The Sermon on the Mount through the Centuries

From the Early Church to John Paul II

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"This helpful set of essays does just what the title proclaims--tracks interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount through major figures of Christian history. . . . In each case the author of the essay expertly catches the spirit and content of these major interpreters."--Donald Senior, CP, Bible Today

This collection of essays by stellar contributing scholars offers an engaging approach to the study of historical theology and biblical exegesis. The essayists examine various interpretative approaches to the Sermon on the Mount, providing glimpses into historical perspectives on a passage that distills the very essence of the teaching of Jesus.

The important contribution of this volume--beyond its insightful survey of the interpretative work of influential biblical scholars and theologians through the ages--lies in its integrative treatment of the subjects, bringing together the disciplines of church history, biblical exegesis, and theology. The authors shed light on the many and varied approaches to Scripture, examining theological traditions and historical, social, and political contexts, as well as substantial points of agreement.

Students of both church history and hermeneutics will encounter here the interpretations of church fathers Augustine and John Chrysostom, the medieval theologian Hugh of St. Victor, the Reformers, the Methodist John Wesley and the Baptist Charles Haddon Spurgeon, as well as twentieth-century figures of contrasting perspectives--Dietrich Bonhoeffer and John Howard Yoder (who took very different views of pacifism) or, within the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II and Leonardo Boff. The volume concludes with a chapter on John R. W. Stott, perhaps the most influential evangelical of the twentieth century.


The Authors

  1. Jeffrey P. Greenman

    Jeffrey P. Greenman

    Jeffrey P. Greenman (PhD, University of Virginia) is academic dean and associate professor of theology and ethics at Regent College, Vancouver. He previously taught at Wheaton College.

    Continue reading about Jeffrey P. Greenman

  2. Timothy Larsen

    Timothy Larsen

    Timothy Larsen (PhD, University of Stirling, Scotland) is the McManis Chair of Christian Thought at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

    Continue reading about Timothy Larsen

  3. Stephen R. Spencer

    Stephen R. Spencer

    Stephen R. Spencer (PhD, Michigan State University) is Blanchard Professor of Theology at Wheaton College.

    Continue reading about Stephen R. Spencer

Reviews

"This helpful set of essays does just what the title proclaims--tracks interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount through major figures of Christian history. . . . In each case the author of the essay expertly catches the spirit and content of these major interpreters. The overall impact of the book is to demonstrate both the wide diversity of Christian theology and spirituality and also the enduring power of the Sermon itself."--Donald Senior, CP, Bible Today

"Where else can you get a chapter on Hugh of St. Victor and, for instance, Stan Hauerwas on Bonhoeffer and Yoder? What are the unique insights of contemporary Catholics (like Pope Paul or Leonardo Boff) or John Stott? And how about this: David Lyle Jeffrey on Dante and Chaucer. Plenty to learn from this most famous of Jesus' discourses. I don't know what's better, learning about these different figures and their view of the Bible, or, specifically, the teaching they do on the Sermon itself."--Byron Borger, heartsandmindsbooks.com

"Provide[s] the Biblical student with insights into the views of an array of Christian thinkers, all centered on a NT pericope that continues to mightily influence Christian doctrine, morals, and spirituality."--Casimir Bernas, Religious Studies Review

"Interesting and informative."--David Wenham, Journal for the Study of the New Testament

"The authors have all done a careful job of condensing their subjects' views into a relatively few pages. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the history of interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount."--Ray F. Cowan, journeywithjesus.net

"The Sermon on the Mount through the Centuries [is an invitation] to learn from generations of teachers and disciples whose witness can direct twenty-first-century Bible readers on faithful paths."--David L. Tiede, Lutheran Quarterly

"The editors have . . . provided a fresh lens through which to view the history of Christian thought. The images that emerge delighted and surprised this reviewer at various points. . . . The editors have also succeeded in producing a collection of essays that appeal to a wide-ranging audience. I recommend this volume."--David Charles Robinson, Toronto Journal of Theology

"This effort is unique because it utilizes a cross discipline approach, drawing from biblical studies, church history, historical theology, constructive theology, pastoral theology, spiritual and moral formation, and ethics. . . . One particularly helpful contribution of this volume is the overview it provides for many students, pastors, and lay leaders of historical theology. One has not only a fascinating variety of interpretations of the Sermon, but also a wealth of insights on the Christian faith as it was lived out across the centuries in a myriad of contexts."--William E. Goff, Southwestern Journal of Theology