Breeze

 

Featured Author - Dr Roland Deines

Dr Roland Deines is Professor of New Testament Studies at the University of Nottingham. His articles, Did Matthew Know He was Writing Scripture? Part 1, and Part 2, were published in the October 2013 and April 2014 issues of European Journal of Theology respectively.

Article Summary - Did Matthew Know He was Writing Scripture? Part 1

The article seeks to demonstrate the possibility that the Gospel of Matthew was written from the outset with the intention to function as Scripture for those who believe in Jesus as the Son of God revealed by the Father to his people (Mt 16:16-17). The argument is based on an understanding of Scripture as deposit of divine revelation. It first demonstrates that God’s revelatory activity, according to the biblical texts, precedes the written memorisation of it. It then refers to the fact that texts and traditions were not preserved in antiquity unless there was a group willing to invest time, energy and costs to do so. In the case of religious texts they became part of a spiritual legacy only if they proved their ability to facilitate meaningful encounters with God beyond their primary historical circumstances. Before approaching the case studies in Part 2 the concept of the ‘cessation of the Spirit’ in the time of Ezra is discussed as misleading if used as an argument for the closing of the canon.

Article Summary - Did Matthew Know He was Writing Scripture? Part 2

The article seeks to demonstrate the possibility that the Gospel of Matthew was from the outset written with the intention that it would function as (Holy) Scripture. Part 1 discussed the understanding of Scripture, within the Biblical texts themselves, as deposit of the revelatory acts of God. Part 2 applies this understanding to various strands of Jewish literature from the second century BC to the second century AD. First Maccabees and the Gospel of Matthew serve as case studies of how the experience of God’s revelatory activity resulted in Scriptures which were intended to commemorate these acts in light of the history of salvation so far and to facilitate meaningful encounters with them for the time to come.