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Direct Engagement of the Reader in Matthew's Discourses: Rhetorical Techniques and Scholarly Consensus

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2005

Bethel Seminary, 3949 Bethel Drive, St. Paul, MN 55112-6998, USA


Matthew's five great discourses move from addressing the story's audience to direct engagement with the reader. The first section of the paper demonstrates that this rhetorical function of the discourses has found widespread agreement among scholars employing such diverse methodologies as redaction, narrative, rhetorical, feminist, and reader-response criticisms, as well as structuralism and post-structuralism. The paper's second section analyzes the means by which Matthew's reader is more directly addressed in the discourses than in the narrative portions of the Gospel. The rhetorical devices explored include plot devices in the narrative surrounding the discourses; discourse structural devices; and linguistic, topical, and generic techniques used within the discourses.

Research Article
© 2005 Cambridge University Press

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