This study of the Matthean narrative uses the interpretive lens of food exchange to explore the Matthean community's relationship with the wider world. While many studies depict this community as withdrawing from or in conflict with the larger society, James P. Grimshaw's focus on the daily need for food reveals a community that, while distinct, progressively integrates itself into the larger Jewish and Gentile society and the natural world. In addition, this view of community corresponds to the view of a God who actively provides for and relates to all creation. Grimshaw's alternative portrayal of the Matthean community, whose interactions with its surrounding environment are more complex and sustained than often imagined, is a compelling interpretation for today's stratified and disconnected world.
The Author: James P. Grimshaw is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He previously taught religious studies at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He received his Ph.D. in New Testament from Vanderbilt University and has conducted research primarily in the area of food, community, and biblical studies.