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The Sermon on the Mount is the most complete description of the Christian counterculture to be found in the New Testament. It outlines the life of the kingdom of God: a fully human life, lived under the divine rule.

Each quality is commended, inasmuch as each person who exhibits it is pronounced ‘blessed’. The Greek word makarios can and does mean ‘happy’. So JBP translates the opening words of each beatitude, ‘How happy are …!’ And several commentators have explained them as Jesus’ prescription for human happiness. The most ingenious attempt I know was made by Ernest M. Ligon of the Department of Psychology, Union College, Schenectady, New York, in his book The psychology of Christian
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