Saturday, 16 November 2013

Dative Spirit Matthew Chapter 5 Verse 3 some notes

DATIVE SPIRIT

MATTHEW Ch. 5 Verse 3

μακαριοι οἱ πτωχοι τῷ πνευματι

Blessed (are) the poor in spirit for theirs is the realm of the heavens

The parallel section in Luke 6. 20 – 23 omits pneumati

Now πνευματι is dative rather than genitive. Why?

Greek can use dative without a preposition.

This could be a dative of place, cause, means, or respect.

Matthew stresses poverty of spirit but the other kind of poverty is meant as well.

As a matter of style the use of the dative also contrasts with the genitive forms in the secondary subordinate clause.

Was Jesus bilingual in Greek? Could the minor differences between verses from Gospel to Gospel reflect jesus speaking first in Greek or Aramaic depending on his audience and then repeating himself in the other language?

However the primary message is the important one.

BLESSED ARE THE POOR

and it is a lovely example of the dative form too!