Matthew 5:3a

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Oun Kwon
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Re: Matthew 5:3a

Post by Oun Kwon » June 4th, 2011, 6:38 pm

Lee Moses wrote:So, Oun, to put it a little more succinctly, "Blessed in spirit are the poor"? Interesting take. So τῷ πνεύματι would modify μακάριοι rather than οἱ πτωχοὶ? One problem with that would be that the beatitudes are formulaic. So if you want to be consistent, and if you want τῷ πνεύματι to modify μακάριοι, you also will need τῇ καρδίᾳ to modify μακάριοι in verse 8--"Blessed in heart are the pure."
In essence, yes. However, I don't think the phrase has to be there to come right after MAKARIOI to read the text that way. Originally the text must have been as in Luke with G-Matthew adding the phrase as 'explanatory' - that's how I tried to phrase in English to read the text.
  • 'Blessed are the poor' - how? - As to their spirit, not in the material sense (as in prosperity gospel).
As to the entrenched tradition of spiritualized reading of G-Mt in contrast (or contradictory to) the straight-forward social reading of G-Luke, we have a problem of finding 'poor in spirit' no where in the Bible. I think it's only in our modern mind. It's also not about humbleness, which is covered separately in the Beatitudes. Anyway, what does it mean to say that ones' spirit is poor (or Jonathan says 'spiritually destitute')? It does come to our mind as nothing but 'broken spirit', 'lacking in spirit', 'in despair' etc. Then, we are facing another problem of understanding what 'spirit' means.

I don't think we can read the expression 'in need of grace' in the G-Mt. There is nothing Pauline about the Gospels, which actually do not belong to the New Testament dispensation, but still in the Old Testament dispensation. G-Mt is especially addressed to the Judaic people. [Ref: Tom Weaver, The Gospel Solution (True Light Press 1999)] What we know as grace-based Gospel comes into existence only after the Pentecost event and, esp. through Pauline teaching. So much for this, if I have to stay within the bound of B-Greek.

As to the TWi PNEUMATI, it should help us to properly read as 'their spirit'. Otherwise it would be equivalent to a bland word 'spiritually', the word which I tend not to like anywhere within and without the Bible text. To me, it carries a nuance of saying 'in spiritual style' 'in spiritual fashion' 'in line with spirituality practice', etc.

When hOI PTWKOI is read as 'the poor ones' rather than 'the poor', it helps to avoid [almost automatic] reading it as 'poor in spirit', a KJV style Biblish idiom.
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Matthew 5:3a

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 4th, 2011, 6:47 pm

Oun Kwon wrote:Anyway, what does it mean to say that ones' spirit is poor (or Jonathan says 'spiritually destitute')? It does come to our mind as nothing but 'broken spirit', 'lacking in spirit', 'in despair' etc. Then, we are facing another problem of understanding what 'spirit' means.
I see three groupings here. Here's the first grouping:

οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι,
οἱ πραεῖς,
οἱ πενθοῦντες,

All three of the above are related, if we interpret οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι as I do.

Here's a second grouping:

οἱ πεινῶντες καὶ διψῶντες τὴν δικαιοσύνην,
οἱ ἐλεήμονες,
οἱ καθαροὶ τῇ καρδίᾳ,
οἱ εἰρηνοποιοί,

And a third:

οἱ δεδιωγμένοι ἕνεκεν δικαιοσύνης
ἐστε ὅταν ὀνειδίσωσιν ὑμᾶς καὶ διώξωσιν καὶ εἴπωσιν πᾶν πονηρὸν καθ’ ὑμῶν ψευδόμενοι ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ·
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

m_bauer
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Joined: May 28th, 2018, 11:28 am

Re: Matthew 5:3a

Post by m_bauer » June 7th, 2018, 2:27 am

Hi there,
tried to contribute to the issue, too, and find now that this one is the right forum thread.
In the "Greek language experts discussions"-only forum, from where I was send here to the beginners forum,
I link:
https://www.ibiblio.org/bgreek/forum/vi ... =30#p29980
There I wrote:
Hi Everybody, the direct, direct translation (Dative object) should be still the best: "Blessed be the poor (given, sacrificed= done as such) to ghost!"

This is my first post. I got a different opinion on the first sentences, thus highly meaningful, radical and erosive, of a or the Christian base text, their is another thread about the same topic early and:
this is a little late to connect to this thread, maybe I should open a own post, with a reference to the questioner's thread.

Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν.
is the sentence in question. I think we are misled.
...
I am not the first one who detects this: Th. Adorno, member of the Frankfurt School, in Minima Moralia, Aphorism 127 Wishful Thinking. - Intelligenz ist eine moralische Kategorie. Die Trennung von Gefühl und Verstand, die es möglich macht, den Dummkopf frei und selig zu sprechen ...
He criticises, that it is found an ideology effort: to turn it some how as Greeks did: You are herd, we are the shepherds. Keep stupids but harmless.
m_bauer wrote: ↑May 28th, 2018, 5:59 pm
..., hypostasiert die historisch zustandegekommene Aufspaltung des Menschen nach Funktionen.
...
Here comes my translating of it:
Intelligence is a moral category. The separation of feeling and mind, makes it possible, to speak the simple minded free and blessed, .. and historically goes along with the hallowing of the functional splitting of a person.
Best wishes and Good Bye
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Jonathan Robie
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Re: Matthew 5:3a

Post by Jonathan Robie » June 8th, 2018, 10:19 am

m_bauer wrote:
June 7th, 2018, 2:27 am
Hi Everybody, the direct, direct translation (Dative object) should be still the best: "Blessed be the poor (given, sacrificed= done as such) to ghost!"
To ghost? I'm not sure what you mean by that.

In Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, the phrase τῷ πνεύματι is dative. τῷ is the article, it does not mean to, but I assume you know that. So I'm trying to think of a plausible way the dative could be translated 'to' here. Are you thinking of it as an indirect object, like "I gave the book to him"? If so, there's no transitive verb here, so it cannot be an indirect object.

I understand this as a dative of respect:
Respect: Denotes the respect or attendant circumstance in which an action is true. Smyth 1516
“ἀσθενὴς τῷ σώματι” Dem. 21.165; weak in body
Incidentally, you'll notice that we often add prepositions when we translate to English. Greek prepositions also have cases that often correspond to the cases of phrases like this. We add 'in', which corresponds to έν, which is dative. This page on prepositions gives a very good overview of cases and directionality of prepositions.

Prepositions-image-1.png
Prepositions-image-1.png (47.72 KiB) Viewed 547 times

If you find yourself translating by adding a preposition, and the case of the corresponding Greek preposition does not agree with the preposition you added, be careful.

You might also find it helpful to look at how the dative form πνεύματι is used elsewhere in the New Testament.

πνεύματι

And while we're at it, let's look at σώματι too:

σώματι

One last suggestion: until you're very expert in Greek, odds are that the translators know better than you do. At any level of Greek, it's good to consider the range of existing translations and the reasons given for them first.
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ἐξίσταντο δὲ πάντες καὶ διηποροῦντο, ἄλλος πρὸς ἄλλον λέγοντες, τί θέλει τοῦτο εἶναι;
http://jonathanrobie.biblicalhumanities.org/

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