chapter  2
20 Pages

Alienating Peter

The Figure of Peter in the Gospel of Matthew

This chapter argues that Matthew's portrayal of Peter is rather different from Mark's. The Gospel of Matthew is normally seen as a new, enlarged and improved edition of the Gospel of Mark. According to both Martin Hengel and Michael Goulder, Matthew sought to propagate his gospel by adopting Mark's Peter authority and by continuing it with more Peter traditions. In Paul's picture of Peter in Galatians, the ironic flesh and blood image in Matthew reminds the readers of Paul's negative picture of Peter in Galatians. For readers of Mark, Matthew's figure of Peter would have an intratextual meaning as a character within Matthew's story and an intertextual meaning in relation to Mark's Gospel. Traditionally Matthew's Peter was interpreted positively as many scholars found in Matthew a supposed redactional intention to exonerate Peter. Usually, interpreters saw in Matthews Peter a "supreme Rabbi" or a "typical disciple", a type of the individual disciple in Matthew's community.