Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Exegetical Theology

First Advisor

Jeffrey Oschwald

Scripture References in this Resource

Matthew 5:21–26; Ephesians .4:26; Matthew 5:3–12; Matthew 1:1–11:1; Matthew 18:15–17; Matthew 4:23-24; Matthew 5:1; Matthew 1:23; Matthew 1:21; Matthew 5:17; Matthew 5:19; Matthew 5:21–48; Matthew 5:3–12; Matthew 5:13–14; Deuteronomy 16:18-20; Deuteronomy 17:8; Deuteronomy 19:11-12; Exodus 21:23; Deuteronomy 19:15; Matthew 5:36; Matthew 9:11; Matthew 15:4–6; Genesis 4:6; Proverbs 14:17; Proverbs 29:11; Ecclesiastes 7:9


Abuor Joseph O. “The Subtlety of Anger and its Connectedness to Murder: An Exegetical Paper based on Matthew 5:21–26.” M.A Thesis, Concordia Seminary, 2021. 117pp.

The Pharisees and the scribes of Jesus’ time reduced murder to mere physical killing. Jesus, however, denounced this position and outlawed any form of personal anger. Both latent and patent anger are no less than murder in the judgment of God. These include forms of anger which receive societal approval as innocuous and those which are overtly denounced as derogative and destructive. Anger is the prerogative of God. It is his punitive response to human sin. Vindictive measures, which justify personal righteous anger when thought to be for a good course, triggered by the right cause, lasting for the right duration, directed to the right target and released in the right amount, sharply contradict the intent of Matt.5:21–26. This study undertakes to explore how any anger directed to any person, in an individual capacity, is tantamount to murder; hence death is its default desert.

Anger wishes death to its target, betrays cultic orthodoxy, hampers acceptability of a worshipper’s offering and does havoc to both vertical and horizontal relationships. It is neither enough to avoid anger nor merely forgive in the heart and do nothing about it. Brothers are called both to shun anger and intentionally be peacemakers whenever anger obtains. No amount of sacrifice can buy forgiveness for a person who takes reconciliation as either secondary or a thing done at convenience. Reconciliation is, therefore, to take primacy over sacrifice, without replacing or demeaning it. It is facilitated by God, sought by the offender and done for God’s glory. It is a confession to the reality that God is our Father and we are all brothers. God’s mediated anger via the properly appointed authority and loving anger executed on account of one’s office (Amt) keep order in the society. The angry love motivated by the desire to correct, reclaim and save the erring brother(s) is as salutary as it is pivotal to discipling people to Christ.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.