The righteousness of Jesus and John the Baptist as depicted by Matthew
Viljoen, Francois P.
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Righteousness forms a significant feature in the first gospel. This article focuses on two of the seven occurrences of this term in Matthew, where it refers to Jesus and John. The argument in this article is that Matthew intentionally uses the word righteousness with reference to Jesus and John to shape the lifestyle of his community. Jesus is the central focus of this community’s identity. In solidarity with his people, Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. John is described as a figure that rightly recognised Jesus and also fulfilled all righteousness in his teaching and practice. The Matthean community should do the same. Though the word righteousness can be used in a soteriological sense, Matthew uses it in an ethical sense. By righteousness Matthew refers to the proper behavioural norms and attitudes for his community. He contrasts the righteousness of his community with that of the scribes and Pharisees as a distinguishing factor.
- Faculty of Theology