Fulfillment Prayer

Life_in_Tension_revision_front_20200101By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Father God, Beloved Son, Holy Spirit,

We praise you for your example in life.

In you, the Law and the Prophets are fulfilled, not in words, but in actions.

We are no longer without hope—good news is preached; broken hearts are healed; and liberty is proclaimed to the captives.

In you, there is jubilee; in you, there is comfort; in you, death is forever banished so that we may never mourn again.

Amen and amen

Fulfillment Prayer

Also see:

Believer’s Prayer

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Oración de Cumplimiento

Vida_en_Tensión_front_20200102Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Padre Dios, Amado Hijo, Espíritu Santo

Te alabamos a tí por tu ejemplo en la vida. En tí, la Ley y los Profetas se cumplen, no en palabras, sino en acciones.

Ya no estamos sin la esperanza—los buenos noticias se predican; los corazones rotos se sanan; y la libertad se proclama a los cautivos.

En tí, hay la jubileo; en tí, hay confort; en tí, la muerte se desterra para siempre para que nunca podamos llorar de nuevo.

Amén y amén

Oración de Cumplimiento

Ver también:

Oración del Creyente

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Mission Statement

Life_in_Tension_revision_front_20200101Do not think that I have come to 

abolish the Law or the Prophets; 

I have not come to abolish them 

but to fulfill them. 

(Matt 5:17) 

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

In Matthew 5:17, Jesus offers an interpretative key that explains how to understand both his ministry on earth and his words in the Beatitudes. When Jesus said that he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, he means that he came to fulfill all of Old Testament scripture. In Jewish thinking, the term “law” brings to mind the first five books in the Old Testament—the Books of the Law (or the Pentateuch): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. The term “prophets” loosely refers to the remainder of the Old Testament. The implication is that Jesus’ own words have meaning in the context of scripture because they extend it.

The Books of the Law

The Hebrew word for poor in spirit (לְבַשֵּׂר עֲנָוִים; “lebaser anavim”) also translates as: poor, afflicted, humble, or meek (BDB, 7237). In the singular   (“ana”) appears in the Books of the Law only in Numbers 12:3 which reads: “Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.” (Num 12:3). Only Moses is described as meek and Moses’ relationship with God is described as exceeding that of a typical Old Testament prophet (Num 12:6-8).

“Ana” invites two important observations. First, being poor in spirit draws us closer to God—Moses close. God spoke to Moses directly, face to face, not in riddles or dreams (Num 12:6–8) which is intimacy with God rarely seen scripture since Abraham, who was described as a friend of God (Jas 2:23).

Second, if Jesus spoke Hebrew in delivering the Sermon on the Mount, then the first three Beatitudes could have been expressed in the same word, “ana”, which would be an emphatic statement of humility. The blessing associated with poor in spirit was to receive the kingdom of heaven while the blessing for meek was to inherit the earth. Taken together, being poor in spirit (or meek) in God’s eye gets you both heaven and earth, reminding us of creation (Gen 1:1) and meaning: everything.

The Books of the Prophet

“Ana” also appears in Isaiah 61:1–3, cited earlier. While the Books of the Prophet make many references to the poor, Isaiah 61 is quoted almost verbatim in Jesus’ call sermon in Luke 4:18–19 and stands out for at least two other reasons. The first reason is that the word, anointed, marks this passage as a messianic prophecy. While priests, prophets, and kings were all anointed as messiahs in the Old Testament, God himself does the anointing here. The second reason is that the phrase, “broken-hearted” (Isa 61:1), is a better analogy to “poor in spirit” than “poor” and it provides another reason to prefer “poor in spirit” over simply “poor” in interpreting this Beatitude.

Fulfillment

Jesus’ interpretative key is the verb, fulfill (πληρόω; “plero”), which generally translates as:

to bring to a designed end, fulfill a prophecy, an obligation, a promise, a law, a request, a purpose, a desire, a hope, a duty, a fate, a destiny (BDAG 5981, 4b).

In Matthew 5:17, fulfill is set in opposition to the verb, “destroy”, which is usually rendered as abolish. This verbal opposition is helpful because it underscores the dynamic element in fulfill—one abolishes something static simply by replacing it with a new item. Fulfilment clearly has an expectational element (or forward drift—τέλος in Greek). To fulfill the law is, not to replace it, but to extend it.

This idea of extending the law was new which is perhaps why Matthew offered more explanation and uses the word, fulfill, more than the other Gospel writers. In Jesus’ day, for example, Rabbi’s preached from the Law using the Prophets to interpret its meaning. This tradition might lead someone to say, perhaps, that the law had been “fulfilled” by correctly complying with it. However, the Gospel of Matthew sees prophecy fulfilled in the sense of living it out or taking the next  step rather than the merely honoring the boundaries of existing law (Guelich 1982, 163).

In the Law and the Prophets, we find Jesus anchored in God’s creation and promises. In the word, fulfill, we find Jesus focused on the future giving Jesus’ mission both continuity and purpose.

REFERENCES

BibleWorks. 2011. Norfolk, VA: BibleWorks, LLC. <BibleWorks v.9>. Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius (BDB). 1905. Hebrew-English Lexicon, unabridged. Guelich, Robert. 1982. The Sermon on the Mount: A Foundation for Understanding. Dallas: Word Publishing.

Mission Statement

Also see:

Preface to a Life in Tension

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Lent_2020  

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Declaración de la Misión

Vida_en_Tensión_front_20200102No piensen que he venido para poner fin a la Ley o a los Profetas; 

no he venido para poner fin, sino para cumplir. 

(Matt 5:17)

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

En Mateo 5:17, Jesus ofrece una clave interpretativa que explicar como a entender tanto su ministerio en la tierra como sus palabras en las Bienaventuranzas. Cuando Jesus dijó que ha venida a cumplir la Ley y a los Profetas, quiere decir que vinó a cumplir toda la escritura del Antiguo Testamento. En el pensamiento Judío, el término “ley” recuerda los primeros cincos libros en el Antiguo Testamento—los Libros de la Ley (o la Pentateuco): Génesis, Éxodo, Levítico, y Deuteronomio. El término “profetas” se refiere—más o menos—al resto del Antiguo Testamento. La implicación es que las propias palabras de Jesús tienen significado en el contexto de las escrituras por razón de que lo extienden. 

Los Libros de la Ley

La palabra hebrea por pobre en espíritu  (לְבַשֵּׂר עֲנָוִים; “lebaser anavim”) también se traduce como: pobre, afligido, humilde or manso (BDB, 7237). En singular (“ana”) aparece en los Libros de la Ley solamente en Números 12:3 que dice: “Moisés era un hombre manso, más que cualquier otro hombre sobre la superficie de la tierra” (Num 12:3). Solo Moises se describe como manso y la relación de Moises con Dios se describe como superior a la de un profeta típica del Antiguo Testamento (Num 12:6-8).

“Ana” invita a dos observaciones importante. Primero, ser pobre en espíritu nos acerca a Dios—a Moisés más cerca. Dios hablaba a Moises directamente, cara a cara, no en acertijos ni sueños (Num 12:6-8) lo cual es intimidad con Dios que es raramente visto en las escrituras después de Abraham, a quien se describió como un amigo de Dios (Jas 2:23).

Segundo, si Jesus hablaba hebreo al pronunciar del Sermón del Monte, entonces las primera tres Bienaventuranzas podrían haberse expresado usando la misma palabra, “ana,” lo cual seria un enfática declaración de humildad. La bendición asoció con los pobres en espíritu era a recibir el reino de los cielos mientras que la bendición asoció con manso era a heredar la tierra. Tomados en conjunto, ser pobre en espíritu (o manso) en los ojos de Dios te lleva tanto los cielos como la tierra, que nos recuerda la creación (Gen 1:1) y significa todo.

Los Libros de los Profetas

“Ana” aparece también en Isaías 61:1-3, citado anteriormente. Mientras que los Libros de las Profetas hacen muchas referencias a los pobres, Isaias 61 se cita casi literalmente en el sermón de llamado de Jesús en Lucas 4:18-19 y se destaca para no menos de dos otras razones. El primero razón es que la palabra, ungida, marca este pasaje como un profecía mesiánica. Mientras que  los sacerdotes, profetas, y reyes fueron todos ungidos como mesías en el Antiguo Testamento, Dios si mismo hace la unción aqui. El segundo razón es que la frase, “los quebrantados de corazón“ (Isa 61:1), es un mejor analogía de “pobre en espíritu” que “pobre” y provee un otro razón a preferir “pobre en espíritu” a simplemente “pobre” en interpretar esta Bienaventuranza.

Cumplimiento

La clave interpretativa de Jesús es el verbo, cumplir (πληρόω; “plero”), lo cual generalmente traduce como:

para llevar a un fin diseñado, cumplir una profecía, una obligación, una promesa, una ley, una solicitud, un propósito, un deseo, una esperanza, un deber, un destino, un fatalismo (BDAG 5981, 4b).⁠1

En Mateo 5:17, cumplir se opone al verbo, “destruir,” lo cual generalmente se traduce como abolir. Esta oposición verbal es útil lo pues subraya al elemento dinámico en el cumplimiento—uno elimina algo estático al reemplazarlo con un nuevo elemento. Cumplimiento tiene claramente un elemento de expectativa (o deriva hacia adelante—τέλος en griego). Cumplir la ley no es a reemplazarla sino  extenderla.

La idea de extender la ley fue nueva lo cual es quizás la razón porque Mateo ofreció  más explanación y usó la palabra, cumplir, más que los otros evangelios. En los días de Jesús, por ejemplo, el rabino predicó de la ley usando los profetas para interpretar su significado. Esta tradición podría llevar  algunos a decir, tal vez, que la ley se había “cumplido” al cumplirla correctamente. Sin embargo, el Evangelio de Mateo ve la profecía cumplida en el sentido de vivirla o dar el siguiente paso en lugar de mero honrar la frontera de la ley existente (Guelich 1982, 163). 

En la Ley y los Profetas, encontramos a Jesús anclado en la creación y promesas de Dios. En la palabra, cumplir, encontramos a Jesús enfocado del futuro que dar la misión de Jesús tanto continuidad y propósito.

Notas

1 to bring to a designed end, fulfill a prophecy, an obligation, a promise, a law, a request, a purpose, a desire, a hope, a duty, a fate, a destiny (BDAG 5981, 4b).

Referencias

Bauer, Walter (BDAG). 2000. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. 3rd ed. ed. de Frederick W. Danker. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. <BibleWorks. v .9.>.

Brown-Driver-Briggs-Gesenius (BDB). 1905. Hebrew-English Lexicon, unabridged.

Guelich, Robert. 1982. The Sermon on the Mount: A Foundation for Understanding. Dallas: Word Publishing.

Declaración de la Misión

Ver también:

Gospel as Divine Template

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Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín informativo: http://bit.ly/Lent_2020  

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Hollinger Sees Faith as Holistic

Hollinger_review__20200203Dennis P. Hollinger.[1] 2005. Head, Heart, and Hands: Bringing Together Christian Thought, Passion, and Action. Downers Grove: IVP Books.

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

My latest writing project, Living in Christ, focuses on ethics, which focuses on what do in response to our faith. This project could be seen as my life’s finally being written down, but in fact today’s church finds ethics unusually hard to cope with. Some church specialize in great worship with great musicians making a regular appearance; others are way out there on social action being involved in every demonstration at the local seat of government; still others have are deep into theology and invite notable speakers are on a regular basis. Relatively few churches have a lot of young people in attendance or conduct a lot of baptisms, suggesting that the division of labor among the churches is not aiding the evangelistic mission of the church (Matthew 28) and may actually be a hinderance.

Introduction

 In his book, Head, Heart, and Hands, Dennis Hollinger observes:

“Taken alone, thought, passion, and action render a fragmented faith that only further engenders a fragmented self and a fragmented church.” (16)

“The problem is that most believers and Christian organizations or movements have accentuated one dimension to the neglect of the others.” (9)

A fragmented self lacks direction; a fragmented church cannot reflect the image of God in a society wounded by record suicides, drug overdoses, and declining fertility rates and life expectancy.

Holistic Faith in Tension with the Times

The idea that Christian faith is a holistic faith that can transcend the circumstances of society seems today to be a remote possibility in a society conditioned to believe that anything can be achieved through a proper division of labor. In the modern period, economists have taught that dividing up a problem and allocated the different parts to specialists (professions) is the most efficient way to organize research, administration, production, and distribution. Thus, any enterprise that requires a holistic approach—as Hollnger sees faith—runs contrary to the spirit of the times. Is it any wonder that megachurch pastors, thinking like good CEOs, have no trouble with online, radio,/ and television ministries, but routinely have trouble with engendering discipleship?

Interestingly, the same problem afflicted the protestant churches after the Reformation as the balance between theology, spirituality, and action promoted by the reformers melted away in contests over doctrinal purity among the different denominations that evolved in later years (19). The megachurches today share much in common with the cathedrals established before the modern period.

Background and Organization

Hollinger is a past-president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he also taught ethics. He graduated from Elizabethtown College, received a Master’s of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a doctorate from Drew University. He did post-doctoral work at Oxford University.[2]

Hollinger writes in ten chapters:

  1. Fragmented Faith and Fragmented People
  2. Christian Faith and the Head
  3. Distortions of the Head
  4. Christian Faith and the Heart
  5. Distortions of the Heart
  6. Christian Faith and the Hands
  7. Distortions of the Hands
  8. Head, Heart, and Hands Together: The Biblical Case
  9. Head, Heart, and Hands Together: An Interdisciplinary Perspective
  10. Head, Heart, and Hands Together: Implications and Challenges (xii)

These chapters are preceded by a preface and followed by notes.

The Biblical Case for Holistic Faith

Hollinger spills a lot of ink documenting weaknesses in the faith caused by fragmentary theology, spirituality, and practice, as he should. What is interesting to me, however, is how the Bible does not make these same errors in neither the Old or New Testaments. This struggle with fragmentation is nothing new. Consider the first passage that Hollinger cites—the Shema:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” (Deut 6:4-5 ESV)

Nothing here is left out—heart, mind, and hands—as Hollinger notes (145-146). The most basic prayer in Judaism is holistic and is underscored by Christ himself (Matt 22:37) Combining this holistic passage with neighbor love, as Jesus does, does not subtract from its holistic nature. Hollinger cites a half dozen other passages from the Old and New Testaments, but one other stands out: Romans 1:20-32. He writes:

“If ever there was a passage that brings head, heart, and hands together, this is it. It is somewhat typical to read this text as a chronological movement from false thinking, to wayward heart, to debased moral actions.”(151)

Hollinger sees the ordering as less important than the realization that head, heart, and hands are inter-related and affect one another. In other words, when we sin (hands), we often turn around to justify what we have done (head) and start to believe that our sin is also actually good (heart). How many parents, politicians, and pastors have not opposed homosexuality only to change their views after a child or other close relative has announced that they were gay. This is an obvious example of the interaction between head, heart, and hands in practice.

Assessment

Dennis Hollinger’s Head, Heart, and Hands focuses on the need for the church to engender a holistic faith by linking good theology and heart filled worship with practical acts of service. Hollinger effectively argues this point biblically with supporting arguments from other academic fields, such as education and psychology. This is a very practical, deeply theological text of interest to pastors, lay people, and theologians written in an accessible style.

Footnotes

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Hollinger. [2] https://www.gordonconwell.edu/faculty/senior/dennis-hollinger

Hollinger Sees Faith as Holistic

Also see:

Elliott: God’s Emotions Inform Our Emotions, Part 1

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Corner_2020  

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Poor in Spirit: Monday Monologues, Podcast on February 17, 2020

Stephen_W_Hiemstra_20200125b
Stephen W. Hiemstra 2020 (Ken Burtram Photography)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

This morning I will share a prayer and reflect on the Poor in Spirit.

After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

To listen, click on this link.

Hear the words; Walk the steps; Experience the joy!

Poor in Spirit: Monday Monologues, Podcast on February 17, 2020

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Corner_2020

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Prayer for the Poor in Spirit

Life_in_Tension_revision_front_20200101By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Oh dear Lord,

I give thanks that you are ever near to me—not too proud to linger with your servant and call me friend.

Bless me with your spirit of humility and generosity—generous in time, generous in friendship, and generous in sharing yourself.

Keep me safe from bad company; keep me safe from pious arrogance; keep me safe from my own sinful heart.

Let me always be ever near to you, now and always, through the power of your Holy Spirit.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer for the Poor in Spirit

Also see:

Believer’s Prayer

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Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

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Oración por los Pobres en Espíritu

Vida_en_Tensión_front_20200102Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Oh querido Señor,

Doy gracias porque siempre estás cerca de mí, no demasiado orgulloso para quedarte  con tu sirviente y llamarme amigo.

Bendíceme con tu espíritu de humildad y generosidad—generoso en tiempo, generoso en amistad, y generoso en compartir ti mismo.

Guárdame seguro de la mala compañía; guárdame seguro de la arrogancia piadosa; guárdame seguro de mi propria pecaminoso corazón.

Permíteme estar siempre cerca de tí, ahora y siempre, a través del poder de tu Espíritu Santo.

En el nombre de Jesús, Amén.

Oración por los Pobres en Espírit

Ver también:

Oración del Creyente

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Honored are the Poor in Spirit

Life_in_Tension_revision_front_20200101Honored are the poor in spirit, 

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

(Matt 5:3)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Jesus chose words carefully. If he spoke Hebrew (the language of the Old Testament) rather than Greek (the language of the first century church), then the First Beatitude could be stated in only seven (Matt 5:3 HNT) which aided memorization, a common first century practice because of the high cost of the written word. Because the disciples memorized his words, Jesus could speak playing word games with them, starting sentences and letting them finish them, much like a good preacher will pause to let his audience catch up (Crawford and Troeger 1995, 17).

Interpreting the Beatitudes

 Jesus also used this technique—common in repressive cultures—in disputing with the Pharisees, as in Matthew 21:16 where he cites the first half Psalm 8:2 and, by inference, slams them with the second half (Spangler and Tverberg 2009, 38). Jesus’ careful choice of words and use of word associations helps us interpret the Beatitudes. For example, the first word in the phrase in Matthew 5:3—“Honored are the poor in spirit”—brings to mind the first Psalm:

Honored is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Ps 1:1–2)

The phrase, poor in spirit, brings to mind Isaiah 61:

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.” (Isa 61:1–3)

The first text, Psalm 1, plainly references the Law of Moses and the second text, Isaiah 61, references a messianic prophecy that Jesus himself cites in his call sermon in Luke 4. Together, by using the word—μακάριος, Jesus associates with both the Law and the Prophets which for a first century Jewish audience added gravitas.

Poor?

Today’s commentators normally highlight the expression, “poor in spirit” (οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι), that is not used elsewhere in the Bible. Luke’s version of the Beatitude refers only to poor (πτωχοὶ), as in: “honored are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20) Poor here refers not just to low income, but to begging destitution—someone utterly dependent on God (Neyrey 1998, 170–171). Matthew, unlike Luke, was one of Jesus’ disciples, which makes it likely that his phrase, poor in spirit, is more accurate.

Hyperbole?

Taken as a whole, the First Beatitude appears hyperbolic for two reasons. The first reason is that Jesus uses a form borrowed from case law, if X, then Y. Using a legal form suggests something like the reading of a will. Second, Jesus associates things not normally associated. Unlike princes, poor do not normally inherit kingdoms; kings (those with kingdoms) are not normally humble. Thus, the First Beatitude suggests by its form and content that Jesus is using hyperbole to warm up his audience for what is obviously a serious  discussion (Isa 42:1–3).

Kingdom of Heaven

The seriousness arises because the phrase, “kingdom of heaven,” was previously associated with judgment, as in: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt 3:2, 4:17). Judgment may be implied in the converse of this Beatitude—do those who refuse to be poor in spirit (the proud) stand in opposition to the “kingdom of heaven”? Potentially, yes. Two candidates for judgment are almost immediately given:

Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments [in the Law and the Prophets] and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:19–20)

Those least in the kingdom of heaven are those who teach against the law and those not to be admitted are those less righteous than the scribes and the Pharisees, according to Jesus’ own words (Matt 5:20).

Jesus chose words carefully.

References

Crawford, Evans E. and Thomas H. Troeger. 1995. The Hum: Call and Response in African American Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

Neyrey, Jerome H. 1998. Honor and Shame in the Gospel of Matthew. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Spangler, Ann and Lois Tverberg. 2009. Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Honored are the Poor in Spirit

Also see:

Preface to a Life in Tension

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Corner_2020  

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Honrado Son los Pobres en Espíritu

Vida_en_Tensión_front_20200102Honrado son los pobres en espíritu, 

pues de ellos es el reino de los cielos. 

(Matt 5:3)

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Jesús elige palabras cuidadosamente. Si hablaba hebreo (la idioma del Antiguo Testamento) en lugar de griego (la idioma de la iglesia primitiva), entonces la primera Bienaventuranza podría explicarse en solo siete palabras (Matt 5:3 HNT), que facilita memorización, una practica comuna en el premer siglo debido de la alta costa de la palabra escrita. Debido a que los discípulos memorizaron su palabras, Jesús podría hablar jugando juegos de palabras con ellos, comenzando frases y dejándo que su audiencia los termine, al igual que un buen predicador se detendrá para dejar que su audiencia se ponga al día (Crawford y Troeger 1995, 17).

Interpretar las Bienaventuranzas

Jesús usó esta tecnica—común en las culturas represivas—también en disputar con los fariseos, como en Mateo 21:16 donde cita la primera mitad de Salmo 8:2 y, por inferencia, los golpea en la segunda mitad (Spangler y Tverberg 2009, 38). La selección cuidadosa de palabras de Jesus y su uso de asociaciones de palabras nos ayudan a interpretar las Bienaventuranzas.

Por ejemplo, la primera palabra en la frase en Mateo 5:3—“Honrado son los pobres en espíritu”—trae a mente al primero Salmo:

¡Cuán bienaventurado [honrado] es el hombre que no anda en el consejo de los impíos, Ni se detiene en el camino de los pecadores, Ni se sienta en la silla de los escarnecedores, sino que en la ley del SEÑOR está su deleite, Y en Su ley medita de día y de noche! (Ps 1:1-2)

La frase, los pobres en espíritu, trae a mente Isaías 61:

El Espíritu del Señor Dios está sobre mí, porque me ha ungido el Señor para traer buenas nuevas a los afligidos. Me ha enviado para vendar a los quebrantados de corazón, para proclamar libertad a los cautivos y liberación a los prisioneros; para proclamar el año favorable del Señor, y el día de venganza de nuestro Dios; para consolar a todos los que lloran, para conceder que a los que lloran esion se les dé diadema en vez de ceniza, aceite de alegría en vez de luto, manto de alabanza en vez de espíritu abatido; para que sean llamados robles de justicia, plantío del Señor, para que el sea glorificado. (Isa 61:1-3)

El primero texto, Salmo 1, claramente refiere a la Ley de Moises y el segundo texto, Isaías 61, refiere una profecía mesiánica que Jesús mismo citó en su llamado sermón de  en Lucas 4. Junto, por a usar la palabra—μακάριος, Jesús asociaó con ambos la Ley y las Profetas las cuales añaria seriedad en el contexto de una audiencia Judia del siglo primero.

Pobre?

Los comentaristas de hoy destacan normalmente por la expresión, “los pobres en espíritu” (οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι), que no se usa en ningua otra parte en la Biblia. La versión de las Bienaventuranzas de Lucas refiere solamente a la pobre (πτωχοὶ), como en: “Honrados son ustedes los pobres, porque de ustedes es el reino de Dios” (Luke 6:20). Pobre aquí se refiere no solo a los bajos ingresos, sino a la mendicidad de la indigencia: alguien completamente dependiente de Dios (Neyrey 1998, 170–171).  Mateo, a diferencia de Lucas, fue un discípulo de Jesus, que hace probable lo que su frase, “los pobres en espíritu,” sea más precisa.

Hiperbólica?

En conjunto, la primera Bienaventuranza aparece hiperbólica por dos razones. La primera razón es que Jesús usa una forma prestada de ley de caso, si X entonces Y. Usar una forma legal sugiere algo como la lectura de un testamento. La segunda razón es que Jesús asocia cosas las que ninguna se asocia normalmente. A diferencia de los príncipes, los pobres generalmente no heredan reinos; reyes (aquellos con reinos) no son normalmente humildes. Por esta razón, la primera Bienaventuranza sugiere por su forma y contenido que Jesús esta usando hipérbole para calentar a su audiencia por cual es obviamente una discusión seria (Isa 42:1–3).

Reino de los Cielos

La seriedad surge porque la frase, “reino de los cielos,” previamente se asoció con juicio, como en:  “Arrepiéntanse, porque el reino de los cielos se ha acercado” (Matt 3:2, 4:17). El juicio puede estar implícito en el reverso de esta Bienaventuranza—son aquellos que se niegan a ser pobre en espíritu (los orgullosos) se oponen del “reino de  los cielos”? Potencialmente, si. Dos candidatos para juicio son dados casi de inmediato:  

Cualquiera, pues, que anule uno solo de estos mandamientos, aun de los más pequeños, y así lo enseñe a otros, será llamado muy pequeño en el reino de los cielos; pero cualquiera que los guarde y los enseñe, éste será llamado grande en el reino de los cielos. Porque les digo a ustedes que si su justicia no supera la de los escribas y Fariseos, no entrarán en el reino de los cielos. (Matt 5:19-20)

Los menos en el reinos del cielos son los quien enseñan contra la ley y los que no deben ser admitido son los menos justos que los escribas y fariseos, según las propias palabras de Jesús  (Matt 5:20).

Jesús elige palabras cuidadosamente.

Referencias

Crawford, Evans E. and Thomas H. Troeger. 1995. The Hum: Call and Response in African American Preaching. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

Neyrey, Jerome H. 1998. Honor and Shame in the Gospel of Matthew. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Spangler, Ann and Lois Tverberg. 2009. Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewishness of Jesus Can Transform Your Faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Honrado Son los Pobres en Espírit

Ver también:

Gospel as Divine Template

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Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín informativo: http://bit.ly/Corner_2020  

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