Messianic expectation and the exorcisms of Jesus, the Son of David, in Matthew’s Gospel
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In this thesis I establish that Matthew’s presentation of Jesus’s exorcisms fits with the Second Temple exorcistic messianic expectations. This thesis challenges the axiom that nobody expected the Messiah to cast out demons. Previous research has been either preoccupied with sharp definitions of titles, have had a narrow understanding of messianism, or have attempted to import non-Jewish explanations. I have taken a more conceptual approach and have focused on those ideas in the Jewish Scriptures that provide the seedbed for messianism in general, that is, the Promise (2 Sam 7) and the centrality of David and Solomon. I have focused specifically on those elements that make their rule distinctive and ideally secure their prevailing over their adversaries. I have then traced the development of these features in the Second Temple period towards explicitly exorcistic interpretations. In so doing I have established the contemporary landscape and demonological language against which Matthew’s presentation of Jesus’s exorcisms specifically as the Son of David takes a shape of prophetic fulfillment. I have, thus, shown that Matthew’s account of Jesus the Son of David’s exorcisms makes sense only if it is preceded by a contemporary expectation for an exorcistic Messiah.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2023-01-15
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 15th January 2023
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