Encyclopedia of Christianity Online

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The beatitude, or “makarism,” is a literary form commonly beginning with the word “blessed” (Gk. makarios) and constituting some declaration of good fortune for persons. Familiar to Greek literature in both the classical and Hellenistic periods, it is most often used to extol persons considered to be happy according to the ideals of Greek philosophy (e.g., those attaining wealth, honor, wisdom, or virtue).

In the OT, beatitudes appear almost exclusively in the Psalms and Wisdom literature, where they mainly serve the purpose of ethical exhortation. God, the giver of …

Cite this page
Kingsbury, Jack Dean, “Beatitudes”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 28 May 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_B125>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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