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Abstract

The purpose of the article is a critical presentation of Luther’s interpretation of Mt 5-7, with a special emphasis on its hermeneutical assumptions and anthropological consequences. At first the author presents the literary sources that contain Luther’s statements on Mt 5-7, i.e. his eminent hebdomadal speeches (Wochenpredigten) and some theological writings as well. Subsequently he discusses hermeneutical keys offered by M. Luther himself: the polemic against “double standard approach” (precepts and counsels) developed by the time of the Middle Ages and the polemic against the principles presented by the Anabaptist and other protestant idealists. However, the most significant factor of this interpretation was Luther’s teaching on two kingdoms (Zwei-Reichen-Lehre). The difference between the secular and spiritual kingdom is essential for Luther’s interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount (cf. WA 32, 299-301). The reformer claims that the message of the sermon is irrelevant for the Christian person in the world and it should be applied only to the Christian life in the Kingdom of God. M. Luther emphasizes also salvation by faith alone, therefore Matt. 5-7 has no soteriological value; it contains the ethical teaching of Jesus Christ. According to Luther the commandments of the Sermon on the Mount denote an impossible demand, therefore they are only a “mirror” of the Christian life. In the fourth step the author presents primary reactions of the Churches on Luther’s interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount. Luther’s interpretation of Mt 5-7 has its significant place in the history of exegesis and nowadays it remains still the standard evangelical standpoint.
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