The Sermon on the Mount and Christian Ethics in the Nazi Bible

Ryan Buesnel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In 1939, scholars associated with the pro-Nazi Thüringian German Christian movement founded a research institute dedicated to the task of removing the legacy of Judaism from Christianity. The mission of the Institute for the Study and Elimination of Jewish Influence on German Church Life was to render Christianity acceptable within the antisemitic and militarized climate of National Socialism. This task required purging Christian theology of Jewish influence, a feature evident in the Institute's version of the New Testament titled The Message of God. This publication aimed to transform the religious experience of ordinary German believers and would eventually sell over 200,000 copies. This article examines material in this text as it relates to the Sermon on the Mount and concludes that, despite the apparent incongruity between Nazi ideology and New Testament ethics, the editors of the so-called ‘Nazi Bible’ believed their task to be guided by Christian ethical principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-470
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Christian Ethics
Issue number3
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Nov 2021


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