Gospel According to Matthew

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Many have attempted to derive a purely "social gospel" from the Gospel According to Matthew, that is, an account of the ethical teachings of Jesus that is stripped of all references to the divinity of Jesus Christ, or to a final judgement. It is not only coherent to derive a social ethic from the Gospel, but also is imperative in order to mitigate the differences among religions which have caused followers to believe in their own absolute truth and to judge others as misguided. At the same time, this has driven generations of followers to commit acts of violence in the name of God over subtle and relatively unimportant differences. The teachings of Jesus, which are found in the "Gospel According to Mathew" are mostly ethical; however, they revolve around a religious framework. In his teachings, Jesus makes reference to God as the fulfillment of life. More importantly, he does not assert that one has to accept him as a deity in order to gain a place in heaven. there is no evidence of him declaring him self a divinity. This idea of Jesus' divinity and of the final judgement, the basis of Christianity, appeared only after his death. Despite the fact that for Christians the teachings of Jesus only make sense within this religious belief system, they nonetheless contain explicit moral and ethical values which concern primarily a person's duty to his fellow man. Throughout Matthews' Gospel, the "Teachings of Jesus" make reference to an individual's duty to others. Further more, his bases for teaching are centered on acting in accordance to the law: "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22, 21), and also on developing ethical and social values that would lead a person into becoming righteous and compassionate. In his "Sermon on the Mount", for instance, Jesus spoke about seeking the "kingdom of heaven" first thorough having become humble, compassionate, righteous and peaceful, all of...
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