043 Blessed the Poor

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This page forms part of the resources for 043 Blessed the Poor in the Jesus Database project of FaithFutures Foundation

Crossan Inventory | 043 Literature | 043 Parallels | 043 Commentary | 043 Poetry | 043 Images


(1) GThom. 54
(2a) 1Q: Luke 6:20 = Matt 5:3
(2b) Pol. Phil. 2:3e
(3) Jas 2:5

Crossan analysis:

Item: 43
Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
Attestation: Triple
Historicity: +
Common Sayings Tradition: Yes


(1) Thom 54

Jesus said, "Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven's domain." [Complete Gospels]

No copies of this portion of Thomas survive in Greek. For the Coptic version see [Early Christian Writings]

(2) The Beatitudes

(2a) 1Q: Luke 6:20

Then he looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

Καὶ αὐτὸς ἐπάρας τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ εἰς τοὺς μαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔλεγεν· Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοί, ὅτι ὑμετέρα ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ.(Luke 6:20 GNT-T)

= Matt 5:3

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ τῷ πνεύματι, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν. (Matthew 5:3 GNT-T)

(2b) PolPhil 2:3e

Therefore prepare for action and serve God in fear and truth, leaving behind the empty and meaningless talk and the error of the crowd, and believing in the one who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead and gave him glory and a throne at his right hand. To him all things in heaven and on earth were subjected, whom every breathing creature serves, who is coming as judge of the living and the dead, for whose blood God will hold responsible those who disobey him. But the one who raised him from the dead will raise us also, if we do his will and follow his commandments and love the things he loved, while avoiding every kind of unrighteousness, greed, love of money, slander and false testimony, not repaying evil for evil or insult for insult or blow for blow or curse for curse, but instead remembering what the Lord said as he taught: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged; forgive, and you will be forgiven; show mercy, so that you may be shown mercy; with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you;” and, “blessed are the poor and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.” (Philippians 2:1–3 AF-E)

Διὸ ἀναζωσάμενοι τὰς ὀσφύας δουλεύσατε τῷ θεῷ ἐν φόβῳ καὶ ἀληθείᾳ, ἀπολιπόντες τὴν κενὴν ματαιολογίαν καὶ τὴν τῶν πολλῶν πλάνην, πιστεύσαντες εἰς τὸν ἐγείραντα τὸν κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν καὶ δόντα αὐτῷ δόξαν καὶ θρόνον ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ· ᾧ ὑπετάγη τὰ πάντα ἐπουράνια καὶ ἐπίγεια, ᾧ πᾶσα πνοὴ λατρεύει, ὅς ἔρχεται κριτὴς ζώντων καὶ νεκρῶν, οὗ τὸ αἷμα ἐκζητήσει ὁ θεὸς ἀπὸ τῶν ἀπειθούντων αὐτῷ. ὁ δὲ ἐγείρας αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν καὶ ἡμᾶς ἐγερεῖ, ἐὰν ποιῶμεν αὐτοῦ τὸ θέλημα καὶ πορευώμεθα ἐν ταῖς ἐντολαῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀγαπῶμεν ἃ ἠγάπησεν, ἀπεχόμενοι πάσης ἀδικίας, πλεονεξίας, φιλαργυρίας, καταλαλιάς, ψευδομαρτυρίας· μὴ ἀποδιδόντες κακὸν ἀντὶ κακοῦ ἢ λοιδορίαν ἀντὶ λοιδορίας ἢ γρόνθον ἀντὶ γρόνθου ἢ κατάραν ἀντὶ κατάρας, μνημονεύοντες δὲ ὧν εἶπεν ὁ κύριος διδάσκων· μὴ κρίνετε, ἵνα μὴ κριθῆτε· ἀφίετε, καὶ ἀφεθήσεται ὑμῖν· ἐλεᾶτε, ἵνα ἐλεηθῆτε· ᾧ μέτρῳ μετρεῖτε, ἀντιμετρηθήσεται ὑμῖν· καὶ ὅτι μακάριοι οἱ πτωχοὶ καὶ οἱ διωκόμενοι ἕνεκεν δικαιοσύνης, ὅτι αὐτῶν ἐστὶν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ θεοῦ. (Philippians 2:1–3 AF)

(3) James 2:5

My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? 2 For is a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, 3 and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, "Have a seat here, please," while to the one who is poor you say, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet," 4 have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters, has not God chosen the poor of the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? 7 Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you? [NRSV]

Ἀκούσατε, ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί· οὐχ ὁ θεὸς ἐξελέξατο τοὺς πτωχοὺς τῷ κόσμῳ πλουσίους ἐν πίστει καὶ κληρονόμους τῆς βασιλείας ἧς ἐπηγγείλατο τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν; (James 2:5 GNT-T)