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Matthew 7.21–23: Further Evidence of its Anti-Pauline Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 May 2007

School of Theology/Centre for Early Christian Studies, Australian Catholic University, Locked Bag 4115, Fitzroy, Victoria 3065, Australia


The redactional pericope in Matt 7.21–23, in which Jesus the final judge condemns certain false Christians, can and should be viewed as an anti-Pauline text. Those rejected by the Matthean Jesus are none other than Paul and those of his circle. This identification is indicated not only by their description as workers of lawlessness, but also by their defence that they are true Christians because they prophesy, work miracles and perform exorcisms in the name of Jesus. These charismatic activities were clearly associated with Paul and/or his churches.

Research Article
© 2007 Cambridge University Press

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An earlier version of this paper was presented to the SNTS Matthew Seminar in Halle, August 2005. I would like to thank the members of the Seminar for their comments and criticisms.