(Mt 5:22 AKJV) But I say to you, That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…
Everyone I’ve ever encountered who became angry (including myself) had a reason for his anger. I cannot even imagine anyone being angry without any cause for his anger. In my mind, that phrase (without a cause) entirely destroys the impact of Jesus’ teaching. Indeed it makes Jesus’ instruction meaningless since no one ever becomes angry about nothing.
However, there is good reason to believe that the Greek word “εικη” which has been translated in this verse as “without a cause” was not in the original. First I looked at my copy of all the extant Greek papyri of New Testament passages prior to the year A.D. 300. Only one contained Matthew 5:22, and even that one was legible only in the first part of the verse. One couldn’t determine whether or not it contained the word “εικη.” Next I looked at the classic early codices that include the New Testament. In both Vaticanus (A.D. 300-325) and Sinaiticus (A.D. 330-360) “εικη” does not occur in Matthew 5:22. However it DOES occur in Alexandrinus (A.D. 400-440). Did some copyist who sometimes got angry with others add the word to justify himself?
The following translations do not include “without a cause” or any equivalent:
ASV, Darby, ESV, LEB, NHEB, NRSV, Wey.
There are probably many others.