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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Parables and Rhetoric in the Sermon on the Mount: New Approaches to a Classical Text
Baasland, Ernst

TŁbingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2015 pp. xxxi + 703. Ä179.00

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 351

Description: Parable research has to a large degree ignored the Sermon on the Mount (SM) and for its part, research into the SM has likewise left the parables by the wayside. However, the use of parabolic language in more than one third of the SM influences its interpretation and indeed opens up a new approach to it. In the current volume, Ernst Baasland focuses on this important factor, whilst also taking the rhetoric of Jesusí teaching into consideration. The author maintains that rhetorical features have a great bearing on the interpretation of the text with the overall structure illuminating the entire composition of the sermon. Fresh insights into its oration therefore serve to challenge the source problem in a new way. The religious and philosophical settings of this most well-known of Christís preachings are clarified by its parables and rhetoric; and the sermonís Jewish background has often been investigated. While the author continues with that particular task, he simultaneously affords more emphasis to the parallels in (Greek) Hellenistic literature. The combining of all these factors leads to a clearer comprehension of the Sermon on the Mountís philosophy of life and provides a better understanding of this classical text.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Literature, Methods, Literary Approaches, Rhetorical Criticism

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Review by Samuel Lamerson
Published 11/9/2017
Citation: Samuel Lamerson, review of Ernst Baasland, Parables and Rhetoric in the Sermon on the Mount: New Approaches to a Classical Text, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2017).

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