A New Testament study on blessed or blessings

Written by Paul J. Bucknell on November, 08, 2019

Blessed or blessings: A New Testament Study

The Question

Please help me out, is there a difference between the use of the word “Blessed” like in the Beatitudes or in Rev 1:3 and the term “Blessings” like in Eph 1:3?

3Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Rev 1:3).

3Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 5:3).

3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3).

______________

I added Matthew 5:3 as a representation of all the Beatitudes, which begin similarly, “Blessed are….” I like how each of them are verse 3 from the English Bible (this adds no extra meaning though).

Questions and Answers in the New Testament

The Discussion

You have the right discernment here by picking up on the possibility of a plurality of meanings to a common English word—blessed. Their original Greek root would affect their interpretations.

In actuality, Matthew 5:3 and Revelation 1:3 use a common Greek word (mak-ar’-ee-os), but Ephesians 1:3 uses a different word. The “blessed” in Matthew and Revelation, then, essentially means happy.

1) blessed, happy

a prolonged form of the poetical makar (meaning the same); supremely blest; by extension, fortunate, well off:- blessed, happy.

https://netbible.org/bible/Matthew+5

Ephesians 1:3 uses a different word (eulogetos). But note, the word blessed (blessing) is used three times in Ephesians 1:3. The Greek root word in all three cases, though, remains the same, meaning praised or blessed. This one Greek word combines two words: good + word= a good word.

1) blessed, praised

from 2127; adorable:-blessed.

https://netbible.org/bible/Ephesians+1

Conclusion

It is wise that you discern a possible different understanding due to the difference between Greek words, though the English translation is the same.

Jesus in Matthew 5 and John in Revelation 1 agree in their usage of ‘Blessed.’ If one would follow the action mentioned, goodness would come about in their lives. Obedience brings happiness or blessing in one’s life. James 1:12 also mentions “blessed” and mentions the reward to those who persevere and carry out God’s Word (James 1:19-27).

In Ephesians 1:3, however, we see a marvelous declaration being made regarding Christ and His wonderful work of salvation. Christ’s work for us brings about a situation where we can find a blessing. God is blessed by His very nature but has distributed His “every spiritual blessing” to us and thus sharing that essential glory with us.

For Further Study:

Check out this article on Ephesians 1:3.

Questions and Thoughts on “Blessed”

  1. Summarize the difference in meaning between these two Greek words that are translated “blessed.”
  2. Do the two words share anything in common other than the English translation?
  3. What brings happiness? Why?
  4. Write a paragraph in your own words that traces the blessings described in Ephesians 1:3.

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