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The Shape of Matthew's Story

The Gospel of Matthew, like the other Gospels, is a story. The narrative nature of Matthew's account of the life of Jesus unfolds as a plotted sequence of words and events, beginning with his birth and closing with his presence to the disciples as their risen Lord. The location of any single passage within the flow of the unfolding story is a major guide to understanding this Gospel. Matthew is best known for his account of the birth of Jesus (Matt 1—2); Peter's recognition of Jesus as the Son of Man, the Son of God (16:13–20); and the final commission of all the disciples to preach the gospel to all nations (28:16–28). But where do these famous passages appear in the story? What preceded them and what follows? The first Gospel famously highlights five major discourses, during which only Jesus speaks. How do they contribute to Matthew's story of the life of Jesus?

The Shape of Matthew's Story focuses upon the temporal and geographical flow of the unfolding narrative, and the interacting roles of the protagonists within it. It traces an early Christian storyteller's single-minded presentation of God, Jesus Christ, the call to discipleship, and the Christian Church.


"Throughout his long and productive career, Fr. Francis Moloney has published many works of serious scholarship along with books that address the general public. His ability to speak clearly and intelligently on both levels, often at the same time, is truly remarkable. The Shape of Matthew's Story is a prime example of his making academic research available to the educated laity."
—John P. Meier, University of Notre Dame

"In typical Moloney fashion, The Shape of Matthew's Story delivers an accessible, insightful, and lucid introduction to the first Gospel. Students and clergy alike will benefit from Moloney's careful attention to the narrative, historical, and theological concerns of the text."
—Kelly Iverson, Baylor University

"Employing considerable skills as narrative critic, Francis Moloney offers a compelling account of Matthew's story of the Messiah, from birth to death and beyond. With Moloney as reliable guide, Matthew's complex yet profound narrative emerges from the page, inviting the reader into a community of disciples that is taught by Jesus."
—Ian Boxall, University of Oxford

Francis J. Moloney, SDB, is a graduate of the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the University of Oxford. He was Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies and Professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of America (1999–2005). Now in semi-retirement, he is a senior professorial fellow of Catholic Theological College, within the University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia.

ISBN: 978-08091-5598-9

Paperback $19.95 Add To Cart

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