Authoritative Teaching: The Sermon on the Mount

Ellen T. Charry

in By the Renewing of Your Minds

Published in print September 1999 | ISBN: 9780195134865
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853472 | DOI:
Authoritative Teaching: The Sermon on the Mount

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This chapter begins with a discussion of Matthean Judaism. It then outlines the structure of the Sermon on the Mount followed by an aretegenic reading of the Sermon. The aretegenic force of the Sermon on the Mount can be characterized as follows. The evangelist invites his hearers to consider themselves among the privileged by becoming his followers, and he prepares them for the suffering they will endure. He reassures them that they and their mission are of paramount importance, that they are capable of accomplishing it, and that through their lives God will be glorified. In this process Jesus offers his followers a sense of importance and dignity that comes from cultivating the sort of inner purity that requires great restraint under stress. Echoing the promises of Psalm 37, Matthew creates a determined esprit de corps among the beleaguered disciples to encourage them to hold to the new piety, which would triumph as the way for Jews and gentiles to live as God's privileged.

Keywords: Matthew; God; Judaism; Sermon on the Mount; Psalm 37; piety; Jesus; disciples

Chapter.  11564 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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