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Israel's Last Prophet: Jesus and the Jewish Leaders in Matthew 23
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Israel's Last Prophet: Jesus and the Jewish Leaders in Matthew 23


Fortress Press 2015

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.

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Gathering Interest


Jesus’ words of indictment and judgment in the Gospel according to Matthew have fueled centuries of Christian anti-Judaism sentiment. The solemn parables and pronouncements of judgment in chapters 22–23 come to a climax in Jesus’ ironic command that the scribes and Pharisees “fill up the measure” of their ancestors, bringing upon their generation the judgment of God (Matt. 23:32–36). But what did those words originally mean within Matthew’s narrative?

This volume explains the rejected prophet motif and how it relates to issues of conflict. In particular, it examines how the original Jewish context of the first gospel helps to explain the text. Discover new insights into Christian-Jewish relations and see how Matthew has taken up Deuteronomic themes of prophetic rejection and judgment and woven them throughout the Gospel, particularly in Matthew 23.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Offers new insights into Christian-Jewish relations
  • Provides a scholarly exegesis of Matthew 23
  • Examines the Jewish context of the first gospel


  • The Motif of the Rejection of the Prophets
    • Introduction to the Motif: The Rejection of the Prophets and the Deuteronomistic Perspective
    • The Rejection of the Prophets in Jewish Literature
    • The Rejection of the Prophets in the New Testament
  • The Rejection of the Prophets in Matthew
    • Matthew’s Understanding of the Bible
    • John the Baptist as the Penultimate Rejected Prophet
    • Jesus as the Ultimate Rejected Prophet
    • Jesus’ Disciples as Future Rejected Prophets
    • The Parable of the Wicked Tenant Farmers (Matthew 21:33-46)
    • Jesus before Pilate: The “Blood Libel” (Matthew 27:11–26)
  • Jesus and the Jewish Leaders in Matthew 23
    • An Introduction to Matthew 23
    • Exegetical Commentary on Matthew 23
    • The Crucial Text: Matthew 23:32
    • Conclusion

Praise for the Print Edition

David Turner’s Israel’s Last Prophet is a careful study of Matthew 23 in the context of Jewish internal debate. Working from Deuteronomy into Second Temple texts, Turner shows this rhetoric is not supercessionist but a sincere appeal for Israel’s leaders to return to covenantal faithfulness. In it Jews and Christians both have much to learn as they consider the moral call of God. This is a richly rewarding study of a controversial and often misused text, full of solid insight about how this text should be read.

Darrell Bock, research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

Turner’s work is helpful not only for understanding the rejected prophet motif or related issues of conflict in this Gospel, but also for understanding the setting and purpose of this Gospel itself. Surveying the range of evidence, Turner helps us to hear Matthew’s Gospel in its original Jewish context. . . . He also points a valuable way forward in dialogue between two sister-faiths for whom first-century Judea offered an important formative context.

Craig S. Keener, professor of New Testament, Asbury Theological Seminary

David Turner’s Israel’s Last Prophet makes a very important contribution to an aspect of Matthew’s interpretation of Jesus that has been largely overlooked. Recent studies on Matthew have focused on Jesus as a shepherd or king or on one of the prophets (such as Jeremiah or Zechariah), but Turner’s study of Matthew 23 has rightly underscored the evangelist’s presentation of Jesus as Israel’s last prophet, whose rejection has profound implications for God’s historic people. This stimulating work, which also addresses the sensitive question of antisemitism, is must reading.

Craig A. Evans, Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College

Product Details

About David L. Turner

David L. Turner is the professor of New Testament at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and the author of a commentary on Matthew in the Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament and a volume in the Cornerstone Biblical Commentaries series on Matthew and Mark. He holds a PhD from Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition