Matthew 5:22

Matthew 5:22

Matthew 5:22 is the twenty-second verse of the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament and is part of the Sermon on the Mount. It is the first of what have traditionally been known as the Antitheses, in which Jesus compares the current interpretation of the Mosaic law covering murder with his ideal one.

Contents

Text

The original Koine Greek, according to Westcott and Hort, reads:

εγω δε λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο οργιζομενος τω αδελφω αυτου
ενοχος εσται τη κρισει ος δ αν ειπη τω αδελφω αυτου
ρακα ενοχος εσται τω συνεδριω ος δ αν ειπη μωρε
ενοχος εσται εις την γεενναν του πυρος

In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads:

But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his
brother without a cause shall be in danger of the
judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca,
shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall
say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

The World English Bible translates the passage as:

But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his
brother without a cause shall be in danger of the
judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, 'Raca!'
shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say,
'You fool!' shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.

For a collection of other versions see BibRef Matthew 5:22

Analysis

This verse asserts that just as great a crime as murder itself, is the anger that leads to it. Schweizer notes that this view is not particularly new to Jesus, appearing in the Old Testament at places such as Ecclesiastes 7:9 and in works such as Sirach, the Slavonic Enoch, Pesahim, and Nedraim.[1] A similar teaching also appears at 1 John 3:15.[2] Gundry notes that "I say to you" is one of Matthew's favourite phrases using it 68 times.[3] Schweizer feels it is used here to link to the word of God in the previous verse.[4]

Davies and Allison note that the references to brothers is probably an allusion to the story of Cain and Abel.[5] Nolland notes that the word usually translated as brother is gender neutral in the original Greek, and is more accurately translated as "brother or sister."[6] Harrignton notes that brother does not literally refer to sibling, or even to just the small group of followers or disciples. Rather he states that the verse should be read as referring to all Isrealites or all human beings.[7] France disagrees, feeling that in this particular verse Jesus is referring only to the group of disciples.[8]

Early manuscripts are divided between whether this verse should read "whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment" or "whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment." The two versions are significantly different in implication and most modern scholars feel that "without a cause" was a later addition by a copyist trying to make the statement less radical.[9]

Insults

The word Raca is original to the Greek manuscript; however, it is not a Greek word. The most common view is that it is a reference to the Aramaic word reka, which literally means "empty one", but probably meant "empty headed," or "foolish." Scholars seem divided on how grievous an insult it was. Hill feels it was very,[10] France thinks it was a minor slur.[11] Jesus uses the term himself in Matthew 23:17 when he is deriding the Pharisees. The word translated as fool is the Greek moros, which has a similar meaning to the Aramaic reka. However moros also was used to mean godless, and thus could be much more severe a term than reka. It is very similar to the Greek word for apostate, and Albright and Mann feel that word was originally intended, but the current version is a typo. The reading of godless can explain why the punishment is more severe.[12]

This verse has also recently become part of the debate over the New Testament view of homosexuality. Some scholars have argued that raca can mean effeminate, and was a term of abuse for homosexuals. Similarly moros can also refer to a homosexual aggressor. From Semitic cognates Warren Johansson argued that the word was an Aramaic pejorative, similar to the English words faggot or fairy. By these interpretations Jesus could be specifically condemning homophobia. Most scholars reject this view, considering it more likely that the terms were meant as general insults, rather than specific attacks on homosexuals. See also the Bible and homosexuality.[13][14]

Punishments

While some scholars have searched for one, the offenses in the verse do not seem to increase in severity. By contrast the verse contains an escalating scale of punishment.[15] Those that are angry with their brother are said to be subject to judgement. This is often interpreted as the judgement of the local council, which would mete out justice in a community. The council is generally seen as a reference to the Sanhedrin, the council of leading religious thinkers that acted as the central court in Jerusalem. Most controversial is what fate is implied by the third punishment. In Greek the word used is Gehenna, it refers to a valley south of Jerusalem where the was an ever burning rubbish fire, and where in the past human sacrifices had been cremated. Some scholars feel that this is a metaphor for damnation and for Hell, and it was traditionally translated this way. Albright and Mann, reject this view and feel that Jesus was here literally referring to the valley and the potential of being thrown in there as punishment.[16] Gehenna appears six other times in the Gospel of Matthew: 5:29, 5:30, 10:28, 18:19, 23:15, and 23:33[17]

Some scholars reject that the idea that the first two sections are referring to secular institutions. Albright and Mann argue that only God could known a person's internal emotions, and no human institution could punish such crimes.[18] Hill argues that this verse has been misunderstood as applying to the general population. He feels that the reference to brothers means that these rules are not meant for society at large, but only the disciples and leaders of the new religion, and that the council refers to an internal structure.[19]

References

  1. ^ Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975
  2. ^ Davies, W.D. and Dale C. Allison, Jr. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew. Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1988-1997. pg. 77
  3. ^ Gundry, Robert H. Matthew a Commentary on his Literary and Theological Art. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982.
  4. ^ Schweizer, Eduard. The Good News According to Matthew. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1975
  5. ^ Davies, W.D. and Dale C. Allison, Jr. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew. Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1988-1997. pg. 77
  6. ^ Nolland, John. The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary on the Greek text. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2005 pg. 230
  7. ^ Harrington, Daniel J. The Gospel of Matthew. Liturgical Press, 1991 pg. 86
  8. ^ France, R.T.. The Gospel of Matthew. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007 pg. 134
  9. ^ France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985. pg. 120
  10. ^ Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981
  11. ^ France, R.T. The Gospel According to Matthew: an Introduction and Commentary. Leicester: Inter-Varsity, 1985.
  12. ^ Albright, W.F. and C.S. Mann. "Matthew." The Anchor Bible Series. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.
  13. ^ Johansson, Warren "Whosoever Shall Say To His Brother, Racha." Studies in Homosexuality, Vol XII: Homosexuality and Religion and Philosophy. Ed. Wayne Dynes & Stephen Donaldson. New York & London: Garland, 1992. pp. 212-214
  14. ^ Robinson, B. A. 1996-2005 What the Bible says about homosexuality. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
  15. ^ France, R.T.. The Gospel of Matthew. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007 pg. 202
  16. ^ Albright, W.F. and C.S. Mann. "Matthew." The Anchor Bible Series. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.
  17. ^ France, R.T.. The Gospel of Matthew. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2007 pg. 202
  18. ^ Albright, W.F. and C.S. Mann. "Matthew." The Anchor Bible Series. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1971.
  19. ^ Hill, David. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981


Gospel of Matthew
Preceded by:
Matthew 5:21
Chapter 5 Followed by:
Matthew 5:23

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Matthew — ist eine englische Form von Matthias und der Vorname folgender Personen: Matthew Bentley (* 1979), US amerikanischer Wrestler Matthew Best (* 1957), britischer Dirigent Matthew Broderick (* 1962), US amerikanischer Schauspieler Matthew Delaney… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Matthew 2:23 — is the twenty third verse of the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The young Jesus and the Holy Family have just returned from Egypt and in this verse are said to settle in Nazareth. This is the final verse of Matthew… …   Wikipedia

  • Matthew — 1 Matthew 2 Matthew 3 Matthew 4 Matthew 5 Matthew 6 Matthew 7 Matthew 8 Matthew 9 Matthew 10 Matthew 11 Matthew 12 …   The King James version of the Bible

  • Matthew 28:12 — is the twelfth verse of the twenty eighth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This verse is part of the resurrection narrative. In this verse the guards of the tomb, after being present for an angel hearkening the resurrection …   Wikipedia

  • Matthew 4:14–15 — Matthew 4:14 15 are the fourteenth and fifteenth verse of the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. In the previous verses Jesus returned to Galilee after hearing of the arrest of John the Baptist and then left Nazareth… …   Wikipedia

  • Matthew 4:16 — is the sixteenth verse of the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. In the previous verses Jesus returned to Galilee after hearing of the arrest of John the Baptist and then left Nazareth for Capernaum. This verse contains …   Wikipedia

  • Matthew 1:17 — is the seventeenth verse of the first chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse is the conclusion to the section where the genealogy of Joseph, the father of Jesus, is listed. Contents 1 Text 2 Reasons for the summary 3 …   Wikipedia

  • Matthew 28:11 — is the eleventh verse of the twenty eighth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This verse is part of the resurrection narrative. In this verse the guards of the tomb, after being present for an angel hearkening the resurrection …   Wikipedia

  • Matthew 28:8 — is the eight verse of the twenty eighth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This verse is part of the resurrection narrative. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary had just encountered an angel has appeared at the empty tomb of… …   Wikipedia

  • Matthew 3:11 — is the tenth verse of the third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. The verse occurs in the section relating the preachings of John the Baptist. In this verse he predicts that he will be followed by someone much greater than… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”