Sermon on the Mount


Sermon on the Mount
The discourse of Jesus in Matt. 5–7 placed, according to Matt.'s scheme, to correspond to Moses' receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. It was first given this title by St Augustine (about 392 CE). Some of the material is replicated in Luke 6:20–49, which is shorter and said to be delivered on the level ground. Luke does, however, add to his four Beatitudes four corresponding Woes, relevant to Christian life in the Church, which is a typical theme of Luke: notice the addition of the word ‘daily’ at 9:23 (it is not in Mark 8:34).
Matt.'s Sermon is a compilation of Jesus' sayings edited by the evangelist. They were delivered on various occasions and as now arranged they present Jesus as the New Moses, setting out the New Righteousness for his disciples. The Sermon is an integral part of the whole gospel but can be examined as a distinct unit. The first part (Matt. 5:1–12) consists of the nine Beatitudes, or Blessings, showing that in the kingdom [[➝ kingdom of God]] of Heaven (or God) there will be a great reversal of values. The beatitudes are pronounced in the indicative form, not the imperative. They are statements about a kind of life entirely independent of a particular community, Jewish or Christian. They apply to everyone. The disciples are addressed (5:1) but so are the crowds (7:28). The imperative is implied—disciples at any rate ought to imitate that ideal form of living wherever it is found. There follows a series of practical examples setting out the ideals of the Kingdom in terms of the conditions of this life: murder, adultery, oaths, and animosity are all forbidden by the absolute standards of the Kingdom. There follows (6:1–7:12) a collection of Jesus' teaching on righteousness towards God; generosity and self-discipline; undetectable fasting and discreet almsgiving; perfect trust and non-judgemental attitudes. The centrepiece of the section is the Lord's Prayer (6:9–13), and it ends with the Golden Rule [[➝ golden rule]].
Interpretation of these injunctions has been split. On the one hand are those (predominantly Catholic) who have regarded them as commands to be taken as they stand; for with the help of divine grace, they are able to be put into practice, at any rate by those with a special vocation to do so, such as members of religious orders. Others (mostly Protestant) have regarded the sermon as giving ideals to be striven towards; for a requirement to love as God loves (5:46) is an impossible demand for perfection (Matt. 5:48) which accuses the readers of their imperfections and which already Luke in his version (6:36) modifies to the more practicable command to be merciful as God is merciful.
One section of the sermon (Matt. 5:17–48) contrasts the righteousness demanded by the Law with that put before the disciples of Jesus in a series of ‘antitheses’. They are in an extreme form, to goad Matt.'s readers into actions inspired by love (Matt. 22:39), but they represent the heightening of the Law and not its abolition (Matt. 5:17).

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • Sermon on the Mount — by Carl Bloch The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus, which emphasizes his moral teaching found in the Gospel of Matthew (chapters 5, 6 and 7).[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Sermon on the Mount — Sermon on the Mount, the a sermon given by Jesus in which he explains his religious ideas. It is one of the best known parts of the New Testament of the Bible, and it includes a set of statements called the beatitudes, in which Jesus names the… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Sermon on the Mount — n. Bible the sermon delivered by Jesus to his disciples: Matt. 5 7, Luke 6:20 49: it contains basic teachings of Christianity …   English World dictionary

  • Sermon on the Mount — a discourse delivered by Jesus to the disciples and others, containing the Beatitudes and important fundamentals of Christian teaching. Matt. 5 7; Luke 6:20 49. * * * Biblical collection of religious teachings and ethical sayings attributed to… …   Universalium

  • Sermon on the mount —    After spending a night in solemn meditation and prayer in the lonely mountain range to the west of the Lake of Galilee (Luke 6:12), on the following morning our Lord called to him his disciples, and from among them chose twelve, who were to be …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Sermon on the Mount — Ser′mon on the Mount′ n. bib a discourse delivered by Jesus, containing fundamentals of Christian teaching. Matt. 5–7; Luke 6:20–49 …   From formal English to slang

  • SERMON ON THE MOUNT —    the most famous sayings of JESUS OF NAZARETH which are found in Matthew 5 7 …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Sermon on the Mount — noun the first major discourse delivered by Jesus (Matthew 5 7 and Luke 6:20 49) • Instance Hypernyms: ↑sermon, ↑discourse, ↑preaching • Part Meronyms: ↑Beatitude, ↑Lord s Prayer …   Useful english dictionary

  • Sermon on the Mount — noun A well known public discourse given by Jesus in the first year of his ministry, around 30 e.c …   Wiktionary

  • Sermon on the Mount — noun Christianity the discourse delivered by Jesus, recorded in Matthew 5 and Luke 6 …   Australian English dictionary


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