Monday, 25 February 2013

Contradictions In The Bible 7 :


Why is "in spirit" lacking in the Lucan version of the first beatitude?

Matthew 5:3 gives the first beatitude as "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the 
kingdom of heaven." But in the parallel statement of Luke 6:20, Christ simply says, 
"Blessed are you poor people, for yours is the kingdom of God." Is there a real
discrepancy here? Not at all! These are two different speeches, given on two different occasions, in two different settings.

As the term "Sermon on the Mount" implies, Matthew 5-7 was delivered on a
mountainside in Galilee. It was addressed primarily to Jesus' disciples rather than to the
multitude as a whole (cf. Matt. 5:1). The setting for the somewhat condensed version of
the Beatitudes as recorded in Luke was not on any mountain but on a plain (epi topou
pedinou-- Luke 6:17). It was not addressed to the limited circle of disciples but to a large
multitude of disciples and a great throng of people from all parts of Judea, Jerusalem,
Tyre, and Sidon--hence a far different audience. Matthew's second beatitude appears in a
greatly altered form as Luke's third. Matthew's third does not appear in Luke at all.
Matthew's fourth is Luke's second, with the omission of "and thirst for righteousness."
Matthew's fifth, sixth, and seventh are missing in Luke altogether; and Matthew's eighth
appears as Luke's fourth, in a considerably altered form. Nothing could be clearer than 
that these were two different messages, delivered at different times. Hence there can be no discrepancy involved here at all.

Gleason L Archer.

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