Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology

Department

School of Theology • Seminary

First Advisor

Charles A. Bobertz

Abstract

In this paper, the cleansing of theTempleis described as a story of both judgment and challenge. Matthew illustrates Jesus to his post-Temple community as the Jewish continuation of Moses and the Law, the fiery prophet critiquing the economic system set up by the chief priests and scribes, and God himself who brings judgment to his people. The story challenged Matthew’s community and challenges the modern reader to end oppression, attend to the marginalized, and accept Jesus as the newTemple– the continuation of Judaism. This story can be seen in terms of liturgy and Baptism in the Church, and confronts our comfortable modern Christology and our commitment (or lack of commitment) to social justice. Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple is a dramatic, eschatological event, one that was exceptionally important to Matthew’s story and one that is especially important to our own understanding of Christ and his Church.

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