Did Matthew Think He Was Writing Scripture?
- Monday, October 14, 2013
If by the first century Chronicles was regarded as the final book in the Hebrew canon,as some scholars have argued, then Matthew’s gospel would certainly be a fitting sequel. An Old Testament canon ending with Chronicles would have placed Israel in an eschatological posture, looking ahead to the time when the messiah, the son of David, will come to Jerusalem and bring full deliverance to his people.
If so, then Matthew’s opening chapter would be a clear indication that he is intending to finish this story. He is picking up where the Old Testament ended, with a focus on David and the deliverance of Israel. Regardless of whether one accepts that Chronicles was the final book in the Hebrew canon, the close connections between Matthew and Chronicles remain. Indeed, on this basis, Davies and Allison conclude that Matthew “thought of his gospel as continuation of the biblical history—and also, perhaps, that he conceived of his work as belonging to same literary category as the scriptural cycles treating of the OT figures.”
 Armin D. Baum, “The Anonymity of the New Testament History Books: A Stylistic Device in the Context of Greco-Roman and Ancient Near Eastern Literature,” NT 50 (2008): 120-142.
 Baum, “Anonymity,” 139.
 W.D. Davies and D.C. Allison, The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (ICC; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1997), 150–153.
 Davies and Allison, Matthew, 151.
 Davies and Allison, Matthew, 153.
 Davies and Allison, Matthew, 187.
For more, visit Dr. Kruger's website: Canon Fodder.
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