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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Gospel According to Matthew: The Basileia of the Heavens Is Near at Hand
Wainwright, Elaine M.

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2014 pp. 85. $19.95

Series Information
Phoenix Guides to the New Testament, 1

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Description: Central in the Gospel of Matthew is the proclamation that Ďthe kingdom, or empire (basileia), of the heavens has come nearí. Today, with the rise of Empire Studies and a growing interest in postcolonial hermeneutics we are better placed than ever to appreciate what basileia signifies. Recent decades have seen significant shifts in biblical scholarship opening up a range of ways of engaging the biblical narrativeóboth methodologically (the tools and techniques for engaging the text) and hermeneutically (the perspectives that inform an interpreterís approach to the text and to the interpretative task). It is these shifts that give shape to this volume so that readers encounter not only the text of Matthew itself but also its rich lode of recent interpretation. Among aspects of first-century life brought to the fore by current social-scientific methodology are kinship, the honor and shame culture, and masculinity. Gender is another interpretative lens that has characterized the study of the Gospel of Matthew in recent decades and the Guide provides pathways through this rich literature. The Guide to Matthew concludes with the most recent turn of the hermeneutical lens, namely an ecological perspective on what is perhaps the best-known text in Matthew, the Beatitudes. This final chapter is an example of how we can enter an old and familiar text like the Gospel of Matthew from yet another new critical direction.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Hermeneutics, Theological Approaches, Biblical Theology, New Testament Theology, Other Methods

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Review by Margaret Aymer
Published 8/4/2016
Citation: Margaret Aymer, review of Elaine M. Wainwright, The Gospel according to Matthew: The Basileia of the Heavens Is Near at Hand, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2016).


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