What Does "Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit" Mean? (Matthew 5:3)

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Michael_AU
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What Does "Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit" Mean? (Matthew 5:3)

Post by Michael_AU » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:07 am

What Does "Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit" Mean? (Matthew 5:3)
http://www.biblestudytools.com/video/wh ... moore.html
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
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Michael_AU
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Re: What Does "Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit" Mean? (Matthew 5:3)

Post by Michael_AU » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:34 pm

Truthfrees wrote:I like how Jesus said in Matthew 5:3:

Blessed are the spiritually poor for theirs is (to them belongs) the kingdom of heaven.
The problem is Jesus didn't say that. Let me explain, the Beatitudes are in 2 books of the Bible Matthew and Luke. If you read the Luke one you will see there is nothing about being spiritually poor but rather about simply being poor. This leads me to believe the modern translations of Matthew 5:3 are imprecise.

Take a look at the differences, the relevant parts are in bold.
Matthew wrote:The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes
1 When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
2 He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.
12 “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Now if we look at Luke it says
Luke wrote:The Beatitudes
20 And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
21 “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
22 “Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.
23 “Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.
25 “Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.
26 “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.
27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
29 “Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.
30 “Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.
31 “Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.
32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33 “If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34 “If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount.
35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
36 “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.
38 “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
39 And He also spoke a parable to them: “A blind man cannot guide a blind man, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?
40 “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.
41 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
42 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
43 “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.
44 “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.
45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
Matthew has 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Luke has “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. and also “But woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full.
From this I get 1 of 2 things, 1 either Matthew or Luke are wrong with what they have written (if we believe in the inerrancy of the Bible this cannot be true), 2 the modern translation of Matthew is incorrect.
Jesus clearly states that the poor are blessed there is no problem with that, in Luke Jesus also states the the rich have already received everything and their future is grim. To me this is the opposite of the meaning many people take from Matthew and the difference in meaning cannot be reconciled. Why would Jesus say woe to you for being spiritually rich? He wouldn't because being spiritually rich is being with God while being spiritually poor is being separated from God.
Truthfrees wrote:I think there is a very deep and wonderful meaning to this that goes beyond being spiritually poor, and moves into the riches found in the kingdom of heaven.

The riches that Jesus paid such a profound and sacrificial price for: He became poor so we could become rich, He took what we deserved on Himself, so that we could have (take onto ourselves) what He deserves.

I appreciate what the teacher in the video had to say about being spiritually poor, but I would like to expand the discussion to hear more about the 2nd half of the scripture, the part that he didn't discuss.

IOW, the understanding of what spiritually poor is, is very good, but to me the 2nd half of the scripture is even better.

Why did Jesus say the spiritually poor would find blessing in the possessing of the kingdom of heaven?
As above I do not believe that is the intention of what Jesus said and that is because Luke gives us more of what Jesus said to compare what he meant by "poor". I feel a better translation of Matthew is "Blessed, in spirit, are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" or "Blessed, in the spirit, are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven"
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Michael_AU
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Re: What Does "Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit" Mean? (Matthew 5:3)

Post by Michael_AU » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:56 am

I've been thinking about this again and I realised that I have left out a possible translation. If you would like to check the interlinear (Koine Greek & English) page of this http://biblehub.com/interlinear/matthew/5.htm you can see that the Greek word translated to "in" in verse 3 can have multiple meanings such as in, in the, the, to, to the. So let us consider this verse with each of these options.

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

3 “Blessed are the poor in the spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

3 “Blessed are the poor the spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

3 “Blessed are the poor to spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

3 “Blessed are the poor to the spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

To me, as I have already explained, it doesn't make sense for someone that is "poor in spirit" to obtain the kingdom of heaven. Being spiritually poor is being separated from God, likewise being "poor in the spirit" indicates being separate from God because we are not in the spirit, or the spirit is not in us . The 3rd option simply does not work in English, it is basically a nonsense sentence, likewise the 4th option is a nonsense sentence in English. The 5th option, to me, works really well. Why? well because it is the spirit of God that recongnises our circumstances the same way it recognises the circumstances of everyone else. It recognises those who are wealthy and it recognises those who are poor. The central figure in this verse is the Spirit of God and if you read the Beatitudes carefully you must, or at least I think you must, ask yourself
Who is going to give the poor the Kingdom of Heaven?
Who is going to comfort those who mourn?
Who is going to give the Earth to the gentle?
Who is going to satisfy those who hunger and thirst for righteousness?
Who is going to give mercy to those who are merciful?
Who is going to show themselves to those who are pure of heart?
etc
etc
etc
Do you see a theme here? It wont be humanity that does these things.

The Beatitudes are not about how we see ourselves but rather it is about how the Spirit sees us. Blessed are the poor to the spirit makes perfect sense because it is not us judging ourselves as poor or afflicted but rather the Spirit recognising we are poor or afflicted and then bestowing comfort, mercy, satisfaction, showing themselves, gifting the Kingdom of Heaven or the Earth, as God sees fit.
Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone)
Sola Gratia (Grace Alone)
Sola Fide (Faith Alone)
Solus Christus (Christ Alone)
Soli Deo Gloria (To God Alone Be Glory)

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