Christian Origins and the Establishment of the Early Jesus Movement explores the events, people, and writings surrounding the founding of the early Jesus movement in the mid to late first century. The essays are divided into four parts, focused upon the movement’s formation, the production of its early Gospels, description of the Jesus movement itself, and the Jewish mission and its literature. This collection of essays includes chapters by a global cast of scholars from a variety of methodological and critical viewpoints, and continues the important Early Christianity in its Hellenistic Context series.
Matthew crowds more Old Testament quotations and allusions into the prologue than anywhere else in his gospel. In this volume, Nicholas G. Piotrowski demonstrates the narratological and rhetorical effects of such frontloading. Particularly, seven formula-quotations constellate to establish a redemptive-historical setting inside of which the rest of the narrative operates. This setting is defined by Old Testament expectations for David’s great son to end Israel’s exile and rule the nations. Piotrowski contends that the rhetorical effect of this intertextual storytelling was to provide the Matthean community with an identity—in a contentious atmosphere—in terms of God’s historical design for the ages, now fulfilled in Jesus and his followers.