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Part VI: Summary and Conclusions

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Chapter Summary

This concluding chapter provides a detailed examination of the crowds within Matthew's gospel. The first section identifies the crowds, and establishes that they are a distinct and relatively consistent entity, figuring, along with the disciples and Jewish leaders, as one of the main groups in the gospel. Section two assesses Jesus' ministry to the crowds, and their apparently favourable responses to this ministry. Section three examines the unfavourable depiction of the crowds. Matthew again invokes a familiar scriptural topos, this time, one of a misunderstanding Israel that kills the prophets sent by God. The final section considers the question of the crowds' transparency. It determines that the crowds are not simply historicized characters, but are, in fact, portrayed transparently. They do not represent members of Matthew's community, but the Jewish people of Matthew's own day.

Keywords: Israel; Jesus' ministry; Jewish people; Matthew's gospel



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