The Gospel of Matthew in its First Century Jewish Context Spring ’23

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The Gospel of Matthew in its First-Century Jewish Context 

SB BIB 404 – 2 Credits*

Course Instructor and Meeting Time:
Instructor: Noel Rabinowitz, Ph. D. The course will be presented in 12 sessions on Tuesdays between the dates March 14th, 2023 and June 13th, 2023 at 16:00-17:30 PM Israel Time (9:00 AM -10:30 Noon Eastern Time).

The sessions will be recorded and made available in the days following the classes for those who cannot 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.

Weekly quizzes, reading assignments and forum participation. 

*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

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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 5:1-7:29
Section 4: The Mission of the Messiah-King in Galilee: To Rescue the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel 8:1 – 17:13
Section 5: The Mission of the Messiah-King in Judea: the Judgment and Purification of Israel and Jerusalem 19:1 – 25:46
Section 6: The Messiah-King’s Mission Accomplished: The Blood of the Covenant Poured out for The Forgiveness of Sins and the Purification of Israel 26:1 – 27:66
Section 7: The Resurrected Messiah-King in Galilee and His Commission to the Nations 28:1-20
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