Matthew's story of Jesus' baptism provides evidence of an "Immanuel" ("God with us") Christology. In particular the first evangelist redacts Mark's account and envisages Jesus as an apocalyptic prophet according to the order of Ezekiel. Moreover, the opening of the heavens and descent of the Spirit echo Isaiah 63–64 and portray Jesus as God's answer to the petition longing for his presence and redemption. The dove image appears to have two intertextual functions: (1) to construe Jesus' baptism as the end of judgment and the beginning of new creation through the recollection of Noah's deliverance, and (2) to signal Jesus' role as sufferer through a lesserknown image of the dove as a symbol for God's suffering people.
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Copyright © 1999 Copyright © 1999 The Institute for Biblical Research
Copyright © 1999 The Institute for Biblical Research