New Living Translation
Teaching about Anger
21 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’[a] 22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone,[b] you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,[c] you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,[d] you are in danger of the fires of hell.[e]
23 “So if you are presenting a sacrifice[f] at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, 24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
25 “When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 And if that happens, you surely won’t be free again until you have paid the last penny.[g]
Teaching about Adultery
27 “You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’[h] 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye—even your good eye[i]—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand[j]—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
Teaching about Divorce
31 “You have heard the law that says, ‘A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.’[k] 32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.
Teaching about Vows
33 “You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the Lord.’[l] 34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. 35 And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. 36 Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.Read full chapter
- 5:21 Exod 20:13; Deut 5:17.
- 5:22a Some manuscripts add without cause.
- 5:22b Greek uses an Aramaic term of contempt: If you say to your brother, ‘Raca.’
- 5:22c Greek if you say, ‘You fool.’
- 5:22d Greek Gehenna; also in 5:29, 30.
- 5:23 Greek gift; also in 5:24.
- 5:26 Greek the last kodrantes [i.e., quadrans].
- 5:27 Exod 20:14; Deut 5:18.
- 5:29 Greek your right eye.
- 5:30 Greek your right hand.
- 5:31 Deut 24:1.
- 5:33 Num 30:2.