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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 Six: Dogs: Being (Im)Polite with a Canaanite Woman


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Dogs: Being (Im)Polite with a Canaanite Woman


In this chapter I analyse the pericope of the Canaanite woman in Matthew’s Gospel (15:21–28), in which the Matthean Jesus engages in a dialogue with a desperate woman who approaches him asking for help for her demon-possessed daughter (15:22). First, I pay attention to the narrative, establishing a broader literary context for the pericope of the Canaanite woman and determining in what manner Jesus’ dialogue is metaphoric. Second, using a pragmaphilological approach, I examine the way the word dog, a term used by Jesus and the Canaanite woman, operates in Matthew’s Gospel (15:26, 27). In doing so, I seek to uncover the socio-rhetorical world encoded in Matthew’s story regarding (im)polite animal metaphors and (im)polite animal terms, such as dogs.

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