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Abbreviated Word Study, G4434, ptōchos

Discussion in 'Bible Versions & Translations' started by Van, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Mar 4, 2011
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    The Greek word ptochos is almost always translated as "poor" but is also translated as beggar or beggarly. Jesus said, “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The question before us is just who are these that are “poor in spirit.”

    Now the Greek word translated as “poor” refers to folks that obtain what they need by begging as opposed to other poor folks who scrape by on what they can earn each day. Hence the verse (Matthew 5:3) might be understood to mean “blessed on the beggarly in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    A beggar is neither self-sufficient nor proud; he or she relies on another for their needs and desires. So it is not too far of a stretch to think poor in spirit refers to reliance on God. In Luke 16, Jesus provides us with an insight into the afterlife where someone who was self-sufficient and did not rely on God goes to Hades where he then begs and this is contrasted with a beggar who trusted in God and becomes rich in comfort and relationships in the afterlife. Both could be aptly described by the oxymoron “affluent poor” because the one thought he was rich when in fact he was another of the wretched poor, whereas the other thought of himself as nothing, a needful beggar, but was in fact rich in spiritual rewards.

    In James 2:5, James tells us we should not judge folks by the world’s value system, i.e. how well to do a person is, but rather we should avoid becoming judges with evil thoughts. “Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor to this world, rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which He promised to those who love Him?”

    To rely and depend of Christ, to trust Him with our life, rather than our self-sufficiency reflects the message of the verse “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

    All this to say when you come across the word "poor" consider whether lacking material wealth is in view, or perhaps poor might refer to a person of humility who depends on God or both characteristics combined.
    #1 Van, Sep 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 26, 2014