The New Testament includes the four Gospels; the Acts of the Apostles, a history of early Christianity; Epistles, or letters, of Paul and other writers; and an apocalypse, or book of revelation. Some books identified as letters, particularly the Book of Hebrews, are theological treatises.
The New Testament is the second of the two chief divisions of the Christian bible consisting of the books dealing with Christ's life and death and the work done by his apostles after his death.
Early Christian writers believed that the Gospel according to Matthew is the earliest of the synoptic Gospels (hence its position at the beginning of the New Testament) and attributed it to Saint Matthew, one of the 12 apostles. They believed that he wrote the Gospel in Palestine, just prior to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. Although this opinion is still held by some, most scholars consider the Gospel According to Mark the earliest Gospel. They believe, on the basis of both external and internal evidence, that the author of Matthew used Mark as one of his two major sources.
This exegesis, whilst interpreting the holy Christian scripture will discuss Jesus' teaching on adultery (Matthew 5. 27-30).
Before even beginning to discuss this exegesis, it is essential to ask some significant questions that will serve to illuminate our presuppositions. First, is there such a thing as sexual morality? Is there a moral law that should govern our sexual behavior or any behavior for that matter?
For traditional Christians that source of morality is Jesus Christ. His life and teaching, death and resurrection are the moral framework for all of life. Traditional Christians believe that the Bible authoritatively reveals this moral framework.
A prominent feature In Matthew 5:27-30, is when Jesus reveals that an inner attitude of lust is as much a type of sexual immorality as adultery. In order to understand this clearly one must define what "lust" means in this text. Does the author mean the initial physical attraction that comes when one looks at someone with pleasant facial features or a physically attractive body? Or is the author suggesting that 'lust' an initial reaction which is the natural, God-given response to physical beauty in a person of the opposite sex?
This exegesis will tackle these questions, amongst others, as well as discuss the prominent features, dominant meanings and interpretative problems of the passage. In addition this exegesis will comment on certain observations which have been made in the text, discuss the main idea, development and structure of the passage, as well as consult scholarly resources.
It became clear, through careful observations of the text that there was repetition of particular words in Verse 30 'and if your right hand offends you, you must cut it off...'
In addition, there was also repetition of particular concepts in verses 29 and 30, 'causes you to stumble...' 'For it is better for you that one of your members perish than that your whole body be thrown in Gehenna'. The repetition in verses 29 and 30 further emphasizes the severity of adultery. Jesus therefore instructs the people not to take this sin lightly.
What does Jesus mean by, "And if your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out, and throw it from you; ... And if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off, and throw it from you;" ? It could be suggested that the implication of removing your right eye, is that your left eye will lust in order to replace what is lost. Once the right hand has been removed, your left hand will fill the void.
Jesus is not speaking literally here; rather he is using metaphoric language. The reason being that the problem is in a persons heart, not in their hands our in their eyes.
Interestingly, a reason is given for the plucking out of the right eye and the cutting off of the right hand. This explanation is introduced by the conjunction 'For'. As it states in verses 29 and 30 'For it is better that... ' .