This book invites readers to assume responsibility for their own interpretations of the Sermon on the Mount through a practice of "critical study of the Bible as scripture." Such a practice takes as a starting point the conclusions about "the ...
teaching of the Sermon on the Mount for believers today," which Christian believers of all walks of life formulate for themselves, which non-Christian ordinary readers readily envision as they observe Christians, and which scholars imply in their sophisticated interpretations.
Assuming responsibility for one's interpretation involves becoming aware that it results from a series of choices among equally legitimate and plausible options, and self-consciously deciding whether or not one wants to claim "it is the best for believers today" - or, for Christian interpreters, "I believe (credo) it is Word of God for us today."
Through a series of exercises, readers - whether simple believers or scholars -- are invited first to formulate their own conclusions about teachings in the Sermon on the Mount and then to recognize the choices implied in their interpretations by comparing them with five kinds of readings proposed by scholars.
"Daniel Patte shows respect for every interpretation, be it those of 'ordinary people' or those of scholars, and clarifies underlying presuppositions of each option. In a fascinating and new way, he relates critical insights to matters of faith, ultimately to help Christians affirm their credo as truly theirs." -- Christina Grenholm, Uppsala University
Daniel M. Patte is Professor of New Testament at Vanderbilt University and the author of Discipleship according to the Sermon on the Mount (Trinity 1996).
Number of pages: 265
Date of publication: 01/10/1999
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