Search Tools


New Defender's Study Bible Notes

5:22 Raca. The word raca is an Aramaic expression of contempt, something like our English “stupid idiot!” Such an insult to a fellow believer in the Jewish economy might warrant being charged, before the council of the Sanhedrin, with slander.

5:22 Thou fool. This is even a greater insult. The Greek is the word from which we get our English word “moron,” but it also conveys an implication of rebellion. For a believer to call a brother a “rebellious moron” would be so out of character as to imply that the one using such language might not even be a true believer.

5:22 hell. “Hell” is gehenna, in the Greek, the place of everlasting fire. Almost certainly it refers to the ultimate lake of fire (Revelation 20:15), not to the great pit in the center of the earth known as hades (this word is also commonly translated “hell”—e.g., Matthew 11:23), where the spirits of the unsaved are confined as they await the final judgment. Note the divine principle implied in this verse of degrees of punishment.

About the New Defender's Study Bible