The Gospel of Matthew opens with a patrilineal genealogy of Jesus that intriguingly includes five women: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, 'she of Uriah', and Mary. In a gospel that has a strongly Jewish and male-orientated outlook, why are women incorporated? Particularly, why include these four Old Testament women alongside Mary? Rejecting traditional as well as feminist views, E. Anne Clements undertakes a close literary reading of the narratives to discern how each woman is characterised and presented. All are significant scriptural figures on the margins of Israelite society. From this intertextual world established by Matthew, Clements explores why Matthew may have named these women in the opening genealogy and what implications their inclusion may have for the ongoing gospel narrative. Mothers on the Margin? argues that Matthew's Gospel contains a counter narrative focused on women. The presence of the five women in the genealogy indicates that the birth of the Messiah will bring about a crisis in Israel's identity in terms of ethnicity, marginality, and gender. The women signal that Matthew's Gospel is concerned with the construal of a new identity for the people of God.
E. Anne Clements is an Associate Tutor at Spurgeon's College, London, and Minister of West Kingsdown Baptist Church in Kent. She is the author of Wrestling with the Word (2011).
Preface Acknowledgment Part 1: The Five Mothers of Matthew's Genealogy 1 Introduction: The Genesis of a Thesis Why Women? Hermeneutical Stance and Reading Strategy Methodology 2 Matthew's Genealogy The Genealogy The Women of the Genealogy 3 Tamar Preliminary Remarks Narrative Analysis of the Hebrew Stories A Narrative Reading of Tamar's Story Androcentric and Feminist Perspectives Tamar's Inclusion in Matthew's Genealogy 4 Rahab Preliminary Remarks A Narrative Reading of Rahab's Story - Joshua 2:1-24 A Narrative Reading of Rahab's Story - Joshua 6:15-25 The Contrast with Achan ??? and ??? Feminist Perspectives Rahab's Inclusion in Matthew's Genealogy 5 Ruth Ruth, Rahab, and Tamar A Narrative Reading of Ruth's Story Feminist Perspectives Ruth's Inclusion in Matthew's Genealogy Tamar, Rahab, and Ruth 6