The Meaning of Matthew 18:35 and the Message of the Parable

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. The closing remark[1] offers an allegorical reading of the parable and presents its meaning not only to Peter, but to the whole community of disciples.[2] Susan Hylen notes the difficulty of translating this passage into English due to the combinationContinue reading “The Meaning of Matthew 18:35 and the Message of the Parable”

The Meaning of Matthew 18:32-34

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. This final section of the parable describes the king’s reaction to the wickedness of his δοῦλος. Indeed, the lord calls the δοῦλος to accounts without even hearing an explanation. Luz indicates that ancient hearers and readers would not have beenContinue reading “The Meaning of Matthew 18:32-34”

The Meaning of Matthew 18:28-31

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. These verses mirror verses 24-27, except for the fact that the unforgiving δοῦλος does not respond to his fellow δοῦλος with mercy. There are two immediately obvious dissimilarities which would have captured the attention of this parable’s audiences. First, thereContinue reading “The Meaning of Matthew 18:28-31”

The Meaning of Matthew 18:23-27

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. The opening Διὰ τοῦτο of v.23 indicates the connection of this story to that which immediately precedes.[1] This is a kingdom of the heavens parable (βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν) which is set in the typical Semitic form of a king andContinue reading “The Meaning of Matthew 18:23-27”

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”

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”

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”

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”