Many biblical scholars consider the Sermon on the Mount to be the crown jewel of Jesus’ teachings recorded in the Gospels. Throughout the Sermon, Jesus addresses several issues that are fundamental to human experience, such as wealth and poverty, marriage and divorce, joy and suffering, anger and forgiveness, friends and enemies, authenticity and hypocrisy, and what it really means to have faith in God. This course aims to provide an in-depth study of this most famous of Jesus’ sermons. We will examine how this material from Jesus’ preaching fits into the narrative of the Gospel of Matthew and how it finds expression also in the Gospel of Luke (Matt 5–7; Luke 6:20–49). Emphasis will be placed on understanding the Sermon as it would have been heard in its original Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. We will also explore ways in which the Sermon has been heard in subsequent Christian tradition, and how it can and should be heard by the church today.
- Have a good grasp of the content of the Sermon on the Mount.
- Understand the Sermon in its historical context and its relevance for the church today.
- Gain awareness of important exegetical and theological issues related to the interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount.
- Be shaped intellectually and spiritually by a deeper encounter with Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount.
- Become more adept at interpreting and applying biblical texts.
- Master the content of the Sermon on the Mount.
- Identify and explain important literary themes of the Sermon in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
- Learn about how the Sermon on the Mount has been interpreted in Christian tradition.
- Develop a greater competency in reading and expositing texts from the New Testament.