Hellenistic Dimensions of the Gospel of Matthew 978-3-16-154524-5 - Mohr Siebeck

Robert S. Kinney

Hellenistic Dimensions of the Gospel of Matthew

Background and Rhetoric

[Hellenistische Dimensionen des Matthäusevangeliums. Hintergrund und Rhetorik.]

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Published in English.
What is the cultural background of the Gospel of Matthew? Much of scholarship focuses on questions of Judaism. Yet it's Greco-Roman background is often ignored. Robert S. Kinney argues that Matthew's rhetoric, however, opens up the possibility for fresh understanding of the Gospel in light of Hellenistic philosophy and literature.
In the search for Matthean theology, scholars overwhelmingly approach the Gospel of Matthew as »the most Jewish Gospel«. Studies of its Sitz im Leben focus on its relationship to Judaism, whether arguing from the perspective that Matthew wrote from a cloistered Jewish community or as the leader of a Gentile rebellion against such a Jewish community. While this is undoubtedly an important and necessary discussion for understanding the Gospel, it often assumes too much about the relationship between Judaism and Hellenism (via Martin Hengel). Scholars who so sharply focus on this question tend to neglect Matthew's provenance in a thoroughly Greek culture and first-century Judaism's thorough Hellenization. Robert S. Kinney argues for a hybridized perspective in which Matthew's attention to Jewish sources and ideas is not denied, but in which echoes of Greek and Roman sources can be observed, focusing on identifying Matthew's use of rhetoric and its possible echoes of Greco-Roman philosophical disciple-gathering teachers.

Robert S. Kinney Born 1981; 2004 BA in Early Christian Literature; 2008 MS in Journalism; 2013 ThC in Theology; 2015 PhD in New Testament; since 2005 Director of Ministries for the Charles Simeon Trust (USA).


The following reviews are known:

In: Religious Studies Review — 43 (2017), S. 283 (Brandon D. Crowe)
In: Journal for the Study of the NT — 40.5 (2018), S. 31–32 (Robert S. Dutch)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 61 (2017), S. 333