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Towards a Critical Appropriation of the Sermon on the Mount: Christology and Discipleship

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Chapter Summary

A theological interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount seeks to communicate its religious message (i.e. from God, about God, having God and humanity coram Deo as its subject) in a way that is true both to the text itself and to the modern interpreter's own responsive and engaged understanding of God. This implies some identification with the intention of the text, but that need not be explicit. "Christology and discipleship" can be justified as identifying the Sermon in its larger literary context. The knowledge of Jesus that Christians claim and seek to deepen through study of the gospels is accessible only through an amalgam of history and theology, not by historical research alone. The danger of modern prejudices overcoming the witness of scripture to the gospel is the price paid for allowing historical reconstruction a role in Christology and admitting that no human testimony is immune from criticism.

Keywords: Christian gospel; discipleship; God; Matthew; Sermon on the Mount; theological interpretation



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