The Death of Jesus in Matthew: Innocent Blood and the End of Exile
The Death of Jesus in Matthew: Innocent Blood and the End of Exile

The Death of Jesus in Matthew: Innocent Blood and the End of Exile

in Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series

by Catherine Sider Hamilton

Publisher Cambridge University Press
Published 6/30/2017
ISBN-13 9781107110519
In this book, Catherine Sider Hamilton introduces a new lens through which to view the death of Jesus in Matthew. Using the concept of 'innocent blood', she situates the death of Jesus within a paradigm of purity and pollution, one that was central in the Hebrew Scriptures and early Judaism from the Second Temple to the rabbis. Hamilton traces the theme of innocent blood in Matthew's narrative in relation to two Jewish traditions of interpretation, one (in Second Temple literature) reflecting on the story of Cain and Abel; the other (chiefly in rabbinic literature) on the blood of Zechariah. 'Innocent blood' yields a vision that resists the dichotomies (intra muros vs extra muros, rejection vs redemption) that have characterized the debate, a vision in which both judgment and redemption - an end of exile - may be true. 'Innocent blood' offers a new approach not only to the meaning of Jesus' death in Matthew but also to the vexed question of the Gospel's attitude toward contemporary Judaism.
  • Proposes a new approach to the problem of anti-Judaism and Israel in the Gospel of Matthew, especially with relation to Matthew 27:25, and a new approach therefore to the question of its social location
  • Identifies a new lens by which the death of Jesus in Matthew is illuminated - that of innocent blood
  • Introduces two Jewish interpretive traditions key to the theme of innocent blood and Jesus's death in Matthew - the blood of Abel, and the blood of Zechariah
  • Offers a new lens through which to engage and complete readings that see exile and the land as key to Matthew's gospel

  • Contents
  • Part I. Introduction:
    • 1. Introducing the question
    • 2. Innocent blood in the gospel of Matthew: a narrative-critical study
  • Part II. Innocent Blood in Second-Temple Jewish and Rabbinic Literature:
    • 3. 1 Enoch and the cosmic sweep of innocent blood: from Cain and blood to flood and judgment
    • 4. Other Cain/blood-flood/judgment traditions
    • 5. The blood of Zechariah in the lives of the prophets and Rabbinic literature
  • Part III. Innocent Blood and the Gospel of Matthew:
    • 6. Zechariah traditions and Cain/Blood-flood/Judgment traditions
    • 7. The meaning of innocent blood in Matthew: pollution and purgation, exile and restoration
  • Part IV. Conclusion:
    • 8. Conclusion.


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