Three insights I discovered along the way...
He was a great professor, and he opened the New Testament to me in many ways, but here his own leanings toward the interiority of spiritual life—he also lived in an ashram—frankly biased his interpretation of this word.
And so I arrive a truly profound Greek word study: the word for "peacemaker" eirenopoioi combines two words, “peace” and “make.”
This means that the Beatitudes are not simply the "Beautiful Attitudes." When Jesus, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) came to earth, he called us to make peace. And that's significant.
I do realize that what I've said here may lead some to ask, Does this mean we earn our salvation? No, it means we work out what God has worked in (Philippians 2:12-13). Actually better than "work out" in the Jewish context is "walk out" because the key image for devotion to God in Jewish thought is halakha, or "the way of walking."
The New Testament was written in a time during which the Romans overran countless peoples and frequently resorted to mass torture and genocide in dealing with resistance, and the quest for peace was not a romantic one but came with widely felt urgency. Jesus' famous statement "knock, and the door will open" (Matthew 7:7, Revelation 3:8) is not about heavenly doors because in the Biblical model heaven has no doors, but rather about the great War Doors of the temple of Janus Quirinus in Rome. In times of peace these doors were closed amidst great imperial fanfare, and the greatest door-closing festivals were held during the reigns of Nero and Vespasian, just prior and right after the Great Jewish Revolt and subsequent destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. [By the way, the name of the city means "in awe of peace, teaching peace"]