I was reviewing a couple different things at the same time, but they all came down to something Christ said in the sermon on the mount as found in Matthew 5:22. The core language is as follows:
The Koine Greek text, according to Westcott and Hort, reads:εγω δε λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο οργιζομενος τω αδελφω αυτουενοχος εσται τη κρισει ος δ αν ειπη τω αδελφω αυτουρακα ενοχος εσται τω συνεδριω ος δ αν ειπη μωρεενοχος εσται εις την γεενναν του πυρος
In the King James Version of the Bible the text reads: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca,s hall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shallsay, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
The World English Bible translates the passage as: But I tell you, that everyone who is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca!’shall be in danger of the council; and whoever shall say, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fire of Gehenna.From Wikipedia on Mathew 5:22 — note similar text in the Book of Mormon.
Analysis of the verse includes the following comments.
Early manuscripts are divided between whether this verse should read “whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” or “whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment.” The two versions are significantly different in implication and most modern scholars feel that “without a cause” was a later addition by a copyist trying to make the statement less radical. This was also the view of some Church Fathers. And, see below, it is the Book of Mormon version.
The word Raca is original to the Greek manuscript; however, it is not a Greek word. The most common view is that it is a reference to the Aramaic word reka, which literally means “empty one”, but probably meant “empty headed,” or “foolish.” Scholars seem divided on how grievous an insult it was. Hill feels it was very, France thinks it was a minor slur. The word translated as fool is the Greek moros, which has a similar meaning to the Aramaic reka. However moros also was used to mean godless, and thus could be much more severe a term than reka.
The Book of Mormon text is:
But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of his judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council; and whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.3 Nephi 12:22
Modern terms of similar input would be “deplorable” or “snowflake.”
Before reading Scott Mitchell and Ben Spackman on this topic I had been thinking of Jordan Harbinger who has had guests speak on his podcast about rescuing others from hate groups. (Strange that the two posters and Jordan Harbinger came together in the things I was thinking about).
If you are interested, here are two of those interviews:
It seems calling people worthless, or fools or being angry with them does not seem to be what worked.
Charity, loving kindness and patience did change hearts and minds while nothing else did.
In other words, acting as Christ told him to act changed hearts and minds.
Thinking about those points when looking at our modern political climate I find that I need to be asking myself: What about Christ? What about the things he said? How can I remember to apply the words of Christ in all areas?
What do you think?
- Should we be kind to those who disagree with us?
- Should we treat those who we feel are blindly following “their side” differently from those who are enlightened enough to agree with “our side” in either politics or religion?
- How often do you need to be reminded of Matthew 5:22 (I feel like I need a good solid reminder at least once a week)?