Re: Anyone out there???

From: Jonathan Robie (
Date: Thu Nov 21 1996 - 04:27:51 EST

At 10:12 PM 11/20/96 -0500, wrote:
>dear friends,
> This verse, Matt. 5.3, in the Gospel of Matthew marking the beginning of
>the "teaching" of Jesus, provokes a great deal of trouble in third-world
>translations when people can't understand how Christians would want to be
> The Jesus Seminar tried its hand and came up with: "Congratulations you
>poor! God's empire belongs to you." This abysmal translation avoids
>"MAKARIOS" as well as "kingdom of God (heaven)".
> One could suggest that the problem with Matt. 5.3 (and Luke 6.20) is
>that the words of Jesus have come down to us embedded in a slightly
>diffferent literary genre than that of the original delivery. Either Matthew
>or the author of Q collected these sayings and produced a serrmon that sounds
>lilke a set of teachings designed for Christian (communal) living.
> But Jesus spoke most of these sayings in the prophetic mode, that is,
>with passion and social fervor. A proper translation in the prophetic mode
>would be, "Blessings on you poor; God is on your side."
> Likewise, the woes which follow in Luke 6.24-26 were not designed as
>prescriptions for how to receive "woe", but meant, "Damnation to you rich;
>you already have everything!"
> richard arthur Merrimack NH

With this style of argument, couldn't I make the verse say pretty much
anything I want it to, based on my presuppositions of who the real Jesus is
and what he must have really said?


Jonathan Robie
POET Software, 3207 Gibson Road, Durham, N.C., 27703
Ph: 919.598.5728 Fax: 919.598.6728
email:, <--- shockwave enabled!

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