A study of Matthew 8.16-17 seeing Jesus' healing as the fulfilment of Isaiah 53.4a through narrative analysis
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AbstractThe aim of this study is to explore the issue, whether or not Matthew in 8.16- 17 quotes Isaiah 53.4a as a proof-text without considering its context. This issue of the quotation has a great significance for two areas: hermeneutics and theology. First, the hermeneutical significance of the quotation is concerned with the issue, whether the intention and method of Matthew’s quotations of the Old Testament is a contextual approach or a non-contextual approach. Second, the theological significance of the quotation is connected to theoretical (dogmatic) and practical theology. Firstly, the significance for theoretical theology is concerned with the discussion of Matthean Christology: the identity of Jesus, the nature of his healing ministry; the provenance of his understanding of atonement. Particularly, the last one is crucial, for the whole Christian doctrine of Atonement depends on the answer to this problem. Secondly, the significance for practical theology is related to the discussion of “healing in the atonement” in Charismatic circles. This discussion can be progressed, only when it is shown that Matthew quotes Isaiah 53.4a in Matthew 8.16-17 with regard to its context, because this at least provides the basis for such a discussion. This study has attempted to treat the issue of the quotation by applying narrative analysis to Matthew 8.16-17 and the necessary part of Isaiah 52.13-53.12. This analysis includes semantic, linguistic philosophical, literary and theological explorations. With this analysis, this study has discovered an answer to the issue and some important findings, which are significant in terms of methodology, hermeneutics and theology. The answer provided by this study is that Matthew does not quote Isaiah 53.4a as a proof-text without considering the context. Rather, he, familiar with the context, quotes it in Matthew 8.16-17 in order to strategically affect the implied reader’s recognition of Jesus as, firstly, the suffering servant who is finally to offer himself as a guilt offering or a ransom, and secondly, as the Messiah. The findings are the significance of “prolepsis” in Matthew; the relationship between “ransom” lu,trον and “guilt offering” םשָ אָ ; complementary parallelism (the relationship between structure and meaning); the complementary structure of the “we” and “they” in the unfolding narrative of Isaiah 52.13-53.12; the death of the servant; and the relationship of “diseases” and “sufferings/sorrows” in 53.4a. All of these findings have enabled this study to trace the events of Jesus’ ministry and their underlying causes as far as possible to the depiction of the servant in Isaiah 52.13-53.12.
CitationKwak, W. (2017). A study of Matthew 8.16-17 seeing Jesus' healing as the fulfilment of Isaiah 53.4a through narrative analysis. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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