Download e-book for iPad: The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers: A Historical by Howard Clarke

By Howard Clarke

ISBN-10: 0253110610

ISBN-13: 9780253110619

ISBN-10: 025334235X

ISBN-13: 9780253342355

The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers is a biblical observation with a distinction. Howard Clarke first establishes modern scholarship's mainstream view of Matthew's Gospel, after which provides a sampling of the methods this article has been learn, understood, and utilized via millennia. by way of referring ahead to Matthew's readers (rather than again to the text's composers), the ebook exploits the tensions among what modern students comprehend to be the purpose of the writer of Matthew and the fairly assorted, certainly usually eccentric and weird methods this article has been understood, assimilated, and utilized through the years. The statement is a testomony to the ambiguities and elasticity of the textual content and a cogent reminder that interpretations are usually not fastened, nor texts immutably proper. And not like different commentaries, this one offers house to those that have wondered, rejected, or maybe ridiculed Matthew's messages, for the reason that Bible-bashing, like Bible-thumping, is a traditionally major a part of the event of interpreting the Bible.

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Additional info for The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel

Example text

This was the date of the winter solstice as set by the solar calendar introduced by Julius Caesar in 46 BC and was a holiday established in 275 by the Emperor Aurelian (270–75), a monarch who liked to associate himself with the power and brilliance of the sun. The cult of the sun was continued by Emperor Diocletian (284–305) and the early Constantine (324–37), and its vague monotheism 14 The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers represented one of the last gasps of Olympianism. It even infected Christianity (surviving in English in the “son-sun” pun).

Finally, for a truly “Victorian Christmas” British Druids supplied the mistletoe, suggesting new life, while the red holly berries foreshadow Jesus’ blood and their sharp leaves his crown of thorns. Readers who wanted a nativity story in all its picturesque, if imagined details first found it in the late-thirteenthcentury Meditations on the Life of Christ. Said to be the work of the Franciscan St. 19 So our Christmas, like other Christian commemorations, is a jumble of scriptural events and local customs, raising the question whether the tendency to assimilate these various traditions, legends, and usages is a sign of Christianity’s weakness or its strength.

Readers might wonder what Herod had to fear from a baby, or why he was unable to find Jesus in a house marked by a star and visited by three important foreigners, or why he would order the murder of two-yearolds if he wanted only to eliminate one newly born infant. The historian Josephus (37–100), who records the bloodthirstiness of Herod, does not mention this event that has been so vividly represented in Western painting, and it is unlikely that Herod’s Roman masters would have tolerated such an outrage.

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The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel by Howard Clarke

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