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Re: Blessed are the poor in spirit

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  • Mark Goodacre
    ... Would you like to say a bit more about this? I do like exegesis of the Sermon that stresses its being preached to a corporte body / new Israel, etc. After
    Message 1 of 14 , May 13, 1999
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      On 13 May 99 at 10:29, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:

      > There is, I think, in all of this a hidden assumption operating regarding who
      > it is whom Jesus, according to Matthew, addresses when he utters the
      > beatitude, namely, that it is individuals. But it seems to me that we would
      > have a whole new take on what is being said if we took seriously the cues in
      > the Sermon that all that is said within it is proclaimed to a corporate body,
      > to (the new?) Israel, and has to do with how Israel and not individuals are to
      > be the people of God.

      Would you like to say a bit more about this? I do like exegesis of the Sermon
      that stresses its being preached to a corporte body / new Israel, etc.
      After all, as so many have pointed out, the Sermon follows on from such
      clear Israel / Moses parallels and perhaps Matthew is here setting
      up Nevertheless, I would be interested to hear how you see the relationship
      between the preaching to a "corporate body" and the exhortations to and
      illustrations concerning individual behaviour ("anyone who is angry with his
      brother . . . settle matters quickly with your adversaries . . . etc. etc.).

      In other words, does one not have both: corporate identity and individual
      behaviour within it? One of my favourite recent quotations comes from John
      Riches, and it is one I have set for exams: the Sermon is 'Not just a set of
      rules but the foundation document of a new religious community which sees
      itself as children of a heavenly father who will forgive and reward the
      "righteous"' (John Riches).

      Mark

      --------------------------------------
      Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
      Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
      University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
      Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom

      http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
      Aseneth Home Page
      Recommended New Testament Web Resources
      Mark Without Q
    • Jim Deardorff
      ... Hello Mark, You must have known I couldn t stay silent on such a question. Suppose AMt s source document had contained teachings on spirituality (i.e. the
      Message 2 of 14 , May 13, 1999
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        At 03:45 PM 5/13/99 GMT, Mark Goodacre wrote:
        >What do you think Jesus in Matthew means by "Blessed are the poor in spirit"?

        Hello Mark,

        You must have known I couldn't stay silent on such a question.

        Suppose AMt's source document had contained teachings on spirituality (i.e.
        the human spirit), which of course could not have been carried over into his
        Gospel due to early Christianity's emphasis upon the external Holy Spirit,
        due in turn largely to the earlier espousal of Holy Spirit by Paul. AMt
        nevertheless may have altered some of those teachings rather than omit them
        entirely from his gospel, in cases that seemed editorially feasible to him.
        If the original teaching had read "Blessed are the rich in spirit...", then
        the editorial alteration of "rich" to "poor" would render the verse
        compatible with AMt's own theology. I.e., "poor in spirit" held the meaning,
        I believe, of the opposite of "hard-hearted." In that case, the "poor in
        spirit" would include those who were receptive to the teachings of the clergy.

        Jim Deardorff
        Corvallis, Oregon
        E-mail: deardorj@...
        Home page: http://www.proaxis.com/~deardorj/index.htm
      • Jack Kilmon
        I guess it has a lot to do with how we retrovert MAKARIOI OI PTWXOI TW PNEUMATI to an Aramaic vorlage that may have been originally Yeshuine. tubayHON
        Message 3 of 14 , May 13, 1999
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          I guess it has a lot to do with how we retrovert MAKARIOI
          OI PTWXOI TW PNEUMATI to an Aramaic vorlage that may have
          been originally Yeshuine. tubayHON l'MISKeNAH would be
          "Fortunate/Blessed are the poor/humble/unassuming b'RUH
          (in spirit)" This term is echoed throughout the DSS
          and their are those that believe Jesus was making a
          direct comment about the Essenes. I don't think he
          was referring to just anyone who was poor but to anyone
          who was humble since humility designates a poorness of
          "spirit" and is consistent with the same Aramaic word
          as "poor" idiomatically.

          Jack

          Mark Goodacre wrote:
          >
          > What do you think Jesus in Matthew means by "Blessed are the poor in spirit"?
          >
          > Mark
          > --------------------------------------
          > Dr Mark Goodacre mailto:M.S.Goodacre@...
          > Dept of Theology tel: +44 121 414 7512
          > University of Birmingham fax: +44 121 414 6866
          > Birmingham B15 2TT United Kingdom
          >
          > http://www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre
          > Aseneth Home Page
          > Recommended New Testament Web Resources
          > Mark Without Q

          --
          ______________________________________________

          taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

          Jack Kilmon
          jkilmon@...

          http://www.historian.net
        • Jeffrey B. Gibson
          Jim Deardorff wrote: [snip] ... Is there one single bit of actual evidence --- I don t care whether it s from the century in which GMatt is traditionally dated
          Message 4 of 14 , May 13, 1999
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            Jim Deardorff wrote:

            [snip]

            > ... "poor in spirit" held the meaning,
            > I believe, of the opposite of "hard-hearted." In that case, the "poor in
            > spirit" would include those who were receptive to the teachings of the clergy.
            >

            Is there one single bit of actual evidence --- I don't care whether it's from the
            century in which GMatt is traditionally dated (1st CE) *or* from the century in
            which you think it's from (2nd CE) -- that the expression "poor in Spirit" was
            ever interpreted in this way? Is there a single Church father who ever read it
            this way? One would think that if indeed AMatt meant what you say he meant, that
            *some* exegete, especially of the second or third centuries CE, would have picked
            up on it, as it would have been congenial to the concern to buttress orthodoxy.

            Absent this, your claim is a non sequitur.

            Jeffrey Gibson
            --
            Jeffrey B. Gibson
            7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
            Chicago, Illinois 60626
            e-mail jgibson000@...
          • Jeffrey B. Gibson
            ... Thought I haven t given this much thought, I think poor in Spirit is just a Matthean way of saying the powerless And those who have committed
            Message 5 of 14 , May 13, 1999
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              Jeff Peterson wrote:

              > At 10:29 AM -0500 5/13/99, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
              > we would have a whole new
              > >take on what is being said if we took seriously the cues in the Sermon
              > >that all
              > >that is said within it is proclaimed to a corporate body, to (the new?)
              > >Israel,
              > >and has to do with how Israel and not individuals are to be the people of
              > >God..
              >
              > Could you unpack this a little? E.g., would a blessing on the new Israel
              > for its poverty in Spirit be in comparison with the adequacy that the
              > nations assume in their commerce with the divine, intimated perhaps by
              > their confidence that their prattling at prayer will be heard (6:7)? Not
              > meaning to bind you to this off the cuff example,, but is this the sort of
              > interpretation you have in mind?
              >

              Thought I haven't given this much thought, I think "poor in Spirit" is just a
              Matthean way of saying "the powerless" And those who have committed themselves
              to the lifestyle that in the eyes of the world makes them that way.

              Yours,

              Jeffrey
              .
              --
              Jeffrey B. Gibson
              7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
              Chicago, Illinois 60626
              e-mail jgibson000@...
            • Jeff Peterson
              At 10:29 AM -0500 5/13/99, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote: we would have a whole new ... Could you unpack this a little? E.g., would a blessing on the new Israel for
              Message 6 of 14 , May 13, 1999
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                At 10:29 AM -0500 5/13/99, Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
                we would have a whole new
                >take on what is being said if we took seriously the cues in the Sermon
                >that all
                >that is said within it is proclaimed to a corporate body, to (the new?)
                >Israel,
                >and has to do with how Israel and not individuals are to be the people of
                >God..


                Could you unpack this a little? E.g., would a blessing on the new Israel
                for its poverty in Spirit be in comparison with the adequacy that the
                nations assume in their commerce with the divine, intimated perhaps by
                their confidence that their prattling at prayer will be heard (6:7)? Not
                meaning to bind you to this off the cuff example,, but is this the sort of
                interpretation you have in mind?

                Jeff

                ------------------------------------
                Jeffrey Peterson
                Institute for Christian Studies
                Austin, Texas, USA
                ------------------------------------
              • Dennis Sullivan
                ... From: Mark Goodacre To: Synoptic-L@bham.ac.uk Date: Thursday, May 13, 1999 10:53 AM Subject: Blessed are
                Message 7 of 14 , May 13, 1999
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                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Mark Goodacre <M.S.GOODACRE@...>
                  To: Synoptic-L@... <Synoptic-L@...>
                  Date: Thursday, May 13, 1999 10:53 AM
                  Subject: Blessed are the poor in spirit


                  What do you think Jesus in Matthew means by "Blessed are the poor in
                  spirit"?

                  Mark


                  +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
                  The following are some notes I made based on lectures and writings of David
                  Bivin and Robert L. Lindsey back in the early eighties. I've expanded them
                  somewhat for this discussion. So, FWIW...

                  Matthew appears to have the most authentic account of the teaching of Jesus
                  "on the mount", where Luke has "on the plain" and writes abbreviated
                  versions of the phrases used in Matthew for whatever reason: Lukan edits,
                  difference in sources maybe, who knows?

                  Matthew's version reflects a more recognizable C1 Jewish perspective, and,
                  in my opinion, is more typical of what we might expect of a Jewish teacher
                  of that period. The Rabbis had developed certain rules for the
                  interpretation of Scripture, and used commonly understood teaching devices.
                  One of these techniques that we find in Jesus' discourses is "remez", a
                  method of "hinting" at a Scripture by quoting a portion of a passage and by
                  doing this, referring to that and sometimes adjacent passages, leaving it to
                  the hearers to recall the context to which he alluded. Occasionally he even
                  misquoted a Scripture in order to make a point. He also occasionally mixed
                  Scriptures together to make a statement as we notice in the Isaiah reading
                  in Luke 4. All very "Jewish" teaching styles. The "remez" technique seems
                  to be a component of Jesus' teaching in the "Beatitudes".

                  3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of
                  heaven.

                  Poor in spirit was a phrase used by the Qumran people, and comes from:

                  Isaiah 66:2 "But to this one will I look, even to him who is poor and
                  contrite in spirit, and who trembles at my word."

                  ...for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven would be better translated of
                  such is the Kingdom of Heaven as in Matt. 19:14 (KJV). Rather than becoming
                  owners of the Kingdom, we become partakers in it.

                  Other similar passages:

                  Isa. 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says-- he who lives
                  forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with
                  him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly
                  and to revive the heart of the contrite”.

                  Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and
                  contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

                  Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are
                  crushed in spirit.


                  Kingdom of Heaven (Hebrew, Malchut Shamayim), was a well-known phrase
                  used by the Pharisees. The concept was inferred first from Exodus 15:18,
                  after the parting of the Red Sea.

                  “ The LORD will reign for ever and ever."

                  Reign refers to a King, who reigns over a kingdom. In Hebrew, the words
                  "reign", "king", and "kingdom" are based on the same root: mem-lamed-caph.

                  An oft-spoken Jewish prayer goes "we first saw Your Kingdom when You parted
                  the Red Sea"...so, when you experience the miraculous, the Kingdom of Heaven
                  has come to you. Remember, too, "Kingdom of Heaven" is the Jewish way of
                  saying "Kingdom of God", and is the name Yeshua used to refer to His
                  movement. The Kingdom is made up of those who accept God's rulership over
                  them, and isn't necessarily a reference to some future time.

                  Dennis Sullivan Dayton Ohio
                  www.jerusalemperspective.com
                • Brian E. Wilson
                  Jack Kilmon wrote - ... Jack, Do you mean that the whole phrase is echoed in Aramaic in the Dead Sea Scrolls, please? Or part of it? If so, which part? Would
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 14, 1999
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                    Jack Kilmon wrote -
                    >
                    >I guess it has a lot to do with how we retrovert MAKARIOI
                    >OI PTWXOI TW PNEUMATI to an Aramaic vorlage that may have
                    >been originally Yeshuine. tubayHON l'MISKeNAH would be
                    >"Fortunate/Blessed are the poor/humble/unassuming b'RUH
                    >(in spirit)" This term is echoed throughout the DSS ...
                    >
                    Jack,
                    Do you mean that the whole phrase is echoed in Aramaic in the Dead
                    Sea Scrolls, please? Or part of it? If so, which part?

                    Would you like to give some indications or examples? I find this
                    fascinating.

                    Best wishes,
                    BRIAN WILSON

                    E-MAIL: brian@... HOMEPAGE
                    SNAILMAIL: Rev B. E. Wilson,
                    10 York Close, Godmanchester, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
                    Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK
                  • Jack Kilmon
                    ... You may want to look at 4Q525 traanslated in Wise, Abegg and Cook. Also check out Emile Puech Un Hymne Essenien en Parte Retrouve et les Beatitudes in
                    Message 9 of 14 , May 14, 1999
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                      "Brian E. Wilson" wrote:
                      >
                      > Jack Kilmon wrote -
                      > >
                      > >I guess it has a lot to do with how we retrovert MAKARIOI
                      > >OI PTWXOI TW PNEUMATI to an Aramaic vorlage that may have
                      > >been originally Yeshuine. tubayHON l'MISKeNAH would be
                      > >"Fortunate/Blessed are the poor/humble/unassuming b'RUH
                      > >(in spirit)" This term is echoed throughout the DSS ...
                      > >
                      > Jack,
                      > Do you mean that the whole phrase is echoed in Aramaic in the Dead
                      > Sea Scrolls, please? Or part of it? If so, which part?
                      >
                      > Would you like to give some indications or examples? I find this
                      > fascinating.

                      You may want to look at 4Q525 traanslated in Wise, Abegg and Cook.
                      Also check out Emile Puech "Un Hymne Essenien en Parte Retrouve et
                      les Beatitudes in Revue du Qumran 13, 1988 pp 59-88 and
                      4Q525 et les Pericopes des Beatitudes en Ben Sira et Matthieu in
                      Revue Biblique 98, 1991 pp 80-106.

                      Been a while since I read them but I will just bet Jim West has them.

                      Jack
                      --
                      ______________________________________________

                      taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

                      Jack Kilmon
                      jkilmon@...

                      http://www.historian.net
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