Fortress Press

Israel's Last Prophet: Jesus and the Jewish Leaders in Matthew 23

Israel's Last Prophet

Jesus and the Jewish Leaders in Matthew 23

David L. Turner (Author), Michael J. Cook (Foreword by)

Jesus’ words of indictment and judgment in the Gospel according to Matthew have fueled centuries of Christian anti-Judaism and the horrors of the twentieth-century Holocaust. The solemn parables and pronouncements of judgment in chapters 22–23 come to a climax in Jesus’ ironic command that the scribes and Pharisees “fill up the measure” of their ancestors, bringing upon their generation the judgment of God (Matt. 23:32–36). But what did those words originally mean within Matthew’s narrative?

Carefully distinguishing what can be known from what may only be conjectured, David L. Turner examines how Matthew has taken up Deuteronomic themes of prophetic rejection and judgment and woven them throughout the Gospel, particularly in Matthew 23. Turner argues that the Gospel author was engaged in a heated intramural dispute with other Jewish groups and that the terrible legacy of Christian anti-Jewish violence results, in part, from a gross misunderstanding of Matthew’s original context and purpose—on the part of generations who failed to recognize the author’s worldview and allusions.
  • ISBN 9781451470055
  • Format Paperback
  • Pages 518
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Publication Date August 1, 2015


Part I: The Motif of the Rejection of the Prophets
1. Introduction to the Motif
2. The Rejection of the Prophets in Jewish Literature
3. The Rejection of the Prophets in the New Testament
4. The Rejection of the Prophets in Matthew
Part II: The Rejection of the Prophets in Matthew 23
5. An Introduction to Matthew 23
6. Exegetical Commentary on Matthew 23
7. The Crucial Text: Matthew 23:32
8. Conclusion