Jan 21, 2015

Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain

Students of the Gospels are aware that there is some debate as to whether the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7 is the same as the Sermon on the Plain in Luke 6:17–49. Although most have concluded that they are the same sermon, I created the following table to try and outline the issue in broad terms.
Sermon on the Mount and Sermon on the Plain: Same Sermon?
·     Both sermons have the same beginning and endings
·     Both sermons have similar content with virtually all of the Sermon on the Plain paralleled in the Sermon on the Mount and often in identical order
·     Both sermons are followed by Jesus’ entrance into Capernaum and the healing of the centurion’s servant
·     The stated geographical location is different (mount vs. plain)
·     The Sermon on the Plain follows the choosing of the Twelve an event that does not occur in Matthew until chp. 10
·     The content is different (Matt 5:33-37; 6:1-6, 16-18; 7:6 are not found in the Sermon on the Plain)
Geographical and content differences between the sermons can be readily explained
Similarities can be explained by understanding that Jesus was an itinerant preacher who reused his material
Proponents: Origen, Chrysostom, J. Calvin, W. Hendricksen, C. Blomberg, R. Guelich, C. Quarles, D. Turner, D. A. Carson, B. Witherington
Proponents: Augustine, J. A. Alexander, E. H. Plumptre, L. Morris, E. Glasscock

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