19 April 2014

The Other (Revolutionary) Beatitudes

Most Christians are familiar with the Beatitudes from the version of the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew, which were written to be both uplifting and inoffensive.  Fewer know about the other version in the Gospel of Luke, probably older and much more revolutionary.  Found at Luke 6:20-26, the text here is from the New Revised Standard Version:

“Blessed are you who are poor,
    for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
    for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
    for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

“But woe to you who are rich,
    for you have received your consolation.
 “Woe to you who are full now,
    for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
    for you will mourn and weep.
 “Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

Lends credence to the version of the historical Jesus described in Reza Aslan's Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.


Anonymous said...

Good post, Chuck. Too bad the Republicans have not read this version of the Beatitudes.

Chuck Hamilton said...

Thanks. I'm not sure it would make any difference. They seem more Ayn Rand than Jesus Christ. They've mistaken a 1st Jewish revolutionary prophet for a 20th century Jewish atheist reactionary.