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Matthew Through the Centuries

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Matthew Through the Centuries

Ian Boxall

ISBN: 978-1-118-58880-2 November 2018 Wiley-Blackwell 560 Pages

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Description

The reception of the Gospel of Matthew over two millennia: commentary and interpretation

Matthew Through the Centuries offers an overview of the reception history of one of the most prominent gospels in Christian worship. Examining the reception of Matthew from the perspectives of a wide range of interpreters—from Origen and Hilary of Poitiers to Mary Cornwallis and Bob Marley—this insightful commentary explains the major trends in the reception of Matthew in various ecclesial, historical, and cultural contexts. Focusing on characteristically Matthean features, detailed chapter-by-chapter commentary highlights diverse receptions and interpretations of the gospel. Broad exploration of areas such as liturgy, literature, drama, film, hymnody, political discourse, and visual art illustrates the enormous impact Matthew continues to have on Judeo-Christian civilization. 

Known as ‘the Church’s Gospel,’ Matthew’s text has been the subject of apologetic and theological controversy for hundreds of years. It has been seen as justification for political and ecclesial status quo and as a path to radical discipleship. Matthew has influenced divergent political, spiritual, and cultural figures such as Francis of Assisi, John Ruskin, Leo Tolstoy, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Mahatma Gandhi. Matthew’s interest in ecclesiology provides early structures of ecclesial life, such as resolution of community disputes, communal prayer, and liturgical prescriptions for the Eucharist and baptism.

A significant addition to the acclaimed Blackwell Bible Commentaries series, Matthew Through the Centuries is an indispensable resource for both students and experts in areas including religious and biblical studies, literature, history, politics, and those interested in the influence of the Bible on Western culture.

List of Illustrations xiii

Series Editors’ Preface xvi

Preface xviii

Abbreviations xxi

Introduction 1

Matthew among the Gospels: A ‘Harmonious and Gentle Fullness’ 1

The Approach of This Commentary 4

The First Gospel as the Church’s Gospel 9

The Gospel with the Human Face 12

Key Interpreters across the Centuries 14

Matthew’s Gospel in the Arts and Literature 27

The Afterlife of Matthew the Evangelist 31

Note on References in the Commentary 37

Note on Biographies and Glossary 37

Matthew 1 38

Ancient Literary Context 38

The Interpretations 39

The Title (1:1) 40

The Genealogy (1:2–17) 41

The Annunciation to Joseph (1:18–25) 46

Matthew 2 53

Ancient Literary Context 53

The Interpretations 54

The Magi (2:1–12) 54

The Flight into Egypt (2:13–15) 64

The Slaughter of the Innocents (2:16–18) 67

From Egypt to Nazareth (2:19–23) 71

Matthew 3 74

Ancient Literary Context 74

The Interpretations 75

John the Baptist’s Ministry (3:1–6) 75

The Preaching of John (3:7–12) 79

The Baptism of Jesus (3:13–17) 81

Matthew 4 88

Ancient Literary Context 88

The Interpretations 89

The Temptation (4:1–11) 89

To ‘Galilee of the Gentiles’ (4:12–17) 95

Four Disciples Called (4:18–22) 96

The Sermon on the Mount: An Overview 99

Contested Meaning 101

A Sermon for All Christians 102

Apologetic and Polemical Use 103

The Sermon’s Radical Demands 105

Matthew 5 107

Ancient Literary Context 107

The Interpretations 108

Jesus Ascends the Mountain (5:1–2) 108

The Beatitudes (5:3–12) 110

Salt and Light (5:13–16) 119

Fulfilling the Law and the Prophets (5:17–48) 121

Matthew 6–7 130

Ancient Literary Context 130

The Interpretations 131

Practicing Piety (6:1–8, 16–18) 131

Our Father (6:9–15) 133

Other Teachings (6:19–7:12) 140

Conclusion to the Sermon (7:13–27) 145

Matthew 8–9 150

Ancient Literary Context 150

The Interpretations 152

A Triad of Healings (8:1–17) 152

Crossing the Sea and Calming the Storm (8:18–27) 159

Two Gadarene Demoniacs (8:28–34) 162Controversy in Christ’s Own City (9:1–17) 164

Another Cluster of Miracles (9:18–34) 167

Matthew 10 170

Ancient Literary Context 170

The Interpretations 171

Introducing the Twelve (10:1–4) 171

Commissioning the Twelve (10:5–15) 173

Warning of Persecution (10:16–33) 177

Not Peace but a Sword (10:34–36) 179

Demands and Rewards (10:37–42) 180

Matthew 11–12 181

Ancient Literary Context 181

The Interpretations 182

John and Jesus (11:2–19) 182

Rejection in Local Cities (11:20–24) 186

The ‘Johannine Thunderbolt’ (11:25–30) 188

Growing Opposition (12:1–14) 191

Jesus the Gentle Servant (12:15–21) 192

Jesus and Beelzebul (12:22–37) 193

The Sign of Jonah (12:38–45) 198

Mothers,Sisters, and Brothers (12:46–50) 200

Matthew 13 203

Ancient Literary Context 203

The Interpretations 205

Teaching from a Boat (13:1–2) 206

The Sower and Its Interpretation (13:3–9, 18–23) 207

The Purpose of Parables (13:10–17, 34–35) 210

The Wheat and Tares and Its Interpretation (13:24–30, 36–43) 212

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven (13:31–33) 215

Three More Kingdom Parables (13:44–50) 217

The Wise Householder (13:51–52) 222

Rejection in Christ’s Own Country (13:53–58) 223

Matthew 14–15 225

Ancient Literary Context 225

The Interpretations 227

The Death of the Baptist (14:1–12) 227

Two Miraculous Feedings (14:13–21; 15:32–39) 232

Walking on the Water (14:22–33) 236

Dispute Over Handwashing (15:1–20) 239

The Canaanite Woman and Her Daughter (15:21–28) 242

Matthew 16 246

Ancient Literary Context 246

The Interpretations 247

The Leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees (16:1–12) 247

Peter’s Confession (16:13–20) 248

Taking Up the Cross (16:21–28) 259

Matthew 17 262

Ancient Literary Context 262

The Interpretations 263

The Transfiguration (17:1–13) 263

The Exorcism of the Son (17:14–20) 272

The Coin in the Fish’s Mouth (17:24–27) 276

Matthew 18 279

Ancient Literary Context 279

The Interpretations 280

Children and the Kingdom (18:1–9) 280

The Lost Sheep (18:10–14) 283

Forgiveness and Community Discipline (18:15–20) 286

The Unmerciful Servant (18:21–35) 290

Matthew 19–20 293

Ancient Literary Context 293

The Interpretations 294

Marriage,Divorce, and Eunuchs (19:1–12) 294

The Rich Youth (19:16–30) 298

The Workers in the Vineyard (20:1–16) 301

The Mother of the Sons of Zebedee (20:20–28) 305

Two Blind Men at Jericho (20:29–34) 307

Matthew 21–22 309

Ancient Literary Context 309

The Interpretations 310

The King’s Humble Entry (21:1–11) 310

The Temple Incident (21:12–17) 316

Jesus and the Fig Tree (21:18–22) 318

The Two Sons (21:28–32) 319

The Vineyard Tenants (21:33–46) 320

The Marriage Feast (22:1–14) 322

A Series of Debates (22:15–46) 325

Matthew 23 332

Ancient Literary Context 332

The Interpretations 334

Woes against the Scribes and Pharisees (23:1–36) 334

A Lament for Jerusalem (23:37–39) 345

Matthew 24–25 348

Ancient Literary Context 348

The Interpretations 350

Jesus Leaves the Temple (24:1–2) 350

From the Birthpangs to the Parousia (24:3–31) 350

A Call to Watchfulness (24:32–51) 359

The Wise and Foolish Virgins (25:1–13) 363

The Talents (25:14–30) 368

The Judgment of the Nations (25:31–46) 370

Matthew 26–27 376

Ancient Literary Context 376

The Interpretations 377

From Plot to Arrest (26:1–56) 380

The Two Trials (26:57–27:31) 386

The Crucifixion of the Messiah (27:32–56) 403

The Burial (27:57–66) 410

Matthew 28 413

Ancient Literary Context 413

The Interpretations 414

The Discovery of the Tomb (28:1–8) 414

Grasping Christ’s Feet (28:9–10) 419

Bribing the Guards (28:11–15) 419

The Encounter on the Mountain (28:16–20) 420

Biographies and Glossary 426

Bibliography 446

Index of Biblical References 490

Index 510