Fortress Press

Healing in the Gospel of Matthew: Reflections on Method and Ministry

Healing in the Gospel of Matthew

Reflections on Method and Ministry

Walter T. Wilson (Author), Walter T. Wilson (Author)


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Although healing constitutes both a major theme of biblical literature and a significant practice of biblical communities, healing themes and experiences are not always conspicuous in presentations of biblical theology. Walter T. Wilson adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the healing narratives in the Gospel of Matthew, combining the familiar methods of form, redaction, and narrative criticisms with insights culled from medical anthropology, feminist theory, disability studies, and ancient archaeology. His focus is the New Testament's longest and most systematic account of healing, Matthew chapters 8 and 9, which he investigates by situating the text within a broad range of ancient healing traditions. The close exegetical readings of each healing narrative culminate in a final synthesis that pulls together what can be said about Matthew's understanding of healing, how Matthew's narratives of healing expose the distinctive priorities of the evangelist, and how these priorities relate to the theology of the Gospel as a whole.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451470376
  • eBook ISBN 9781451489774
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 240
  • Publication Date December 1, 2014


1.   Methodology
2.   Matthew 8:1-4
3.   Matthew 8:5-13
4.   Matthew 8:14-15
5.   Matthew 8:16-17
6.   Matthew 8:18-27
7.   Matthew 8:28-34
8.   Matthew 9:1-8
9.   Matthew 9:9-13
10. Matthew 9:14-17
11. Matthew 9:18-26
12. Matthew 9:27-31
13. Matthew 9:32-38
14. Conclusion


"While thoroughly at home in the scholarly literature, Walter Wilson does not remain bogged down in it or by it. His balanced and accessible exegetical work serves to support the author's rich and penetrating theological insights into the broader christological, eschatological, and vocational dimensions of the drama of healing described by Matthew. Wilson makes a significant contribution to the burgeoning literature of healing in the Bible."
—Frederick J. Gaiser
Luther Seminary

"This close, careful reading of Matthew chapters 8–9 deftly weds traditional historical- and redaction-critical concerns with more recent methods. Important above all is Wilson’s use of disability studies. His work marks a change, no doubt permanent, in how certain parts of Matthew will henceforth be approached."
—Dale CAllison Jr.
Princeton Theological Seminary

"Wilson brings an impressive battery of methodological approaches to bear on the Matthean miracle stories, especially those collected in chapters 8 and 9. His exegesis of these chapters is perceptive and ever sensitive to Matthew’s narrative techniques. Not least, this book represents a valuable contribution both to the discussion of why Matthew arranged the miracle stories in these two chapters as he did and to our understanding of the Evangelist’s use of miracle stories."
—Eric Eve
Harris Manchester College
"Wilson’s study of Matthew 8–9 is a pleasure to read. It is written in a very accessible style, keeping technical verbiage to a minimum and offering clear and crisp definitions of key terms and ideas. Its eclectic method allows for the weaving together of insights from a wide range of approaches; Wilson lists historical criticism, form criticism, source and redaction criticisms, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, feminist criticism, disability studies, and medical anthropology, but his reach is wider than that. For a study that operates on such a wide front, there is a commendable focus on the text: close reading, structure, role in relation to the larger telling of the story, thematic development, and narrative progression. We are offered a rich and well-integrated reading of the text, full of perception and, in many cases, fresh insights."
—John Nolland
Trinity College, Bristol, UK

"Historical, literary, and archaeological concerns dominate Wilson’s close and careful reading of Matthew 8–9 and the healings encountered therein. Clearly written, this will be important reading for those working on Matthew’s Gospel in general and ancient views on disability, disease and healing in particular."
—Louise Lawrence
University of Exeter