Hi, My Name Is Ralph Bass...This Is My Library

Stipulations of the Covenant
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I started this project with the intent of writing a 100 to 200-page book on the Sermon on the Mount that would be warm, evangelical,
and easy to read by the average layman.  I ended this project writing nearly 400 pages that are instead exegetical and theological. 

That was not what I was trying to do; how did this happen?  In working through the Sermon, several problems became obvious.

To begin, there was the discovery that the Book of Matthew was a renewal of the Mosaic covenant with the Sermon on the
Mount that part of the covenant called the stipulations.  That was important and needed development.
There was also a common failure to note the role of Rome as an oppressive occupier of Judah, and the role of the Zealots in
their reaction to this oppressor, not only as critical backstory to the Sermon, but as content to Jesusí teachings as well.
There was a general confusion on what some call the antithesis of the Sermon with the solution to this problem found in the
triads that unpack the message.
In addition, there is a general failure by the commentaries to make sense of Matthew 5:38-42, a section from which various
forms of pacifism are derived, most of which are not Christian.  This needed to be addressed in detail.
Moreover, in a discussion on the One who did not come to destroy the law, there was a general disrespect by many of the
Law of God (of course expressed respectfully), with the result for some that he actually did come to destroy the law and the
Matthew 7:6, the dogs and the pigs, have never been explained or perhaps even understood; this challenge needed
In addition, Matthew 7:7-11 on prayer simply appears to say too much; can one really ask, seek and knock and get whatever
they want?
Noting these points and others as well, it appeared that many of the warm and fuzzy studies on the Sermon were often so far
from reality and that something seriously exegetical was needed to offset this well-intended but misleading effort to apply the

Finding a solution to these and other issues resulted in some heavy-duty research; this, in turn, produced a very different document
than was first planned.  Yet, I hope this study provides unique answers to longstanding problems that will, in turn, give you new
insight into this brilliant Sermon.