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Matthew 5

18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God's laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
  20 "But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!

Teaching about Anger
21 "You have heard that our ancestors were told, 'You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.'*22 But I say, if you are even angry with someone,* you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot,* you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone,* you are in danger of the fires of hell.*
  23 "So if you are presenting a sacrifice* at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,24 leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
  25 "When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly. Otherwise, your accuser may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, and you will be thrown into prison.26 And if that happens, you surely won't be free again until you have paid the last penny.*

Teaching about Adultery
27 "You have heard the commandment that says, 'You must not commit adultery.'*28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.29 So if your eye—even your good eye*—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.30 And if your hand—even your stronger hand*—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Teaching about Divorce
31 "You have heard the law that says, 'A man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a written notice of divorce.'*32 But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.

Teaching about Vows
33 "You have also heard that our ancestors were told, 'You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.'*34 But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, 'By heaven!' because heaven is God's throne.35 And do not say, 'By the earth!' because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, 'By Jerusalem!' for Jerusalem is the city of the great King.36 Do not even say, 'By my head!' for you can't turn one hair white or black.37 Just say a simple, 'Yes, I will,' or 'No, I won't.' Anything beyond this is from the evil one.

Teaching about Revenge
38 "You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.'*39 But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.40 If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too.41 If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile,* carry it two miles.42 Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow.

Teaching about Love for Enemies
43 "You have heard the law that says, 'Love your neighbor'* and hate your enemy.44 But I say, love your enemies!* Pray for those who persecute you!45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.47 If you are kind only to your friends,* how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

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Footnotes:

5:21 Exod 20:13; Deut 5:17.
5:22a Some manuscripts add without cause. 5:22b Greek uses an Aramaic term of contempt: If you say to your brother, 'Raca.' 5:22c Greek if you say, 'You fool.' 5:22d Greek Gehenna; also in 5:29, 30.
5:23 Greek gift; also in 5:24.
5:26 Greek the last kodrantes [i.e., quadrans].
5:27 Exod 20:14; Deut 5:18.
5:29 Greek your right eye.
5:30 Greek your right hand.
5:31 Deut 24:1.
5:33 Num 30:2.
5:38 Greek the law that says: 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' Exod 21:24; Lev 24:20; Deut 19:21.
5:41 Greek milion [4,854 feet or 1,478 meters].
5:43 Lev 19:18.
5:44 Some manuscripts add Bless those who curse you. Do good to those who hate you. Compare Luke 6:27-28.
5:47 Greek your brothers.
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“The NLT second edition was put together by a dream team of scholars and linguists and gives us a Bible that is thoroughly reliable and eminently readable. It allows the Scriptures to speak with fresh vitality.”

John Ortberg
Menlo Park Presbyterian
Menlo Park, California

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