Written by Paul J. Bucknell on November, 08, 2019
Blessed or blessings: A New Testament Study
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?
3 “Blessed 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).
3 “Blessed 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).
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.
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.
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”
- Summarize the difference in meaning between these two Greek words that are translated “blessed.”
- Do the two words share anything in common other than the English translation?
- What brings happiness? Why?
- Write a paragraph in your own words that traces the blessings described in Ephesians 1:3.