Category Archives: Mercy

Beatitudes in freshness

Throughout centuries and centuries, strong messages have become forgotten and, if too strong, at the end they arrived but only decaffeinated: Too many walls and the sound becomes weaker and weaker. Work by translators is not innocent. Sticked to original ancient texts –Curetonian gospels, for example, like in http://www.dukhrana.com/peshitta/index.php -we can however unearth old messages that do renew if we find the right words.

Let us break the walls and recover meanings:

A blessing that the poor ones have in their spirits is that they become landlords of the heavens’ kingdom.

A blessing of the sad ones is that they get comfort.

A blessing of the humble ones is that they inherit the land.

A blessing that the hungry and thirsty ones of justice (root Sdq , look at “Category Archives: Sdq” and, for example, the entry https://bibliababel2.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/fear-of-my-name/) have is that they are satisfied.

A blessing of the compassionate ones is that there is compassion for them (“compassion”more or less equivalent to “mercy”, look at the corresponding entries of this category).

A blessing of those ones who have their hearts purified is that they see God.

A blessing of the servants of the peace is that they are called “sons of God”.

A blessing of the persecuted ones because they follow the justice (again, root Sdq) is that they are masters of the kingdom of heavens.

Your blessing is when the people are persecuting, criticizing and defaming  you in every way, due to my NAME ( this Semitic expression may mean YHWH, a respectful way of designating God; see https://bibliababel2.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/fear-of-my-name/).

Rejoice and  be happy on that day! Then, your reward increases in the heaven. In the same way your ancestors were persecuting those prophets who were before you.

That was Matthew 5:3-12. Without cosmetics!

 

 

A large, holy family

That is the family whose description we can find in Galatians 4:4-7. Let me offer you, as a New Year’s gift, the text directly from the Syriac version, with the whole freshness that the reading of a Semitic language can show:

At the arriving of the plenitude of the time, God sent his Son.

He became to be by means of a woman and he was subject to the Law.

He was the one who bought those ones who were under the Law.

He offered them the right to become sons.

As you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son to your hearts.

This Spirit invokes the Father with the invocation “OUR Father”.

So, you are not employees but sons.

If sons, then heirs of God by means of Jesus the Messiah.

The original version may be found in

http://www.dukhrana.com/peshitta/index.php

I would call your attention to the fact that the Syriac version – unlike the versions in other languages- does not need an explanation for the term “abba” because this is just a Syriac (or Aramaic) word with the clear meaning of “father”. The unanimous respect that every written witness of this text shows towards the Semitic expression “abba” may be an indication that we are very next to the same speech of the apostle. The focus of all those other versions is then the reverence to Paul’s preaching. So, the focus of the Syriac version is centered in the preaching itself , i.e., we all are a very large family with a rich, loving Father.

Please, enjoy 2017!

Human diversity

It is enormous indeed, although our common craddle is Africa, according to paleoanthropologists (please, if you  understand French, don’t miss this lecture: http://www.college-de-france.fr/site/jean-jacques-hublin/course-2016-10-04-17h00.htm), and we all have the same mother from the genetics point of view. Perhaps from an inner point of view, the landscape is more boring.

That is the perspective of our Luke gospel text for this 34th Sunday in ordinary time (the last one of the cycle C: The following Sunday reopens cycle A in Advent time). So, for the most critical moment of life,  Luke 23: 39 and 40  distinguishes allegorically two kinds of persons, no more. They are side by side next to God. The language from Peshitta is very expressive. I will try to translate the Syriac version of Luke 23:39 as skilfull as possible to me:

One of the criminals (literally, “one from those ones of the house of iniquity”) who were crucified with Him (the capital letter is mine) was insulting Him by saying: “If you are the Messiah, then free yourself! Free us, also!”

Obviously, this kind of person wouldn’t be afraid by the apocalypse that we were reading in Malachi 3 on last Sunday. As a matter of fact, personally, I also think  that in 20th and 21st centuries there are pieces of information that are more efficient in the generation of fear tan biblical apocalypses: TV news, for example, and horrible images from Vietnam (when child), African Great Lakes (when my children were still children) or Syria (now) terrify me much more than medieval iconographical descriptions of hell. But, thank goodness, there are more ways to come to Jesus. Solidarity, compassion … are presumably stronger than fear. What about going on with Luke 23:40?

His comrade scolded him by telling:”You will not have fear of God, not even when you are side by side to Him in the scaffold!”

We will never know if the scolded one reacted but his comrade made the right effort. After all, perhaps the “bad” one was not so completely bad: His last cry was a sort of prier. Free us!