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Eubank, Nathan

Wages of Cross-Bearing and Debt of Sin

The Economy of Heaven in Matthew’s Gospel

Series:Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 196

    99,95 € / $140.00 / £91.00*

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    Publication Date:
    March 2013
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    Aims and Scope

    In comparison to Mark and Luke, the First Gospel contains a striking preponderance of economic language in passages dealing with sin, righteousness, and divine recompense. For instance, sin is described as a debt, and righteous deeds are said to earn wages with God or treasure in heaven. This study analyzes Matthew’s economic language against the backdrop of other early Jewish and Christian literature and examines its import for the narrative as a whole. Careful attention to this neglected aspect of Matthew’s theology demonstrates that some of the Gospel’s central claims about atonement, Jesus’ death and resurrection, and divine recompense emerge from this conceptual matrix. By tracing the narrative development of the economic motif, the author explains how Jesus saves his people from their sins and comes to be enthroned as Son of Man, sheds new light on numerous exegetical puzzles, and clarifies the relationship of ethical rigorism and divine generosity.

    Supplementary Information


    xii, 235 pages
    Type of Publication:
    Gospel of Matthew; debt of sin; atonement; ransom; language of economy

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    Nathan Eubank, Associate Professor in NT Studies, Tutorial Fellow in Theology and Religion, Keble College, University of Oxford.


    "Demonstrating as it does the importance of debt and debt repayment as metaphors for sin and redemption in the Gospel of Matthew, Eubank’s study makes an important contribution to the study of economic issues in early Christianity."
    Thomas R. Blanton IV in: Religious Studies Review, Volume 43, No. 2, June 2017, pp. 93-100

    "[C]e livre est un ouvrage majeur sur Matthieu qui éclaire et renouvelle profondément notre compréhension tant du projet théologique de l’évangéliste que de son arrière-plan juif."
    Marc Rastoin in: Recherches de Science Religieuse, Volume 104, 2016, p. 271

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