Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

Last year, a friend in UK sent me an email and mentioned that: “I could see that you don’t need to have lots of things to be happy, it reminded me of a part in the Bible, Matthew 5:3 it says in Chinese: 自覺有屬靈需要的人有福了” . The English version is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

So how to understand it?

Here is also the answer from him. In his replied mail, he explained it to me:

That is a good question. As you know, the Bible was not written in English, or Chinese! So in the original Greek, the word translated ‘Poor’ literally means ‘beggars’ [乞丐]. So those who are beggars for the spirit. In other words, those who really want it.

So what Jesus said was (that) happy are those who are wanting more spirit, or to fill their spiritual needs. That is why some English versions of the Bible says something like: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need” (The New World Translation) or in Chinese “自覺”.

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