Studies in Christian Ethics 22 (2):151-163 (2009)

The Sermon on the Mount is a coherent text, consistently drawing on words, expressions, and sacred values that were principally at home in the Old Testament Psalms and in the spiritual functions of the Temple of Jerusalem. Noticing these powerful allusions and understanding the moral authority that they would have conveyed to the ears of its earliest listeners opens insights into the ability of the Sermon on the Mount to communicate an authoritative moral vision, to engender a shared community ethic, and to instill a firm commitment to its ethical imperatives. No text is more important or has had more influence on the history and character of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount. The mystery of the Temple offers important keys for hearing the rhetorical voice of the Sermon and unlocking its enduring and everlasting potency in ethical formation
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DOI 10.1177/0953946809103489
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