Mount and Mountain, Volume Two

book cover

Mount and Mountain, Volume Two

A Reverend and a Rabbi Talk About the Sermon on the Mount

by Michael Smith and Rami Shapiro

Regular Price: $19.00
Paperback | 254 Pages

Biblical Studies
ISBN: 978-1-57312-654-0

Brief Description

Here’s the story: a reverend and a rabbi start a blog. In 2008, Baptist minister Michael Smith and Jewish rabbi Rami M. Shapiro began a virtual conversation via Called “Mount and Mountain,” the blog recorded a long-running dialogue between Mike and Rami in which the pair interpreted, argued about, and interrogated two key texts drawn from the canons of their respective religions: the Ten Commandments from the Torah, and the Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of St. Matthew.

This book, focused on the Sermon on the Mount, represents the second half of Mike and Rami’s dialogue. In it, Mike and Rami explore the text of Jesus’ sermon cooperatively, contributing perspectives drawn from their lives and religious traditions and seeking moments of illumination. They are, like all of us, audience members, contemplating the words of Jesus together in the hope that we can discern Truth not only through revelation but also through conversation.

As readers, we are a part of their conversation. We think and respond, we question and wonder, we entertain doubt and affirm faith. Reading their discussion, we are encouraged to begin our own.

About the Authors

Reverend Michael Smith is a pastor, editor and writer. He serves as senior pastor of Central Baptist Church of Fountain City, Knoxville, Tennessee, and is a graduate of Belmont University (BA) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (MDiv.; PhD). He is active in Baptist life at the local, state, and national levels. He currently serves as a trustee of Belmont University and a member of the Consultation on the Common Text.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, PhD is adjunct professor of Religion at Middle Tennessee State University and the director of Wisdom House at Scarritt-Bennett, an interfaith center in Nashville. Author of more than twenty books, Rami also writes the regular column “Roadside Assistance for the Spiritual Traveler” for Spirituality & Health magazine. He can be reached via his website, via his website,

Table of Contents

Preface by Aaron H. Shapiro
Editor’s Note
Approaching Jesus: An Introduction
Opening Perspectives (Beginning the Discussion)
Part 1: The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12)

Chapter 1: The First Beatitude
Chapter 2: The Second Beatitude
Chapter 3: The Third Beatitude
Chapter 4: The Fourth Beatitude
Chapter 5: The Fifth Beatitude
Chapter 6: The Sixth Beatitude
Chapter 7: The Seventh Beatitude
Chapter 8: The Final Beatitudes
Part 2: Salt, Light, and Law (Matthew 5:13-20)
Chapter 9: The Metaphors of Salt and Light
Chapter 10: The Law
Part 3: On Righteousness (Matthew 5:20-48)
Chapter 11: The First Example of Righteousness
Chapter 12: The Second Example of Righteousness
Chapter 13: The Third Example of Righteousness
Chapter 14: The Fourth Example of Righteousness
Chapter 15: The Fifth Example of Righteousness
Chapter 16: The Sixth Example of Righteousness
Part 4: On Piety and Prayer (Matthew 6:1-34)
Chapter 17: Motives
Chapter 18: The Lord’s Prayer
Chapter 19: Fasting
Chapter 20: Treasure, Allegiance, and Faith
Part 5: On Judgment (Matthew 7:1-5)
Chapter 21: Against Judgmentalism
Chapter 22: Toward Self-awareness and Humility
Part 6: On Holiness (Matthew 7:6-29)
Chapter 23: Regarding Dogs and Swine
Chapter 24: Ask, and It Will Be Given
Chapter 25: The Golden Rule
Chapter 26: The Narrow Gate
Chapter 27: Discerning False Prophets
Chapter 28: Floods and Heavy Rain

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