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Matt 1:1: “Son of Abraham” as Christological Category

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image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

Matt 1:1 raises interpretive questions regarding its scope as a potential title and the import of the phrases “son of David” and “son of Abraham.” This article contends that “son of Abraham” introduces a significant sacrificial Christological category centered on the figure of Isaac which complements the Messianic aspects of Jesus Christ's ministry associated with the title “son of David.” “Son of David” and “son of Abraham” therefore stand in parallel at the beginning of the Gospel of Matthew as two titular designations specifying two Christological categories of the greatest import for the Gospel: Messiah (“son of David”) and new Isaac (“son of Abraham”). Thus is solved the difficulty of a crucified Messiah: Jesus is indeed the Messiah but also the anti-type of Isaac, whose sacrifice was paradigmatic in Jewish tradition. Matt 1:1 therefore introduces the reader to these dual Christological categories and is a title whose scope covers the entire Gospel.

Affiliations: 1: Wheaton College, Dept. of Biblical and Theological Studies, 501 College Avenue, Wheaton, IL 60187, USA;, Email:


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