The Torn Veil

Matthew's Exposition of the Death of Jesus


In this 2006 text, Daniel M. Gurtner examines the meaning of the rending of the veil at the death of Jesus in Matthew 27:51a by considering the functions of the veil in the Old Testament and its symbolism in Second Temple and Rabbinic Judaism. Gurtner incorporates these elements into a compositional exegesis of the rending text in Matthew. He concludes that the rending of the veil is an apocalyptic assertion like the opening of heaven revealing, in part, end-time images drawn from Ezekiel 37. Moreover, when the veil is torn Matthew depicts the cessation of its function, articulating the atoning role of Christ's death which gives access to God not simply in the sense of entering the Holy of Holies (as in Hebrews), but in trademark Matthean Emmanuel Christology: 'God with us'. This underscores the significance of Jesus' atoning death in the first gospel.
  • Cambridge University Press; December 2006
  • ISBN 9780511258411
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: The Torn Veil
  • Author: Daniel M. Gurtner
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press

In The Press

Review of the hardback: 'Gurtner has produced an extremely valuable study that clarifies many of the issues that revolve around this small but highly significant detail in the Matthean text.' The Expository Times