Sermon on the mount its history of interpretation in modern times
The historical part of this dissertation documents the hermeneutical landmarks, of the modern quest for the Sermon's meaning from the writings of Leo Tolstoy, Wilhelm Herrmann, Leonhard Ragaz, Friedrich Naumann, Johannes Weiss, Albert Schweitzer, Johannes Miiller, Otto Baumgarten, Karl Bornhauser, Georg Wunsch, Carl Stange, Gerhard Kittel, Rudolf Bultmann, Hans Windisch, Martin Dibelius, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Eduard Thurneysen, Joachim Jeremias, and of Walter Stadeli. The theological presuppositions and ethi¬ cal implications peculiar to each position are analyzed and evaluated. Numerous less determinative points of view are dealt with in footnotes. A summary of perspectives affirm¬ ing the Sermon's practicability is appended together with a review of the current state of research. Following a comparative summary analysis of' the major positions in their order and interrelation, the system atic part of the thesis develops in historical perspective three aspects of the Jewishness of Jesus that constitute the fundamental problem of the Sermon's Christian interpretation These are (1) Jesus' view of the future and its implications for our faith and life, (2) Jesus' relation to the Mosaic tradition and the extent to which Christian ethics fulfills the intentions of the Torah, and (3) Jesus' expectation of his followers and the sense in which his teaching is practi¬ cable and relevant for us today. This treatise intends to fill an omission in the intellectual history of Christian self-understanding and to contribute to Jewish-Christian dialogue on the intentions of Jesus.