The Parable of the Weeds among the Wheat (Matt 13:24-30, 36-43) and the Relationship between the Kingdom and the Church as Portrayed in the Gospel of Matthew

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McIver, R. K. (1995). The parable of the weeds among the wheat (Matt 13:24-30, 36-43) and the relationship between the kingdom and the church as portrayed in the Gospel of Matthew. Journal of Biblical Literature, 114(4), 643-659. doi:10.2307/3266479

ISSN: 0021-9231


220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)


The parable of the weeds among the wheat provides an ideal vantage point from which to examine the distinctly Matthean concept of the kingdom of heaven. By any measure, this parable and its interpretation are distinctly Matthean, for besides being unique to the first gospel, they contain several characteristically Matthean themes. Moreover, the most appropriate interpretation of the parable has long been debated in the secondary literature. This debate often centers on the issue of the kingdom, and the parable may almost be considered a litmus test for the best approach to take for analyzing the Matthean concept of the kingdom of heaven. This paper will evaluate the universalist interpretation and the ecclesiological interpretation in turn, after which some attention will be given to the wider picture of the kingdom of heaven in Matthew and the contribution the parable makes to that picture.


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