In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 1018-6441
VILJOEN, Francois P.. Matthew and the Torah in Jewish society. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.49, n.2, pp. 1-6. ISSN 1018-6441. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ids.v49i2.1946.
The role of the Torah is the subject of a full-scale discussion in the first Gospel. This article investigates the socio-historical setting that produced this text with such an emphasis on Torah observance. To address these issues, the Matthean text is read against its socio-historical setting to discover issues that were prevalent in the community where the text was produced and read. The Matthean community is plotted within the Jewish religious society, focussing on the role of the Torah within this society. It is argued that the crisis of 70 CE led to a reconsideration of the correct interpretation of the Torah. The Jewish society was fragmented and this led to an urge to consolidate. During these developments the Torah was used by newly formed communities to define their norms of existence against others. In the first Gospel, the author defines his and his community's position on the terms of specific Torah observance. The narrator assures his community of the correctness of their conviction to follow the teachings of Jesus.