From the centre to the margins: German-speaking scholarship on Matthew’s Gospel as a case study for Matthean scholarship as a whole
Deines, Roland (2009) From the centre to the margins: German-speaking scholarship on Matthew’s Gospel as a case study for Matthean scholarship as a whole. In: SBL Conference, 2009, New Orleans, LA. (Unpublished)
Matthean scholarship was once a booming discipline and one of the centres of New Testament research; it’s probably not just biased prejudice when a German claims that the initial thrust behind the heyday of Matthean scholarship in the early second half of the 20th century came from German scholars such as Bornkamm, Frankemölle, Hummel, Strecker, Walker and many more. Since then, however, it appears that these former glories have largely vanished: Matthean studies have relinquished their prominence within the study of the New Testament and the understanding of early Christianity. What was once at the centre has become marginal, even somewhat isolated. It seems as though the study of Matthew’s Gospel has become just one of (too) many subsections of New Testament studies and hardly the most inspiring and important of these. German scholarship on Matthew mirrors this trend in that more recent German-speaking scholarship (with some exceptions, of course) has proven itself to be methodologically dependent on – and influenced to a large degree by – predominantly anglo-saxon scholarship. This is not to say that this influence on German scholarship forced it to the periphery, but it could be taken as indicative of a decline in creativity and originality.
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