The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers

The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers : A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel

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The Gospel of Matthew and Its Readers is a biblical commentary with a difference. Howard Clarke first establishes contemporary scholarship's mainstream view of Matthew's Gospel, and then presents a sampling of the ways this text has been read, understood, and applied through two millennia. By referring forward to Matthew's readers (rather than back to the text's composers), the book exploits the tensions between what contemporary scholars understand to be the intent of the author of Matthew and the quite different, indeed often eccentric and bizarre ways this text has been understood, assimilated, and applied over the years. The commentary is a testament to the ambiguities and elasticity of the text and a cogent reminder that interpretations are not fixed, nor texts immutably relevant. And unlike other commentaries, this one gives space to those who have questioned, rejected, or even ridiculed Matthew's messages, since Bible-bashing, like Bible-thumping, is a historically significant part of the experience of reading the Bible.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 328 pages
  • 154.94 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 68.04g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 1 index
  • 0253216001
  • 9780253216007
  • 1,091,402

Table of contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Introduction: Scripture, Gospels, Matthew
1. The Infancy Narrative
2. The Ministry Begins
3. The Sermon on the Mount
4. Miracles
5. Disciples
6. Jesus and the Pharisees
7. Jerusalem
8. Passion, Death, and Resurrection
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Review quote

"In this unique historical survey, Howard Clarke, Emeritus professor of Classics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, demonstrates how the gospel of St. Matthew has been understood and used by everyone from Ignatius of Anitoch, to interpretive luminaries like the film-star Rita Hayworth, who in Salome (1953) dances before Herod in an effort to save John the Baptist... Clarke preaches no sermon from this fascinating book. It provides no answers to doctrinal questions ... Howard Clarke's purpose is strictly historical. It may however provoke thoughtful readers to ask again, with Pontius Pilate, "What is truth?"--THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH, 14 September 2003 "Howard Clarke's lively discussion of the ways in which Matthew has been read offers valuable insights into its use and abuse both as Christian scripture and as a cultural aftefact."--Church of ENgland Newspaper, 1 April 2005
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About Howard Clarke

Howard Clarke is Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and author of studies on Homer and Vergil, including The Art of the Odyssey and Homer's Readers.
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