The Charge of Hypocrisy in Matthew 23 and in Jewish Sources

by Moshe Weinfeld

Matthew 23 constitutes, as is known, a charge sheet against the Pharisees. The main charge is hypocrisy. The author compiled all sorts of traditions and structured them in a way that would enhance the image of insincerity and hypocrisy.1Cf. D. Flusser, “Two Anti-Jewish Montages in Matthew,” Immanuel 5 (Summer 1975), 37-45. For the nature of the composition of Matthew 23, cf. recently D.E. Garland, The Intention of Matthew 23 (Supplements to Novum Testamentum 52; Leiden, 1979). The chapter may be divided into three main parts: 1) the programmatic section (Mt 23:1-12); 2) seven passages that open with “woe to hypocrites” (Mt 23:13-30); and 3) a concluding section about the doom of Jerusalem (Mt 23:31-39). Continue reading

Notes   [ + ]

1. Cf. D. Flusser, “Two Anti-Jewish Montages in Matthew,” Immanuel 5 (Summer 1975), 37-45. For the nature of the composition of Matthew 23, cf. recently D.E. Garland, The Intention of Matthew 23 (Supplements to Novum Testamentum 52; Leiden, 1979).