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The Fulfilment of all Righteousness: Matthew’s Unique Perspective on Jesus’ Baptism in Mt. 3.13-17

Antonius, Pedro (2019) The Fulfilment of all Righteousness: Matthew’s Unique Perspective on Jesus’ Baptism in Mt. 3.13-17. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

This research aims at relieving the apparent tension between the traditional NT claim of a sinless Jesus and the fact that the same submitted to the baptism of John. If Jesus had no need to repent because he was ‘without sin’ then he did not need this baptism of repentance as preached by John the Baptist. For this reason, the question of the meaning of Jesus’ baptism in the Matthean context constitutes the core of this thesis. The different existing scholarly explanatory suggestions on the matter seem unsatisfactory and deprived of an appropriate consideration for the specific Matthean literary context in which this baptism pericope is set. Therefore, this thesis examines the unparalleled conversation of Jesus with John in Mt. 3. 14, 15 and interprets it in the light of the characteristic Matthean attachment to the OT with regard to supporting the messianic claims of Jesus. The exegesis of Mt 3.15 provides the means through which Matthew is understood to define the nature and purpose of the baptism of Jesus as a fulfilment of God’s requirement. This baptism is not just a water-purification ritual like for the rest of the baptised, but the realisation of the two-step procedure, washing and anointing, that constituted the consecration rite of the first ever-biblical messianic figure. The baptism of Jesus that included his water washing by the Baptist and his Holy-Spirit anointing is the anti-type of the act that took place with Aaron in the OT at his consecration as a the high priest of Israel. Thus, in the literary Matthean context, the submission of Jesus to John’s baptism is as much a part of messianic fulfilments through typology as the rest of the actions and events identified as such. The baptism of Jesus by John at the River Jordan constitutes his official messianic consecration and it is typologically linked to the official consecration of the first high priest of Israel’s Levitical priestly history. The practical significance of such understanding is fitting with the NT identification of Jesus as the eternal high priest of the Christian faith on the one hand. On the other hand, this thought also allows a strong meaningful link between the baptism of Jesus and that of his followers in the context of the priestly identity of all of God’s children. This priestly identity in the NT is also in continuity with the model established in the OT.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Biblical Studies (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Mr Pedro Antonius
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2020 09:18
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2020 09:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/25878

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