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Killing Two Birds With One Stone: the Utter De(Con)Struction of Matthew and His Church

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image of Biblical Interpretation

Since its very inception, the institutional church has interpreted Matt. 16:13-20 in such a way as to confer authority upon itself. Roman Catholics especially, but Protestants too, have claimed that the passage bestows power, prestige, and supremacy upon their respective structures. As long as the passage continues to be examined in isolation, it will certainly lend itself to that sort of interpretation. I propose, however, a radical departure from this hermeneutic. Deconstruction provides the biblical exegete with a whole new set of critical tools-tools that allow him or her to read the Gospel of Matthew in an innovative way. In this paper I apply several techniques of deconstructive theory to the aforementioned passage in an effort to uncover alternative meanings which, though perhaps not evident upon superficial inspection, are valid nonetheless. By creatively analyzing how Matt. 16:13-20 functions within the larger context of the Gospel of Matthew, I shall demonstrate that the text undermines itself.

Affiliations: 1: Baylor University


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