Abstract of Chung, YongHan. “The Temple in Matthew’s Eschatology: Matthew’s Interpretation of the Temple in the Concept of First Century Judaism.”

Note: Most universities now require the author of a PhD dissertation to write an abstract.  The following abstracts have been taken from the author’s written summary of his/her work.

Chung, YongHan.  “The Temple in Matthew’s Eschatology: Matthew’s Interpretation of the Temple in the Concept of First Century Judaism.”  PhD diss., Graduate Theological Union, 2011.   [Israel/Herod/Christian/Heavenly Temple]

Abstract:  In light of the post 70 C.E. historical setting in conflict with other contemporary Jews and the Jewish worldview influenced by apocalyptic eschatology that frequently functions as a coping mechanism, Matthew’s understanding of the destroyed Temple does not support a supersessionist temple replacement idea based on the function and meaning of Jesus (and his death) or the ekklesia. Instead, Matthew’ ambivalent attitude toward the destroyed Temple is better understood against the contemporary Jewish background concerning the belief in the heavenly/eschatological temple embedded in the references to the throne of God (5:34; 19:28; 23:22; 25:31).

The various Jewish groups sensed the enormous impact of the loss of the Temple and in various ways coped with the social and religious crisis subsequent to the loss. Unlike the prevalent expectation for the eschatological temple, the idea of Messiah- temple replacement is not attested in any extant Jewish tradition. In addition, the passages with the reference to the temple in the Pauline letters, the Q-source, and the Gospel of Mark do not need to be interpreted in terms of the temple-replacement theology.

Likewise, understanding Jesus’ death as atonement, the so-called Emmanuel theology, and recognizing special reference to ekklesia in Matthew’s Gospel do not historically and exegetically support the temple-replacement idea. Instead, the exegesis of the ten temple passages proves that Matthew’s understanding of the Temple is firmly rooted in Jewish apocalyptic eschatology.

Full text available online through ProQuest.

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