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Margaret Aymer


Do I think what could be a negative message? I don't understand your question

Brendon Yeager Dawson

You think, this could be the negative message?

Margaret Aymer


I'm glad you asked.

I'm basing my translation on current research of the word μακαριος (makarios) as the Greek translation of the Hebrew ashre (honorable), which is part of the greater honor/shame system in the ancient world.

Social-scientific work on the honor-shame system is done by scholars like me, and like Jerome Neyrey, Richard Rohrbaugh, Bruce Malina, David DaSilva, K. C. Hanson, Douglass Oakman and others. (One of the best sources to understand the entire honor/shame nexus is Hanson and Oakman's Palestine in the Time of Jesus: http://www.amazon.com/Palestine-Time-Jesus-Structures-Conflicts/dp/0800663098/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328047536&sr=8-1)

One of several articles on the makarisms (beatitudes and other places that makarios is used) as dealing with "honor" rather than words of power (which is what blessings are -- the Lord bless you, for instance), is thankfully also available on the web here: http://www.kchanson.com/ARTICLES/mak.html. I read it in its published form.

In this, Hanson makes the argument that other scholars make: that the words μακαριος and ουαι mean more "honorable/shameful" than "blessed/cursed".

The Latin translators of the NT understood this also. That's why they translate μακαριος differently from the Greek word for blessed eulogos, ευλογος. For ευλογος, they choose benedictus, the root of our world "benediction" --the word that actually means "blessing." For μακαριος, they choose beatus, a word that refers to someone in the community being held up as an example for others (thus beatification).

Other possible translations you will see in the BDAG lexicon for Μακαριος are "privileged" and "happy." However, neither of these capture the circumstances of the beatitudes. (What would "happy are they who mourn" mean?)

I hope this is helpful


I cannot find anywhere that makarios is translated honored. I only find blessed, happy, blissful, etc. Honored does change the meaning of the
Beatitudes, but should we. Where do you find this translation?

Susan Morris

Margaret, thank you so much for your response. And yes, I have been challenged, and I believe that self reflection and self examination are in order for me. Thank you, also, for the links. I'm eager to learn!

Margaret Aymer


I am glad you have been challenged. My answer to your question, can the Accra confession be omitted, my answer is "Yes but..." Before you dismiss this information as inaccurate because it goes against what you have always believed, I invite you to read and consider the study documents prepared for the confession by Reformed sisters and brothers from around the world. These are women and men who are Presbyterian and Lutheran and Reformed and so on from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches which has now become the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

The questions you must ask yourself is this: why would representatives of 80 million Reformed Christians from around the world lie? And, if your sister from Africa or Asia or Latin America is hurt by our lifestyle, can we simply close our eyes and say, "It's not true?"

Here are some links to important websites that can let you examine what the church confessed in Accra, Ghana. If you truly care about this God-beloved world and believe that the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you, I invite you to consider them carefully and prayerfully.


Susan Morris

My church circle is studying your lessons "Confessing the Beatitudes". I was excited about this study until I read The Accra Confession. For me, this document is not based in reality and contains many falsehoods. It pits one group of people against the other in order to achieve an end that is not realistic. Can your lessons on the Beatitudes be enjoyed without believing in The Accra Confession? I am somewhat disturbed by this.


Mary Dusenberry

Please remind me of the date and occasion when the PCUSA PW accepted the Accra Confession. Thank you, Mary Dusenberry

Kathy W

When you changed the word to 'honor', then for those who are living on the street, it changed me. I drove past a young man asking for money on a corner, and I judged him. He was healthy,young, decent clothes, I didn't feel he needed my help. Then,I saw Jesus in him, and honored a human being, not judge him. I went back and offered him some small financial help. A larger picture than this
can affect all of us. More substantial help. Or work with those who do help the destitute.

Michele Simmons

After studying "Confessing the Beatitudes" with Margaret Aymer leading last month, I have been challenged to greatly honor many that society chooses to ignore--including the poor, homeless, and oppressed. As I drive through nearby cities, the least I can do is pray for those aforementioned. Beyond that, I will strive to keep my eyes, ears, and heart open to what God calls me to do to honor those Jesus calls us to honor in the beatitudes. It is time to be a lot uncomfortable and do kingdom work.

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