Q. I was looking on the web for the beatitudes when I stumbled upon them in the Catholic Encyclopedia. I was shocked when I read there that they have substituted the word “righteousness” with “justice.” To me these are very different things. When we speak of justice we usually mean redress in a legal sense. If you commit a crime against me I desire justice, for example. But when I think of righteousness I think of a divine attribute that can only be gained via relationship and bestowal from God through Christ. (Rom 3:10 & 2 Cor 5:21.) So it seems to me that the Catholic Encyclopedia is substituting a man-to-man relationship for a man-to-God necessity. What are your thoughts on this?
A. The Greek word translated righteousness in Matt. 5:10 can also be translated justice, although in 92 New Testament appearances it is always translated righteousness. As far as I can tell from checking other translations only Catholic Bibles use justice, although some of the modern paraphrases also use words that downgrade righteousness to a human level.