The Audience of Matthew

The Audience of Matthew : An Appraisal of the Local Audience Thesis

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This book seeks to establish the inadequacy of readings of the Gospel of Matthew as intended for, and a reflection of, a local audience or community. Despite repeated challenges, the local audience thesis continues to dominate a large proportion of Matthean scholarship, and, as such, the issue of
determining the Gospel's audience remains an open question.

In this book, Cedric E. W. Vine posits four main critiques. The first suggests the assumptions which underpin the text-focused process of identifying the Gospel's audience, whether deemed to be local, Jewish, or universal, lack clarity. Second, local audience readings necessarily exclude plot-related developments and are both selective and restrictive in their treatment of characterisation. Third, Vine argues that many in an audience of the Gospel would have incorporated their experience of hearing Matthew within pre-existing mental representations shaped by Mark or other early traditions. Fourth, Vine suggests that early Christian audiences were largely heterogeneous in terms of ethnicity, age, sex, wealth, familiarity with Christian traditions, and levels of commitment. As
such, the aural reception of the Gospel would have resulted in a variety of impacts. A number of these critiques extend beyond the local audience option and for this reason this study concludes that we cannot currently determine the audience of the Gospel.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 13.21mm | 354g
  • T.& T.Clark Ltd
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0567664481
  • 9780567664488
  • 1,406,289

Table of contents

1. The Local Audience Thesis and the Gospel of Matthew
2. Characterisation and Plot in Local Audience Reconstructions
3. Peter in Matthean and Markan Local Audience
4. Orality, Performance and Gospel Audiences
5. Aural Experience: Settings and Frames
6. Aural Experience: Impact
7. Conclusion
Bibliography
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Review quote

[This book] makes a useful contribution to a current scholarly debate, but for readers of Anvil its main interest may be the support that it gives to the view (which many may take for granted) that the gospels are books about Jesus, and that they were most likely written for Christians of different backgrounds who will respond to Jesus in different ways. * Anvil *
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About Cedric E. W. Vine

Cedric Vine is senior lecturer in New Testament Studies at Newbold College, Bracknell, UK.
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