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Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?

Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?

Postby Paidion » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:52 pm

Jesus said, "I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment." (Matthew 5:22)

He didn't say "angry with his brother without a cause" as those versions have it that were translated from Textus Receptus. It seems obvious that someone had added those words, perhaps someone who wanted to justify his anger. I have never known anyone who was angry without a cause. There's always a reason for anyone's anger.

The word that is translated as "without a cause" is "εικη." That word is not found in the two manuscripts that contain the verse which are dated prior to A.D. 300. Those two are Papyrus 67 and Papyrus 96.

So Jesus seems to have taught that it is wrong to be angry.

However, the apostle Paul wrote, "Be angry and do not sin. (Ephesians 4:26)
So it seems that Paul thought that it was okay to be angry, if you avoided doing anything sinful while you were angry.

Any thoughts about these seemingly differing views concerning anger? Or is there actually no difference at all?
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Re: Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?

Postby steve » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:06 pm

Hi Paidion,

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.
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Re: Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?

Postby Paidion » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:20 pm

Thank you, Steve. I deeply appreciate your comprehensive reply.
I posted this question on another forum. Do you mind if I quote your reply?—stating you as the author, of course.
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Re: Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?

Postby steve » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:48 am

Hi Paidion,

Sure, you can quote me on it. Thanks for asking.

Steve
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Re: Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?

Postby Jason » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:05 pm

I once heard Bruxy Cavey address this by first quoting the full passage:

“Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.

He then said that the way to be angry and not sin is prescribed here as not letting the sun go down on your wrath. In other words, getting rid of anger as quickly as possible.
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Re: Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?

Postby Paidion » Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:47 pm

Thank you for making that clear, Jason.
Paidion

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Re: Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?

Postby Darrell » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:13 pm

<<<(Eph 4:26,27) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. >>>

Something to consider is when YAH created, the night preceded the day. Maybe HE doesn’t want us to start a new day with anger in our heart which satan could use to his advantage.
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Re: Did Paul Disagree With Jesus About Anger?

Postby Homer » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:11 am

I would suggest the admonition about anger pertains to particular anger towards a person(s) who has caused personal offense.

Recently in the news we see that laws are being passed in some states that will allow abortion to occur as the mother is in labor or that will allow a decision to be made whether to resuscitate the baby after delivery. I am angry about this and angry at the politicians who pass this kind of law. They proudly rejoice in their wickedness. I do not think our Lord desires that we put this out of our mind by sundown and forget about it.
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