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Chapter One

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Chapter Summary

This is the introductory chapter of the book The Crowds in the Gospel of Matthew. It presents an overview of how the other chapters in the book are organized. The book proposes to undertake an analysis of the Matthew's crowds' identity, role, and function within the gospel. The first section of the book sets out to identify the crowds at the historical (or narrative) level. The second section begins with an account of Jesus' ministry to the crowds. The third section addresses the "unfavourable" portrayal of the crowds. It begins with their description of Jesus as a prophet, and then moves to an assessment of the crowds' involvement in Jesus' arrest and trial. The final section deals with the issue of the crowds' transparency in the gospel. Matthew's ambivalent depiction ultimately arises from his use of two contradictory biblical topoi to characterize the Jewish people in the gospel.

Keywords: Gospel of Matthew; Jesus' arrest; Jesus' ministry; Jewish people; Matthew's crowds; prophet

10.1163/9789047400974_002
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