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‘Behold, the Angels Came and Served Him:’ A Compositional Analysis of Angels in Matthew

BENDORAITIS, KRISTIAN,ALLAN (2010) ‘Behold, the Angels Came and Served Him:’ A Compositional Analysis of Angels in Matthew. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis seeks to elucidate the role angels play in the narrative of Matthew’s Gospel by investigating how angel traditions have contributed to his portrait of Jesus. Angels have been significant in Christological research due to their primary function as messengers and mediators between heaven and earth. However, their role in the Gospel narratives has been largely unexplored. Matthew, in particular, demonstrates a noteworthy interest in angels through the handling of his sources, his redaction, and addition of unique material. Utilizing the Old Testament and sources from the Second Temple period to illustrate the variety of angel traditions, this study seeks to identify how these traditions are reflected in Matthew’s Gospel and to interpret the passages in which angels appear or are represented. As a result, the majority of this study consists of a detailed exegesis of the passages that specifically mention angels. Each reference is critically analyzed in view of its role in the Gospel’s narrative and in light of Matthew’s redactional hand. In addition, discussion of relevant traditions of angels accompanies each chapter in order to illustrate how Matthew’s use of angels has facilitated his Gospel’s message. The thesis concludes that Matthew’s narrative includes angel traditions for three reasons. First, through his emphasis on the angels’ agency, Matthew advances his portrait of Jesus the Son of Man as an authoritative eschatological judge. Second, angels appear at significant moments in the narrative, expressing God’s presence in the life of Jesus. Finally, angels contribute to the apocalyptic cosmology of Matthew’s worldview.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Matthew; Angels; New Testament; Gospel; Narrative Criticism; Compositional Criticism
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Apr 2011 11:05

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