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Title: The significance of interpersonal forgiveness in Matthew's Gospel
Author: Mbabazi, Isaac Kahwa
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 9943
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis explores the theme of interpersonal forgiveness in the Gospel of Matthew and argues that the idea of interpersonal forgiveness is quite central to this Gospel. Its main foci are on demonstrating the centrality of this theme in the Gospel and understanding the nature of interpersonal forgiveness in it. It proposes five sets of evidence in support of this claim. First is the concept of reciprocity and the link between mercy and forgiveness, together with the link between reluctance in the praxis of them and judgement. Second is the emphasis on the offended person's responsibility in forgiving and the connection of this with the concept of spiritually mature and immature Christians. Third is a reinforcement of the forgiveness concept by the use of related concepts. Fourth is the strategic rhetorical positioning of interpersonal forgiveness texts and related passages within the Matthean text. Fifth is the proportion these texts occupy in the Sermon on the Mount and the Community Discourse. In an attempt to demonstrate the prominence of the theme in the first Gospel, all Matthean forgiveness and forgiveness-related texts are surveyed. Then two key texts, in which the idea of interpersonal forgiveness is stated directly, are singled out for a thorough examination. The method of interpretation used in this thesis is discourse analysis. Discourse analysis, as with many models used in NT exegesis, is not without its potential limitations. It is employed in this thesis because it offers valuable insight into Matthew's point of view of the subject under scrutiny. To serve as the background to the present study, the rhetoric of interpersonal forgiveness in Graeco-Roman literature and in Jewish literature in Greek is considered. The analysis of these data will assist in the description of the dynamics of human forgiveness. The forgiveness pattern that emerges from them differs remarkably from its pattern found in Matthew where granting forgiveness appears not only as a reasonable act, but reluctance or failure to grant it does make the unforgiving person accountable to God - a note sounded nowhere else (except Sir 28:1-4 and Dionysius, Ant. Rom. 8.50.1-4) in the literature surveyed in this work.
Supervisor: Oakes, Peter ; Brooke, George Sponsor: Ireland
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Forgiveness; interpersonal forgiveness; Matthew's Gospel