Forgiveness in Matthew: Conclusion and Bibliography

This post concludes our series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew.

The imperative of forgiveness stands at the heart of the Parable of Unforgiving Servant. For Jesus and Matthew, releasing others from sins and debts constitutes an integral part of what it means to be a member of the Christian community and proclaim God’s love and mercy to the world. True forgiveness finds itself rooted not only in God’s forgiveness of our sins—the emphasis of Matthew 18:21-35—but also in the forgiving blood of Jesus, the means by which human sin becomes forgiven. Matthew’s wider theology of forgiveness demonstrates the importance of extending mercy in the Matthean community, as these parables and rules guided practices on the limits of forgiveness and who could be forgiven. May contemporary Jesus-followers continue to heed Matthew’s messages of forgiveness: that we must extend to everyone true forgiveness from the heart.


Ancient Sources

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–. Unknown Sayings of Jesus. London: S.P.C.K., 1964.

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Reimer, David J. “Stories of Forgiveness: Narrative Ethics and the Old Testament.” Pages 359-378 in Reflection and Refraction: Studies in Biblical Historiography in Honour of A. Graeme Auld. Edited by Robert Rezetko, Timothy H. Lim and W. Brian Aucker. Leiden: Brill, 2007.

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Thompson, William G. Matthew’s Advice to a Divided Community: Mt. 17,22-18,35. Rome: Biblical Institute Press, 1970.

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von Balthasar, Hans Urs. “Jesus and Forgiveness.” Translated by Josephine Koeppel. Communio: International Catholic Review 11.4 (1984): 322-334.

Williams, Rowan. “The Forgiveness of Sins: Hosea 11:1-9; Matthew 18:23-35.” Pages 214-218 in Stricken by God? Nonviolent Identification and the Victory of Christ. Edited by Brad Jersak and Michael Hardin. Grand Rapids and Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2007.

Wright, David P. “Day of Atonement/” Pages II: 72-76 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary: Volume 2 (D-G). New York/London: Doubleday: 1992.


Published by Jacob J. Prahlow

Husband of Hayley. Dad of Bree and Judah. Lead pastor at Arise Church. MATS from Saint Louis University, MA from Wake Forest University, BA from Valparaiso University. Theologian and writer here and at Conciliar Post. Find me on social at @pastorjakestl

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