الرئيسية / Matthew / Why did Jesus call people fools and yet condemn others for doing the same thing? MATTHEW 23:17

Why did Jesus call people fools and yet condemn others for doing the same thing? MATTHEW 23:17

MATTHEW 23:17—Why did Jesus call people fools and yet condemn others doing the same thing?

PROBLEM: Jesus said, “whoever says [to his brother], ` fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matt. 5:22). Yet Himself said to the scribes and Pharisees, “Fools and blind!” (Matt. 23:17) The Apostle Paul, following suit, said, “O foolish Galatians” (Gal. 3:1; cf. 1 Cor. 15:36).

SOLUTION: There are good reasons why there a strong difference between the two uses of the term “fool.” First, this another example of the principle that the same word can be used with different meanings in different contexts (see Introduction). instance, the word “dog” can be used of a canine animal or a detested person.

, in Matthew 5, used in the of someone who “angry” with his brother, indicating a hatred. Neither Jesus nor Paul harbored hatred toward those to whom they applied the term. Thus, their use of the term “fool” does not violate Jesus’ prohibition against calling others a fool.

, technically speaking, Jesus commanded that a “brother” (Matt. 5:22) not be a “fool,” not an unbeliever. In fact the scriptural description of a fool one who “has said in his , `There no ’ ” (Ps. 14:1). In view of this, one can see the seriousness of calling a brother a fool; tantamount to calling him an unbeliever. Hence, when who “knew what in ” (cf. John 2:25) unbelievers “fools,” a appropriate description of what they really were.

[1]

 

[1], N. L., & Howe, T. A. (1992). When critics ask : A popular handbook on Bible difficulties (357). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

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