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The Gospel of Matthew

A Hypertextual Commentary


Bartosz Adamczewski

This monograph presents an entirely new solution to the synoptic problem. It demonstrates that the Acts of the Apostles functioned as the structure-giving hypotext for the Gospel of Matthew. Accordingly, the Gospel of Matthew is a reworking of not only the Gospel of Luke, but also, in a strictly sequential way, of the Acts of the Apostles. This strictly sequential, hypertextual dependence on Acts explains the Matthean relocations of the Marcan and Lucan material, numerous Matthean modifications thereof, and many surprising features of the Matthean Gospel. Critical explanations of such features, which are offered in this monograph, ensure the reliability of the new solution to the synoptic problem.

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This commentary greatly differs from other modern commentaries on the Gospel of Matthew. The difference results from the particular methodological approach which has been adopted therein. Instead of explaining the Matthean Gospel in historical-critical terms as a result of redactional use of earlier sources or traditions, in narratological terms as a set of narrative-organizing devices, etc., this commentary aims at explaining it in a critical intertextual way as a result of a sequential hypertextual reworking of the Acts of the Apostles.

This methodological approach, unlike many others, does not originate from any particular literary theory. It rather reflects the recent discovery of the phenomenon of the sequential hypertextual reworking of earlier texts in numerous biblical writings. This phenomenon occurs in the writings of both the Old and the New Testament: Gen, Exod-Lev-Num, Deut, Sam-Kgs, Chr; Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn, Acts, Rom, Gal, Eph, 2 Thes, Hebr, 2 Pet, and Rev.1 These writings, taken together and measured by their extent, constitute almost a half of the Christian Bible.

Accordingly, it is fully justified to perform a thorough analysis of the Matthean Gospel, taking this important literary discovery into consideration.

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