Reading The Sermon On The Mount
Character Formation And Decision Making In Matthew 5-7
To prepare readers for a thorough examination of the Sermon, Talbert investigates Matthew's relation to Judaism and inquires into the composition of the audience who received Jesus' charge. He also takes into account the order of Jesus' discourse, the distinction between character formation and decision making, and the question of whether or not the Jesus who speaks in the Sermon is a legalist.
In his reading of the text, Talbert attends to the six large units of thought in Matthew 5–7, exploring the relationship of each to possible concerns of character formation and decision making. Section by section, he analyzes form and content, comparing Jesus' directives with similar statements in Jewish and Greco-Roman literature. Talbert concludes that only when the text is read in three contexts—the whole of Matthew, the whole of the New Testament, and the entire biblical plot—can the Sermon on the Mount make a contribution to decision making.
About the Author
"Reading the Sermon on the Mount is vintage Talbert: lucid, logical, with mastery of the commentary tradition and intimate knowledge of primary sources. The author's emphasis on the Sermon's role in the formation of character is a most welcome gift to specialists and general readers alike."—C. Clifton Black, Otto A. Piper Professor of Biblical Theology, Princeton Theological Seminary, and book editor of Theology Today
"Charles H. Talbert has made a wonderful contribution to the study of the New Testament and ethics. He writes with his characteristic decisiveness and clarity and brightly illumines the Sermon on the Mount from his deep grasp of the pertinent Greco-Roman and Jewish sources, the entire New Testament, and vintage scholarly literature."—Robert J. Karris, The Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventure University, and author of Prayer and the New Testament
Other Titles in RELIGION / Biblical Criticism & Interpretation / General