Metaphor and the Portrayal of the Cause(s) of Sin and Evil in the Gospel of Matthew

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Author: Judith V. Stack
Metaphor and the Portrayal of the Cause(s) of Sin and Evil in the Gospel of Matthew traces the range and significance of metaphors used in Matthew for the origin and sin and evil and their congruence with key texts of the Second Temple milieu.

While traditional theology has often sought to pinpoint a single cause of sin and evil, Matthew’s use of a spectrum of metaphors undermines theologically reductionist approaches and opens up a rich range of ways for conceiving of and talking about the cause of sin and evil. Ultimately, the use of metaphor (necessary to discussions of sin) destabilizes foundationalist theologies of sin, and any theology of sin must grapple with the inherently tensive nature of metaphorical language.

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Judith V. Stack, Ph.D. (2013), Princeton Theological Seminary, has taught in seminaries and undergraduate institutions including United Seminary of the Twin Cities, Hamline University, and St Olaf College. Forthcoming publications include Reading Matthew (2020).
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations

Introduction
 1 Why a Study of Sin Metaphors?
 2 Metaphor: What Does It Do and How Does It Do It?

Part 1: The Question of whence Sin and Evil in the Texts of Matthew’s Milieu


1 Diversity and Consistency in the Texts of Matthew’s Milieu
 1 Dualism and Dualisms: A Brief Taxonomy

2 Enochic Literature
 1 1 Enoch
 2 Jubilees

3 4 Ezra

4 2 Baruch

5 Sirach

6 Qumran Texts
 1 War Scroll (1QM)
 2 The Hodayot (1QH)
 3 Damascus Document (CD)
 4 The Rule of the Community (1QS)
 5 Summary of Qumran Literature

7 Conclusion on Texts of Matthew’s Milieu

part 2: The Portrayal of the Causes of Sin and Evil in the Gospel of Matthew


8 Review of Previous Scholarship
 1 Righteousness in Matthew and His World of Thought by Benno Przybylski
 2 Matthew and Paul: A Comparison of Ethical Perspectives by Roger Mohrlang

9 Exegesis of the Portrayal of the Causes of Sin and Evil in Matthew
 1 The Use of ἁμαρτ- in Matthew
 2 Πλανάω, σκανδαλίζω, and σκάνδαλον

10 Metaphors for the Cause of Sin
 1 Metaphors of Body Parts as the Cause of Sin
 2 Metaphors of Illness and Infirmity for the Cause of Sin
  Excursus: Sin, Righteousness, the Kingdom, and the Will of God
 3 The Metaphor of the Heart as a Cause of Sin

11 Genetic and Familial Metaphors for the Cause of Sin
 1 Tree and Fruit Metaphors
 2 Animal Metaphors
 3 Familial Metaphors
 4 Summary

12 Satanic Activity as a Cause of Sin
 1 Summary

13 Conclusion on the Causes of Sin and Evil in the Gospel of Matthew 2

14 Summary

Conclusion: The Significance of Metaphorical Dynamics in Portraying the Causes of Sin and Evil for the Theology of Matthew’s Gospel
Bibliography
 Index
Scholars working in New Testament and Synoptic Gospels, literary approaches to biblical texts, theological exegesis, sin in early Judaism and Christianity, and the role of metaphor in theological language.