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Interpreting and Preaching the Sermon on the Mount

NT 703-4_6 Interpreting and Preaching The Sermon on the Mount
Master of Arts (Theology)/Master of Arts (Ministry)
Annual Preachers’ Conference, 2019
Alan Stanley and Mike Raiter

Each year Ridley offers an advanced preaching unit for MA students, featuring teaching and training by local and international speakers. These units are offered as part of Ridley’s Annual Preachers’ Conference held each August. Specialised content facilitated by Mike Raiter is delivered on the day before the conference commences, and there are  additional workshops held throughout the conference.

The Sermon on the Mount has been described as ‘the supreme jewel in the crown of Jesus’ teaching’ (Michael Green) and ‘the best known but least understood and least obeyed’ of all that Jesus ever said (John Stott).

In this unit we will explore in depth the meaning of Matthew 5-7 with New Testament Scholar Alan Stanley, and then consider how best to communicate its message with well-known homiletician Mike Raiter.

By the end of the unit students will not only know the sermon better – its original context and function, its theology and ethics – but will be equipped to preach it faithfully and engagingly to congregations today.

Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, students will:
A. Know and understand
1. Recent scholarship and its significance for the study of the Sermon on the Mount;
2. Key issues related to preaching the Sermon on the Mount.

B. Be able to
1. Evaluate various interpretations of the Sermon on the Mount;
2. Exegete the text of the Sermon on the Mount in the light of current scholarship;
3. Identify and discuss key theological themes presented in the Sermon on the Mount;
4. Explain their significance for contemporary Christian living.

C. Be in a position to
1. Preach and teach on the Sermon on the Mount in the contemporary world as reflective practitioner.

Content
1. Authorship, provenance and date of the Gospel of Matthew with special attention to the Sermon on the Mount
2. Recent developments in the interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount
3. Current views of structure and argument
4. Exegesis of selected sections of Sermon on the Mount
5. Preaching the Sermon on the Mount today
6. Sample sermons on the Sermon on the Mount with evaluation and discussion

Assessment
Book Review (4cp: 1,000/6cp: 1,500 words; (20%) (Unit learning outcomes A1, B1, B3)
Sermon with Detailed Exegesis and Rationale (4cp: 6,000, 6cp: 6,500 words; 80%) (Unit learning outcomes A2, B2, B4, C1)

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