Experiencing Irony in the First Gospel: Suspense, Surprise and Curiosity

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The Gospel of Matthew is both deliberately deceptive and emotionally compelling.Karl McDaniel explores ways in which the narrative of the Gospel of Matthew elicits and develops the emotions ofsuspense, surprise, and curiosity within its readers. While Matthew 1:21 invites readers to expect Jewish salvation, progressive failure of the plot's main characters to meet Jesus' salvation requirements creates increasing suspense for the reader. How will Jesus save 'his people'? The commission to the Gentiles at the Gospel's conclusion provokes reader surprise, and the resulting curiosity calls readers back to the narrative's beginning.Upon rereading with a retrospective view, readers discover that the Gentile mission was actually foreshadowed throughout the narrative, even from its beginning, and they are invited to partake in Jesus' final commission.