The 'velum scissum' : Matthew's exposition of the death of Jesus
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The dissertation draws largely on the Old Testament to examine the function of the veil as a means of determining the reason for its rending (Matt 27:51a), as well as the association of the veil with the heavenly firmaments in Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism. These key elements are incorporated into a compositional exegesis of the rending text in Matthew, with some consideration given to parallel texts as well. I am concluding that the rending of the veil is an apocalyptic assertion like the opening of heaven. What follows, then, is the content of what is revealed drawn largely from apocalyptic images in Ezekiel 37. Moreover, when the veil is torn Matthew depicts the cessation of its function, articulating the atoning function of Christ's death allowing accessibility to God not simply in the sense of entering the Holy of Holies (as in Hebrews), but in trademark Matthean Emmanuel Christology: "God with us." This underscores the significance of Jesus' atoning death in the first gospel.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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