Two Gospels contain the story of a gentile woman who approaches Jesus on behalf of her demon-possessed daughter in or around gentile territory (Mark 7:24–30; Matt 15:21–28). In comparing the two evangelists’ renditions of the story, it is evident that Matthew heightens the tensions of this interaction, relative to Mark’s version. This study investigates the canine terminology and the attribution of “Canaanite” identity to the woman in Matthew’s telling. In light of the potential array of Old Testament types this female supplicant might trigger, we should read Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus’s interactions with the Canaanite woman as a “biblical interpretation” of her. In those terms, we might see Jesus’s final response to the woman as taking an interpretive leap. In the end, Jesus listens to and affirms the faithfulness of the Canaanite woman, which results in restoration for her daughter.

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