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The Intertestamental Background

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Chapter Summary

This chapter undertakes an examination of the term μαθητής and the equivalent Hebrew/Aramaic semantical field as found in the extant Jewish literature outside the Old Testament and up to the compilation of the Rabbinical literature. It is devoted primarily to the primary sources, which means examining the related terms for disciple in the Septuagint, Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran literature, Philo, the Gospels, Josephus and the Rabbinic literature. The major objective is to try to arrive at an understanding of how the terms for disciple were used at the time of Jesus. This understanding of the Jewish use contemporary to the gospels is then compared against the use of μαθητής in Matthew's gospel in order to arrive at a more complete understanding of Matthew's concept of the disciples. Μαθητής became a convenient vehicle to carry Jesus' concept of vital attachment to himself personally.

Keywords: Μαθητής; Apocrypha; Aramaic semantical field; Jewish literature; Matthew's gospel; Old Testament; Pseudepigrapha; Qumran literature; Rabbinical literature



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