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Chapter Ten

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the place of the crowds in the Passion Narrative. It considers the nature of Matthew's editorial modifications. Matthew also accounts for the defection of the crowds and Jesus' arrest by appealing to Scripture. He has added various other touches that tend to stress the complicity of the crowd. The arrest narrative first reveals the crowds' change in disposition, a change paralleled by the behaviour of Jesus' own disciples. Jesus makes clear that their actions are all part of the foreordained plan of God. Within the Barabbas pericope, the dominant element of Matthew's characterization of the crowds is their culpability. Matthew has deliberately intensified the crowds' complicity. The gospel leaves open the possibility of forgiveness, especially as the crowds are still distinguished from their leaders after the crucifixion of Jesus, and seen as their dupes.

Keywords: Barabbas; crucifixion; Jesus' arrest; Matthew; Passion Narrative; Scripture

10.1163/9789047400974_013
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