Matthew 5:11

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Matthew 5:11 is the eleventh verse of the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. It is the ninth verse of the Sermon on the Mount. Some consider this verse to be the beginning of the last Beatitude, but most disagree seeing it as more of an expansion on the eighth and final Beatitude in the previous verse.

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you,
and persecute you, and shall say all manner
of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

"Blessed are you when people reproach
you, persecute you, and say all kinds of
evil against you falsely, for my sake.

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 5:11

While this verse begins with the same "blessed are" opening of the previous eight Beatitudes it quickly varies from them in structure. It shifts from the third to the second person and abandons the simple virtue/reward structure. It is thus generally not seen as a ninth Beatitude, but as a commentary on the eighth Beatitude directed to the disciples. Schweizer feels this verse and the next were a late addition clarifying the previous verse. It expands on what type of persecution will be faced, and also is more explicit on the eventual reward.[1] France feels it might also integrate elements from Isaiah 51:7. It also is somewhat similar to Luke 6:22, and both may be drawn from the same original source.[2]

This verse is also seen to give important information about the Christians at the time the Gospel was written. The discussion of the persecution of Christians, which did not begin until some time after Jesus' crucifixion, to most scholars is evidence that this is the period the Gospel of Matthew was written in. Other believers feel that Jesus is merely accurately predicting the events that will unfold after his death. The Gospel of Matthew refers to only verbal attacks, and this was likely the main form of abuse suffered by the Christians at this time. Schweizer notes that slander and insults were of great importance in that era. Verbal attacks meant that the Christians were ostracized from their communities, and in that era community support was essential to survival.[3] Gundry notes that Luke has excommunication as one of the forms of persecution, perhaps indicating the differences in situation between the writings of the two Gospels.[4]

The verse is careful to note that the persecuted are blessed only when they are reproached and slandered falsely. Schweizer notes that the early Christian communities had problem with impostors only pretending to be Christian who might have been worthy of reproach by others.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975
  2. ^ France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985.
  3. ^ Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975
  4. ^ Gundry, Robert H. Matthew a Commentary on his Literary and Theological Art. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982.
  5. ^ Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975


Preceded by
Matthew 5:10
Gospel of Matthew
Chapter 5
Succeeded by
Matthew 5:12