The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?


Berean Study Bible
“Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set upon your anger,

Anger is obviously an emotion we are born with. I am frequently angry with myself for saying or doing something that would have been best not done or said.

The important thing is to let our anger evaporate - no later than bedtime! I followed that advice throughout my marriage with Alida with very enjoyable results! :heart_eyes:


Davo, I am fully aware that there are no original texts in existence. My point was that those texts which were copied prior to A.D. 300 are more likely to be identical to the original text than a text formed from the majority of texts now in existence.


Many great things in humanity have been accomplished by controlled anger. Women’s rights, civil rights, rebellions to regimes that are dictatorships.

We need anger.

Much of the greatness of the USA, was developed by anger at what England was putting the original settlers through. They were pissed and had enough.

I like anger. I also like control, and responsibility. Those ingredients have done great things in societies.


I hate anger, and always feel ashamed if I have succumbed to it. However, the following words have helped me to dispense with anger:

Let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. (James 1:19,20 NAS)


This is simply an evangelical idea that has been perpetuated through the years assuming that all scripture is written to all people through all time… I appreciate that you hate anger, but I have another view and the view is as valid as yours, Your James relevance is actually, what I said to begin with. We need to enjoy how God made us and work through control to try to work with one another. I get mad, and yet realize that others do also, our lives are a fragile complicated life. It is what we are. The denominational Christians ALL try to throw us in a box… We are asked to do something. If you don’t perform, you are in trouble. I see it in a different and somehow more loving way. God created us how we are, has a reason for us and loves us no matter how stupid we are.

That’s my story and I’m going with it.


From what I’ve read I’m not so convinced that’s such a reliable supposition… again from what I’ve read. Having said that, I’m not saying you and Bob are wrong.


Back to the original question in this thread: I posted the question also in Steve Gregg’s forum, “The Narrow Path.” Steve is a well-known Bible teacher. He also has a call-in program in which he answers peoples’ questions about Bible passages. Here is his answer (Please comment):

Even though “without a cause” does not appear in the oldest manuscripts, and may have been added as a scribal gloss, it seems necessary for us to assume some such qualification in Jesus’ absolute-sounding statement.

First, because hyperbole is very common in the Sermon on the Mount, and must have been expected to be recognized by the hearers. If taken literally, the sermon would dictate many strange practices, including: that one must never pray outside a locked closet; one must give to every person who asks for something (even one’s children?); one must always go two miles when the one compelling him may wish only to go one mile; one must never say anything more than “yay” or “nay;” when sued at law, one must give the plaintiff double what he is suing for; one should check regularly to see if there is a plank in his eye that needs removing; one should never make moral judgments; etc. Hyperbole is very common in scripture—and especially in the teachings of Jesus (e.g., Matt.11:23; 12:32; 13:57; 16:4; 17:20; 18:8-9, 22; 19:24, 29; 21:21; 23:24; Luke 13:33; 14:26; 17:4; etc.)

Second, Jesus Himself got angry. I am not referring to the cleansing of the temple, where one might well deduce that Jesus was experiencing anger, but in Mark’s direct statement that Jesus had anger: “when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said…” (Mark 3:5).

Third, Jesus and Paul both seem to speak on anger as if the subject requires nuance. Paul also said to “let all…anger…be put away from you” (Ephesians.4:31). This was only five verses after his earlier statement, where he quoted Psalm 4:4 as to the need to “be angry and do not sin.”

I do not believe that Jesus was intending to condemn every instance of anger (including His own). The context (Matt.5:21-22) suggests that He was referring to the anger that is the mental counterpart of murder, just as He later forbad the lust that is the mental counterpart of adultery (vv.27-28). John probably had the same teaching in mind when he wrote “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15). Not all anger is hateful.

I believe that anger and fear are both emotions that we are repeatedly told to control and expel from our lives. They are both God-given visceral responses to certain stimuli—and appropriate in certain instances. Both are intended to motivate to appropriate action. We would be very unloving if we were not angry at certain situations requiring our courageous intervention (e.g., abortion or the kidnapping and selling of girls into sex-slavery). We would rarely speak out for justice if we were never vexed by injustices (as Jesus was).

Similarly, fear is an important motivator to action—like the action of getting off the railroad tracks when the train is coming. Anger and fear are both emotions felt even by animals—meaning that are amoral, in themselves. The problems with such emotions (concerning which we are often warned in scripture) is that both of them may lead us to sin. Anger may prevent us from loving our enemy. Fear, also, when joined with cowardice, may tempt us to disregard intimidating duties.


Just another ‘opinion’. :roll_eyes:


When it comes from Steve Gregg, it is more than an opinion. Steve is a highly intelligent individual who has studied the Bible for many years; he is a teacher who answers tough questions on a call-in show.

I suggest that you listen to some of the call-in questions on the radio archives:


Paidion to Chad!

I came across this interesting essay:

Let me quote from it:

Until somebody trains you to believe that Calvinism is true, I believe that if you simply read the bible you get the impression that God operates in a certain way in His creation and redemption and that man operates a certain way in creation and redemption.

Well, that opinion by Steve Gregg - sounds logical to me.

Of course, the blog author has a different opinion:

So, is what Gregg said true? Do you have to be trained to believe that Calvinism is true? The answer is yes and no. People can study the same information and still interpret it differently. That happens all the time. In my opinion, when I began to be “trained” I could not come to any other conclusion than Calvinism was true. I would never have come to that conclusion if I had not started my “training”. Ultimately though, if you are studying with sincerity, God will bless your efforts and you will grow in your knowledge and obedience of Him.

Come to think of it, folks need to be “trained” …In order to see different positions, on this forum as true!

As a bonus, I’ll share this YouTube biography…Of a German healer, I came across:


I agree, the bible would be much less of a ‘problem’ if we just handed it to someone, and the minute they start asking questions about it (if they do) just explain ‘YOUR’ version, or opinion. And state that it is a version and opinion and be woman or man enough to share that there are 30,000+ different views out there, so there is no consensus. Training folks what to believe is what evangelicals do, and it is unfortunate.

Though alerting folks to the possibility of a ZA is also ‘training’ :grin: And you do a fine job my friend.


Thank you, very much Chad - for the compliment!


I feel that there is nothing wrong with anger, at all. It is what we do with it. Hunger can cause me to eat junk food, or steal someone’s sandwich. Does that make hunger bad? Arousal can get me in trouble with another person, or drive me to create a family. Is arousal wrong?

Feeling ashamed for getting angry is an aweful lot like our youth being told be ashamed when they get aroused. It is a troubling message to teach, in my opinion.


Yep, that’s also the usual interpretation of Paul’s words, “Be angry, but don’t sin.”


So Bob how do you see that in the 2019 version of life? Is there a place where anger is a positive thing?


IMO anger is a reasonable response to injustice. If your spouse, parent, sibling or child was murdered, and you weren’t angry at the bastard that did it, I would basically consider you a zombie.


Yepper, though Randy may have a say…


I am not Bob, but i’ll give you my perspective on this. I would say that anger can indeed be positive. Consider this first. How many people have a friend or an acquaintance that repeatedly displays some form of rudeness to you. It doesn’t matter what it is. How many people, in that situation, just bottle it up and say “Naw, no need to confront this person”. Their friend continues to do it and you continually get a bit upset, let it go. Until, one day, you explode?

Now, let’s take scenario and allow the anger to bring the situation to a head. Let’s say the first time he does it, you say “ahh, he probably didn’t mean too, or maybe it was mistake”, no big deal. But then you start to see a pattern. Anger can allow you to confront the situation for the benefit of BOTH of you. It can show this person that what they are doing is rude (which, quite possibly, might be bothering many other people as well) and then now having been enlightened and made aware of this blind spot, can correction take place.

I am convinced that there are MANY things that people do in life that are not intended to be rude, but are interpreted as such. To be honest, I find it hard to believe a decent human being goes out their way to be rude to anyone. They might do selfish things, but I don’t think that in and of itself is an intention to be rude. Anger, tempered anger, can allow us to confront the issue. Anger can be a good emotion at the right time and with the right actions.

But, as we all know, it can be very destructive as well. "stimulus -> response -> action. Response and actions as the result of the anger are what matters, not the emotion of anger.


Thanks Gabe. I agree.


Yes, qaz and Gabe said it well. If anger motivates us to face and deal with important issues, it is a treasure. Jesus clearly felt anger toward injustice and e.g. the Temple’s practice of co-opting the Court of the Gentiles, and he channeled that into a challenge of such practices.