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KJV vs NIV where it says that  anyone who is angry with his brother (KJV adding: "without a cause") shall be in danger of..........

  while reading elsewhere that Jesus was angry.

  How do NIV supporters respond to the appearance that it seems to make Jesus out to be a sinner in danger of.........?

         Thank you.

Mt. 5:22 says, in the earliest manuscripts available, "But I say to you, everyone who is angry with his brother is going to be accountable in the judgment." On the other hand, it's possible that the correct reading is, as in the KJV, "angry without cause." Many times, as here, it is not possible to be sure what the original reading was and what the alteration was.

But for the sake of your question about the non-KJV reading, I would say that it means, all people will be accountable for how they have handled their anger, and for the attitudes they have formed in their anger. For example, someone sexually assaults my daughter. This makes me furiously angry. What will I do with that? Will I go out and kill the person? Will I stew over fantasies of them being tortured? Or will I do my forgiveness and restorative justice work, handing the person over to the mercy of God and praying for their forgiveness and for them to be given opportunities for repentance? Scripture says, in both testaments, "Be angry and do not sin." Will we be subject to judgment--i.e. will we be accountable before God--for our attitudes and actions? Yes. This does not mean that God condemns anger per se. Anger is not incompatible with love, righteousness, or justice. It's all in what you do with it. If you handle your anger in love and righteousness, you will be found innocent in the judgment on that score.

Webb Mealy

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J. Webb Mealy


Qualified to answer questions about the New Testament, including ones that require expert knowledge of Greek, New Testament History, and New Testament Theology. Particular area of expertise is New Testament eschatology (teachings on the end of the world), the Book of Revelation, and the Gospel and epistles of John. Questions about English translations--how they are arrived at, whether they are accurate, and whether there are alternative possibilities. Textual criticism.


Have taught the Bible and New Testament to lay people for 20 years. Translator of the Spoken English New Testament (, author of After the Thousand Years: Resurrection and Judgment in Revelation 20 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1992). Senior Biblical Studies Editor, Sheffield Academic Press, 1990-1995.

Instructor, Seminary of the Street, Oakland, CA

See my online publication,, which gives an easy-to-understand but thorough introduction to the Christian Good News. See, home of the Spoken English New Testament, the most accurate available translation of the New Testament into natural contemporary English.

PhD, Biblical Studies, Sheffield, UK MA (Honors), Humanities, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY BA (Cum Laude), Religious Studies/New Testament, Westmont College, Santa Barbara, CA

Awards and Honors
Research Paper, "Tracing the Rise of Modalism in Rome," named best graduate paper of the year, Western Kentucky University, 1981

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