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Verbum et Ecclesia

versión On-line ISSN 2074-7705
versión impresa ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.32 no.1 Pretoria  2011 



Sabbath controversy in Matthew



Francois P. Viljoen

Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa





Jesus' attitude towards the Sabbath plays a crucial part in Matthew's argument. Some scholars argue that Jesus provocatively broke the Sabbath law; however, an attentive reading of the Sabbath controversies revealed a different reality. Matthew strategically places the Sabbath stories after he has firmly stated Jesus' teaching on the continuing validity of the law and the requirement of greater righteousness. The law and the prophets are fulfilled in the Person of Jesus, who demonstrated a fresh approach to Sabbath observance. God's intention with the Sabbath must also be recognised. Matthew argues not if the Sabbath should be observed, but how it should be done to experience true rest according to the will of God.



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Francois Viljoen
Private Bag X6001
Potchefstroom 2520
South Africa

Received: 19 July 2010
Accepted: 16 Mar. 2011
Published: 03 June 2011

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