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Life Beyond Death in Matthew's Gospel: Religious Metaphor or Bodily Reality?


Editors:  Verheyden J., van de Sandt H., Weren W.

Year: 2011
ISBN: 978-90-429-2518-2
Pages: XVIII-284 p.
Price: 68 EURO

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The central question of this book is whether Jesus’ resurrection is a religious metaphor or a bodily reality. What does Matthew focus on when telling the story of Jesus’ death, the empty tomb, and the appearance to the disciples? A great variety of questions comes up for review: How does Matthew interpret the concept of resurrection and how does his picture of Jesus’ resurrection chime in with other concerns in his gospel? How does the story of God raising Jesus from the dead fit in with (other) historical facts? Does Matthew perceive Jesus’ resurrection as an event in which the body is also involved? Is resurrection more than a continuation of our temporal existence – more than a coming back to a life identical to our present life?

These and other questions are dealt with in twelve papers written by distinguished scholars from across the globe. The volume is divided into two major sections. The first section deals with the variety and development of ideas and beliefs about the afterlife. It studies the relationship between Matthew’s understanding of a post-mortem existence and interpretations of that phenomenon in the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, Greco-Roman writings, early Jewish and early Christian literature. The second section moves from the broad topics to specific textual units in Matthew about resurrection, immortality, afterlife and eternal life. Various relevant texts are singled out for particular study.

This volume is dedicated to Professor Wim Weren on the occasion of his retirement from the Tilburg chair of New Testament Exegesis in the School of Humanities.

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