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Michael Daniel and Katie Rose

The Bible: Matthew 5-7, 4:23-25

In Matthew 4:23-25 Jesus proves his spiritual authority by preaching and curing

ailments. In Matthew 5-7 Jesus teaches people how to live without sin so that they can

reach heaven. Jesus tells people to mourn, be poor in spirit, meek, hunger and thirst for

righteousness, be merciful, be pure in heart, be a peacemaker, and be persecuted in the

name of righteousness. Jesus is here to fulfill the law, not to destroy it. Do not commit

murder or swear at people. Settle out of court when possible. Do not commit adultery or

think about sex. Don’t marry divorced women and do not divorce your wife unless she

cheats on you. Don’t make oaths and do not resist evil people. Love your enemies. Give

to the needy, pray and fast privately. Do not worry about food or clothing, since God will

provide those things for you. Do not judge. Ask and it will be given to you. Use small

doors, not big ones. Be wary of false prophets, you will know them by their results.

People who practice these teachings from Jesus are wise but people who hear these words

and don’t practice them are foolish.

Jesus said, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.” (7:1). Later in the text he

says, “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a

fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil…” (7:9-11). In the first

quote Jesus says that judgment is wrong. In the second quote he judges that people who

give their children snakes or stones are evil. This is inconsistent.

Katie felt that Jesus asked far too much of people, especially when He said “Be ye

therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (5:48). Mike

believes that the point of the entire book, especially this passage, is to make you realize
that you aren’t perfect rather than to help you to become perfect. Mike is an atheist but

he was raised Catholic. Katie was also raised Catholic, and still believes in parts of the

religion, but is a very bad Catholic.

In discussing the section used for the ARQ paragraph, Mike and Katie disagreed

on how much Jesus had to worry about being judged. Katie thought that the statement

“Judge not, or you too will be judged” (7:1) did not apply to Jesus. According to

Catholicism Jesus is fully God, and God has no fear of judgment from man. Mike

believes that we can judge both God and man. Since Jesus is both God and man then we

can judge him, as Pilate demonstrated. Both Katie and Mike noted that Jesus said that

you shall know the false prophets by their fruits and yet Jesus inspired the Bible, which

inspired countless tyrannies and wars. It is probably the most destructive book in all of

history. Mike also thinks that the best translation for the word, ‘raca’ is ‘igmo’.

Mike read the amplified bible since he hadn’t read that bible before. In the

amplified bible Jesus says, “Give to him who keeps on begging from you, and do not turn

away from him who would borrow [at interest] from you.” (5:42) The phrase ‘at interest’

does not appear in the NIV or the King James bibles. It probably wasn’t there until the

amplified bible was first published by The Lockman Foundation in 1987. Aquinas, along

with the entire scholastic movement, thought that all interest was usury and therefore it

was a sin to charge interest. If the scholastics had the amplified bible then Europe might

have developed much faster than it did and economics would not have been caught up in

moral debates over interest for hundreds of years. ‘Amplified’ might mean that the

interests of the Lockman Foundation are amplified, since almost all businesses can thank

bankers for their existence (the Lockman Foundation is a publishing company).