We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'May 2016'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.
The Beatitudes are among the most popular and best remembered sections of the New Testament. Many Christians commit them to memory, and they pop up frequently in the liturgy. Yet, when we say "Beatitudes," we almost invariably mean the nine included in St. Matthew's account of the Sermon on the Mount (5.3-11) - "Blessed are the poor in spirit . . .". The four Beatitudes and four woes in St. Luke's Sermon on the Plain (6.20-26) are rarely considered.
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In my last two articles, I argued that Jesus is portrayed in Matthew's Gospel as a firm adherent of the Jewish Law while Luke presents Jesus as primarily concerned with outreach to sinners, the blind and other marginalized people. On that basis, one might expect Matthew to be less hostile to the Pharisees - the purported great followers of the Law - than was Luke. In fact, the opposite is the case. Matthew has Jesus launch an extended vitriolic attack on the Pharisees who had clearly set out to destroy him. Luke, while not a fan of the Pharisees, presents them in a more nuanced way.