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The Suffering Servant And Matthean Christology

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Chapter Summary

The concept of the "Suffering Servant" remains a staple of New Testament scholarship. Although a few scholars have argued that the putative Servant figure plays no substantive role in New Testament Christology, rumors of the Servant's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Many interpreters consider the Servant figure essential for understanding Matthean Christology. This chapter establishes that no substantive, unified Servant figure was present in the encyclopedia, demonstrate that the citations of Isaianic Servant material in the Gospel of Matthew have functions other than presenting Jesus as the Suffering Servant, and raise questions about the plausibility and import of commonly accepted Matthean allusions to Servant material. The Akedah functions in Isaiah 42:1 here to intimate not only that Jesus, unlike the Pharisees, is the Son of God, the Israel who serves faithfully, but that his service likely entails sacrificial death, a hypothesis which will be confirmed in further reading.

Keywords: Akedah; Gospel of Matthew; Isaiah; Jesus; Matthean Christology; New Testament; sacrificial death; Son of God; suffering servant



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