Salvation in Matthew 5:17–20 and its Implications in the Church in Antioch and St James Kajire Anglican Parish, Kenya
Keywords:culture, salvation, righteousness, identity, Matthew, Church in Antioch, St James Kajire Anglican Parish
This article was prompted by my fervour to find out how modern and ancient cultures influence Christian conception and the practice of salvation. To address this issue, I decided to do a comparative study of salvation in modern time, with first century practice of the same. On the one hand, I focused on exploring salvation as reflected in the Gospel of Matthew 5.17–20, because most scholars believe that this Gospel addresses a multi-cultural community composed of Gentiles and Judeans. On the other hand, to observe modern practices of salvation, I interviewed a focus group through a questionnaire and telephone calls in 2011 and 2019, respectively, to briefly explore the case of St James Anglican Parish at Kajire Village in Taita-Taveta County, Kenya. The overall goal of the article is to explore how, in pursuit of practising their salvation, the community of Matthew in Antioch had to contest the Roman Empire, accommodate Diaspora Judaism, and identify with the emerging Jesus Movement. Consequently, employing literary analysis and what I call “social identity political theory” (SIPT), I have argued that a culturally conditioned practice of salvation is prone to the promotion of group dominance. To address this problem, Matthew advances an inclusive view of salvation that entails the construction of a superordinate Christian identity, which has the potential to support a Christocentric perspective of salvation.
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