The Narrative of Matthew and Forgiveness (Part 1)

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. It has often been suggested that the canonical gospels are passion stories with long introductions,[1] that the narrative of the crucifixion, death, and resurrections form the crux of the gospel message and is supplemented by what comes earlier in theContinue reading “The Narrative of Matthew and Forgiveness (Part 1)”

The Parables of Matthew and Forgiveness

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. These general literary-theological insights concerning Matthew’s theology of forgiveness find additional explication in two additional parables of Jesus: the Parable of the Lost Sheep (18:10-14) and Parable of the Two Sons (21:28-32). In the Parable of the Lost Sheep—which occursContinue reading “The Parables of Matthew and Forgiveness”

Matthew’s General Theology of Forgiveness

This post is part of an ongoing series on Forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew. While increased attention has been paid to Matthew’s overarching theology of forgiveness in recent years, no study has comprehensively treated this theme.[1] Here, we begin the process of tracing Matthew’s theology of forgiveness, considering literary-theological passages, parables, and narrative insightsContinue reading “Matthew’s General Theology of Forgiveness”

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”