Jesus’s Manifesto: The Sermon on the Plain

Jesus’s Manifesto: The Sermon on the Plain is my book on Jesus’s thought in the Sermon on the Plain, recorded in Luke 6:20–49, with a foreword written by the great scholar of early Christianity and Christian Origins, James Crossley.

From the back cover:

Jesus’s Manifesto: The Sermon on the Plain is a historical analysis and exegesis of the Sermon on the Plain found in Luke 6:20–49. Going into the historical and literary context of the Sermon on the Plain, it examines how the message fits into the world of Jesus and his audience. Jesus’s Manifesto demonstrates how the Sermon’s ethical injunctions and eschatological message interacted with contemporary ideologies, and how these injunctions were meant to be taken as normative commandments by Jesus in light of his eschatological message. Many have attempted to dampen the ethical teachings of Jesus by trying to relativize them, or by trying to make them compatible with the wider culture and the dominant ideologies; however, when understood in its historical context, the Sermon’s message was not only incompatible with the wider culture and the dominant ideologies, but it stood in opposition to them. Jesus’s Manifesto provides the necessary historical and anthropological tools to fully appreciate the profound and seemingly radical message of the Sermon of the Plain.

Jesus’s Manifesto contributes to our collective knowledge of Christian origins by supplying a close reading of the Sermon on the Plain that proposes the Gospel writer Luke composed a faithful model of the historical Jesus’s sermon. Montero’s discussion of the Sermon’s historical context is equally impressive and educative.”

—Edgar G. Foster, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Philosophy, Lenoir-Rhyne University

“Roman Montero has adopted the position—outlandish for most Christians down the ages—of taking Jesus at his word on matters of wealth, poverty, justice, and political order. For those who would prefer a morality consisting chiefly in personal continence, but making no demands upon their comforts and privileges, nothing could be more subversive or threatening. And yet no unprejudiced reader of this book can truly doubt that it captures something essential to the moral beauty of the gospel.”

—David Bentley Hart, University of Notre Dame

“Montero’s book is not simply another exposition of the ‘sermon’ of Jesus, but an exploration of how Jesus’ ethical teachings compare and contrast with those of major influential figures from the Greek world like Aristotle and Plato, as well as their connections to Israel’s ethical traditions as articulated by figures such as Isaiah and the rabbis of the Mishnah. The result is a powerful historical portrait of Jesus as a teacher in conversation with his contemporaries (as well as the past and longstanding cultural values), offering a radical vision for a community that has love as the ‘central organizing principle’ of its values and its practices.”

—James F. McGrath, Butler University

An additional endorsement:

“Roman Montero, the author of All Things in Common: The Economic Practices of the Early Christians, now goes a step backwards in the history of Christianity. He turns to the core of Jesus’s ethical teachings to investigate the purpose of these ethics within his eschatological horizon. Montero has researched his topic extensively and systematically attempts to dive into the contemporary major ethical systems of both Jewish and Greco-Roman worlds. He succeeds in making his book easy to read, while he provides the required bibliographical support for the more demanding reader.”

—Pavlos D. Vasileiadis, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

 

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