Exploring Psalm 80 as a source for Matthew 25:31—46

Venters, Chad (2018) Exploring Psalm 80 as a source for Matthew 25:31—46. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / London School of Theology.

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Abstract

The Sheep and the Goats passage, in Matthew 25:31—46, is the climax of Jesus’ fifth great discourse. A tapestry of rich images and titles are woven into this scene of judgment, in which the ‘Son of Man’ is an enthroned shepherd and king who will judge πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, placing the sheep at the preeminent right and the goats in condemnation at the left. Such an eclectic series of images and titles presents an opportunity for exploring the background sources for this passage.
This thesis argues that Psalm 80 (Psalm 79 LXX) is an important source for the composition of Matthew 25:31—46. Psalm 80 provides a religio—political background for understanding the devastation facing Judaism at the hands of the Romans. Viewing Psalm 80 as a source for Matthew 25:31—46 accounts for the diversity of images found in the Sheep and the Goats and provides further insight into the meaning of the passage. This reading of the Sheep and the Goats contends that the story is not focused on world—ending judgment. The text is describing a cataclysmic shift in which God’s vineyard has been taken from Israel and given to the church and the nations.
This research augments the larger corpus of Matthean studies, contributing to the less—prominent research of Psalm 80 as an influential text for multiple passages in the New Testament and other first century literature. Various studies have proposed the prevalence of Psalm 80, through scriptural ‘echoes’ and ‘allusions’ in the New Testament. This research seeks to solidify these hypotheses in favour of Psalm 80 as an important background text for the New Testament Gospels.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > London School of Theology
Item ID: 25931
Depositing User: Vimal Shah
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2019 13:43
Last Modified: 03 May 2019 14:21
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/25931

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