HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
SIM, David C. Matthew, Paul and the origin and nature of the gentile mission: the great commission in Matthew 28:16-20 as an anti-Pauline tradition. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2008, vol.64, n.1, pp. 377-392. ISSN 2072-8050.
The Great Commission at the conclusion of Matthew's Gospel is one of its key texts. In this tradition the risen Christ overturns the previous restriction of the mission to Israel alone and demands that the disciples evangelise all the nations. The gospel they were to proclaim included observance of the Torah by Jew and Gentile like. Matthew's account of the origin and nature of the Gentile mission differs from Paul's view as it is found in the epistle to the Galatians. Paul maintains that he had been commissioned by the resurrected Lord to evangelise the Gentiles and that the gospel he was to preach did not involve obedience to the Torah. The later and alternative version of Matthew can be understood as an attempt by the evangelist to undermine these claims by Paul. Such an interpretation is consistent with Matthew's anti-Pauline polemic that emerges elsewhere in the Gospel.