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About This Book
Interpreters of Matthew's Parable of the Wedding Feast (22.1-14) typically associate the 'king' with God and then justify his violent attacks against city and guests; interpreters of the Parable of the Ten Virgins (25.1-13) typically associate the 'bridegroom' with Jesus and then justify his extreme rejection of the 'foolish virgins.' Questioning such allegorical interpretations, this study first details how Hebrew, Greek, and Roman texts depict - without requiring allegorical understandings - numerous bridegrooms associated not only with joy but also with violence and death.
Second, this project appeals to the disruptive nature of parables, the feminist technique of resisting reading, and the Matthean Jesus's own ethical instructions to argue that in the parables, those who resist violent rulers and uncaring bridegrooms are the ones worthy of the Kingdom. The study then shows how the Matthean Jesus - the brideless, celibate bridegroom -- creates a fictive family by disrupting biological and marital ties, redefining masculinity, and undermining the desirability of marriage and procreation. JSNTS 292