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The Irony of Power

The Politics of God within Matthew’s Narrative

Studies in Peace and Scripture: Institute of Mennonite Studies

by Dorothy Jean Weaver

Foreword by David Rhoads

Imprint: Pickwick Publications

360 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.72 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781625648860
  • Published: June 2017

$42.00 / £32.00 / AU$57.00

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  • eBook
  • 9781498241472
  • Published: June 2017

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  • Hardcover
  • 9781498288552
  • Published: June 2017

$67.00 / £51.00 / AU$91.00

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This volume engages the Gospel of Matthew in full awareness of its inherently political character. Weaver situates Matthew's version of the "good news of the kingdom" squarely within the "real world" of first-century Palestine and its occupying power, the Roman Empire. The essays here focus prominently and collectively on the issues of power and violence that not only pervade the historically occupied Jewish community of first-century Palestine, but also are clearly visible throughout Matthew's narrative account. A "lower-level" reading of the Matthean text offers a bleak portrait of the overwhelming power and violence exerted by the Roman occupying authorities and their upper-echelon Jewish collaborators against the wider Jewish community of first-century Palestine. But an "upper-level"/"God's-eye" reading of Matthew's narrative consistently reveals the fundamental irony at the heart of the New Testament as a whole, of the Jesus story broadly conceived, and of Matthew's narrative account in specific. This irony overturns all humanly recognized definitions of "power" and demonstrates the astonishing "politics of God," which defeats evident power through apparent powerlessness and overcomes violence through nonviolent initiatives.
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