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The appropriate leader: A biographical-narrative reading of Matt 3.1–4.11

Hjort, Daniel LU (2014) Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting 2014
Abstract
The influential scholar Ulrich Luz rejects the view of the Gospel of Matthew as an ancient biography, since he does not find any information about the education or the development of Jesus in the narrative from chapter 3. This conclusion does not give a fair description of neither ancient biographies in general nor the Gospel of Matthew in particular. Matthew actually picks up important themes in ancient Greek biographical writing.



The Gospel gives a portrait of Jesus Christ, who is the good leader of Israel (2.6, 9.36, 23.10). A biographical-narrative reading of Matthew, which takes the biographical genre seriously and pays attention to the narrative development of the story, sheds light on the presentation of Jesus as... (More)
The influential scholar Ulrich Luz rejects the view of the Gospel of Matthew as an ancient biography, since he does not find any information about the education or the development of Jesus in the narrative from chapter 3. This conclusion does not give a fair description of neither ancient biographies in general nor the Gospel of Matthew in particular. Matthew actually picks up important themes in ancient Greek biographical writing.



The Gospel gives a portrait of Jesus Christ, who is the good leader of Israel (2.6, 9.36, 23.10). A biographical-narrative reading of Matthew, which takes the biographical genre seriously and pays attention to the narrative development of the story, sheds light on the presentation of Jesus as a good leader. In ancient Greek biographies which give portraits of a good leader the education of the protagonist is sometimes underlined (e.g. Philo’s Moses and Plutarch’s Numa) and sometimes lacking (e.g. Isocrates’ Evagoras and Xenophon’s Agesilaus). The important theme in ancient biographies seems to be to show the reader that the leader was prepared and appropriate for the leadership position, because of his virtues. This is exactly what we find in the section of Matthew’s story between the birth of Jesus and the beginning of his public career. In 3.1–4.11 the author shows the reader that Jesus has virtues such as righteousness, obedience, and self-control. This section also underlines the preparation of Jesus through the influence from John the Baptist, the empowerment of the Spirit, and the training in the wilderness. In this way the Gospel of Matthew conforms to ancient Greek biographical writing when it deals with the preparation of Jesus for his leadership and underlines his virtues before he begins his ministry. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
Jesus, Gospel of Matthew, ancient biography, genre, leader
conference name
Society of Biblical Literature International Meeting 2014
conference location
Vienna, Austria
conference dates
2014-07-06 - 2014-07-10
language
English
LU publication?
yes
additional info
The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Centre for Theology and Religious Studies (015017000)
id
88c7af0d-cf35-4003-90a6-acc6395676db (old id 4588538)
date added to LUP
2016-04-04 14:00:42
date last changed
2018-11-21 21:17:45
@misc{88c7af0d-cf35-4003-90a6-acc6395676db,
  abstract     = {The influential scholar Ulrich Luz rejects the view of the Gospel of Matthew as an ancient biography, since he does not find any information about the education or the development of Jesus in the narrative from chapter 3. This conclusion does not give a fair description of neither ancient biographies in general nor the Gospel of Matthew in particular. Matthew actually picks up important themes in ancient Greek biographical writing. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
The Gospel gives a portrait of Jesus Christ, who is the good leader of Israel (2.6, 9.36, 23.10). A biographical-narrative reading of Matthew, which takes the biographical genre seriously and pays attention to the narrative development of the story, sheds light on the presentation of Jesus as a good leader. In ancient Greek biographies which give portraits of a good leader the education of the protagonist is sometimes underlined (e.g. Philo’s Moses and Plutarch’s Numa) and sometimes lacking (e.g. Isocrates’ Evagoras and Xenophon’s Agesilaus). The important theme in ancient biographies seems to be to show the reader that the leader was prepared and appropriate for the leadership position, because of his virtues. This is exactly what we find in the section of Matthew’s story between the birth of Jesus and the beginning of his public career. In 3.1–4.11 the author shows the reader that Jesus has virtues such as righteousness, obedience, and self-control. This section also underlines the preparation of Jesus through the influence from John the Baptist, the empowerment of the Spirit, and the training in the wilderness. In this way the Gospel of Matthew conforms to ancient Greek biographical writing when it deals with the preparation of Jesus for his leadership and underlines his virtues before he begins his ministry.},
  author       = {Hjort, Daniel},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {The appropriate leader: A biographical-narrative reading of Matt 3.1–4.11},
  year         = {2014},
}