The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christian Origins

By Joseph A. Fitzmyer | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6
A Palestinian Jewish
Collection of Beatitudes

Beatitudes uttered by Jesus are preserved in two main places in the New Testament, a series of nine beatitudes in Matt 5:3-11 and a series of four in Luke 6:20-22. In the latter instance the beatitudes are paralleled by four woes, a distinctive feature of the Lucan Gospel. Other isolated beatitudes of Jesus are scattered throughout the various Gospels. The collection of nine or four beatitudes has always been considered unique. Yet the Gospel beatitudes are not the only ones found in New Testament writings.

In the New Testament one can count at least forty-one beatitudes introduced by

or , “blessed (is/are)”: thirteen in Matthew's Gospel (5:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11; 11:6; 13:16; 16:17; 24:46); fifteen in Luke's Gospel (1:45; 6:20, 21 [bis], 22; 7:23; 10:23; 11:27, 28; 12:37, 38, 43; 14:14, 15; 23:29); two in John's Gospel (13:17; 20:29); three in Romans (4:7, 8; 14:22); at least one in James (1:12; cf. 1:25); and seven in Revelation (1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7, 14).

In most cases the adjective

is predicated of a substantivized adjective or participle, such as of , “the poor” (Matt 5:3), οι , “those mourning” (Matt 5:4),, “she who has believed” (Luke 1:45), or a relative clause, , “whoever …” (Luke 7:23), , “whoever… ” (Luke 14:15), or , “of those who … ” (Rom 4:7). Occasionally, parts of the body are the object of the macarism: , “eyes” (Luke 10:23), , “the womb” (Luke 11:27). In a few instances a noun for a person appears, , “(the) man” (Rom 4:8 [= Ps 32:2]; James 1:12).1

1. See G. Strecker,

EDNT, 2:376-79. Also S. Agourides, “La tradition des

-111-

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