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Acta Theologica

On-line version ISSN 2309-9089
Print version ISSN 1015-8758


ERDEY, Zoltan L.  and  SMITH, Kevin G.. The function of "weeping and gnashing of teeth" in Matthew's gospel. Acta theol. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.1, pp.26-45. ISSN 2309-9089.

On six occurrences (8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30), Matthew recorded Jesus pronouncing judgment, using the idiom "weeping and gnashing of teeth". Each occurrence played a central role in the development of Matthew's theology, by communicating not only a fundamental component of the theme of judgment, but also an increasing force and potency of the event itself. It was discovered that the phrase may have four possible functions, namely (a) a system by which Matthew hoped to make the message of the particular passage unforgettable; (b) a prophetic anticipation of an aspect of the larger shape of history; (c) a linguistic device to increase the degree of emphasis or heighten the force given to the message of eschatological judgment; and (d) a literary connector holding together a number of specific passages of Scripture. In Matthew's case, the phrase glues together the passages that communicate a holistic theology of end-of-time judgment.

Keywords : Judgment Eschatology Gnashing of teeth Weeping; Oordeel Eskatologie Kners van tande Huil.

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