Graduate School of Theology


In this published edition of his doctoral dissertation (Pontifical Gregorian University, 2011; supervised by Massimo Grilli), Mamie provides a primarily literary-linguistic analysis of the parable of the workers in the vineyard in the Gospel of Matthew. In the introductory chapter, M. declares that he does not deal with form or redaction criticism but instead interprets the parable in its present textual setting to explore its significance and function. This leads him to specify that the meaning of the parable in this study emerges primarily from the text itself and not from its historical environment. Apart from the question of its legitimacy or usefulness, such a stance is not unusual or rare in contemporary biblical scholarship, especially after the so-called linguistic turn in the twentieth century. M. adds, however, that once the literary analysis is done in its context he will also examine other parallels in the world outside the text to locate the Matthean parable in its plausible historical context. M. himself calls this incorporation ofthe rhetorical/communicative dimension of the text and the referential dimension of it a “holistic” approach (p. 26) and a “pluralistic” approach (p. 66). Such an attempt at employing both literary and historical methods in one study certainly has its merits, but it is not easily done. I am not sure the historical investigation part in this study is thorough enough to justify its inclusion in an otherwise clearly defined and thoroughgoing literary analysis.

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Title

The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

Publication Date









The author reviews the book Matthew's Response to an Early Missionary Issue: Meaning and Function of the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matt 20:1-16), by Vinko Mamic (Rome: Gregorian and Biblical Press, 2016).

Document Version

Publisher's version

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License