On Tuesday morning the pastors of Lutheran Saints in Ministry gather in Fairborn Ohio to discuss the texts for Sunday.

These are the contributions that are brought to the table.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

hat the Text Says Matthew 5:1-12 - Pr. Fourman

Matthew: 5:1-12

The Sermon on the Mount serves as a covenant renewal document; about half the material is found in Luke, less in Mark. Some is identical to the other synoptic gospels, some similar. Although these chapters are clearly a compilation of Jesus' teachings by Matthew, they likely record an actual covenant renewal proclamation, perhaps a sermon by Jesus. As a covenant renewal document it reflects the format of Deuteronomy, alluding to the delivery of the Mosaic covenant on Sinai (ανεβη εις το ορος, "he went up to the mountain"). Its delivery is to the new Israel, the disciples, rather than τους οχλους, "the crowds."
In the New Testament the gospel (ευαγγελιον, literally "important news") encapsulates the restatement of the covenant, "I will be your God, you shall be my people". At first sight the Sermon on the Mount bears little resemblance to a proclamation of gospel, but it is Matthew's selection and arrangement of the tradition in chapters 5-7 that serves to reveal gospel. By his arrangement of Jesus' teachings Matthew reveals the mystery of grace, namely that a person's standing in the sight of God is gift and not by works of the law (Dumbrell The Logic of the Role of the Law in Matthew, Novum Testamentum, 23/1, 1981.)
The beatitudes are arranged in two groups of four, four look inward, four look outward. It is sometimes argued that they are ethical requirements for the present or eschatological blessings for the future but it is more likely they are statements of present fact that identify the qualities of a child of God living in the consequences of that relationship; and the disciples, representing a “New Israel” are μαρκαριοσ (fortunate) for being who they are. 

v1 καθισαντος (καθιζω) aor. part. they "sat down" – usually the teacher sits down to teach and οι μαθηταισ "the disciples" would stand, here it is the reverse.  (Every action has meaning in Matthew.)  So some argue that given the context, the beatitudes are for the disciples opnly; "blessed are you, the poor in spirit...." but the Greek does not spurt such specificity (although v11-12 does move to "you", meaning "you disciples" and not the generic ‘you’).

v2 ανοιξας το στομα aor. part. “opening the mouth” expressing action accompanying the verb "teach"; "he opened his mouth " εδιδασκεν (διδασκω) imperf. "to teach" them.

v3 makarioi adj. "blessed" - not the best translation; "fortunate" or "well off", possibly "happy” seem to be better – although Robert Schuller has forever destroyed any positive content for that word for the foreseeable future. Jesus is telling his disciples they are fortunate to be this way, fortunate to possess these qualities of life, because in possessing them they inherit God's promised kingdom. 
οι πτωχοι adj. "the poor" - those in total poverty, possessing nothing and with no means to earn a living other than through receiving alms – utterly dependent.  This in the conetx of God’s grace as Matthew refers to the poor τω πνευματι (α ατος) dat. "in spirit" - The dative is local – defining the kind of poverty - to be poor in spirit is to recognize one’s need for God. This beatitude has nothing to do with actual poverty (although the Lukan version may.)

v4 οι πενθουντες (πενθεω) part. "the mourning ones” serves as a substantive. It is possible that mourning is over sin is the intent, hence; "fortunate are those who are broken before God."
παρακληθησονται (παρακαλεω) fut. pas. "will be comforted" not the form, “are, will be”

v5 οι πραεις (πραυς) adj. "the humble, gentle, the self-effaced”. Those whoa re not ‘full of themselves”- the sense of not demanding from God but "submissive to His will.
κληρονομησουσιν την γην "[for they] will inherit the earth" and not from their own  meekness but God’s actions.  "They will receive what God has promised" TEV like in the ‘promised land’ or the ‘promised Messiah’.

v6 οι πεινωντες (πειναω) pres. part. "the hungering ones" as with "the thirsting ones" the participle as a substantive and they hunger not for food but for την δικαιοσυνην (η) "the righteousness/will of God”. Jesus is not speaking of social justice, but those who hunger to be set right before God. Jesus is speaking the Pauline language of "justification"in rteh forensic sense. Usually Jesus came at justification through parables, but the Sermon is an perfect example of how Jesus introduces righteousness apart from obedience to the law through teaching. 
χορτασθησονται (χορταζω) fut. pas. "will be satisfied to the full".

v7 οι ελεημονες (ων ονος) "the merciful ones" - the reciprocal nature of mercy is stressed in the New and the Old Testaments- the Lord's Prayer (which follows) is the classic example of this positive reciprocity, and this sets the beatitudes apart from the Deuteronomic mindset. 

v8 τη καρδια/ (α) dat. "[the pure] in heart" – a dative of location, the heart is the seat of the intellect.  Thoughts and actiosn were not disconnect in Jesus’ day as they aften are in oru own; which is why ouo will never hear jesu say, “thin k about it” – that is pure 20-th century,  He says “do this”. In order that they "will see [God]" an idiom meaning to "find oneself in God's presence."

v9 οι ειρηνοποιοι (ος) "peacemakers" - one who makes peace between warring sides. This is a hapax legomenon, clearly, Jesus is not thinking of those who into conflict resolution nor pacifists. In the end, it is likely Jesus is speaking of those who are no longer at war with God and His will. Such shall be called θεου (ος) gen. "[those] of God" – the genitive is relational; so “members of God's family”. For Matthew a baptismal allusion.

v10 οι δεδιωγμενοι (διωκω) perf. pas. part. "the persecuted ones" - persecuted. The perfect 
tense indicates persecution began in the past the consequences of which continue into the present. The meaning of the word is translated "persecute" in the NT actually means "to put to flight" or "to drive away" and comes from a military context.  But it also carries a positive sense, "to follow with haste or intensity of effort in order to catch up” so “to run after, chase after, pursue. hasten, press forward, press on ". 

v11 blessed are you οταν + subj. "when" - whenever - an indefinite temporal clause expressing 
general time ονειδισωσιν (ονειδιζω) aor. subj. "people insult/reproach”
ψευδομενοι (ψευδομαι) part. "falsely" – i.e. when they tell lies about you. The word is not present in many manuscripts and so may have been added to reinforce the evil nature of the slander. ενεκεν + gen. "because of /for the sake of [me]”. because of their testimony to Christ or more likely because of their identification with Christ.

v12 αγαλλιασθε (αγαλλιαω) imp. "be glad" οτι "because" a causal clause explaining why the disciples should rejoice and be glad ο μισθος "reward" i.e. divine approval. ουτως adv. "in the same way" - thus, so; a comparative, i,e, a persecuted believer stands in good company.

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