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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food: Pragmatics of Food Access in the Gospel of Matthew
Wilson, Carol B.

Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2014 pp. xiv + 298. $34.00



Description: In the first century, endemic food shortages left 25 percent of the population below subsistence level and another 30 percent at risk of slipping below subsistence. In the face of such serious food shortages, the Gospel of Matthew advocates for a society in which all people can have access to sufficient food. Matthew critiques first-century practices and attitudes of both aristocrats and peasants that helped or hindered that goal. It does this by depicting Jesus teaching and performing positive practices that provided the Matthean community with an example to emulate, as well as condemning some negative practices and attitudes. For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food provides a pragmatic lens and a new descriptive paradigm of food access in the first century. The perspective and model are useful for analyzing passages concerned with life-and-death issues of the Matthean communityóor situations for any other Christian community, past or present. Should not every person have enough food to sustain physical life?

Subjects: Bible, Greco-Roman Literature, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches, Social-Scientific Approaches

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Review by Craig S. Keener
Published 8/10/2015
Citation: Craig S. Keener, review of Carol B. Wilson, For I Was Hungry and You Gave Me Food: Pragmatics of Food Access in the Gospel of Matthew, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


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