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 24, 2017

The Greek Text of Matthew 5:1-12

Greek Study Matthew 5:1-10

v1 ιδων (ειδον) "when he saw [the crowds]" - adverbial, a causal clause; "Jesus went up the mountain because he saw the crowds.
το ορος "a mountainside" - the definite article may indicate a particular hill.
καθισαντος (καθιζω) aor. part. "sat down" - a teacher sits down to teach.
οι μαθηται "the disciples" - Given the context, the beatitudes are for the disciples, but the question is, are the disciples the "poor in spirit"? Some scholars take the view that the beatitudes are statements of grace directed to the disciples, "blessed are you" but the Greek is not that specific (although v11-12 does mean "you disciples".) 

v2 ανοιξας το στομα aor. part. “opening [the mouth] participle expressing action.
εδιδασκεν (διδασκω) imperf. "to teach" the imperfect is used to make the point that the sermon on the mount is a summary of Jesus' teachings, "this is what Jesus used to teach".

v3 μακαριοι adj. "blessed" - not the best translation, "fortunate" or "well off", possibly "happy". Jesus is telling his disciples that they are fortunate to be this way, fortunate to possess these qualities, because in possessing them they inherit God's kingdom. The beatitudes are not earned – they are gifts. 
οι πτωχοι adj. "the poor ones" –the “powerless” i.e. those without influnce or status.
τω πνευματι (α ατος) dat. "in spirit" - dative is local, defines the poverty. To be poor in spirit is to recognize the need for total dependence on God. As Matthew uses this phrase it has nothing to do with actual poverty.
οτι "for" - a causal clause explaining why – note repeated use of this conjunction throughout the beatitudes.
των ουρανων (ος) gen. "[the kingdom] of heaven" - the eschatological reign of God.

v4 οι πενθουντες (πενθεω) part. "the mourning ones - the mourning is likely over sin, so "fortunate are those who are broken before God."
παρακληθησονται (παρακαλεω) fut. pas. "will be comforted" - a divine passive.

v5 οι πραεις (πραυς) adj. "the gentle ones” in the sense of not demanding of God, so "submissive to the will of God" and willing to trust him for their vindication.

κληρονομησουσιν την γην "[for they] will inherit the earth" - lit. receive by lot, so "possess" - the consequence of covenant inclusion through submission to the divine will (cf. Psalm 37:11, inheriting the promised land.)

v6 οι πεινωντες (πειναω) pres. part. "the hungering ones" substantive.
την δικαιοσυνην (η) "righteousness" - righteousness, justice. Jesus is not speaking of social justice nor those who desire social justice, but the desire to be set right before God, being "judged in the right" in the sense of justification as expounded by Paul. 
χορτασθησονται (χορταζω) fut. pas. "they will be satisfied ".

v7 οι ελεημονες (ων ονος) "the merciful ones" – the reciprocal nature of forgiveness is stressed in both Testaments. The Lord's Prayer gives the classic example, "forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us." This beatitude is not saying that those who show mercy will have mercy shown, ie. salvation by works, rather that they who show mercy will know mercy shown.  

v8 τη καρδια (α) dat. "[the pure] in heart" - dative of locality, the regenerate nature of forgiveness, not some moral or sexual purity. Those who possess righteousness will "be like him" and …
οψονται (οραω) fut. "will see" – i.e.  find themselves in God's presence.

v9 οι ειρηνοποιοι (ος) "the ones who make peace" – a hapax legomenon Jesus is not thinking of conflict resolution, referring to those who are no longer at war with God.
θεου (ος) gen. "[sons] of God" - genitive is relational; so “members of God's family”, i.e. for Matthew the baptized.

v10 οι δεδιωγμενοι (διωκω) perf. pas. part. "the persecuted ones" - the perfect tense indicates persecution that began in the past, the consequences of which continue into the present, with participles duration is also intended so “those who endure persecution anytime”. The meaning of the word in the NT means "to put to flight" or "drive away", but carries the positive sense "to follow with intensity and purpose in order to catch up with - to run after, chase after, pursue. hasten, press forward, press on, follow without hostile intent". It fits with the other beatitudes; "blessed are you who pursue the living God." The trouble is v10 and 11 indicate the sense is "blessed are you when people pursue you because of your standing with God." So maybe Jesus is warning his disciples that if they persecute the master they will persecute the servant.
η βασιλεια των ουρανων "the kingdom of heaven" - Matthew ends with a typical inclusio, rounding out the beatitudes by ending where he started.
v11 εστε "are you" - change from the 3rd person to the 2nd is important, as noted. This application of the final beatitude guides us in the application of the others.
ονειδισωσιν (ονειδιζω) aor. subj. "people insult (reproach, upbraid)
ψευδομενοι (ψευδομαι) part. "falsely" - the act of being publically attacked alone does not carry any persuecution, it is when in telling the truth you are maligned falsely, i.e. when the 8th commandment is ignored, God blesses the truth teller.  

v12 αγαλλιασθε (αγαλλιαω) imp. "be glad" -  exceeding glad.

ο μισθος "reward" - divine approval. "payment/wage" is another possible translation but seems crass, this serves to highlight the transitory nature of suffering.

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