Literature Study GuidesSermon On The Mount

Sermon on the Mount | Study Guide


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Years Written

1st to 2nd centuries CE


Religious Text



At a Glance

  • The Sermon on the Mount is recorded in the New Testament Gospel of Matthew. Though the authorship of the gospel is uncertain, it has historically been attributed to Matthew (1st century), a former tax collector who became one of the 12 apostles of Jesus.
  • The date of the book's writing is uncertain, but scholars estimate it was composed between 50 CE and 100 CE.
  • The sermon is one of the five major sections of Jesus's teachings recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. In the sermon, Jesus teaches about how the Kingdom of God will operate and presents a new way of living.
  • The 1st-century Jewish audience would have been familiar with the notion of the Kingdom of God. According to Jewish teaching, God promised to set up the kingdom on Earth. The Jews likely expected this to be a political kingdom that would provide rescue from the oppressive Roman government.
  • The gospel reports that crowds who listened responded with amazement because Jesus spoke with authority even though he was not one of the recognized religious leaders of the day.
  • Today the Sermon on the Mount is accepted as part of the biblical canon. As such, it forms part of Christian doctrine and is considered a guide for living a moral life.

About the Title

The Sermon on the Mount is one of Jesus's (c. 6–4 BCE to c. 30 CE) primary teachings about the Kingdom of God. For the Jewish Christians, who were the primary audience for Matthew's gospel, this sermon (or collection of sermons) and its setting would call to mind the Hebrew Bible's account of Moses (c. 13th century BCE), who was given the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Whereas the Ten Commandments taught the Israelite community how to live on Earth, according to God's rules, the Sermon on the Mount teaches Jesus's disciples how to live as citizens of God's kingdom.


This study guide for Jesus's Sermon on the Mount offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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