From: Wes Williams (
Date: Fri Sep 11 1998 - 01:47:52 EDT

> I will succinctly state my question. How do you understand TOU
> MAKARIOU QEOU in 1 Tim. 1:11? According to this text, is God happy,
> blessed, or both?

Dear Edgar,

Louw-Nida says on MAKARIOS:
25.119 makarios, a, on: pertaining to being happy, with the implication of
enjoying favorable circumstances - 'happy.' makarioi hoi elehmones, hoti
autoi. evehqhsontai 'happy are those who show mercy, for God will be
merciful to them' Mt 5.7. This passive construction in Greek elehqhsontai is
generally regarded as a so-called 'passive of avoidance,' that is to say,
the use of a passive form in order to avoid a direct reference to God.

I also note that Young's Literal Translation consistenly translates MAKARIOS
as "happy" but in 1 Tim it changes to "blessed" with reference to God. Many
versions consistently translate MAKARIOS as "blessed." KJV and ASV translate
MAKARIOS as "happy" at Acts 26:2 and Rom 14:22. Rom 14:22 is the only
instance where NAS translates MAKARIOS as "happy." NAS and NIV (and KJV/
ASV) translate MAKARIWTERA as "happier" at 1 Cor 7:40 (She is happier if she
remains as she is).

It seems that confusion results to the English reader since Greek has
EULOGEW. "Blessed" carries the thought of the act of blessing, while "happy"
brings to mind the state or condition that results from a blessing, with or
without religious connotations.

I'm not sure why we think it necessary to distinguish MAKARIOS between man
and God but for theological reasons, as Randy helpfully posted from the
LOGOS software. We say God is loving. I see no linguistic reason why we
should not say God is also happy. It seems straightforward. Why is there
more to this?

Wes Williams

B-Greek home page:
You are currently subscribed to b-greek as: []
To unsubscribe, forward this message to
To subscribe, send a message to

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:40:00 EDT