The Beatitudes in the Gospel of Luke


Luke 6:20-31

 There’s so many possibilities for interpretation coming out of the Aramaic version of the beatitudes in Luke’s gospel that it would be about as long as the book I wrote about Matthew’s version. There are some significant differences of meaning.

Maybe the best way to cover it with the least words is to compare the meanings of opposite words (as suggested by Neil Douglas-Klotz in Blessings of the Cosmos) and let you make some of your own interpretations.

Arabic lampBlessed = blessedly ripe, maturing, coming to completion, that which is suited for its purpose, that which is able to resist being pulled apart

Woe = warning, being cut off from the sacred flow of true life, from the divine sense of timing

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 Poor = a state in which one’s existence or any possessions attached to it is weakened, dissolved, or exhausted. As it applies to the internal state of a person, the image one has for self (the image that is false) is declining.

Rich = increasing what relates to material sense, enjoyment, or pleasure.

 Kingdom of heaven = the reigning power and vision of the cosmos indicating the sense of spontaneous agreement and happens when voices come together with a new sense of heart and purpose.

Consolation = a kind of comfort that is more like a bottomless pit, always requiring more to fill its desires.

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 (The following 4 words reveal the delicate nature of translation and how words in other languages vary by where you place the breath (`) within the word, even though the letters are the same.)

Hunger = an emptiness inside, a sense of grasping and turning to receive something. In the first use (the positive beatitude), the state of hunger is temporary. In the second use (the consequence of the negative beatitude), the hunger is a process – holding onto the fixed condition of “full” keeps one always feeling empty.

Filled (saba) = surrounded by something that arrives as a natural process of being in harmony with God, the living abundance of the divine creation (a process in the positive beatitude).

 Full = the image of keeping one’s life so full that there is little time for self-reflection.

Satisfied (sab`a) = trying to keep the sense of fullness so that there is no time for anything else.

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Weep/mourn = the image of something being compressed, dissolving (like the false image of self that has been imposed by others)

Laugh = something that grasps what it wants and can carry it where it wants to go.

When the context is reversed = those who now exist always in a state of forced hilarity or outer amusement will eventually need to face what they haven’t been feeling inside.

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Prophet = a person who listens to the divine voice within and acts upon it.

False prophets = people who allow their true divine image to become so covered with the projections of others that they can no longer look honestly into the mirror of their own hearts for a true reflection.

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     I recommend the books by Neil Douglas-Klotz that have helped me understand the depths of the teachings of Jesus. They are Prayers of the Cosmos, Blessings of the Cosmos, and The Hidden Gospel.

     For me, the translations into English that come out of Greek are so shallow (thank heavens that the Spirit can still use them to teach us some things) that I hope some people will begin to question what some insist is “the word of God.” I see so much more valid meaning when they come from these definitions. The interpretations that come out of Aramaic for these beatitudes in Luke actually make sense.

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