Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Macrostructure of Matthew’s Gospel: A New Proposal
in the latest edition of Biblica, by Wim Weren.
ABSTRACT: The weakness of the proposals concerning the macrostructure of Matthew’s Gospel made by Bacon and Kingsbury is that they depart from rigid caesuras, whilst a typical characteristic of the composition of this Gospel is the relatively smooth flow of the story. On the basis of the discovery that the various topographical data are clustered together by means of three refrains we can distinguish three patterns in the travels undertaken by Jesus. This rather coarse structure is further refined with the use of Matera’s and Carter’s distinction between kernels and satellites. Kernels are better labelled as “hinge texts”. The following pericopes belong to this category: 4,12-17; 11,2-30; 16,13-28; 21,1-17; 26,1-16. Each of them marks a turning point in the plot and has a double function: a hinge text is not only fleshed out in the subsequent pericopes but also refers to the preceding block. It is especially these “hinge texts” that underline the continuity of Matthew’s narrative and should prevent us from focussing too much on alleged caesuras.

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