This essay is presented as a "prequel" to my study of Matt 5:22 in BBR 20 (2010): 61–84. Its purpose to enlarge on a point made in the former article, namely, the righteousness "better" than that of the scribes and Pharisees (Matt 5:20) is pointedly Christological. That is to say, the disciples of Jesus are no longer to be guided, commanded, or constrained by the Mosaic Torah or by subsequent tradition. Rather, they are to do his words, because he is the eschatological king of Israel: his teaching trumps all previous forms of instruction. Therefore, the "better righteousness" of the kingdom of heaven resides in the eschatological will of God for a new covenant community, as embodied in and proclaimed by Jesus the Messiah.

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