Summary Matthew 5:21-26


Instead of, “Do not kill” (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17), Christ prohibited anger (IRENAEUS). 

Anger leads the way to murder (THE DIDACHE). 

All anger is forbidden us (TERTULLIAN). 

He that wishes to commit murder is a murderer, although he is unable to kill (CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA). 

To give assent to sin is already a completed evil, even if someone does not actually commit the deed (ORIGEN). 

“The altar” refers to a place of sacrifice. There is one Eucharist, one flesh of our Lord Jesus Christ, one cup, and one altar (IGNATIUS). 

Our sacrifice is our prayers (IRENAEUS, ORIGEN, VICTORINUS) and the altar is in heaven (IRENAEUS, VICTORINUS). 

The altar that is with us here is the congregation of those who devote themselves to prayer (CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA). 

According to CLEMENT OF ALEXANDRIA, “the adversary” may be a reference to Satan. 

TERTULLIAN understood “the prison” to be Hades, and interpreted “the uttermost farthing” to mean the very smallest offense.

© OTR 2023