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The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing

ISBN: 9781493410163
  • Format:Digital



The Sermon on the Mount is one of the most influential portions of the Bible. It is the most studied and commented upon portion of the Christian Scriptures, with every Christian generation turning to it for insight and guidance.

In this volume, a recognized expert on the Gospels shows that the Sermon on the Mount offers a clear window into understanding God’s work in Christ. Jonathan Pennington provides a historical, theological, and literary commentary on the Sermon and explains how this text offers insight into God’s plan for human flourishing. As Pennington explores the literary dimensions and theological themes of this famous passage, he situates the Sermon in dialogue with the Jewish and Greek virtue traditions and the philosophical-theological question of human flourishing. He also relates the Sermon’s theological themes to contemporary issues such as ethics, philosophy, and economics.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Provides an in-depth analysis of the Sermon on the Mount
  • Places the sermon in Jewish and Greek virtue traditions
  • Explores the sermon’s relevance to contemporary issues


  • Translation of the Sermon on the Mount
  • Introduction: An Overall Reading Strategy for the Sermon

Part 1: Orientation

  • The Encyclopedic Context of the Sermon
  • Makarios: Macarisms underneath and in the Beatitudes
  • Teleios: Wholeness throughout the Sermon
  • Seven More Key Terms and Concepts in the Sermon
  • The Structure(s) of the Sermon and Its Setting within Matthew

Part 2: Commentary

  • Matthew 5:1-16
  • Matthew 5:17-48
  • Matthew 6:1-21
  • Matthew 6:19-34
  • Matthew 7:1-12
  • Matthew 7:13-8:1

Part 3: Theological Reflection

  • The Sermon on the Mount and the Theology of Human Flourishing: A Sketch
  • Indexes

Praise for the Print Edition

When it comes to the Sermon on the Mount, many scholars find it difficult to comprehend the Sermon, let alone to make a contribution to the history of Christian thinking about it. Pennington has accomplished both, baptizing this great collection of Jesus’s teachings into the wisdom tradition of human flourishing and virtue ethics. Even where I disagree with Pennington, I have learned from his logical and clear case for the Sermon as a summons to human flourishing. This book will prove to be an exceptional classroom tool as well as a preacher’s steady resource.

—Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary

Is there need for another book on the Sermon on the Mount? Yes, because few others combine the strengths, clarity, pathos, and insight of this one. It is rooted in wide reading across many centuries and traditions. It takes full measure of the range of methods available to shed light on the passage. It is alert to personal transformation as a justified aim in reading. It is balanced, hermeneutically informed, and academically grounded without failing to be pastorally useful as well as theologically responsible. The closing chapter powerfully synthesizes the book’s frequently fresh and always provocative findings. Readers of all stripes will benefit from interaction with Pennington’s expositions and sometimes painfully honest wrestlings.

—Robert W. Yarbrough, professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary

Jonathan Pennington’s reading of the Sermon on the Mount is a remarkable piece of work: erudite, careful, balanced, and fresh. Grounded in meticulous historical exegesis but shaped by a distinctive sensitivity to theological hermeneutics, the book succeeds in proclaiming what is often undersold in our evangelicalism--the goodness of the good news by which we come to flourish.

—Grant Macaskill, Kirby Laing Chair of New Testament Exegesis, University of Aberdeen

In this insightful volume, Jonathan Pennington brings his expertise in the Gospels (and Matthew in particular) to bear on the theological masterpiece that is the Sermon on the Mount. Pennington finds in the Sermon an ‘eschatological, Christ-centered, kingdom-oriented piece of wisdom literature,’ whose unified theme is the goal of human flourishing. I found Pennington’s careful exegesis and balanced conclusions thoroughly convincing.

—Mark L. Strauss, Bethel Seminary San Diego

  • Title: The Sermon on the Mount and Human Flourishing: A Theological Commentary
  • Author: Jonathan T. Pennington
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Print Publication Date: 2017
  • Logos Release Date: 2017
  • Pages: 352
  • Era: era:contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Sermon on the Mount › Criticism, interpretation, etc; Bible. N.T. Matthew 5-8:1 › Commentaries
  • ISBNs: 9781493410163, 9780801049637
  • Resource Type: Bible Commentary
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2020-12-04T16:46:21Z
Jonathan T. Pennington

Dr. Jonathan T. Pennington is the associate professor of New Testament interpretation at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He also served as a visiting professor at Southeastern Seminary, as well as the Institute of Biblical Studies in Orlando, Florida and Melbourne, Australia.

He earned a BA in history and his teaching certificate from Northern Illinois University, and his MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he also taught Greek for two years as an NT fellow. For five years, he also served as the associate pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Mt. Morris in northern Illinois.

He holds a PhD in New Testament studies from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland (in St. Mary’s College), where he wrote his thesis, “Heaven and Earth in the Gospel of Matthew,” under the supervision of professors Richard Bauckham and Philip Esler. Dr. Pennington is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the Tyndale Fellowship (Cambridge), the Institute for Biblical Research, and the International Organization for Septuagint and Cognate Studies. He’s published a variety of articles, reviews, and Greek and Hebrew language tools, as well as books like Heaven and Earth in the Gospel of Matthew (Brill),Cosmology and New Testament Theology (T&T Clark), and Reading the Gospels Wisely: A Narrative and Theological Introduction (Baker Academic).

Sample Pages from the Print Edition