The Sermon on the Mount through the Centuries: From the Early Church to John Paul II
Greenman, Jeffrey P., Stephen R. Spencer and Timothy Larsen, editors
Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Academic, 2007 pp. 280. $24.99
Description: This collection of essays by stellar contributing scholars offers an engaging approach to the study of historical theology and biblical exegesis. The essayists examine various interpretative approaches to the Sermon on the Mount, providing glimpses into historical perspectives on a passage that distills the very essence of the teaching of Jesus.
The important contribution of this volume--beyond its insightful survey of the interpretative work of influential biblical scholars and theologians through the ages--lies in its integrative treatment of the subjects, bringing together the disciplines of church history, biblical exegesis, and theology. The authors shed light on the many and varied approaches to Scripture, examining theological traditions and historical, social, and political contexts, as well as substantial points of agreement.
Students of both church history and hermeneutics will encounter here the interpretations of church fathers Augustine and John Chrysostom, the medieval theologian Hugh of St. Victor, the Reformers, the Methodist John Wesley and the Baptist Charles Haddon Spurgeon, as well as twentieth-century figures of contrasting perspectives--Dietrich Bonhoeffer and John Howard Yoder (who took very different views of pacifism) or, within the Roman Catholic Church, Pope John Paul II and Leonardo Boff. The volume concludes with a chapter on John R. W. Stott, perhaps the most influential evangelical of the twentieth century.
Subjects: Methods, Historical Approaches, History, History of Interpretation
Review by Charles H. Talbert
Citation: Charles H. Talbert, review of Jeffrey P. Greenman, Timothy Larsen, and Stephen R. Spencer, eds., The Sermon on the Mount through the Centuries: From the Early Church to John Paul II, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2009).
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