthew was written to those within Judaism who came to believe.
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα
Father, glorify thy name.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
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Re: The Jewish Target of Matthew

Postby mark s on Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:11 pm

Very interesting!

:grin:
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
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Re: The Jewish Target of Matthew

Postby drdos on Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:37 pm

Thanks K.A. this is really good to know, and it does shed light on what I believe Jesus was saying and who he was talking to in Matt24.
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Re: The Jewish Target of Matthew

Postby Ready1 on Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:45 pm

I heard an account two weeks ago where a lady told of how her mother, as a young Jewish girl who had always been warned to never say "that name" or read "that book", picked up a hotel bible and began to read. Since she did not know where to start, she began reading in Matthew. The thing that overcame her was that it started with "her people and her people's linage." She found to her amazement, for the first time, that Jesus was a Jewish man; and she was unable to put the book down. She read continuously for all of her week long vacation, and at the end of it gave her heart to the Lord.
Just observing.

E.
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Re: The Jewish Target of Matthew

Postby drdos on Tue Aug 25, 2015 3:28 pm

Ready1 wrote:I heard an account two weeks ago where a lady told of how her mother, as a young Jewish girl who had always been warned to never say "that name" or read "that book", picked up a hotel bible and began to read. Since she did not know where to start, she began reading in Matthew. The thing that overcame her was that it started with "her people and her people's linage." She found to her amazement, for the first time, that Jesus was a Jewish man; and she was unable to put the book down. She read continuously for all of her week long vacation, and at the end of it gave her heart to the Lord.

Wow Awesome Story!
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Re: The Jewish Target of Matthew

Postby SueAnn on Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:53 pm

Ready1 wrote:I heard an account two weeks ago where a lady told of how her mother, as a young Jewish girl who had always been warned to never say "that name" or read "that book", picked up a hotel bible and began to read. Since she did not know where to start, she began reading in Matthew. The thing that overcame her was that it started with "her people and her people's linage." She found to her amazement, for the first time, that Jesus was a Jewish man; and she was unable to put the book down. She read continuously for all of her week long vacation, and at the end of it gave her heart to the Lord.


LOVE this
ﺗﻜﻮﻳﻦ 12
وَقَالَ الرَّبُّ لأَبْرَامَ: «اتْرُكْ أَرْضَكَ وَعَشِيرَتَكَ وَبَيْتَ أَبِيكَ وَاذْهَبْ إِلَى الأَرْضِ الَّتِي أُرِيكَ،
فَأَجْعَلَ مِنْكَ أُمَّةً كَبِيرَةً وَأُبَارِكَكَ وَأُعَظِّمَ اسْمَكَ، وَتَكُونَ بَرَكَةً (لِكَثِيرِينَ).
َأُبَارِكُ مُبَارِكِيكَ وَأَلْعَنُ لاعِنِيكَ، وَتَتَبَارَكُ فِيكَ جَمِيعُ أُمَمِ الأَرْضِ »
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