Verse Changes that are Doctrinally Significant – Matthew 5:22

In Doctrinal Differences in Scripture, Matthew, The Gospels by Chris ThomasLeave a Comment

Doctrinal Errors in the Critical Text and Its Translations

In this new series, we are going to take a look at the verses in the New Testament that have been changed in the Critical Text from the Textus Receptus and why those changes not only affect doctrine, but can also lead to downright heresy.

AV/Textus Receptus/Byzantine Priority

Matthew 5:22 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, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matthew 5:22 εγω δε λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο οργιζομενος τω αδελφω αυτου εικη ενοχος εσται τη κρισει ος δ αν ειπη τω αδελφω αυτου ρακα ενοχος εσται τω συνεδριω ος δ αν ειπη μωρε ενοχος εσται εις την γεενναν του πυρος


Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother[1] will be liable to judgment; whoever insults[2] his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell[3] of fire.


  1. Matthew 5:22 Some manuscripts insert without cause
  2. Matthew 5:22 Greek says Raca to (a term of abuse)
  3. Matthew 5:22 Greek Gehenna; also verses 29, 30

Matthew 5:22 22ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὀργιζόμενος τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ ἔνοχος ἔσται τῇ κρίσει· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ τῷ ἀδελφῷ αὐτοῦ· ῥακά, ἔνοχος ἔσται τῷ συνεδρίῳ· ὃς δ’ ἂν εἴπῃ· μωρέ, ἔνοχος ἔσται εἰς τὴν γέενναν τοῦ πυρός.

Manuscript & Patristic Support

Support for NA28 –  𝔓64, Codex Sinaiticus, and Codex Vaticanus.

Support for the Byzantine Text inclusion of εἰκῆ (without cause)

  • Church Fathers – 3rd Century:  Cyprian & Irenaeus
  • Manuscripts – universal reading of the Byzantine Text

Doctrinal Difference

Mark 3:5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

In the above verse we see that Jesus looked upon the rulers of the synagogue with anger.  In the TR and the AV, we are told not to be angry “without a cause”.

Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 

In Ephesians we are told to be angry and don’t sin.  Both of these verses allow for anger.

Yet, in the Nestle-Aland Greek text and in the ESV which follows it we are told that whoever is angry with his brother has sinned.  By removing “without a cause” (εικη) from the text, we have a logical contradiction with Mark 3:5 & Eph 4:26.  This would be the equivalent of removing “to lust after” from v. 28 and thereby making it a sin to actually look on any woman.  Since Christ cannot sin, and the removing of “without a cause” makes Christ a sinner, then the correct reading must include “whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause”.

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