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The (Im)Polite Jesus

An Analysis of Jesus’ Verbal Rudeness in Matthew’s Gospel


Carlos Olivares

This book is an informed, focused, deep, and creative analysis of the topic of (im)politeness applied to Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel, with in-depth conclusions and analysis about the Matthean Jesus’ (im)politeness. This study utilizes innovative methodological approaches regarding the analysis and interpretation of the subject in Matthew’s Gospel, finding similarities with the language and (im)polite engagements of other first-century Greco-Roman characters and the Matthean Jesus in similar contexts.

The (Im)Polite Jesus would make an excellent addition for studies on Matthew’s Gospel or courses focused on biblical studies, biblical literature, biblical hermeneutics, methodologies, and in discussions about exposing interpreters’ cultural biases when addressing the topic of (im)politeness.

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Chapter Four: Get Away Behind Me, Satan! Being (Im)Polite with Peter


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Get Away Behind Me, Satan! Being (Im)Polite with Peter


This chapter deals with Jesus’ (im)politeness to Peter in Matt 16:21–23, in which the Matthean Jesus rejects and rebukes Peter by using (im)polite words. First, I study the passage from a narrative perspective, focusing on the general context where the passage is located (Matt 16:13–28). A narrative study will help in determining a literary purpose for the Matthean Jesus’ (im)politeness, evidencing a challenge-riposte contest. Second, I analyse the words σατανᾶς and σκάνδαλον uttered by Jesus against Peter (16:23). By using a pragmaphilological approach, I seek to establish in what way these two words operate in Matthew’s Gospel and other Hellenistic writings, ascertaining negative functions and semantic meanings. By doing so, I seek to unlock the socio-rhetorical world encoded in Matthew’s story.

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