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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The twenty-third chapter of Matthew poses a delicate problem for interpreters. Its unremitting acrimony seems out of character for Jesus and seems to stand in stark contrast to the command to love one's neighbor in 22:38, which immediately precedes chap. 23, and the command to love one's enemies in 5:43-48. This is the introduction chapter of the book, which focuses on Matthew's intention in chap. 23 as it is revealed in: 1) the composition of its various parts into a montage; 2) the Matthean alterations within the chapter as discerned from a comparison with Mark and Luke; and 3) its place in the structure of the Gospel. The central question will be: What really occupies the mind of the author as he passes on and subsequently transforms the tradition, which he did not invent nor imagine but was striving to preserve in light of his own theological perspective.

Keywords: Gospel; Jesus; Luke; Mark; Matthew

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