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Give an account of the religious and moral teaching of the Beatitudes.

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Give an account of the religious and moral teaching of the Beatitudes. [35] The Sermon on the Mount is one of the key sections of the New Testament, in which Jesus builds upon the Decalogue to form the first blueprint of Christian ethics. Jesus was preaching in direct contrast to the Greek philosophy of stoicism, which sought to separate man from his emotions. Emotions, especially love, feature heavily in the Sermon on the Mount. It remains ethically relevant over 2000 years later for many reasons, the first of which is the underlying principles behind it. Jesus did not come to abolish Old Testament law, but to fulfil it. The Jews were trapped in a system of harsh legalism, where obedience was motivated by fear rather than love. The Pharisees made a grand display of holiness by keeping the law, but the Sermon on the Mount teaches that their hearts were empty. Jesus built on the Ten Commandments to create a system ruled by mercy, love and dedication to God, and this is clearly evidenced through the Beatitudes (Matthew 5 1-13). ...read more.


Here the author is not thinking of it in that context but referring to those who mourn for the sin and suffering in the world. Christianity is about caring so it refers to the man who cares intensely for the suffering he sees. Out of that suffering such a man will be strengthened and find the joy of God. Then we have, ?blessed are the meek.? The original Greek word means `reverent obedience'. This speaking about the person who has the humility to know his own weakness and his own needs; a person who is not resentful and bears no grudges. Such a man is `King among men'. The Beatitudes also refer to one who, ?hungers after righteousness.? This is the person who has a moral hunger to see good done and standards of morality defended. The Beatitudes, unlike the Levitical law, are not a list of emphatic ?do? and ?do not? statements ? they teach that we must have mercy on sinners in able to be truly moral. It involves a deep compassion for others; a feeling which comes from the fact that everyone needs to be forgiven. ...read more.


There is divided scholarly opinion on, ?blessed are the peacemakers.? Some interpret this as advocating pacifism, but others assert it is not necessarily talking about physical violence. This is not advocating the avoidance of issues for the sake of peace or the avoidance of conflict at any cost. It is those who actively seek peace and deals with issues before they develop. This means involvement. Such people are doing God's work. Such work can lead to persecution, which is addressed in the next Beatitude: ?Blessed are those who are persecuted.? Jesus did not leave people in doubt about the commitment of the Christian life and the attitudes that opponents might take. Christianity should be demanding in every aspect of life. Such persecution is not a disgrace but an honour. Finally, the Christian is told to be rejoice and be glad. Jesus, in the Beatitudes, set out certain principles and values for his disciples to follow. These characteristics should make Christians different from the rest of the world, and so make a difference to the world in which they live. To quote Stephen Rummelsberg, ?The Beatitudes are the centrepiece of the Sermon on the Mount and throughout the life of the Church they have been central to moral theology.? ...read more.

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