An investigation of the Beatitudes of Matthew: Between oral tradition and Greek text investigates the Beatitudes in the Gospel of Matthew. It starts with the Greek text as it is known today and works backwards to uncover the different stages of tradition. Each beatitude is reconstructed in both Hebrew and Aramaic in order to ascertain the oral tradition which gave rise to the Greek text and, ultimately, to suggest a theoretical rendering of the original words of Jesus. The results indicate that the original Beatitudes were given in Aramaic. They were subsequently translated into Hebrew and it is this Hebrew version which is the antecedent for the Greek text (which itself underwent successive modifications) known today. The value of the results of this investigation is a more accurate understanding of the words of Jesus, having obvious implications for Bible translations and commentaries. The results further give a glimpse into how the Beatitudes were understood at the different stages of tradition and assess their modern interpretation in the light of their history.
Thesis (DLitt (Ancient Languages))--University of Pretoria, 2006.