Matthew 4:23

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Matthew 4:23 is the twenty-third verse of the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. Jesus has just recruited the first four disciples, this verse begins a brief summary of and introduction to Jesus' ministry in Galilee that will be recounted in the next several chapters.

The original Koine Greek, according to Westcott and Hort, reads:

και περιηγεν εν ολη τη γαλιλαια διδασκων εν ταις συναγωγαις
αυτων και κηρυσσων το ευαγγελιον της βασιλειας και θεραπευων
πασαν νοσον και πασαν μαλακιαν εν τω λαω

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,
and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner
of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

Jesus went about in all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,
preaching the Good News of the Kingdom, and healing every
disease and every sickness among the people

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 4:23

This verse outlines Jesus' life as an itinerant preacher in Galilee. It divides his ministry into three sections: teaching, preaching, and healing. Unlike the other Gospels the author of Matthew makes a clear distinction between teaching and preaching. To him teaching is only commentary on the scripture and the laws, while preaching is public proclamation. According to France, the third form, healing, is to provide clear illustration of the power of God.[1]

The mention of teaching in synagogues is especially noteworthy. While this Gospel and others have a large number of scenes of Jesus preaching and healing, none depict him teaching in a synagogue. Clarke notes that Jesus being permitted to speak in a synagogue would indicate that he was a respected figure and also that he could speak Hebrew in addition to the Aramaic that was the common language of the area.[2]

Jesus preaches the gospel of the kingdom, literally the good news of the kingdom. France feels this is based on John the Baptist's message of the coming Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 3:2 that Jesus later adopts in Matthew 4:1. France states that while John was preaching about the kingdom coming in the near future, Jesus now reports that it is in the present.[3]

The Greek text literally translates as Jesus healing "all the sickness and disease among the people." This literal translation conflicts everything else that is known about Jesus' healing that describes it as individual. A more probable interpretation is that Jesus healed "all types of disease," and this is how the verse is normally translated.

Albright and Mann note that the term "the people" occurs fourteen times in Matthew, and that it is almost always short for "the Jewish people." This interpretation is reinforced by later parts of the Gospels that portray the healing of Gentiles as an unusual event. Despite Galilee's large Gentile proportion it seems as though Jesus' ministry was mostly confined to Jews. The mention of synagogues also reinforces this impression.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985.
  2. ^ Clarke, Howard W. The Gospel of Matthew and its Readers: A Historical Introduction to the First Gospel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003.
  3. ^ France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985.
  4. ^ Albright, W.F. and C.S. Mann. "Matthew." The Anchor Bible Series. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.


Preceded by
Matthew 4:22
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 4
Succeeded by
Matthew 4:24