Original Research

The superior authority of Jesus in Matthew to interpret the Torah

Francois P. Viljoen
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 50, No 2 | a2062 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v50i2.2062 | © 2016 Francois P. Viljoen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 November 2015 | Published: 28 June 2016

About the author(s)

Francois P. Viljoen, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


The arguments posed in this article serve to demonstrate the underlying conflict and struggle for authority in the Matthean Gospel. This struggle signifies part of the debate of those days about the trustworthy keepers of the Torah. Whilst Josephus wrote that the Pharisees were regarded as the most accurate interpreters of the Torah, Matthew argues the opposite. Matthew pictures several scenes in which these groups oppose Jesus by trying to discredit his authority and knowledge to interpret the Torah. Matthew time and again exposes their malice, whilst he demonstrates the authority and wisdom of Jesus to contrast them. This article discusses a variety of depictions of Jesus in Matthew that demonstrates his authority and worthiness to provide the true interpretation of the Torah. Built on such arguments, Matthew concludes his Gospel by asserting the authority of Jesus and his command for obedience to everything that he has commanded.

Keywords: Torah, Law, Authority, Matthew, Jesus


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