The Beatitudes: A Hebraic Perspective

Too often in studies on the teachings of Jesus in the gospels, many present Jesus as the founder of the new Christian religion, teaching his followers, the first converts to this new religion, the tenets of this new religion. But this is a rather anachronistic approach to the material. It is understandable that pastors and Bible teachers would want to read back into Jesus’ teachings the many ideas and traditions that have grown up over the centuries around the Christ event. The problem with this approach is that it ignores the cultural context of Jesus’ ministry and his words. What happens is that we end up putting meanings upon Jesus’ words that he never intended and that the original hearers would never have understood to be his meaning. These wrong ideas about the meaning of Jesus’ words become entrenched and continue to get passed down from generation to generation. For example, Jesus said much about the kingdom of God, and many Christians think they know what that means. What they don’t realize is that what they think it means is probably something that has come down as tradition from church fathers who lived hundreds of years after Jesus and who were ignorant of the cultural context. These misunderstandings of the meaning of Jesus’ words become the norm and give us a false sense that we have a good handle on Jesus’ teachings. But in order to get back to the original meaning of what he taught we must endeavor to understand his teachings from within the cultural context they were given. We must ask ourselves, when studying Jesus’ teachings, “What would the first century Israelites who heard him speak have understood him to be saying.”

Cultural Context

A key to understanding the context of Jesus’ teaching is found in Matt. 15:24: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Jesus said this in response to a Gentile woman’s request for him to heal her daughter. Now, of course, this does not mean that God doesn’t care about Gentiles, for Jesus did grant the women’s request, but that the primary focus of Jesus’ ministry was the Israelites, the most of whom had gone astray. In this regard Jesus was viewed by many as a prophet, in line with the Hebrew prophets of old {Matt. 13:57; 21:11, 46: Mk. 6:15; Lk. 4:24; 7:16; 13:33; 24:19; Jn. 4:19; 7:52; 9:17; Acts 3:22}. As a prophet, Jesus’ commission was to call the wayward ones in Israel to return to God {Lk. 5:32}.

But this was not the only role that Jesus performed in his ministry. Once a sinner within Israel repented and wanted to learn more of God’s ways, Jesus then took on the role of a rabbi, i.e. a teacher. At this point in history the designation ‘rabbi’ was an informal title denoting one who was a teacher of the things of God and who gathered to himself disciples. Pharisees and teachers of the law were sometimes called rabbi {Matt. 23:7}, as was John the baptizer {Jn. 3:26}. That Jesus was considered a rabbi by those who followed him is uncontroverted, for the gospel accounts give ample evidence of this {Matt. 26:25, 49; Mk. 9:4; 10:51; 11:21; 14:45; Jn. 1:38, 49; 3:2; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:81}.2

In light of Jesus’ role as a Hebrew prophet and rabbi, it is incumbent on us to understand his teachings from the perspective of a Hebrew teacher instructing his fellow Jews in the things of God. As such Jesus’ main source of knowledge of God is the Hebrew scriptures, the Tanakh. We must divest ourselves of the notion that Jesus is the first Christian teacher of the new religion of Christianity, instructing newly converted Christians in this new faith. In fact, the religion of Christianity did not exist at the time Jesus was carrying out his ministry in the towns and villages of Galilee.

Another aspect of cultural context to consider is the mindset of the Israelites at this time in history. After the fall of the Davidic dynasty (and hence the Israelite kingdom) under Babylonian domination, God began to speak, through the prophets, of the coming of a king in David’s line under whom the kingdom would be restored. A remnant of Israel later returned to the land, but still under Gentile domination. This engendered a strong hope and longing for the restoration of their kingdom under this coming King, who had come to be designated as the Messiah. But as time went on and centuries passed without that hope being realized, expectation of the coming Messiah waned. By the time of the 1st century most Jews living in the land had abandoned this hope. This is evident by the way NT authors mention certain people who still had the hope alive in them; they stand out as special or unusual in this regard {Lk. 2:25-26; 38; 23:50-51}. John the baptizer was sent ahead of Jesus to call Israel to repentance, and to renew the expectation of the coming of Messiah, saying, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” All of this is the cultural milieu into which Jesus came and began his public ministry.

The Beatitudes: Matthew 5:1-12

We will now seek to read this portion of Jesus’ teaching in light of the context of Jesus as a Hebrew rabbi and prophet, instructing his fellow Jews in the things of God, in particular, regarding the promised and longed for restoration of the kingdom.

What exactly are the beatitudes? What purpose do they serve? Remembering what was said above, we should first of all understand them as having specific and special relevance to the Jewish people. Jesus the rabbi is instructing his Jewish disciples about the kingdom of God. They are, therefore, not general principles for humanity or a recipe for how to live a ‘blessed’ life in this world. Neither are they the ‘new law’ of the Christian faith, since at this time no one had ever heard of Christianity, simply because it didn’t exist yet. I have come to see the beatitudes in a different way than I had for most of my Christian life. John had come and proclaimed that the kingdom was near, followed by Jesus who preached the same message.3 Many had and were turning back to God and many were drawn to Jesus, not simply because of the miracles he performed, but also because he was obviously from God and should therefore be listened to when he spoke about the things of God. Now Jesus is teaching them something about the kingdom that was near at hand.

Here is a brief overview of the beatitudes as a self contained unit. It appears that vv.3-10 comprise a literary devise known as an inclusio. Inclusio refers to a section of literature where similar language is used at the beginning and the end of the section, framing, as it were, the material between. In this self-contained unit, the first and the last beatitude both contain the phrase “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Another way to translate this phrase is “for of such belongs the kingdom” i.e. this is the kind of person who inherits the coming kingdom. Within the context, as noted, the meaning is “these are the ones from Abraham’s seed who will inherit the coming kingdom.” It was clear from the preaching of John and Jesus that not every individual descendant of Abraham would inherit the promises, but only those whose hearts were turned to and faithful to God. The beatitudes are a description of those who were such. So the first and last beatitude state the blessedness of such in general terms, i.e. the kingdom belongs to them, while the beatitudes which are sandwiched between them state the blessedness of the inheritors in more specific ways.

The word “blessed” begins each beatitude. The Greek word is makarios (Str. G3107) which corresponds to the Hebrew word esher (Str. H835). The words speak of happiness, but not simply as an emotion. It rather speaks of a lasting state of happiness, of the enviable state of the the one whom God favors. This favor is realized through specific blessings which God will bestow. In the beatitudes, the blessing in mind is a place or share in the coming kingdom age, and those who stand in position to inherit are indeed blessed. The pattern of the beatitudes is, first, the statement of a characteristic which is distinctive of an inheritor, now, in this age, followed by the promise of blessedness to be experienced in the kingdom age.

v. 3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, of such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

This being the first beatitude, it is reasonable to assume this is the chief characteristic of one who inherits the kingdom, so we want to know with certainty what Jesus meant by poor in spirit. The clue is in the phrase ‘in spirit’; so what exactly does that mean? ‘Spirit’ here refers not to some constituent part of man’s being but rather to a disposition of the heart or mind. It may be that when Jesus spoke these words he simply said, “Blessed are the poor” {see Lk. 6:20}, but Matthew gives the intended meaning of the words as “poor in spirit.” It is hard to reconcile, with all we know from scripture, that Jesus would be declaring a future blessedness upon those who are materially poor simply because they are so. Therefore, “poor in spirit” denotes a certain disposition of the heart. Since it is more probable than not that Jesus originally spoke these words in Hebrew, the corresponding Hebrew word for ‘poor’ would have been ani (Str. H6041), which can connote 1.) the materially poor i.e. those destitute of daily needs – Ex. 22:25; Deut. 15:11. 2.) the afflicted i.e. those burdened with troubles or with persecution from the powerful – Ps. 25:16-19; Ps. 70. 3.) the humble and lowly of heart i.e. those not too proud to acknowledge their dependence upon God – Ps. 18:27; Prov. 3:34; 16:19; Zech.9:9. We can rule out the first meaning because of what I said above and because we are looking for a disposition. I don’t think the second meaning applies to our verse since a later beatitude deals with those who are persecuted i.e. afflicted, and because, again, we are looking for a disposition of the heart. So then the third meaning is surely what Jesus intended his disciples to understand.

Poor in spirit then denotes the disposition of humility, the attitude of the heart that acknowledges it’s dependence upon God for everything, especially his mercy and goodness. The ones who are poor in spirit feel themselves utterly destitute without God and are not too proud to call upon God for help and salvation. Such as these know that if they are ever to obtain a place in the age to come it will only be by God’s mercy. It encompasses trust in God as well as obedience to his will, as Ps. 40 shows {see also Zeph. 3:12-13}. This sense of ani is used in parallel with the righteous as in Ps 37: 12-17 and Ps. 34: 6, 15-19. It is used also in contradistinction to the proud and arrogant, as in Ps. 18:27; Prov. 3:34; 16:19. Prov. 16:19 is significant in that it contains the synonymous phrase shaphal ruah i.e. a humble spirit (disposition), in parallel with ani {see also Is. 57:15}. Thus we can see why Jesus puts this first in the beatitudes, for without this disposition none of the other characteristics are even likely to develop.

v. 4 – “Blessed are the mourning ones for they will be comforted.”

This beatitude helps to demonstrate how the cultural context is important to rightly understanding Jesus’ meaning. Is Jesus referring to those who mourn for any reason, say perhaps over lost loved ones or over some great time of distress and pain? I don’t think so. Most commentators refer it to the sorrow one feels over his own sins, but this also, I believe, misses the real meaning of this beatitude within the 1st century Jewish context. It is not likely that that is what anyone hearing Jesus first speak these words would have thought. Rather the beatitude declares the blessedness of those among the Israelites who mourn over the sins of the nation and the consequent state of affairs to which that sin has brought it.

In the first century the Israelites were a people scattered among the nations, despised by the peoples they lived among. The descendants of those who had returned to the land under Persian rule were now languishing under the severe conditions of Roman rule. There was no descendant of David ruling over God’s people from Jerusalem, the city of God, which was in bondage to Rome along with her people. All of this was the direct result of the nation’s turning from God and breaking his covenant. The godly ones among the Israelites felt a deep sense of mourning over this state of affairs and, in fact, this mourning over Israel’s degraded condition was a hallmark of this godly remnant. Yahweh had planned a glorious destiny for the nation he had chosen and for the capital city, Jerusalem, the only place on earth where he placed his name forever. Yet at the time Jesus delivered this teaching, Israel was so far from her ideal destiny and as a result Yahweh’s name was not being glorified through his covenant people. This was a lamentable state of affairs for those who loved God and desired his glory. But as for the ungodly among them, they mourned solely because of there own personal misfortunes.

While this mourning may have specific relevance to Jewish believers, engrafted Gentile believers can and should participate in this mourning over Israel’s and Jerusalem’s present state and should long for the day when her destined glory will at last be realized, to the glory of Yahweh, under Messiah’s reign.

The prophet Isaiah, in ch. 66, a passage which Jesus may likely have had in mind at the time he gave this teaching, speaks of this mourning among those who “tremble at His word” and of the comfort that will be theirs in the kingdom age:

“Hear the word of Yahweh, you who tremble at his word . . . Rejoice with Jerusalem and exult in her, all who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all those mourning over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance . . . As a mother comforts her child so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.”

Is. 66:5a, 10-11, 13

The blessedness of those that mourn will be experienced in the comfort and overwhelming joy that will be theirs in the time of the restored kingdom. God spoke again, through Isaiah, concerning this comfort, “I have seen his (Israel) ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel” {Is. 57:18-19}.

v.5 – “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

This statement by Jesus is drawn from Ps. 37:11 – “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” The word ‘meek’ is one of those nebulous words that are difficult to define in short. It seems to be related to the idea of humility, but as the first beatitude already spoke about humility, I think we should define meekness differently. The Greek word is praus (Str. G4239); the Hebrew equivalent (used in Ps.37:11) is anav (Str. H6035), which is related to ani, which we studied earlier. Anav seems to have a similar semantic range as ani, and is translated as poor, afflicted, meek. The two words often refer to the same group of people, i.e. the righteous. Both words appear once each in Ps. 37, where they are set in opposition to the wicked, and we can glean some understanding of their meaning there. Anav seems to speak of the patient endurance of the evils and injustices of men, waiting for God to take vengeance in his own time. The following verses, in Ps. 37, leading up to v. 11, reflect this meaning:

v. 1 – “Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do evil.”
v. 7 – “Be still before Yahweh and wait for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
vv. 8 -9 – “Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret – it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who wait on Yahweh will inherit the land.”
vv. 10-11 – “For yet a little while and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.”

Other verses in the psalm speak of the day when the wicked will be no more: vv. 12-13, 17, 20, 22, 28b, 34c, 35-36, 38. This calls for meekness in the righteous and faithful ones.

The blessedness of the meek is that they will inherit the land, i.e. they will enjoy the fulness of God’s blessing in the very land promised to Abraham and his descendants in the age to come, and they will see the wicked cut off from this inheritance. Note how many times this is mentioned in Ps. 37 – vv. 9, 11, 18, 27, 29, 34.

v. 6 – “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

This seems like a rather straightforward statement. The metaphor of “hunger[ing] and thirst[ing] for” something is a graphic way of expressing intense longing and desire, in this case, for righteousness. But righteousness is another one of those vague concepts whose precise meaning often eludes us. The most common interpretation of this beatitude, given by evangelical commentators, is that the righteousness spoken of here is either personal righteousness or the righteousness which is given as a gift or credited to individual believers in Jesus {see Rom. 4}. But again, we want to understand what the original hearers of this teaching would most likely have understood Jesus to mean. We cannot neglect the overarching focus of the beatitudes on the kingdom age and the blessedness to be experienced in that day.

Two reasons cause me to reject the idea that this is referring to either personal righteousness or the credited righteousness which believers receive. First, the definite article appears before the word righteousness in the Greek text, so the sense is “the righteousness.” This seems to point to some specific righteousness. Second, the being filled with this righteousness is the blessed state of those who inherit the kingdom, i.e. it is in the kingdom age that this being filled with the righteousness that is longed for now, in this age, is experienced. Since the righteousness which is credited to believers in Messiah is experienced now in this age, then this must be referring to some other righteousness, that specific righteousness longed for by the faithful ones among Israel. This righteousness speaks of when those in power do what is right and just for all of the people over whom they rule, creating a society where peace and security are the norm.

Isaiah spoke of the future coming Messiah and his kingdom in this way:

“He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and even to forever.”

“But with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will decide for the meek (Heb. anav) of the earth.”

“In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it, one from the house of David, one who in judging seeks justice and is skilled in righteousness.”

“See, a king will reign in righteousness . . .”

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations . . . In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; he will not falter or be discouraged till he establishes justice in the land. The coasts shall hope for his law.”

“Listen to me my people; hear me, my nation: The law will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations.”

Is. 9:7 – 11:4 – 16:5 – 32:1 – 42:1-4

The hallmark of the coming kingdom of Messiah will be widespread or universal righteousness and justice in the land. Israel, over it’s long history had been ruled by many kings who were wicked, and consequently unrighteousness and injustice in the land were often the rule rather than the exception. It was typically the righteous ones in the land who suffered injustices at the hands of the unrighteous who were in power. This situation and the promise of a future righteous king who would bring about a state of righteousness and justice in the land, fostered in the faithful ones in Israel a longing for that day. Here Jesus promises such that they will be satisfied in the coming age.

Now, of course, this has application for Gentile believers, for most governments in the world have been and are now ruled by the unrighteous, and in most nations, if not in all, injustice and unrighteousness in the government are the norm. Therefore, all true believers long for the time when this state of affairs is reversed, when the righteous rule with justice and the wicked are no more.

v. 7 – “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.”

The old saying “something was lost in translation” comes to mind when I think of this verse. The English seems simple enough, those who show mercy to others will be shown mercy. The Greek is straightforward enough also: makarioi (Blessed) hoi (the) eleēmones (merciful) hoti (because) autoi (they) eleēthēsontai (shall be shown mercy). The problem is, that in all likelihood, Jesus spoke these words in Hebrew; they were then translated into Greek by Matthew. But what would have been the most likely Hebrew word for mercy used by Jesus when speaking this beatitude? The word in the Hebrew Bible that is translated mostly by eleos (Str. G1656) in the LXX is hesed. But hesed (Str. H2617) is one of those words that gives translators fits. There is no adequate way to express it’s full meaning in just one word. But as many Hebrew scholars have pointed out eleos does not accurately or adequately translate hesed, and has narrowed the meaning of hesed. The meaning of hesed is best seen in it’s usage in the Hebrew Bible, but I cannot in this article take an in-depth look at this word, so we must settle for a brief survey.4

One of the best passages to show the meaning of hesed is Psalm 89. The word appears 7 times in this psalm and in 5 of those it appears in conjunction with the Hebrew word emunah (Str. H530) and once with emeth (Str. H571) both of which mean faithfulness. What is significant about it’s use in Ps. 89 is it’s close association with God’s covenant with David. Vv. 1-2 speak of God’s hesed and emunah and then connect them to his covenant with David in v. 3. Then in the context of this covenant God expresses that his hesed, as well as his emunah, will never be taken from David and his descendants {see vv. 24, 28, 33, 49}. This shows us that the concept of hesed, when used of God’s action towards men is linked to the ideas of covenant and God’s loyalty to act in accordance with his covenant. This idea also comes across in the NT in Lk. 1:68-75 where Zechariah prophesies proleptically about the coming Messiah. In v. 72 it says that God raised up this “horn of salvation” ( a reference to king Messiah) “to perform eleos (read hesed) to our fathers and to remember the covenant he swore to Abraham.” This shows that eleos is not carrying it’s usual Greek meaning of pity upon those in need, but is being used in the sense of hesed, for it implies God’s obligation to the covenant made with the fathers, to do good to their descendants.

The word is also used of man’s action to other men, and most often in the context of some kind of relationship between two parties that obligate them. In 1 Sam. 20:8 David implores Jonathan to show hesed to him because of the covenant he had made with him {see 18:3-4}. This covenant obligated Jonathan to do good to David. Jonathan then implores David, in 20:14-15, to spare his life and those of his family, when David would become king. David is obligated by the covenant to do good to Jonathan and his family. Later when David is king he inquires to find out if there are any remaining family members from Saul’s house so that he can show hesed to them for Jonathan’s sake.

Another example is found in Gen. 20:13 when Abraham asked Sarah his wife, that wherever they went to say he was her brother. Sarah was obligated to Abraham, as her husband, to show this kindness to him. Similarly, in the book of Ruth, Naomi blesses Boaz because he has not forsaken his obligation to assist his relatives in their need (hesed) {v. 20}.

If indeed, hesed is the word Jesus originally spoke then we can take him as saying, “Blessed are those who perform hesed, for they will be shown hesed.” This is a characteristic of those who will inherit the kingdom, they are loyal in performing good to whom it is due {see Prov. 3:27}. The blessedness of such is that they themselves will be the recipients of God’s hesed in the age to come.

v. 8 – “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

Jesus may have had in mind Ps 73:1, which reads:

“Surely God is good to Israel, to the ones pure in heart.”

Pure in heart denotes sincerity and singleness in one’s devotion to God. It is not to all Israelites, to those who are merely physically descended from Jacob, but to those Israelites whose worship of God is from a pure heart, that God is good. Many Israelites, throughout their long history, did worship Yahweh, but not alone. Often they would worship other gods beside Yahweh. They would attend the temple during feast days and then also attend pagan shrines; they would take their oaths in Yahweh’s name and in the name of other gods. There was a mixture in their worship. The faithful remnant within Israel are those who worship God alone, who do not lift up their souls to idols or swear by what is false {see Ps. 24:4}. In Jesus’ day it was not so much that Israelites were worshipping other gods, but rather that their traditions had become the main thing, their religion was a matter of dead works {see Matt. 15:3-9; 23:1-32].

The blessedness of the pure in heart is that in the kingdom age they shall see God. Whether this should be understood literally or figuratively is not clear. Whatever way it is it will be a blessed experience.

v. 9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

This is not referring to people in the world who try to bring about peace agreements between warring nations. Such people may receive the Nobel Peace Prize but they are not necessarily qualified to be called the sons of God. This, again, is a characteristic of the ones who will inherit the kingdom. There is no corresponding Hebrew word for eirenopoios (Str.G1518) found in the Hebrew Bible and it only occurs here in the NT. It is a compound word formed from eirene = peace and poieo = to do, make, accomplish, perform etc. It could be that when Jesus spoke these words he actually used two Hebrew words shalom= peace and asah = the same semantic range as poieo, to mean those who bring about shalom. Perhaps the closest thing in the Hebrew Bible to this is in a psalm which we have already seen to have been in Jesus’ mind i.e. Ps. 37. In v. 37 it says:

“Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.”

This speaks of those who seek not only their own shalom but the shalom of others. The word shalom conveys more than simply what our English word peace does. Shalom refers to well-being in general not simply to the absence of conflict. Those who are of the ones who will inherit the kingdom are actively working toward the well-being of others, which does include peace of mind, peace with others and peace with God.

The blessedness of such is that they will be called God’s children. While it is true that they are now God’s children, in the age to come these will experience the fullness of what it means to be called such.

v. 10 – “Blessed are those who have been persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

In this present age those who stand to inherit a place in the age to come i.e. the righteous, are often and usually the targets of those who will not inherit the kingdom i.e. the unrighteous. This was true in Israel – the righteous within her were always persecuted by the unrighteous within her. Once again Ps. 37 comes to mind – see vv. 12, 14, 32. There is a cost, now in this age, for those living a life of faithfulness to God, but in the age to come “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Verses 11-12 are an expansion upon the previous and final beatitude, so let’s take a look at them.

v. 11 – “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
v.12 – Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Here Jesus expands the concept of persecution on account of righteousness to include persecution of his peculiar followers because of their association with him. In fact, allegiance to Jesus as the Messiah would become the dividing factor between the righteous and the unrighteous. God was now calling his chosen people to receive this man as the chosen one and all Israel would be divided over him {see Matt. 10:21-25, 32-36}. Those among the Israelites who would acknowledge Jesus as the promised son of David, the Messiah, would be hated and persecuted by those who reject Jesus. And what is more, the followers of Jesus would be hated and persecuted by all nations {Matt. 24:9}. But Jesus tells his followers to see this as a reason to “rejoice and be glad” because they have a great reward stored up for them with God in heaven, which God will bestow upon them in the coming kingdom age.

Endnotes

  1. Luke never uses the word rabbi in his gospel, maybe because his gospel was specifically meant for gentile congregations. Instead he uses the Greek word didaskalos (Str. G1320), meaning teacher, which is what a rabbi was.
  2. Of course, Jesus turns out to be more than just a prophet or rabbi. He is acknowledged by some of his closest followers as the Messiah, the son of God, the chosen one from the line of David, prior to his death and resurrection. After his resurrection he is openly proclaimed as the promised Messiah by his disciples.
  3. For a biblical and Hebraic understanding of the kingdom of God see this article.
  4. Here is a PDF of Nelson Glueck’s Hesed In The Bible


Author: Troy Salinger

I am 60 yrs. old. I live with my wife of 37 yrs. in Picayune MS. I have been a believer in the Lord Jesus since August of 1981. I have no formal theological education, but have been an ardent student of Scripture for 41 yrs. I am a biblical Unitarian i.e. I believe the Father is the only true God (John 17:3) and Jesus is His human Son, the Messiah.

5 thoughts on “The Beatitudes: A Hebraic Perspective”

  1. Thanks, is there a part 2 dealing with the rest of the chapter?

    And do you believe Jesus, the 12 Apostles and Paul remained Torah-observant Jews?

    Carlos

    >

    Like

  2. Hi Carlos,
    I hadn’t planned on a part two, I mean if I continued the rest of the chapter I would probably wind up doing the whole sermon on the mount. Yes I do believe they were obedient to the law.

    Like

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