Abstract

This essay advances the case that Matt 5:22 is not a prohibition of generic name calling, using common terms of abuse. It is, rather, a pointed and specific warning that one Christian believer must not consign another believer to perdition by labeling him/her a "fool" ("unbeliever," "apostate," "heretic," etc.), that is, one who is excluded from the eschatological kingdom of God. To do so is to expose oneself to divine wrath in the day of judgment.

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