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DocReits October 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Hi Jack,

I thank you for another great article. I hope you do not mind me suggesting an additional idea about the Beatitudes which I have found makes sense (to me).

Strong’s concordance defines the Greek word used to transcribe Jesus’s word “Blessed” as makarios, supremely blest, from which comes the word makarizo meaning to beatify, i.e. pronounce (or esteem) fortunate: -call blessed, count happy.

The word blest is defined further in old and middle English to mean:

Blest Origin:
before 950; Middle English blessen, Old English blētsian, blēdsian to consecrate, orig. with blood, earlier *blōdisōian ( blōd blood + -isō- derivational suffix + -ian v. suffix)

Our English language understand this word blessed to currently mean:

— vb , blesses , blessing , blessed , blest
1. to consecrate or render holy, beneficial, or prosperous by means of a religious rite
2. to give honour or glory to (a person or thing) as divine or holy
3. to call upon God to protect; give a benediction to
4. to worship or adore (God); call or hold holy
5. ( often passive ) to grant happiness, health, or prosperity to: they were blessed with perfect peace

I am trying to be brief here but let me summarize by stating that we get the idea from Strong’s of beatifying, from old English “to consecrate” and from current definitions “to consecrate or to make holy”.

Strong’s in talking about “happy” allows for the idea of “counting (as) happy”, or deemed happy. This is something done to the recipient(deemed) not proceeding from the same.

This leads to, IMO, inaccurate translations of the NT when we substitute “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now…” (Lk 6:21) KJV, for:

“Happy are you who hunger now,
because you will be satisfied.
Happy are you who weep now…” (Common English Bible)

God consecrates (sets apart) and makes holy (beatifies) those Christians who hunger and thirst after righteousness and in so doing “counts” them as being fortunate. This is very different than how they feel, (which “happiness” connotes), when going through these heavy trials.

For further weight to what I am saying look again at Luke’s telling of this event a few verses later when he gives God’s opposite warning to those who do evil:

“But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets”. (Luke 6:25,26) KJV

Here Jesus does not say these are “unhappy” as a contrast to the “Blessed” but that they are counted by God as worthy of “woe”, the opposite of being “consecrated as holy” or Blessed.

Should we be happy as Christians, absolutely! Is that always possible, absolutely not, except for those in denial…;-) Should we rejoice always? Ah, there it is….and fodder for another article…

Is being “happy” in trials what Jesus is saying on the Mount while preaching the Beatitudes? Well…you know what I think…but hey, I’ve been wrong a lot this week…..;-) Thanks again for poking my brain in the side with this great article!

Your friend,


Jack Wellman October 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Great insight my friend. The Greek word for blessed is like any adjective in the English language. I do see that happiness is not the goal of the Christian, as you so wisely stated because happiness is based upon happenings and Joel Osteen’s book “Your Best Life Know” makes no sense to me because if this is our best life now, what a let down when the Kingdom comes down from heaven! LOL

Anyway, when I wrote this I did so with the understanding that the word blessed can be used as a verb or noun and I should have clarified that it was intended to be a verb…and verb’s are action…its what you do or have done to you or someone or something (if that makes sense). I wished I had delineated the differences between which were used in my Greek lexicon because there are actually 3 uses of this word “blessed” and I believe it is the summation of them all when I used it to mean “be happy” or “to be made happy.”

Greek use of blessed number 1:

chairo (verb) – happy, rejoice, glad, joy, delight, etc

Greek use of blessed number 2:

chara (noun, f) – happiness, joy, etc. … something that might bring about the emotion of happy.

Greek use of blessed number 3: euthumeo (verb) – keep up the courage, happy

When the word “is” is used next to a word, particularly, happy, the meaning is blessed is equal to (=) whatever follows. Does that make sense?

I would like to add that many here are promoting “makarios” as the answer. This is best rendered from the Greek as “blessing”, and rarely as “happy” in the NT. A blessing is intended to produce something in the recipient and that was my purpose. Though a blessing may sometimes produce the emotion of “happy” it is a result of but not the real goal of it…it is a byproduct but not the real meaning of it (I hope I haven’t muddied it up!) but anyway to produce an emotion of being “happy” was not my intent and I must have did a poor job of communicating this. It is not always the case and many times makarios is used to suggest a spiritual strengthening or perspective in times of suffering, with no indication of a positive emotion such as “happy” (e.g. James 1:12 or 1 Peter 3:14, 4:14 or the blessings of in the Scriptures in the Beatitudes). This is why the vast majority of Bible translations NEVER render makarios as happy, but rather as blessed … for it is the spiritual strength that is the result of blessing rather than an emotion and that is what I should have clarified much better than I did.

In context, yes, it might be that markarios could infrequently be rendered as happy (particularly in the OT implication of blessing), however this is not the case with most uses in the NT, where we have the Greek uses of this word. My expository dictionaries of the Old and New Testament sometimes have so much info that I must glean out to reduce it to a “mere” 2,000 words. Anyway, you always contribute much to any article and/or conversation my friend. God loves FAT people….faithful, available, and teachable which I pray I may be all 3!

Patricia Schneider October 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm

WOW! This is the BEST INTERPRETATION of The Beatitudes as found in God’s Word, Matthew 5:1-12!!! THANK YOU, Pastor Jack!

Appreciated and understood DocReits’ comment (October 19, 2013) and your reply to him, Pastor.

The Beatitudes & Psalm 23 are my favorite parts of God’s Word. Would like to share with everyone what a precious sister in Christ, Imelda Oraye Jopson’s, (lives in the Philippians!) ‘interpretation’ of PSALM 23:

The Lord is my Shepherd -That’s Relationship!
I shall not want – That’s Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – That’s Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters, He restores my soul
– That’s Refreshment!
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake – That’s Purpose!
Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death –
That’s Testing!
I will fear no evil – That’s Protection!
For Thou art with me – That’s Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me – That’s discipline.
Thou prepareth a table before me in the presence of my enemies – That’s Hope!
Thou anointest my head with oil – That’s Consecration!
My cup runneth over – That’s Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – That’s Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord, FOREVER! –
That’s Security!

Isn’t that just WOW, Pastor Jack? (Imelda has become my dearest Sis in Christ. Being more ‘matured’ in God’s Word than me, Imelda has helped me tremendously in comprehending God’s Holy Word! I feel so blessed having her & her family in my life, Pastor Jack!)

Loved that sentence at end of your article, “The Beatitudes are a ‘be-attitude,’ etc.” That tickled me, as well as made an important point!
Oodles of God’s wonderful blessings and graces be showered upon you, Pastor Jack, your family, and your ministry!!!
Always, your Sis in Christ Jesus ~ Patty

Jack Wellman October 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Imelda Oraye Jopson nailed it spot on. I heard this from James McDonald in one of his sermons years ago….maybe he stole it….no, no, borrowed it from her! That Psalm 23 has so much more meaning than I ever realized. I wrote one on this Psalm on this website it was so very similar what Mrs. Jopson said at: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/psalm-23-a-bible-study/ Thanks sister in Christ Jesus. Can’t wait to meet you someday! (Soon? Could be,not for sure of course).

Patricia Schneider October 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Oh, Pastor Jack, whether in this lifetime or in God’s Kingdom, it will be such a THRILL meeting you face to face!!! ~ Patty

Murray October 22, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Very inspirational. Blessed are the followers of Jesus Christ. Makes me want to be a better person and serve my neighbours more.
God Bless

Jack Wellman October 22, 2013 at 10:14 pm

You are so kind Murray and so right…it convicted me when I wrote it as I saw just how far short I fall.

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