Beatitudes

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Beatitudes

(bē-ăt`ĭto͞odz') [Lat.,=blessing], in the Gospel of St. Matthew, eight blessings uttered by Jesus at the opening of the Sermon on the Mount. Some, counting verses differently, say there are nine. In a parallel passage in the Gospel of St. Luke, only four of the blessings appear, with four corresponding woes.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Beatitudes

 

New Testament precepts of moral and social character ascribed to Jesus Christ by Christian tradition and invested with divine authority (The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, ch. 5, and Luke, ch. 6). They define which people may hope for beatification because of their social and moral condition (“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”). They also call on those in want to be humble and submissive (“Do not resist one who is evil”). Societies with antagonistic class conditions use the Beatitudes to strengthen the system based on exploitation.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In a Christian context, the Renfrewshire Temple's octagonal shape is a memento of the eight points of the Cross of Calvary and the eight beatitudes preached by Christ on the Sermon on the Mount.
Like His Holiness, I am quoting these eight beatitudes in full:
The 'eight maids a-milking' are the eight Beatitudes. For many a sleep-deprived mother, eight could also stand for a full eight hours of sleep at night!
And, of course, in the counter-cultural Eight Beatitudes in Matthew 5, Jesus says that the "poor in spirit" are blessed.
The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
Eight maids a-milking are the eight beatitudes - the virtues in life Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount.
Eight maids a-milking refers to the eight beatitudes
The other parts of the song also have symbolic meanings as follows: Two turtle doves - the Old and New Testaments Three French hens - the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity Four calling birds - the four gospels or the four evangelists Five golden rings - the Pentateuch or the first five books of the Bible which describe the fall of humanity from grace Six geese-a-laying - the six days of creation Seven swans-a-swimming - the seven sacraments and the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit Eight maids-a-milking - the eight beatitudes Nine ladies dancing - the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit Ten Lords-a-leaping - the Ten Commandments Eleven pipers piping - the 11 faithful apostles Twelve drummers drumming - the 12 articles of the Apostles Creed'O
Here are the original words, and the supposed translation into church beliefs: Twelve drummers drumming: twelve church beliefs in the Apostles' Creed Eleven pipers piping: the apostles minus one (Judas); Ten lords a-leaping: Ten Commandments; Nine ladies dancing: nine angelic choirs; Eight maids a-milking: eight beatitudes; Seven swans a-swimming: the Catholic sacraments; Six geese a-laying: six days of creation; Five golden rings: first five books of the Old Testament; Four calling birds: the Gospels; Three French hens: the gifts of the wise men; Two turtle doves: the Old and New Testaments; A partridge in a pear tree: Jesus himself, and the cross.
There are also Eight Beatitudes, Ten Commandments, Twelve Apostles, Twelve Fruits of the Holy Spirit, and Twenty-one Ecumenical Councils.