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date: 22 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the three main things the early Christian writers found in Matthew 5–7. Those were, first, the Beatitudes with promises of spiritual goods made to what was considered to be a small group of special people, but with the application in city preachers to lay people gaining the goods of peace and order and much more in the life to come. Second, prayer, particularly the Lord’s Prayer with its eschatological orientation still very strong in the interpretations, along with trust in divine providence. Third, the Christian virtues and the nature of the relationship between the Testaments, as illustrated by Jesus’ ‘antitheses’: ‘But I say unto you …’ where there is a marked dialectic between penitential realism and inspiring idealism. The range of interpretations is diverse without being conflicting.

Keywords: Christ, instruction, virtue, prayer, divine care, community, counsel, discipleship, law

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