The Beatitudes for Today
The Beatitudes are the characteristics of Jesus’ disciples. We can’t earn them; he gives them to us at creation. They are blessings. When they’re read aloud, it’s a bit like listening to Jesus introduce a speech with a prayer of blessing. But what we realize is that he’s blessing us for what he sees in us.
In order to hear the Beatitudes, we have to read them aloud. There are many ways to do so in English. In the Greek text, they read like alliterative poetry. Many of the first letters of the words repeat. Because we do not have English equivalents with matching consonants, we lose the effect of the oral sound in translation.
In Bible study last night, I offered my paraphrase of the Beatitudes as they might have been heard. The matching consonants reflect the words in Greek where there is alliteration.
Blessed are the meagerly miserable, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are the mourners, for they will be merry
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth
Blessed are the malnourished and ravenous for righteousness for they will be filled
Blessed are the merciful, for they will obtain mercy
Blessed are the holy hearts, for they will see God
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God
Blessed are those who are run over for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Let me know what you think. How would you paraphrase these blessings?