The gospels of Mathew onset with Genealogy of Christ, echoing the Old Testament descend of Christ from the lineage of Abraham and King David and the various miraculous events that circumnavigate his Virgin birth. One of the most important studies in this book is its structural context, which is quite diverse and unique due the complexity of the subject matter it contains. In order to identify the units and sub units of the book to be analyzed and used in teachings Christian religious education, the literature must be studied either in diachronic perspective or in literary synchronic perspective by the relevant users.
In accordance to B.W. Bacon and C. R. Smith analysis, this gospel book is divided into five independent blocs, comprising of, the disclosure formula and phenomena which occurs five times. This was majorly sectioned to provide a deeper exposition and understanding of the book. This principle forms the pillar of various study approaches to be used in learning of the subject.
The various five sections which is the basic components of the text and used to address various issues that are important for learning includes; introduction: the birth of Christ (1:1-23), the sermon on the mount and John the Baptist (3:1-7), the ministry of Galilee (8:1-10, the opposition of Christ teachings (11:1-13), Jesus Vision (14:1-18), journey and entry into Jerusalem (19:1-25) and finally the passion narrative and resurrection.
Religions studies over years have played a greater role in the universal understanding of the infancy narratives both in the Nation and worldwide. Omission of various facts of the relevant subject can result to an impression that religious study is of human nature and does not carry a great relevance. Study of the subject is also important as it emphasizes the right of liberty in Christ as an element of the constitution. To provide a sound role of religious study various disciples also interrelate to integrate it in their exposition to acquit the stakeholders.
The various states department of education requires every stakeholder in the teaching field to develop content standards and methods of academic assessments for every discipline taught in various schools from the (K-12). This is guided by the curriculum developed from the collective wisdom of scholars from perspective fields. The teaching of the infancy narratives is always embedded across the disciples due to the national and global affairs such as chrismas.
The various approaches used to teach religion in schools based on the nation and diocesan curriculum includes historical, literary and cultural study approach. The literary approach exposes the infancy of Mathew to learners. It shows the whole story of virginal conception on Mathew1:8-25, this gives the impression on the Holy nature of Jesus Christ. The moral dilemma introduced in the section need to be taught and the learners provided with opportunities to provide joint inquiries and opinions. Gaining the deeper understanding will overcome the widely held misconceptions in the topic and encourages the learners to think beyond the board .
The second approach that can be used to encourage learners to utilize the meta-cognitive strategies and to interpret the complex issues related to the infancy narrative is the historical approach. This approach provides a multi-lens analysis. It is strong as it provides the origin of the context, with political and cultural influences. The infancy narratives provide the historical background of Jews and Pharisees and their struggle on Judaism (Mathew Chapter 23). This scriptural text will provide the learners with the history, the culture, family life , the way of life of Jesus as a child, the customs of the people and entire way how the gospel origin of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It also provides the students with greater connection of the contextual information and the audiences expressed in the scripture; for example the study of Mathew and the society where the gospel was written, the purpose and the intended contemporary audiences (Caraza, 2012).
The third approach that can also be effectively utilized is the cultural approach, the infancy narratives provides both the learner and the teacher a social, cultural and historical context to clarify personal and shared meanings of various scriptural texts. The learners study the ancient way of Jews and Pharisees life and clearly clarify their personal and shared meanings. The clarified information provided by the learners should be helpful in developing positive attitudes in the contemporary world .
The infancy narratives can also be read in different translations to provide the learner with different tools for interpreting the scriptural texts on the same story of infancy narrative. This will provide the learner with various views of the same story and enhance their understanding as they provide commentaries, atlases and parallels, an important aspect in cognitive development of the learner .
In conclusion, the book Mathew demonstrate clear outlook of the infancy narratives that can be used by the stakeholders teaching Religious Education to develop the moral values and general positive conduct of the learners in the wider society.
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Olson, C. E. (2012). Furthe Details Abuot Jesus of Nazareth. The Catholic News Service.
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