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JEFF - I heard that the early christian verses of matthew 5:22
didnt have "without a cause" in them. this being
added, makes it sound justified, if we get angry. how
can i find the passages of the earlier versions, to
JOEL - Here is the King James version of this verse:
"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his
brother without a cause shall be in danger of the
judgment:" (Matt 5:22)
The phrase "without a cause" , added by the King James
translators in 1611, deffinately changes the meaning
of the scripture. It shifts the blame away from the
one who is angry onto the one who gave him cause to be
angry. Anyone can think of a cause for being angry.
In the earlier manuscripts where that phrase is
correctly left out, the responsibility is placed
directly on the one who becomes angry, requiring him
to practice more self-control with his emotions.
Those who support leaving the phrase in, which
included the King James translators, cite instances
where Jesus Himself became angry(Mark 3:5) and was
therefore in danger of the judgment. However, there is
a difference between godly anger and worldly anger.
God's anger is always justified and therefore no
judgment against Him is required, while man's worldly
anger is not always justified.
Others point to the scripture in Ephesians where Paul
"Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down
upon your wrath:" (Eph 4:26)
This sounds like it's OK to be angry and therefore
contradicting the Matt 5:22 verse. However a more
correct translation of what Paul said(and one that
makes more sense), is found in the Joseph Smith
"Can ye be angry, and not sin? let not the sun go down
upon your wrath:"(JST Eph 4:26)
Some of the earlier Bible translations which reflect
the correct translation of the Greek are(dates
The Wycliff Bible (1395):
"But I say to you, that each man that is wroth to his brother, shall be guilty to doom; "
Tyndale's first edition of the New Testament (1526):
"But I say unto you, whosoever is angry with his
brother, shall be in danger of judgement"
Coverdale Bible (1535):
"But I saye unto you: whosoever is angrie with his
brother, is in daunger of the iudgement."
The Geneva Bible(1587):
"But I say vnto you, whosoeuer is angry with his
brother vnaduisedly, shal be culpable of iudgment."
Then in 1611 the King James version authors inserted
the additional phrase, "without a cause":
"But I say unto you, that whosoeuer is angry with his
brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the
Since the King James version, there are various newer
translations of the Bible, which, relying on the
original Greek, correctly omit the phrase "without a
American Standard Version(1901):
"but I say unto you, that every one who is angry with
his brother shall be in danger of the judgment;"
New International Version (1965):
"But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his
brother will be subject to judgment."
New American Standard Bible (1995):
"But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his
brother shall be guilty before the court"
New Living Translation (1996):
"But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you
are subject to judgment! "
Interesting to note that, before these newer versions,
back in the 1830s, the phrase was also correctly left
out of the Joseph Smith Translation (Matt 5:24) and
where Jesus repeats it to the Nephites in the Book of
Mormon(3 Ne. 12:22).