Normally, we at the Egg don't spend much time on the Hoover Institution website. Right-wing think tanks don't interest us much, and Hoover's "scholars" are a pretty contemptible crowd of partisan hacks, with few real scholarly attainments.
But we made an exception for Tod Lindberg's essay on the Beatitudes, excerpted from a forthcoming book on the political philosophy of Jesus. Parts of the essay are pointless (Is Jesus "predicting" or "promising"? Ask me why I care). Much of it is humdrum, at least to people who read the work of real Biblical scholars (which Lindberg is not, and does not pretend to be). But the conclusion is worth quoting, and I would except that the Hoover Institute's crummy website won't let me cut-and-paste.
So click the link. And don't tell 'em who sent you.