Into one discourse, that we now know as the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus manages to pack the core of his ethical teaching. Recounted in Matthew’s
Gospel, his words challenged the world of first century Judaism, provided a moral compass for early Christianity, and, over the past two
millennia, have inspired many to a better lifestyle. The Sermon on the Mount promotes a way of life that: embodies the love of God and touches
people with it; knows the peace of God and helps others to find it; acknowledges the moral failings of humanity whilst offering solutions to
This site exists to help you climb the mount, sit with Jesus, and hear, not just the grand sweep of his words, but also some of the more
revealing nuances in his language. It will help you appreciate that the Sermon does not exist in isolation, but stands upon the solid
foundation of the Hebrew Bible and informs a wealth of later works.
So what can you expect to find on this site? For the general reader there is:
A simple introduction, for those just
interested in a basic understanding;
An outline and a section-by-section commentary, for those interested in specific sections;
For those with an academic background, who want to go a bit deeper, or those who have a healthy curiosity, there is:
Detailed background on selected sections,
where you will find more on topics such as the Sermon on the Mount's scriptural parallels, the cultural and biblical context of Jesus'
words, and the precise meaning of some of the Greek and Hebrew;
A resources section which provides a bibliography
(that attempts to identify the background of the authors) and provides links to some additional online
A time line to help put into context some of the
events leading up to the Sermon, the subsequent evidence for its impact, and the development of academic opinion;
The Emmaus View, a web-based book examining the divine case-law
which lay behind the ministry of Jesus, provided the context for the Sermon on the Mount, and is key to understanding the historical Jesus;
The provision of suggested page citations (in the page footers) and (in most cases) mouse-over lookup of biblical references, for which
you can specify your preferred Bible version .