chapter 18), and, even beyond Moses, he is 'Emmanuel', 'God with us' from his miraculous conception, one who remains present in its midst (1:23; 28:20; 18:20; with Isa 7:14). This is just one of some dozen 'formula quotations' in Matthew, in which he solemnly emphasises that Jesus' deeds and life events are in fulfilment of'scripture'. This sense that in the history of Jesus prophecy has been fulfilled is also applied to events since Jesus' death and its aftermath. Jesus is depicted as having foretold the destruction ofJerusalem, down to the detail of the conflagration which Titus' troops ignited (23:38; 22:7). Matthew interprets these events as divine punishment on the Jewish leaders and people for the death ofJesus (27:25) and wilful rejection of the 'gospel' message (28:11-15). When combined with the bitter invectives Matthew has Jesus deliver against the leaders of the synagogue (who were in this time period themselves seeking theological explanation for the terrible events, and finding it elsewhere),66 Matthew's gospel became a charter document for the mission to the Gentiles, the ethnos, 'nation', who will bear fruit (21:43; cf. 28:19-20). Yet the parables Matthew adds to Mark's 'little Apocalypse' (Mark 13:1-37; cf. Matt 24:1-25:46), issue the unmistakable warning that the parousia of the Lord will only bring access to the kingdom of God for those whose deeds are in conformity with their word of confession to the Lord (see the parallelism between 7:21-7 and 25:31-46). Much is at stake, obviously, in composing a text which, like Torah itself, preserves and re-presents 'all that I commanded you' (28:20). Perhaps it is not surprising that Matthew's was the most widely read and cited gospel in the earliest church.67
Luke and Acts. Explicitly acknowledging his 'many' unnamed predecessors (Mark and others), this writer, probably in the early second century, argues that his new 'narrative' (diegesis) is justified by his wish to write in an orderly fashion (kathexes, 1:3) the traditions, both oral and written, which he had followed 'with great precision' (akribos). Luke not only claims a place for his work on the growing shelf of Christian literature, but he also, by his use of the literary form of an historiographic preface,68 with its customary references to witnesses, prior sources and 'accuracy' and 'reliability', overtly seeks to situate his narrative about 'the things that have been fulfilled among us' among the local histories of the ancient world.69 The shift from a well-crafted Greek
67 Massaux, Influence of the gospel of Saint Matthew.
68 See Alexander, Preface to Luke's gospel (who seeks to isolate technical manuals from historiographic prefaces); essays in Moessner, Jesus and the heritage of Israel on Luke's preface and its place in ancient historiography.
69 Sterling, Historiography and self-definition.
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