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The Gospel of Matthew in its First-Century Jewish Context 

SB BIB 404 3 Credits*

Course Instructor and Meeting Time:

Instructor: Noel Rabinowitz, Ph. D. The course will meet on Fridays at 9:00 AM Eastern Time (4:00PM Jerusalem Time) starting March 5th, 2021 for 15 weeks.


A life-changing study of the Gospel of Matthew in its first-century Jewish context, taught from Israel and engaging the physical Land of the Bible

Supplementary Description:
Jesus was given to the world as a Jewish man who was raised in and lived in the Promised Land. In this course the historical, cultural, geographical and theological setting of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew is explored with a special emphasis on the reversal of the Curse of Exile and the Restoration of Israel. Students will learn to read the Gospel anew through the perspective of a first century lens, deepening and expanding their understanding of Jesus and His Jewish world.

*JS courses are engagingly academic and taught by experts in their field living in Israel. While they are not yet externally accredited, they can be taken for internal JS credit. Any internal JS credit will be preserved and will be planned to be accrued at a later time through articulation agreements and eventual accreditation with appropriate bodies, a process that JS is beginning.


Learning Outcomes:
After completing this course successfully, the student will be able to:

  1. Express a deeper understanding of the Jewishness of Jesus by clarifying biblical passages from a Jewish perspective.
  2. Outline the narrative structure of Matthew’s Gospel and his unique presentation of Jesus as the Messiah-King who had come to redeem the Jewish people from exile. 
  3. Situate Matthew’s Messianic Jewish Community culturally, geographically and theologically in its late-first century Jewish context.
  4. Describe the Gospel of Matthew’s Deuteronomic Metanarrative.
  5. Explain Matthew’s use of geography to demonstrate that the eschatological restoration of Israel has begun.
  6. Articulate the themes of Land, Purity, Torah, and Temple in Matthew’s Gospel.
  7. Evaluate the function of miracles stories and parables in the Gospel’s larger context.
  8. Summarize Matthew’s presentation of Jesus as the Davidic Messiah-King and the implications this has for the spiritual and territorial restoration of Israel. 
  9. Identify the apocalyptic and eschatological elements of the Gospel of Matthew and assess their function within the narrative.
  10. Transpose and apply insights from a study of Matthew to the present era and the wider community of believers.

Required Texts:

Daniel M. Gurtner, Joel Willitts and Richard A. Burridge. Jesus, Matthew’s Gospel and Early Christianity. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.

David L. Turner. Matthew: ECNT. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008.

Preferred Bible Version

Recommended Textbook:

Satellite Bible Atlas, 2nd ed.  William Schlegel, 2016.


Weekly quizzes and assignments. 

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