In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Sermon on the Mount

  • Introduction
  • The Structure of the Sermon
  • Ethics in the Sermon
  • Textual Critical Issues
  • Source-Critical Issues

Biblical Studies Sermon on the Mount
Jonathan T. Pennington
  • LAST REVIEWED: 06 February 2012
  • LAST MODIFIED: 06 February 2012
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195393361-0059


There is no portion of the Bible that plays a more central role in the history of the Church than the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7, with some parallels in Luke 6 and 11). From the days of the Church Fathers on, these three chapters have been the most frequently quoted and commented-on portion of the Bible. The Sermon has constantly received high praise as a model for the Christian life, the essence of true religion, and the epitome of Jesus’ teachings. These sentiments come not only from Christian interpreters but from many outside the Church as well, where the broader impact of the Sermon is still seen through cultural mantras such as “The Golden Rule” and “turn the other cheek.”

General Overviews

There are many excellent sources available that provide overall commentary and discussion on the Sermon, including some bibliographic works (see Kissinger 1975; Neirynck, et al. 1998; Mills 2000, cited in Bibliographies), sections within commentaries on Matthew, commentaries dedicated solely to explicating the Sermon, and a variety of monographs and articles that treat the matters of the Sermon as a whole.

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