Matthew's community, contrary to what many scholars believe, was a cosmopolitan, wealthy Jewish Christian community located in Galilee. Gale concludes that Matthew's community was a conservative Christian community located in Galilee that still believed the laws of Torah were valid and required strict adherence. Gale's argument contrasts with many scholars who argue that the Matthean church was in the process of, or had already abolished, the Torah. Gale uses material evidence to indicate that Matthew's community was cosmopolitan and wealthy, and he argues that the community was also highly learned, comprised of many scribes. Gale concludes that the Matthean church was located near Sepphoris and was a wealthy, urban, and learned community.
Table of Contents
PREFACE; INTRODUCTION; Research Topics and Presuppositions; A Final Note: The Case for Utilizing Rabbinic Sources in New Testament Study; CHAPTER 1: THE MATTHEAN COMMUNITY AND FORMATIVE JUDAISM; The State of Judaism following; The State of Judaism in Galilee; The State of Christianity following the Jewish War; Struggles between Judaism and Jewish Christianity; Evidence of Tension in the Matthean Gospel; The Matthean Gospel as a Jewish Text; CHAPTER 2: TRADITION IN TRANSITION, OR ANTIOCH VS. SEPPHORIS: RETHINKING THE MATTHEAN COMMUNITY'S LOCATION; Preliminary Observations: Matthew's Community as a City. Church; The Matthean Community's Location: Antioch vs. Sepphoris; Sepphoris: The Home to the Matthean Community; CHAPTER 3: THE WEALTH OF THE MATTHEAN COMMUNITY; Galilean Economics: A First-Century View; Matthew as a Wealthy Galilean Community; The Matthean Community in the Context of the Roman Economy; Texts and Economics: The Existence of the Book Trade; CHAPTER 4: SCRIBES AND CONFLICTS: LEADERSHIP IN THE MATTHEAN COMMUNITY; The Role of the Scribe in the First Century Jewish Education, the Scribe, and the Roman Empire; Matthew's View and Usage of the Term "Scribe"; Matthew the Scribe: The Transfiguration as Evidence; CHAPTER 5: EVIDENCE OF A LEARNED COMMUNITY; Matthew's Utilization of the Old Testament and Targums; Matthew's Jewish Exegetical Techniques; Matthew's Continued Use of Jewish Exegetical Techniques:; The Kal Vehomer; The Matthean Gospel and Additional Literary Techniques; Unity, Irony, Allusion, Allegory, and Multiple Levels of Meaning The Audience of Matthew: A Learned Group; Chapter Conclusions; CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS; Matthew: A Jewish Christian Community; The Location of the Matthean Community; The Wealth of the Matthean Community; The Crux of the Debate: Matthew as a Learned Community; WORKS CITED; Index.
Aaron M. Gale is an Assistant Professor of religious studies as well as the Coordinator of the Program for Religious Studies at West Virginia University. He is the co-compiler (with Sheila E. McGinn) of Bibliographies for Biblical Research: The Book of Revelation.