Dr. Berg's analysis of irony in Matthew's Passion Narrative as it pertains to Jesus' death breaks new ground in the study of the First Gospel. Her careful description of irony in both ancient and modern contexts is valuable in and of itself. The application of that work to Matthew's ancient narrative, however, produces insights for both the implied reader of the Gospel as well as to readers who would appropriate the values and meaning of Matthews story of Jesus for today. Berg's work will certainly spur on others to further fruitful study of the First Gospel's rhetorical power.
-Jeffrey A. Gibbs,
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
Here is an important 'first of its kind' volume for narrative critical studies of the Gospel of Matthew. With this work, Berg provides the first full-length study of irony from a Matthean standpoint and opens the door wide for further scholarly attention to this crucial literary motif within Matthew's Gospel. Berg's work is solidly grounded in the study of irony within Western literature. And her treatment of Matthew's Passion Narrative highlights in striking fashion the profoundly ironic modus operandi of Matthew's implied author as he tells the story of God's salvific purposes enacted through Jesus, Savior of God's people (1:21).
-Dorothy Jean Weaver,
Eastern Mennonite University
Berg is a careful scholar and unearths riches for the reader. Thoroughly engaging both literary theory and ancient context, Berg provides repeated fresh insights into the text of Matthew and a deeper understanding of his theology of the cross. Her superb work convincingly highlights the crucial role of irony in Matthew's Passion Narrative.
-Craig S. Keener,
Asbury Theological Seminary