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" Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the ressurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead". 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

  1. Who is blessed?

  2. Why do versions differ? e.g. KJB and NET Bible have "Blessed", but NIV, CPE, Holman C.S.B. and New Living Translation have "praise". "Praise be to the God and Father..". NIV

  3. Why is Blessed in 1 Peter 1:3 "eulogetos", but in Luke 6:20-22 blessed comes from "makarioi"?

  4. How can the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed when in Hebrews 7:7 we read "It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior"?

  5. How does "eulogetos" relate to Hebrew? Would, "Blessed" is the man, in Psalm 1:1, be its equivalent?

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  • An even closer query might be : Does the wording mean 'Blessed be' or does it mean 'Blessed is ...' ? (Up-voted +1.)
    – Nigel J
    Sep 20 at 20:31
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1 Peter 1:3 ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead".

Who is blessed?

God is.

Why do versions differ?

Blessed [be]
Εὐλογητὸς (Eulogētos)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 2128: (used only of God), blessed (as entitled to receive blessing from man), worthy of praise. From eulogeo; adorable.

The Greek word also means "worthy of praise".

Εὐλογητὸς is an adjective. The verb to be is missing, New Living Translation

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why is Blessed in 1 Peter 1:3 "eulogetos", but in Luke 6:20-22 blessed comes from "makarioi"?

In Luke the word is
“Blessed [are]
Μακάριοι (Makarioi)
Adjective - Nominative Masculine Plural
Strong's 3107: Happy, blessed, to be envied. A prolonged form of the poetical makar; supremely blest; by extension, fortunate, well off.

In Peter, the word "eulogetos" is used only for God.

How can the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed when in Hebrews 7:7 we read "It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior"?

The Father is blessed in the sense that he is worthy of praise.

Hebrews 7:

7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.

is blessed
εὐλογεῖται (eulogeitai)
Verb - Present Indicative Middle or Passive - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 2127: (lit: I speak well of) I bless; pass: I am blessed. From a compound of eu and logos; to speak well of, i.e. to bless.

G2127 εὐλογεῖται is a verb.
G2128 Εὐλογητὸς is an adjective.

How does "eulogetos" relate to Hebrew? Would, "Blessed" is the man, in Psalm 1:1, be its equivalent?

Psalm 1:1

Blessed is the man who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,

LXX:

μακάριος ανήρ

No, the Hebrew and the Greek are not equivalent. The Greek word is reserved only for God. The Hebrew אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי is translated to the Greek μακάριος in this case.

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  • Do the Greek words mean 'blessed be' or 'blessed is' ?
    – Nigel J
    Sep 21 at 5:27
  • 1
    Εὐλογητὸς is an adjective. The verb to be is missing from the sentence.
    – Tony Chan
    Sep 21 at 14:05
  • @Tony Chan re: Hebrews 7:7 blessings fall from the One worthy of praise!
    – C. Stroud
    Sep 21 at 14:17
  • Good point. I added :)
    – Tony Chan
    Sep 21 at 14:39
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As Tony Chan has pointed out, both Hebrew and Greek use different words that are both often translated as "blessed"

בָּרוּךְ יְהוָה (barukh YHWH)

mostly translated as

ευλογητος κυριος (eulogètos Kyrios)

NIV translates it as "Praise be to the Lord"

Both בָּרוּךְ and ευλογητος are mostly used for men praising God (e.g. Ps 41:14 = LXX 40:13), but not exclusively, e.g. in Deuteronomy 7:14

בָּרוּךְ תִּהְיֶה, מִכָּל־הָעַמִּים

ευλογητος εση παρα παντα τα εθνη

God promises the blessings to the people of Israel.

The other word

אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי (ashre)

usually translated into Greek

μακαριος (makarios)

is mostly the blessing from God to men (e.g. Ps 1:1f., 32:1f. ... , Lk 6:20f., Mt 5,3f.) except Ps 137:8

NIV and most other translations usually translate it as "Blessed"

Indeed, Hebrews 7:7 uses the word εὐλογέω (eulogeó). The rule that the higher usually praises the lower is neither etymologically nor practically supported; it is rather constructed to support the author's particular argumentation.

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εὐλογητός, the first word in 1 Peter 1:3, is used 8 times in the New Testament. But it is one of the words in the Septuagint that translates the common Hebrew word ברך.

LXX Greek words translating ברך

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Even most of the unlabeled pieces of the pie chart has a word based on εὐλογέω. The BAGD lexicon gives εὐλογέω the meaning of 1. speak well of [εὐ - well, λογέω - speak], praise, extol when God is the object and 2. bless when people are the object. In the BDB lexicon בָּרַךְ means 1. to kneel down as before God and 2. with the passive participle bless as with God as the ultimate agent.

In Luke 6:20-22 μακάριος has the sense of already blessed, happy, fortunate, not the exhortative sense in 1 Peter 1:3. In the LXX μακάριος translates the Hebrew word אֶ֫שֶׁר which means happiness, blessedness of according to the BDB lexicon. Note אֶ֫שֶׁר is the Hebrew word in Psalm 1:1 and the LXX translates it as μακάριος.

But, you hit on why people tend to translate εὐλογητός or בָּרַךְ praise when God is the object. Praise seems more appropriate of what we can give God while bless is what God can do for us. The idea of blessed in the sense of an existing state rather than something wished or exhorted for is the sense of μακάριος or אֶ֫שֶׁר.

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Background

First, let be very clear about the operative word ("blessed") here in 1 Peter 1:3 is εὐλογητός - an adjective literally meaning "well spoken of". [It is very different from the other word translated "blessed" used in places like Matt 5 which is the adjective μακάριος = "happy".]

The word εὐλογητός (eulogétos) only occurs 8 times (Mark 14:61, Luke 1:68, Rom 1:25, 9:5, 2 Cor 1:3, 11:31, Eph 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3) and is used EXCLUSIVELY in the NT to refer to The Father and Jesus. According to BDAG it can be translated as either:

blessed, praised ... Of Christ MPol 14:1 ὁ εὐλογητός as a periphrasis for the name of God which is not mentioned out of reverence Mark 14:61.

In the LXX it is also applied to God such as in 1 Kings 1:48, 2 Chron 2:11, 6:4, Ps 71:18.

[The Latin equivalent is used in the Latin Grace before a mean, "Benedictus benedicat." = May the Blessed One [Jesus Christ] bless.]

Answer to OP's Questions:

  1. In 1 Peter 1:3, the One blessed or praised is "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
  2. The difference between "blessed" and "praise" is documented above - both are as good as English can give for the translation of the Greek εὐλογητός (eulogétos). The Amplified Bible gives this: "Blessed [gratefully praised and adored]" The GNT is one other exception which has: "Let us give thanks to". This is a bit of a linguistic stretch.
  3. For the distinction between εὐλογητός (eulogétos = well spoken of) and μακάριος = "happy", see above.
  4. In Heb 7:7 we have the cognate verb εὐλογέω used very extensively (43 times) in the NT. The verb is used often when "praising" God such as James 3:9, John 12:13, Luke 24:53, 19:38, 13:35, 2:28, 1:42, Mark 11:9, Matt 23:39, 21:9, etc. The comment in Heb 7:7 is discussing a unique situation that might be the subject of another question but does not lay down a general rule as shown here. However, it is for this reason that I personally prefer "praise" in this instance rather than "bless" but both are correct.
  5. In Ps 1;1 we have the word אֶשֶׁר (esher) = happiness, blessedness, and thus is closer in meaning to the Greek μακάριος = "happy".

Note: In Ps 118:26 we have -

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.

The highlighted words here are both בָרַךְ (barak) = "to kneel, bless", quite different from that in Ps 1:1 above. It is translated by εὐλογητός (eulogétos) in the NT in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, Luke 20:17, Acts 4:11, and 1 Peter 2:7, where in all these instances, people bless (give honor and glory to) God.

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  • +1 At first I misread operative in the operative word ("blessed") as optative. I guess I've studied too much Greek. Of course optative is like Κύριε, ἐλέησον and Κύριε Ιησοῦ Χριστέ, ἐλέησόν με. I got sidetracked a little. Its nominative of course. So, I didn't understand why anyone would say otherwise.
    – Perry Webb
    Sep 21 at 0:57
  • LOL ! I am glad I am not the only one that has made that kind of mistake. Welcome to the human race!
    – Dottard
    Sep 21 at 1:09
  • Do the Greek words convey 'Blessed be' or 'Blessed is' in 1 Peter 1:3. ?
    – Nigel J
    Sep 21 at 5:28
  • 1
    @NigelJ - it is a simple adjective - nominative, masculine singular - the "be" or "is" verb must be supplied. Literally, the first sentence reads: Blessed the God and Father of the Lord ... So a more accurate translation might be, "The blessed Father of of the Lord ... "
    – Dottard
    Sep 21 at 6:35
  • That's what my instinct was @Dottard . Thank you.
    – Nigel J
    Sep 21 at 7:01

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