Augsburg Fortress

Jesus' Sermon on the Mount: Mandating a Better Righteousness

Jesus' Sermon on the Mount: Mandating a Better Righteousness

The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is the best-known repository of the teachings of Jesus and one of the most studied. Amid the considerable erudition expended on the Sermon, however, Jack R. Lundbom argues that it has proven too easy to deflect or disregard the main thrust of the Sermon, which he characterizes as a mandate to holy living and a “greater righteousness.”

Through careful attention to the structure of Matthew’s Gospel and the place of the Sermon within it, keen sensitivity to the patterns and themes of Israelite prophecy, and judicious comparisons with other Jewish and rabbinic literature, Lundbom elucidates the meaning of the Sermon and its continuity with Israel’s prophetic heritage as well as the best of Jewish teaching. By deft appeal to Christian commentators on the Sermon, Lundbom brings its most important themes to life for the contemporary reader, seeking always to understand what the “greater righteousness” to which the Sermon summons might mean for us today.
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  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781451493023
  • eBook ISBN 9781451494228
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 341
  • Publication Date March 1, 2015


"Jack R. Lundbom writes with passion and power as a Christian rabbi and prophet. He not only draws upon the Old Testament and rabbinic sources to exegete Jesus' Sermon on the Mount but also interprets the Sermon in light of centuries of Christian insights, so as to proclaim the mandate of holy living for our generation today. A highly academic yet readable and practical book."
—K. K. Yeo
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
"Drawing deeply on the author's seasoned scholarship, and remarkably accessible to the general reader, the book offers a fresh and engaging study of the Sermon on the Mount. Jack Lundbom places the teachings of the Sermon into the broad context of the Bible, ancient Jewish teachings, and the history of interpretation for the sake of clarifying the sometimes perplexing, always challenging, pronouncements of the Sermon. Moreover, he draws upon hymns, devotional literature, and pastoral experience to illustrate how the teachings of the Sermon can be applied to life in the present. The book is an excellent resource for the preacher, teacher, and any student of the Bible who is looking for solid scholarship and insightful application for service to the church and for personal reflection."
—Arland J. Hultgren
Emeritus, Luther Seminary

Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is a gold mine of Old Testament and ancient Jewish texts used to interpret Jesus’ programmatic statement of how to live a holy life. Devotional and realistic regarding the challenges of following Jesus, the study at times softens, yet always sharpens how the words of Jesus apply to today. Lundbom’s work also places the Sermon in dialogue with others who have learned from it over the centuries—from early church authors to reformers such as Luther, Calvin, and Wesley, and from Kierkegaard to the hymns of Swedish Pietism.”
—Walter F. Taylor Jr.
Trinity Lutheran Seminary

“It is a great privilege to have the thoughts and reflections of a wonderful Jeremiah scholar on the Sermon on the Mount. Jack Lundbom has done a great job in signaling out its many echoes from the Jewish Scriptures. He convincingly shows that the Sermon of the Mount does not constitute an unattainable ideal, but that its views need to be lived out in the imitatio Dei.”
George van Kooten
University of Groningen