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Introduction: Getting to know the Gospel of Matthew

Exploring the text
Matthew’s Gospel sometimes evokes a mixed response from its readers, much more so than either Mark or Luke. While Matthew’s Gospel contains iconic and well-loved episodes such as the visit of the Magi (2.1) or the Sermon on the Mount (chapters 5 —7), it also includes some much more difficult passages. For example, in Matthew people are more often condemned either to the outer darkness or to the furnace of fire where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew’s Gospel contains the apparently brutal parable of the wedding banquet, in which a guest is evicted from the feast simply for wearing the wrong clothes (22.12–13), as well as, in chapter 23, a long string of woes against the Pharisees. As a result of passages like these, Matthew’s Gospel can feel condemnatory as well as encouraging; harsh as well as loving. All in all it is a more challenging Gospel...

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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