Have you EVER been angry without a cause?


#1

(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.


#2

If true , that makes a remarkable difference in my understanding of that verse.


#3

Actually Young’s Literal Translation puts it in an interesting way:

Mat 5:21 `Ye heard that it was said to the ancients: Thou shalt not kill, and whoever may kill shall be in danger of the judgment;
Mat 5:22 but I–I say to you, that every one who is angry at his brother without cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, and whoever may say to his brother, Empty fellow! shall be in danger of the sanhedrim, and whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire.

Puts a bit of a spin on it. It may well be a Jewish talking point! :laughing:


#4

Well, some manuscripts do have it… but maybe Jesus’ “without cause” (if indeed he said it) is just Jesus’ precautionary way of challenging one’s subjective reason for becoming angry in the first place, i.e., is your anger really justified? Etc.


#5

Well yes, but the real rub is the statement ‘shall be in danger of the gehenna of fire’ and you Davo can expound on that idea no?

I would like to hear it. :smile:


#6

Hmmm… maybe it’s a case of practical living in terms of attitudes (Jas 3:5-6) foster actions that have consequences and Jesus pointing to the possibility of where unchecked anger might lead or grow into dangerous angst… the kind that fuelled many a Jewish rebel group, the likes of the Sicarii, who amongst many others perished in the Roman-Jewish wars; something Jesus could see and warned was coming.

Gehenna” of course being a prophetic euphemism for the smouldering heap of rubble Jerusalem and Temple was to become, and just prior to this the City walls from which many a rebel was cast into ‘Ge Hinnom’ — The Valley of Hinnom — the ever-burner refuge heap crawling with maggots… where those cast LOST all identity, i.e., “body and soul”.


#7

Jesus himself was angry at the merchants in the temple when he overturned their tables so obviously “without a cause” is meant by Jesus one way or the other.


#8

But “without a cause” was not stated by Jesus, so He could not have “meant it one way or the other.”
The phrase was added by some copyist.

Furthermore, it is only PRESUMTION that Jesus was angry when He overturned the tables of the money changers, and drove out the animals with whips. He may have been simple demonstrating for emphasis.


#9

There are so many ways we could with this. We don’t truly understand the culture entirely… But this would be my take on it.

As far as we know Gehenah was a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem. “Rebel” is probably where Jewish Rebels ultimately ended up, as with those in AD70. After they were slaughtered, they no doubt ended up there, eventually.

What isn’t clear to me is this: whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire.

What isn’t clear is who is in danger of the fire? If you falsely accuse someone of being a Rebel, they will likely be put to death. But, if they find out that you careless called someone a Rebel, then maybe that person is put to death. This seems very ambiguous as to who will actually face Gehenna.

Now for this part: That whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment.

Judgment is neutral. So, we can’t infer that being angry without a cause, or with a cause (I understand Paidion’s objection) = punishment. We tend to sometimes read the word punishment into judgement, when that isn’t necessarily so.

As for empty fellow, I am not sure… I mean, would calling someone a good for nothing loser cause the person to have to explain themselves before the Jewish Sanhedrin? Again, I don’t think we understand the culture properly, or we don’t have a proper translation. My thoughts are scattered and out of order, I know this. Sorry!


#10

Well Gabe, first of all I was quoting a young’s literal translation of the said passage. As to the translation and theology of said passage, we might be at a loggerhead :laughing:

Gabe said: What isn’t clear to me is this: whoever may say, Rebel! shall be in danger of the gehenna of the fire.

What isn’t clear is who is in danger of the fire? If you falsely accuse someone of being a Rebel, they will likely be put to death. But, if they find out that you careless called someone a Rebel, then maybe that person is put to death. This seems very ambiguous as to who will actually face Gehenna.

My point is what is the meaning of gehenna?


#11

I presumed that it was the valley of ben hinnom. It seems to find my theory, that dead bodies were burned up to stave off disease. So if you were a rebel, you were killed as an enemy of the state, dumped into the valley of ben hinnom and burned away. I suppose it could have been used figuratively? Though I generally don’t think so.

Unless, I am misunderstanding you?


#12

I most definitely do not think anger is a bad emotion. I think what we do with anger can be bad. I think any suppressed emotion causes mental ailments. If you teach a kid not to cry, don’t get angry or that some emotions are “bad”, well, in my opinion, that is akin to child abuse. All emotions are welcome and we must learn to deal with them. Anger is an emotion, brooding over that anger is a choice. But one may needto brood while they learn to let go.

I stopped seeing the world as black and white. I don’t think it exists in a black and white context, Paidion. We are living human beings. One person gets angry and let’s it go over 1 second, the other person takes a few minutes to deal with it. Should we call one a sinner and the other not? Hardly. That is black and white thinking.

Also, pretending to not get angry (suppression, or repression) is shown to be harmful. People who never get angry will sometimes lose that control of that suppression and shoot up and entire school! Bottled up anger is never good.

Now, Don, I am sure you will tell me you never said these things. Maybe so, I am not saying you did. Just sharing that I think anger is a natural emotion and isn’t wrong. We must learn to deal with it properly and that means in a way that doesn’t harm ourselves or others.


#13

Agreed Gabe. Anger is a proper response to injustice, IMO… Does the Bible really teach that all anger is sin?


#14

It was in fact both… it was as you describe AND Jesus used it (gehenna) as a prophetic metaphor of the coming end, i.e., AD70.

Yes indeed Gabe. Even Paul himself had this to say…

Eph 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,…


#15

You make great points davo.


#16

That has been called a myth:

“In short, while it may not be denied that there was some burning of garbage in ancient Jerusalem, there is no indication that this was extensive, that it was located in the Hinnom Valley, or that it was in any way connected to the fires of eternal torment.”

https://blog.bibleplaces.com/2011/04/myth-of-burning-garbage-dump-of-gehenna.html

“Note there is no “archaeological nor literary evidence in support of this claim, [that Gehenna was ever used as a garbage dump] in either the earlier intertestamental or the later rabbinic sources” If Gehenna was ever used as a garbage dump there should be broken pottery, tools, utensils, bones, etc. but there is no such evidence.”


#17

You are correct O.


#18

With regards to ‘Gehenna’ this is worth considering…


#19

Can I get more credible links regarding this?

The first link boldly declares it a myth, but back peddles with the people he quotes all saying “We have no evidence, but it could be true”, etc… To declare something a myth, I think you need a bit more weight than mere silence. Even so, the garbage dump perse was is declared a myth by John, but not the place itself being a myth – where Molech was offered children to be burned alive. “The Fires of Molech”.

The second link is garbage… What is that all about? Just a feud who doesn’t think DBH is worthy. I don’t see how they are related and following the link to DBH reply to Wright (something I already read a long time ago) didn’t provide anything new that I could find… Maybe you could elaborate more on that second link and provide something more?

I have no vested interested in keeping a myth perpetuating, but I don’t feel this is a slam dunk case, not without more scholars weighing in on this. The ones John quoted were on the fence. Not sure it actually matters though.


#20

The quote from my 2nd link was from post #4 in that thread. Here is the full relevant material from that post:

"There is no archaeological or literary evidence that Gehenna was ever used as dump for burning trash or bodies…

" “The traditional explanation that a burning rubbish heap in the Valley of Hinnom south of Jerusalem gave rise to the idea of a fiery Gehenna of judgment is attributed to Rabbi David Kimhi’s commentary on Psalm 27:13 (ca. A.D. 1200). He maintained that in this loathsome valley fires were kept burning perpetually to consume the filth and cadavers thrown into it. However, Strack and Billerbeck state that there is neither archaeological nor literary evidence in support of this claim, in either the earlier intertestamental or the later rabbinic sources (Hermann L. Strack and Paul Billerbeck, Kommentar zum Neuen Testament aus Talmud and Midrasch, 5 vols. [Munich: Beck, 1922-56], 4:2:1030). Also a more recent author holds a similar view (Lloyd R. Bailey, “Gehenna: The Topography of Hell,” Biblical Archeologist 49 [1986]: 189.
Source, Bibliotheca Sacra / July–September 1992” "
http://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/NTeSources/NTArticles/BSac-NT/Scharen-GenenaSyn-Pt1-BS.htm

“Note there is no “archaeological nor literary evidence in support of this claim, [that Gehenna was ever used as a garbage dump] in either the earlier intertestamental or the later rabbinic sources” If Gehenna was ever used as a garbage dump there should be broken pottery, tools, utensils, bones, etc. but there is no such evidence.”

" “Gehenna is presented as diametrically opposed to ‘life’: it is better to enter life than to go to Gehenna. . .It is common practice, both in scholarly and less technical works, to associate the description of Gehenna with the supposedly contemporary garbage dump in the valley of Hinnom. This association often leads scholars to emphasize the destructive aspects of the judgment here depicted: fire burns until the object is completely consumed. Two particular problems may be noted in connection with this approach. First, there is no convincing evidence in the primary sources for the existence of a fiery rubbish dump in this location (in any case, a thorough investigation would be appreciated). Secondly, the significant background to this passage more probably lies in Jesus’ allusion to Isaiah 66:24.”
(“The Duration of Divine Judgment in the New Testament” in The Reader Must Understand edited by K. Brower and M. W. Ellion, p. 223, emphasis mine)"
G. R. Beasley-Murray in Jesus and the Kingdom of God:
“Ge-Hinnom (Aramaic Ge-hinnam, hence the Greek Geenna), ‘The Valley of Hinnom,’ lay south of Jerusalem, immediately outside its walls. The notion, still referred to by some commentators, that the city’s rubbish was burned in this valley, has no further basis than a statement by the Jewish scholar Kimchi (sic) made about A.D. 1200; it is not attested in any ancient source.” (p. 376n.92)"

“There was a valley near Jerusalem that was used as a trash dump but it was not Gehenna.”

See the original post for “emphasis” & the 2 urls above for further info/opinions on the topic.