logo e scritta



Marked Quotations from Psalms in the Gospel of Matthew


    This dissertation investigates the Matthean use of Psalms following M. Menken’s distinction between marked quotations – introduced by an introductory formula containing a direct reference to the Old Testament (OT), and unmarked quotations, without explicitly pointing to the OT. On the basis of this division, one may identify five marked psalm quotations – (1) Ps 91:11-12 in Matt 4:6; (2) Ps 78:2 in Matt 13:35; (3) Ps 8:3 in Matt 21:16; (4) Ps 118:22-23 in Matt 21:42; and (5) Ps 110:1 in Matt 22:44 – which are subjected to a detailed analysis. The study shows that Matthew applies to Jesus five marked psalm quotations as a coherent whole, in his new specific interpretative contexts, to address the OT expectation of the Messiah as Son of David, while showing this title is insufficient because Jesus is firstly Son of God. The dissertation adopts an intertextual approach investigating the transmission of the psalm texts and the possible change in their under­standing over time – in their OT Hebrew version, Dead Sea Scrolls, the LXX, Ori­gen’s Hexapla and Octapla, Vulgate, Targum, rabbinic literature, et al. The disserta­tion is the first monograph devoted to the use of Psalms in Matthew trying to fill this gap in the scholarly literature. In consequence, the nature of this work is explora­tory. The introduction is followed by six chapters – the first one is dedicated to the use of Psalms in Matthew in general while the rest to each of the five marked quota­tions individually. 
    The first chapter demonstrates the complexity of the issue resulting from a wide application of the psalm texts in the first gospel (Psalms is the most quoted OT book by Matthew) and provides a background for analysis of individual marked quotations, indicating their distinctiveness from the rest of the citations from Psalms (unmarked quotations). Chapters two through six have the same structure. The first part of each chapter is dedicated to the understanding of the psalm quota­tion within its original context formed by the Hebrew text. In the next step, the study of the early textual witnesses of the given psalm quotation is proposed. After­wards, in the case of chapters five and six (dedicated to the Matthean use of Pss 118:22-23 and 110:1, respectively), the analysis of the psalm quotation in the NT literature and other writings follows due to its extensive use. The last part of each chapter focuses on the Matthean application of the psalm quotation in the new inter­pretative context of his gospel.     The analysis of the five marked quotations from Psalms shows the consistency of Matthew in applying the OT psalm texts in the new narrative context dealing with Jesus’ divine identity in which the OT messianic expectations are fulfilled. By means of these five citations, which are related to each other not only by the presence of the introductory formulas, but also through mutual thematic convergence – con­cerned in varying degrees with King David, the temple, and the theme of Jesus’ iden­tity – the author of the first gospel takes up the OT concept of the Messiah as the Son of David by referring Son of David to Jesus while at the same time pointing out that Son of David, reflecting the common belief at the time of Jesus about the Mes­siah as the earthly descendant in the Davidic royal line, does not fully define his identity because he is first of all the Son of God.