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Matthew 5:22 What does the Word Raca Mean?

Discussion in 'Christian Apologetics' started by lilymarie, Aug 12, 2006.

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  1. lilymarie

    lilymarie The love of heaven makes one heavenly -Shakespeare

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    Matthew 5:22, what does the word "Raca" mean?

    Also is it a Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic word?

    I have tried searching the internet, but wasn't sure as there were some conflictions on the websites.

    Here's the scripture the word "Raca" appears in.

    Also why is one in danger to the council if they say "Raca"? But the one who says their brother is a fool is in danger of hell fire?

    Matthew 5
    17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
     
  2. Beasley

    Beasley Senior Member

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    www.blueletterbible.org says it means an empty-headed senseless man and was a term of reproach among the Jews.
     
  3. lilymarie

    lilymarie The love of heaven makes one heavenly -Shakespeare

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    Oh thank you. I read it might mean "idiot" but I was exactly sure. This definition makes more sense.


     
  4. lilymarie

    lilymarie The love of heaven makes one heavenly -Shakespeare

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    According to my footnotes, Matt 5:22 has read in other manuscripts ..."anyone who is angry with his brother 'without cause' will be subject to judgment.

    That makes more sense than just angry with his brother. I wonder why they changed that?

    Edit in: I see the above scripture does say angry at his brother 'without cause'. However, I bought this edition of the NIV (so I could have a second one) and I knew there were words missing! My new NIV just says anyone who is angry with their brother period. The other night my fiancee and I were reading out of my old NIV and I was reading aloud from the my new NIV and my fiancee said there "are words missing". He said he was trying to follow along with my new NIV when I was reading it aloud but it was difficult. This new NIV has misprintings and I think I want my money back! But how can I go about getting my money back? Anyhow, it's not a good version of the NIV. I got it at Walmart and it was printed in South Africa. I am upset now that my new NIV has words left out. That stinks and I wonder if I should make a stink with Walmart to get my money back?

    urgh!!!!!!!!!!! I knew something was up. This confirms it. My new NIV printed from So. Africa has words left out.
     
  5. fuzzyh

    fuzzyh Senior Member

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    An ancient term for an airhead. :)
     
  6. lilymarie

    lilymarie The love of heaven makes one heavenly -Shakespeare

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    I was thinking the same thing! Except in California we say "bubble head", but mostly as joking around, except when one really is!

    Let me tell you about this bubble head I know... no, just kidding!

    Now about my Bible with words left out. S'up with that and Walmart?

    Walmart has cool stuff at great prices, but I'd have to say 'not' their Bibles.




     
  7. lilymarie

    lilymarie The love of heaven makes one heavenly -Shakespeare

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    Sorry to get off topic about my bogus NIV.

    Back to the word "Raca".

    Okay, if they know it means airhead or an empty-headed senseless man why don't they translate that into the Bible?

    I wonder what the difference is between an empty-headed senseless man and a fool?

    They sound somewhat similar.

    Any advice?
     
  8. lilymarie

    lilymarie The love of heaven makes one heavenly -Shakespeare

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  9. fuzzyh

    fuzzyh Senior Member

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    I don't recommend buying Bibles from Wal-Mart. I normally recommed Christian book stores. You have way more choices.

    Why didn't they translate that word. Mainly because it's not Greek and followed in the tradition of the KJV. The New Testament was written in Greek. However that word is Aramaic. Most NIVs put that word as a footnote. As a whole, the NIV doesn't translate those Aramaic words. Abba is another aramaic word for father that Jesus uses. You can find that word in your NIV. Personally, I rather like the way the NIV translates it compared to some others. NASB says "You good-for-nothing". KJV uses Raca, while the ESV describes it as an insult.

    Raca based upon the text, seems to be a lot more severe than our term Airhead or Bubble head. (Boy, if Bubble head is the new Airhead, I'm starting to think I'm getting old.)
     
  10. intricatic

    intricatic ...a dinosaur... or something...

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    I usually use (thanks to someone recently introducing me to it :holy: ) the NKJV, but it's "Raca" in this version, too. ^_^


    Matthew 5:22
    22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.
    Footnotes:
    1. Matthew 5:22 NU-Text omits without a cause

    :scratch: I need to get a concordance. :D I left the footnote because it might explain a bit about the "without a cause", but it's one of those things that can be hard to extrapolate from the verse itself, in translation.

    I don't think Jesus meant it in such a way to imply difference between the two, but it's hard to tell. :)
     
  11. hithesh

    hithesh New Member

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    Actually the KJV version altered Matthew 5:22 from Christ's original words: "whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of the judgment" to the watered down "whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment." So NIV, was truer to Christ's words than the KJV.

    I believe you should look at the original verse the same way we look at sin and sinners. Hate the wrongful act love the brother.

    It's a hard verse to swallow because people find the sermon of the mount impractical to live by, by fleshly standards. But if as Christian you seek to find a perfect holiness you have to follow the path set forth in the sermon.

    You should understand, that Christ never says your going to hell for breaking one the rules, he says your either in danger of judgement, or your in danger of hell fire. Meaning, that if you don't follow the words in the sermon in every situation, that this would automatically send you to hell, you would just have a lot of answering to do with our Father above.

    The greater we live the sermon of the mount word for word, the greater our joy in life will be, and the greater the rewards in heaven. But our God is merciful, though he would love for us to surrender all our wealth for charity, he understands that this is very hard for someone to do, and that's why he says: "What is impossible for man, is possible for God."

    The less you value your own life, and the more you value the lives of others, the less you are able to be angry. Anger is never good, it's greater for us to be remorseful when someone does wrong, even us. Because mercy as punishment, is much more powerful than fists.

    I'm reminded of the time when Pope John Paul II, was shot. When he recovered he went to see the man who shot him, and called him his brother, they spoke for sometime, and the pope refused to tell what they spoke of. The pope visited the assassins family numerous times, and I thought this was so beautiful. When he died, the family grieved, the loss, and so did the man who once tried to kill him.

    Do you see the power of mercy and love?
     
  12. lilymarie

    lilymarie The love of heaven makes one heavenly -Shakespeare

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    Oh yes, I love that story of the pope and his mercy (I think mercy means kindness and/or unmerited kindness).

    We should start a thread on the Sermon of the Mount.

    That would be a cool thread!

    What do you think? How should we start it?

    However, back on topic, I still don't see much of a difference between empty-headed senseless man, idiot or fool? :scratch:

    I don't know why I'm struggling with this?

    I think the Bible translators need a better explanation between Raca and the word fool. It's not very clear, IMO.


     
  13. hithesh

    hithesh New Member

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    There is no real difference between the words, other than some are more offensive then the others, just think about it.

    Let's say you are trying to convince a unbeliever, of our savior, and his love.

    Let's say the unbeliever is fairly reluctant to see your truth, what do you think will happen if you "call him a fool or an idiot etc..."?

    He would just walk away from you, and be angry that you called him such words, and if he sees you're a christian, then he will also blame christianity for your choice of words.

    There's no reason to ever call someone such words, because they only allow us to express our anger in a way, that distances others from us.

    And if we use such words in defending our saviour, then the unbeliever will distance himself from finding him as well.

    The more we repel others from finding Christ, the greater we will have to answer for our actions to him, who has already gave us fare warning.

    You're an idiot for asking such questions :). I don't really mean that, but those words make you feel crummy for no reason, and if I meant them, then you would probably never listen to anything from me again
     
  14. lilymarie

    lilymarie The love of heaven makes one heavenly -Shakespeare

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    I don't think anyone likes to be called any type of names period.

    So, I agree I see no difference in idiot or fool?

    Although I have slipped and called people bubble heads before. One time I went to the doctor and they asked me like 5 times what meds I was allergic to. Next the doctor takes tests and then gives me a diagnosis and hands me a prescription for medication. I look at the prescription and recognize the name that it's a med I am highly allergic to and could land me smack dab in the hospital if I ingested that medication! I felt like calling him Raca! let me tell you. lol

    I thought this guy makes a great living doing this, but he's a bubble head! He could have killed me if I hadn't caught his mistake and I pointed it out to him in front of everyone and they checked my chart and I was right. Then the doctor comes back in and throws the new prescription at me like it was my fault. Some people can just really be so stupid and rude sometimes.

    p.s. hithesh, think about starting a thread on the Sermon of the Mount; I've never studied it just by itself. That would be very cool.
     
  15. stumpjumper

    stumpjumper Left the river, made it to the sea Supporter

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    Raca was basically saying that another person was worthless but it was not as bad as saying they were a fool. Raca was the sound made in one's throat when clearing spittle and was used to demean and severely put down another person...

    A fool, in the sense used by Jesus in Matthew, was someone who was utterly worthless and not even worthy of being loved by God. Look up the Psalm that says "only a fool would say that there is no God"...

    Jesus said that nobody was unworthy of God's love and that is why we should not ever call anyone a fool in that sense of the term because once you degrade another to the status of being a fool you have stripped them of humanity and you would open yourself up to being abe to do anything to them...

    We can see that in our world daily when people torture, kill, rape, etc to others because they have degraded their humanity...
     
  16. hithesh

    hithesh New Member

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    i wish I had the ability to discuss the Sermon as well as I could, and if and when I find the ability to discuss it persuasively, I will.

    As of now I'm talking about the sermon on the mount to atheist, though they just don't know it.

    But if you would like to have a general understanding of my belief: I think the sermon on the mount, is a message that is innate in all humanity.

    When we see people who do one of the teachings word for word, all of us believers and unbelievers are moved.

    Think of the Pope example, and you should understand that you will find so very few, who find the act of the pope talking and forgiving the man who shot him foolish.

    His conduct gives us such joy, even though many of us are not even Catholic.

    But I'll talk of the sermon some other time, and only because It's harder for me to find a way to give the message of my heart to a believer, than to those who unbelieve.
     
  17. lilymarie

    lilymarie The love of heaven makes one heavenly -Shakespeare

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    No I think the Pope's story reaches the secular world more than it does Christians whether Catholic or Protestant.

    I did the same even before I was a saved Christian.

    Before I was a saved Christian I was hit head on by a drunk driver. I ended up in the hospital for 25 days! First in the intensive care unit, and a long journey back to learning how to walk. I live in chronic pain everyday from this car accident and my enjoyment of normal day to day activities that people take are granted are for me no more. For instance, my right knee was crushed and my leg almost severed in that car accident, and I also suffered a cardiac contusion (a bruised heart) from that car accident. I then had to undergo three knee and leg surgeries to put my leg back together and it was excruciatingly painful treatments I had to undergo all while in a hospital bed. Once discharged from the hospital, I had to still stay in a hospital bed at my Mom's home and my Mom and boyfriend at that time had to take care of me, as I was still bed-ridden.

    Well, I walk now, but can't run. And, I don't want to focus on all the things I can't do, but I can tell you the pain never goes away except when I can finally fall asleep. Then I get some relief.

    My father had died before the accident, so my Mom was working for the first time in her life and we didn't have much money. So, as I learned to walk again and cope, my Mom sent me to live with "my boyfriend". This is when he turned me into his prostitute for food and water. And this from a "boyfriend" who said he loved me. He would not give me food or water until I performed sex for him.

    I forgave the drunk man who did this to me, as he came to my family and myself and asked for forgiveness. He is forgiven. Though I'm sure it still torments him from time to time wondering how I'm doing. But we lost contact. I often think of that man and hope he has forgiven himself.

    And as far as this so-called boyfriend; yes, I have forgiven him, but I do hope he seeks professional help as well as finds Jesus' forgiveness one day. He hurt my family so bad, the other members of my family will not speak to him, but I told this man who made me his prostitute, I forgive you.

    We all could have stories to share of forgiveness. And this was forgiveness before I was even "saved". Simply because the Pope's act of forgiveness is publizied, don't think he is the only one.

    I don't believe in popes and things like that because it's not scriptural. Jesus is the only Lord to look up too; none will be as forgiving as he -- ever.

    Let his name be praised forevermore. Amen
     
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