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The Gospel of Matthew in its First-Century Jewish Context 

SB BIB 404 3 Credits* (45 hours)

Course Instructor and Meeting Time:
Instructor: Noel Rabinowitz, Ph. D. The course will meet on Fridays at 9:00-10:30 AM Eastern Time (4:00PM Jerusalem Time) starting March 5th, 2021 for 15 weeks. Lectures will be recorded and made available within a few days for those who can not make the live sessions. 

COURSE DESCRIPTION
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.

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.

Expectations:
Weekly quizzes, reading assignments and forum participation. 

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*Jerusalem Seminary (JS) courses are engagingly academic and taught by experts in their field living in Israel. While JS’ courses are not externally accredited, they can be taken for internal JS credit. Any internal JS credit will accrue and at a later time would hopefully, through articulation agreements and accreditation bodies, receive official accreditation; a process that JS is beginning.

Course Content

Expand All
Section 1: Introduction
SECTION 2: THE ARRIVAL OF THE MESSIAH-KING AND THE END OF EXILE • 1:1 - 4:25
SECTION 3: THE TEACHING OF THE MESSIAH-KING • 4:23 - 7:29
SECTION 4: THE MISSION OF THE MESSIAH-KING IN GALILEE: TO RESCUE THE LOST SHEEP OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL • 8:1 - 18:35
SECTION 5: THE MISSION OF THE MESSIAH-KING IN JUDEA: THE JUDGMENT AND PURIFICATION OF ISRAEL • 19:1 - 25:46
SECTION 6: THE MESSIAH-KING'S MISSION ACCOMPLISHED IN JERUSALEM: THE PASSOVER, THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT AND THE PURIFICATION OF ISRAEL • 26:1 - 27:66
SECTION 7: THE MESSIAH-KING IN GALILEE AND THE COMMISSION OF HIS DISCIPLES TO GO TO THE NATIONS • 28:1 - 20

Ratings and Reviews

4.9
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What's your experience? We'd love to know!
Ashley Pak
Posted 2 months ago
Gospel of Matthew comes alive in the 21st century

The course takes me into the history! Amazing to know that the works of Jesus was tightly connected to the OT prophecies. Dr. Noel's deep understanding combined with his scholarly passion helped me to embrace the messages of Matthew. One suggestion: one and a half hour lecture feels long for 'online-zoom' class. It was more than what I expected and I highly recommend to anyone seeking bible truth.

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Butch Deer
Posted 2 months ago
The Jewish background of Matthews Gospel!

Noel was very energetic and well prepared.He created a safe environment for discussing differing views and the class provoked me to study Matthew and dig a little deeper into Matthews writing, over all I really liked the class and would recommend it to anyone hungry to go deeper with God!

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Kristie Robers
Posted 2 months ago
A New and Much Needed Perspective on Matthew

The instruction was engaging, and classes were actually fun. So much so that I looked forward to this class every week. The readings were thought-provoking. With each concept, I looked at it from a different angle, one that as a modern Western Christian I had never encountered. Like all good classes, it leaves me wanting to know even more and dive even deeper.

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Dave Wang
Posted 2 months ago
so surprised class!

wonderful professor, wonderful class.

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ChristophMF
Posted 2 months ago
This is one of the best courses I have ever done. I'm highly recommending this course.

It is amazing to see how deeply rooted Matthew is in First Century Judaism and the Hebrew Bible. But it is not about context only. Seeing Matthew from this perspective, helps to understand Jesus better and explains many difficulties. This course helped me a lot as Pastor and for my personal faith. It is very deep content but delivered in an easy to understand manner.

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Roddey Brown
Posted 2 months ago
Understanding the restoration of God's Kingdom that He initially began

Class time and articles.

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Lillian O'Brien
Posted 2 months ago
Incredibly insightful and engaging!

This class completely changed my perspective on the Gospel of Matthew in the best of ways! I knew there were references to the Old Testament and different prophecies, but I didn't realize just how much Israel's history of sin-exile-restoration was interwoven into this Gospel. This class is incredibly helpful to anyone wanting to understand the true Jewish context of the Gospel of Matthew!

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