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2803Re: [lxx] Re: Question on NETS translation

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  • Juvenaly
    Feb 4, 2008
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      >>>>Mt: 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit" [en pneumati] clearly is not
      >>>>speaking only of the breath in speaking of those who are poor in it.

      To me, it's impossible that those who are '"destitute of the breath [of
      >God]" would be given the gospel of the kingdom.' The only interpretation of this verse that I've ever heard that makes sense is along these lines: say my family is having a reunion, and I tell them "even though I can't be there, I'll be with you in spirit." In the same way, to be "poor in spirit" means that even though you are not actually poor in material terms, you are nevertheless with the poor, you are among the poor, because you are poor "in spirit" -- that is, in your heart you identify yourself with the poor and in your behavior you help the poor.

      >The Hebrews were strict materialists.

      That's a novel idea, to me. Moses Maimonides, one of the greatest
      Jewish thinkers, attempted to give a Jewish Statement of Faith, a
      Creed, in which he wrote:

      "1 believe with perfect faith that the Creator, blessed be His Name, is
      not a body, and that He is free from all the properties of matter, and
      that He has not any form whatever."

      I think when the Hebrew scriptures speak of the hand of God, etc. they
      are using poetic, symbolic, metaphoric language.

      >>Mark 14:38 "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" clearly
      >>identifies "pneuma" with something more akin to "soul" or "mind" and
      >>contrasts it with "flesh".
      >What this means, essentially, is "talk is cheap, but the muscles are
      >vulnerable [because of pain]."

      I could see "the flesh is weak" as being somewhat the same as "the
      muscles are vulnerable [because of pain]" but I can't equate "the
      spirit" with "talk"

      >Not really. The concept is that of breath, but the breath is construed as
      >having characteristics that we know are fictional in addition to ones that
      >it really does. For example, the body without the breath is dead. This is
      >true. In a sense, "the breath gives life." Also, the "breath gives utterance
      >(the ability to speak)." It is the vehicle of communication. However, in the
      >Bible, there are traits that are not actually properties of the air itself,
      >but are construed so by the Bible. For example, God's breath animated mud
      >and made it self aware. That doesn't happen.

      I think you're onto something here, only I would that it *does* happen
      -- God's breath indeed animated and imparted self-awareness.

      >In the Bible, there is but one God, the Father. His word/breath are divine
      >words and breath, of course, and thus carry divine authority, etc, but they
      >are not construed as separate "persons" that are "co-equal in majesty" etc,
      >per the Augustinian formulation.

      One God, but in the OT he is not "the Father". And in the NT the Father
      is not alone, because there is the Son / Word and the Spirit. This can
      be proven, or securely inferred, from innumerable NT passages, though
      it is off-topic to this list.

      >By saying that God is a breath, I don't understand John to be saying that
      >God is *only* breath, just as he is not *just* a gardener (or that Jesus is
      >just a vine).

      In keeping with Maimonides, God is not material at all. So, this
      passage is not saying that God is breath in any kind of material sense.


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