“Where Two Or Three Are Gathered Together”: Literary Structure As A Key To Meaning In Matt 17:22-20:19 -- By: David McClister
Journal: Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society
Volume: JETS 39:4 (Dec 1996)
Article: “Where Two Or Three Are Gathered Together”: Literary Structure As A Key To Meaning In Matt 17:22-20:19
Author: David McClister
JETS 39:4 (December 1996) p. 549
“Where Two Or Three Are Gathered Together”:
Literary Structure As A Key To Meaning
In Matt 17:22-20:19
There has been much scholarly attention paid lately to the literary structure of Matthew’s gospel, but there is no consensus of thought on the subject. This is not only because scholars are divided over just how to go about the process of discerning Matthew’s literary structure 1 but also because it is a complex document, employing several kinds of structuring devices. 2 Those who have undertaken the study of Matthew’s structure would generally agree, however, that discerning the overall literary structure first involves finding and identifying the smaller literary components, the units of material that in groups make up larger sections of the gospel and give them their overall themes. This paper examines one of those sections.
Many who have proposed an outline of Matthew’s gospel have recognized the importance of Jesus’ thrice-repeated prediction of his suffering, death and resurrection in the latter part of the gospel and have labeled 16:20–20:19 as a major division. 3 The fact that the prediction appears three times in the narrative not only indicates its importance for the story’s plot and theology but also provides structural markers.
* David McClister is pastor of Lenexa Church of Christ, 7845 Cottonwood, Lenexa, KS 66216.
JETS 39:4 (December 1996) p. 550
I. The Structure Of Matt 17:22-20:19
Between the second and third predictions of the passion are various episodes, parables and sayings. A closer examination reveals that the second and third passion predictions form an inclusio and that the materials in between are arranged chiastically.
17:22–23: Jesus foretells his death
A. 17:24–27: Giving freely; money; sacrifice
“Parable” (Who should pay taxes anyway?)
B. 18:1–7: Little children are the essence of the kingdom of heaven
C. 18:8–9: Sacrifice of the body for the sake of the kingdom
D. 18:10–14: Do not despise what God values
Parable (Lost sheep)
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