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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 see this?

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 says:

"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 Translation:

"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 included):

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 Iudgement:"

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 cause".

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).

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