A commentary on the Sermon on the Mount
An early commentary
Long before Boticelli (1445-1510) used his imagination to envisage this dramatic portrait, St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) produced a commentary, the title of which translates as The Lord’s Sermon on the Mount. Many commentaries have added to our understanding of the passage, but it appears to have been Augustine’s that gave us this text's now-familiar title.
Contents of the commentary
Before examining the text itself this commentary looks briefly at:
- the source of the Sermon on the Mount;
- its oral preservation during the early years of The Way (as Christianity was then known);
- the evidence for when it was written down;
- its interpretation down the centuries;
- how people divide it up to understand its structure.
It then works through each of the basic subdivisions of the Sermon on the Mount in turn. As used here, they are:
- Matthew 5:1–12, the rewards of restoring the way;
- Matthew 5:13–20, a father’s words and wisdom;
- Matthew 5:21–7:12, five commandments interpreted;
- Matthew 7:13–29, on choosing well.