Author Topic: μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί τῷ πνεύματι ὄτι αὐτῶν ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν –> blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3)  (Read 2517 times)

Gorgon34

  • Semi-Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 5
  • Gender: Male
Matthew 5:3 is traditionally translated:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

My question is, Why does the dative 'tw pneumati' belongs to the first phrase (which has no verb to receive the action)  instead of the 2nd phrase.

In other words, why isn't it:
Blessed are the poor, for the kingdom of the heavens is unto the spirit of these.

Does a dative necessarily have to be connected to a verb?  No?
Does 'oti' seperate it somehow?
« Last Edit: 20 Jun, 2013, 15:22:24 by spiros »


billberg23

  • Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5707
  • Gender: Male
  • Words ail me.
Does a dative necessarily have to be connected to a verb?  No?
Does 'oti' seperate it somehow?

No to the first question, yes to the second.  Grammarians would probably call this a "dative of reference," dependent on the adjective πτωχοί:  "poor with respect to the spirit."  And the causal ότι certainly does separate its own clause from the previous main clause ("Blessed [are] the poor").  The dative τώι πνεύματι could not belong to the clause governed by ότι.  Greek word order would prohibit that.

The traditional translation comes from ancient times.  For example, St. Jerome translated it "Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum," which has exactly the same meaning as the English translation you cited.

« Last Edit: 15 Sep, 2006, 14:29:36 by nickel »
Τί δέ τις; Τί δ' οὔ τις; Σκιᾶς ὄναρ ἄνθρωπος. — Πίνδαρος