The Meaning of Matthew 18:21-22

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. Peter’s question (a pattern in Matthew) and the parable which follows serve as a gemara, a safeguard against possible absolutist interpretations of the teaching on excommunication (vv.15-20) which precedes it.[1] This brief dialogue introduces the topic of forgiveness, with theContinue reading “The Meaning of Matthew 18:21-22”

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Teach Me, O God

Teach me, O God, to use all the circumstances of my life today to nurture the fruits of the Spirit rather than the fruits of sin. Let me use disappointment as material for patience;Let me use success as material for thankfulness;Let me use anxiety as material for perseverance;Let me use danger as material for courage;LetContinue reading “Teach Me, O God”

Literary Sources for Matthew 18:21-35

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. We must also unearth some of our parable’s literary sources, those materials which stand behind this narrative and help shed light on how Jesus and Matthew’s audiences would have understood this story. The vast majority of scholars attribute at leastContinue reading “Literary Sources for Matthew 18:21-35”

A Prayer for Today

Let me face what you send with the strength you supply;When you make what I do effective, help me to ensure that your word is effective in my heart;When you call me to go through the dark valley, do not let me persuade myself that I know a way around;Help me not to refuse anyContinue reading “A Prayer for Today”

The Context of Matthew 18:21-35

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. Literary Genre The central features of Matthew 18:21-35 are universally recognized to belong to the genre of parable. And despite its preservation only in Matthew’s Gospel, this parable is “almost universally reckoned an authentic parable of Jesus.”[1] Defined broadly, “parabolicContinue reading “The Context of Matthew 18:21-35”

Resources on Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife

We’re kicking off a new series at Arise Church this Sunday on heaven, hell, and the afterlife. As part of our series notes, I like to share some suggested resources for each series, books and articles and podcasts and videos that may be helpful for those wanting to dig deeper into the topics that ourContinue reading “Resources on Heaven, Hell, and the Afterlife”

A Historical-Critical Introduction to Matthew

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. Author Writing around 324 CE, church historian Eusebius of Caesarea recorded this saying from Papias, a second-century bishop of Hierapolis, concerning the Gospel of Matthew: “And so Matthew composed the sayings in the Hebrew tongue, and each one interpreted [Or:Continue reading “A Historical-Critical Introduction to Matthew”