How to reconcile Matt 5:22 and Titus 1:12?


From Matt 5:22 it would seem like all name-calling is essentially forbidden — except maybe where it’s been proven true? Have you come across any good Catholic commentary?


I’m not seeing where any ‘reconciling’ is necessary.

In Matthew 5:22, Jesus is talking about the sin of anger and the outbursts that it breeds.

In Titus 1:12, we see Paul quoting a Greek philosopher, who remarked on the moral qualities of those from Crete. Paul follows this quote by asserting that the remark is true.

These two are not at odds, nor does Paul’s statement fall afoul of Jesus’ statement.


It isn’t about name calling. It is about how you act when you are angry and bitter.

***"You have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.' But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says,You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire. *(Matthew 5:21-22)

angry with his brother = internal sin. The anger is in your heart only. You think bad things but don’t express it externally.

insults his brother = a personal insult to the person you are angry with. Sin becomes external and directed at that one person.

whoever says, `You fool!' = public humiliation.

It’s not about what you say but what you do: 1) internal thoughts, 2) insults against your brother or, 3) publicly humiliating your brother. Each has progressively worse judgement and punishment.

The Law of Moses stated that you were liable to judgement if you killed someone. Jesus teaches that you are liable to judgment for just being angry at someone! Jesus raises the bar for Christians and equates anger in your heart with killing.

This is the basis for the Church teaching that anger is sometimes a violation of the first commandment.


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