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Reading the Old Testament in the New: The Gospel of Matthew

Course Description
How did the New Testament writers read the Old Testament in light of the coming of Jesus Christ? This course offers an in-depth answer to that question, focusing on the use of the Old Testament in the Gospel of Matthew.

After looking at how first-century Jews interpreted the Law and the Prophets and studying patterns of interpretation found in Jesus and the New Testament writers, we’ll focus our attention on Matthew. Matthew makes more than 100 Old Testament references, ranging from direct quotes to subtle allusions. Through a close reading of many of these texts we’ll explore how the Old Testament forms an “implicit narrative” that is essential to understanding Matthew’s meaning and message.

Course Registration
Courses are free! But we do ask that you register. You will be prompted for your E-mail Address and directed to a page where you will be asked for your Name, E-mail Address, Address and Phone Number. This is for our informational purposes only. We will not lend or sell your contact information to anyone else. Thanks for your cooperation. Important Note: You only have to register once. Once you have registered you are registered for all the courses.  Click here to register for this class. A password is not needed and will not be given to you. Once you have registered return to this page or any of the other courses to begin studying.  The lessons are listed in the column to the right.

Course Objectives

  1. To understand how the Old Testament is interpreted by Jesus and the New Testament writers.
  2. To learn the narrative structure and “implicit narrative” of Matthew’s Gospel and to understand how that implicit narrative is essential for understanding Matthew.
  3. To understand the Old Testament context for many of the specific sayings and events recorded in Matthew’s Gospel.

Course Materials
The primary text will be the Bible. And each lesson will provide links to biblical passages cited. In addition, the instructors recommend the following, which covers much of the material to be studied in this course:

The Gospel of Matthew

 

Lessons

  • Lesson One: Learning to Listen for Echoes: A New Approach to the New Testament


    Lesson Objectives:

    1. To understand how important the Old Testament is to reading and interpreting the New Testament.

    2. To learn what “typology” is and to appreciate its significance for reading the New Testament.

    3. To understand the relationship between the writers of the New Testament and other first-century Jewish interpreters of Scripture.

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  • Lesson Two: Son of David, Son of Abraham

    Lesson Objectives:

    1. To read Matthew 1-2 with understanding.

    2. To learn the Old Testament history and background behind the quotations and allusions used in the prologue to Matthew’s gospel.

    3. To gain a fuller appreciation of Matthew’s depiction of Jesus as a “new Moses.”

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  • Lesson Three: ‘Not to Abolish, But to Fulfill’

    Lesson Objectives:

    1. To read Matthew 3-7 with understanding.

    2. To understand the Old Testament background and allusions in Matthew’s depictions of John the Baptist, the Baptism of Jesus and His temptation in the wilderness.

    3. To understand the crucial importance of Jesus’ summary in the Sermon on the Mount: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”

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  • Lesson Four: Healing and Restoration

    Lesson Objectives:

    1. To read Matthew 8-10 with understanding.

    2. To understand the Old Testament background and allusions in Matthew’s depiction of Jesus’ healings and other miracles and the growing tensions with the scribes and Pharisees.

    3. To understand how Matthew uses evocations of select Old Testament prophets to convey that in Jesus, the long-anticipated “restoration” of Israel has begun.

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  • Lesson Five: Riddles of Rejection, Rock of Foundation

    Lesson Objectives:

    1. To read Matthew 11-18 with understanding.

    2. To understand the Old Testament background to Jesus’ teaching in parables.

    3. To understand the deep Old Testament context by which Matthew conveys that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah and the Church is the restoration of the Davidic Kingdom.

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  • Lesson Six: David’s Son, David’s Lord

    Lesson Objectives:

    1. To read Matthew 19-28 with understanding.

    2. To understand the Old Testament background to Matthew’s depiction of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, His Passion and death.

    3. To understand the deep Old Testament context by which Matthew conveys that Jesus is the long-awaited “Son of David” and the “Son of God.”

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