François Bovon on the Sermon on the Plain

FracoisIn his 2002 Hermeneia commentary, François Bovon pauses to offer reflective comments on the beatitudes and woes in Luke 6:20–26. He recognizes his current position of privilege and feels the present tension of the message of Jesus.

Prior to his exegesis of the passage, he stops to offer the following reflection:

How can I, a well-off exegete, dare to interpret the Beatitudes in a world of poverty. In no wise could I style myself an intermediary. My only possible orientation is not on the side of Jesus, but rather on that of the listens. I may only hear blessings and woes. This seems also to have been Luke’s position. It is not even certain that Luke counted the disciples among the poor. Jesus indeed looks at them, but after ἒλεγεν (“[he] said”) Luke places no pronouns (in contrast to v. 27). The “you” of the blessings and woes drifts beyond the audience present and describes, almost apocalyptically, the truly blessed and the truly accursed. But everyone should feel themselves addressed. According to Luke, Jesus’ diagnosis is irrevocable, for Jesus, like Moses, comes from the place of revelation, from he mountain, and conveys, like Moses, the “living word” (Acts 7:38).

François Bovon, Luke 1: A Commentary on the Gospel of Luke 1:1–9:50, Hermeneia (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002), 223.


One thought on “François Bovon on the Sermon on the Plain

  1. Pingback: François Bovon on the Sermon on the Plain — Doctrinae Coram Deo | Talmidimblogging

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