Illuminating the Sermon at the Temple & Sermon on the Mount

An Approach to 3 Nephi 11-18 and Matthew 5-7

Understanding the Sermon on the Mount (meaning both texts in their shared, collective meaning) as a temple text reveals that it has far more power and unity than a mere collection of miscellaneous sayings of Jesus. John W. Welch examines the teachings and commandments of the Sermon on the Mount in its Book of Mormon setting—at the Nephite temple, in connection with sacred ordinances of covenant making. This context opens new insights into the meaning and significance of the Sermon whereby readers never again see the Sermon the same.

Illuminating the Sermon at the Temple & Sermon on the Mount adapts and expands Welch’s earlier work to offer a thorough Latter-day Saint interpretation of the Savior’s greatest sermon, drawing on insights from Jesus’s Sermon at the Temple in 3 Nephi to shed light on his Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew. This edition includes substantial additions based on insights gleaned throughout a decade of continuing research.


About the Author

John W. Welch

John W. Welch (J.D., Duke University) is the Robert K. Thomas Professor of Law at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School, editor in chief of BYU Studies, and director of publications for the university's Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for LDS History. He is the founder of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. He serves on the executive committee of the Biblical Law Section of the Society of Biblical Literature.

Table of Contents

  • Overview
  • The Need for a Unifying Interpretation
  • The Temple Context and Unity of the Sermon at the Temple
  • Toward an Understanding of the Sermon as an Ancient Temple Text
  • Some Personal Reflections
  • The Sermon at the Temple and the Sermon on the Mount: The Differences
  • The Common Israelite Background
  • Joseph Smith and the Translation of the Sermon at the Temple
  • The Sermon at the Temple and the Greek New Testament Manuscripts
  • Jesus and the Composition of the Sermon on the Mount
  • The Sermon in Light of Ritual Studies
  • Results and Concluding Thoughts
  • Appendix
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Publication Information

  • Subject: Book of Mormon
  • Publication Year: 1999
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 978-0934893374
  • Page Count: 304
  • Price: $ 12.95
  • Imprint: FARMS

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The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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