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Angel Puppo

B340 Biblical Interpretation

Presented to Dr. Abner Chou 

April 5, 2020

Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever

you loose on earth shall be loosed[a] in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth

about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or

three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”1 The discussed passages are found in

the book of Matthew, one of the four gospels that talk about the life of Jesus Christ, this gospel

in particular concentrates on showing Jesus as the true Messiah the Jews were waiting for, in this

section I will focus on the genre of this book and the genre of this specific passages to illuminate

the meaning of this text from another angle. “An awareness of the literary genre or kind of

literature of a given Bible book helps more in synthesis than detailed analysis. It helps give a

sense of the overall thrust of the Bible book, so that verses and paragraphs can be seen in light of

the whole. This helps prevent the problem of taking verses out of context. It also gives insight

into the nature and purpose of an entire book.”2

1
Matthew 18:18-20 (ESV)
2
Zuck, Roy. Basic Bible Interpretation. 

(Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1999)


The Gospels

The Gospels by itself are a genre described by Dr. Zuck “Some people approach the four

Gospels as historical narratives as if the books were written simply to record biographical

information on the life of Christ. Obviously, they are not biographies in the normal sense in that

they exclude much material from the life of Christ which one would normally expect to find in

historical biography. The Gospels include a good bit of biographical material on Christ, but they

are more than biographies. They are both doctrine and narrative, presented to set forth

information on the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus' teachings in parables and indirect discourse are

interspersed with the records of His miracles and encounters with individuals. The Gospels are

collections of stories far more packed with action than is customary in the narrative. The

overriding purpose of the Gospel stories is to explain and praise the person and work of Jesus...

through His actions, His words through the responses of other people Him."3 Without any

research, I would argue that the Gospels may be a genre into itself with many biblical sub-genre

inside. In the gospels, we find classic poetry as in the statement found in Matthew 10:24, “The

student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.” We found the many words of

Wisdom as in the parables or the sermon in the mount where we see the law taken to a higher

level than that written in the books of Moses, we see the many prophecies Jesus gave us, and the

narrative of his life.

For the selected passage, I'll argue that the sub-genre is a lawful statement that describes

the legal adjunction Jesus gives to his church. In the context where we found it, we read Jesus

giving an extended dialogue of how important the little ones for our father in heaven are, the

giver of the law. Chapter 18 Shows Jesus explaining who is higher in the kingdom of heaven, the

3
Zuck, Roy. Basic Bible Interpretation. 

(Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1999)


consequences to anyone that causes a little one to stumble, the importance of the little ones, and

the way to discipline with the lawful power given to the church. The power we find in the

selected passages Matthew 18:18-20. A power meant to be used by the community of believers

that are gathered in Jesus' name, receiving Jesus counsel on anything they decide.   
Bibliography

Zuck, Roy. Basic Bible Interpretation. 

(Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1999)