Matthew 5:44
 
Matthew 5:44
(KJV) But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
(1611 KJV) But I say vnto you, Loue your enemies, blesse them that curse you, doe good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully vse you, and persecute you:
(1587 Geneva Bible) But I say vnto you, Loue your enemies: blesse them that curse you: doe good to them that hate you, and pray for them which hurt you, and persecute you,
(1526 Tyndale) But I saye vnto you love youre enimies. Blesse the that coursse you. Do good to them that hate you. Praye for them which doo you wronge and persecute you
 
Counterfeit Versions
(NIV) But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(NASV) "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(NLT) But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
(ESV) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(CEV) But I tell you to love your enemies and pray for anyone who mistreats you.
(1901 ASV) but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;
(HCSB) But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(RSV) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(NAB-Roman Catholic) But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,
(NWT-Jehovah’s Witnesses) However, I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies and to pray for those persecuting YOU;
 
Textus Receptus - Traditional Text
egw de legw umin agapate touV ecqrouV umwn eulogeite touV katarwmenouV umaV kalwV poieite touV misountaV umaV kai proseucesqe uper twn ephreazontwn umaV kai diwkontwn umaV
 
Hort-Westcott - Critical Text
egw de legw umin agapate touV ecqrouV umwn kai proseucesqe uper twn diwkontwn umaV
 
Corrupted Manuscripts
This verse is corrupted in the following manuscripts:
Omit “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,”
Aleph 01 - Sinaiticus - Nineteenth Century Counterfeit
B 03 - Vaticanus - Fourth century
1 (Minuscule) - Seventh century
 
Omit “despitefully use you, and”
Aleph 01 - Sinaiticus - Nineteenth Century Counterfeit
B 03 - Vaticanus - Fourth century
1 (Minuscule) - Seventh century
 
Manuscripts which agree with the Textus Receptus for this verse
Contains “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,”
Byzantine Text (450-1450 A.D.)
D 05 - Bezae Cantabrigiensis - Fifth century
L 019 - Seventh century
W 032 - Fourth/fifth century
Theta 038 - Ninth century
 
Contains “despitefully use you, and”
Byzantine Text (450-1450 A.D.)
D 05 - Bezae Cantabrigiensis - Fifth century
L 019 - Seventh century
 
Published Critical Greek Texts with Corruptions
Omit “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you,”
Lachmann, Karl - 1842
Tischendorf, Constantine - 1869
Tregelles, Samuel - 1857
Alford, Henry - 1849 revised in 1871
Westcott and Hort - 1881
Weiss, Bernhard - 1894
Nestle - 1927 as revised in seventeenth edition in 1941
Nestle-Aland - 1979 - Twenty Sixth Edition
Nestle-Aland - 1993 - Twenty Seventh Edition
United Bible Societies - 1983 - Fourth Edition
Von Soden, Freiherr - 1902
 
Omit “despitefully use you, and”
Lachmann, Karl - 1842
Tischendorf, Constantine - 1869
Tregelles, Samuel - 1857
Alford, Henry - 1849 revised in 1871
Westcott and Hort - 1881
Weiss, Bernhard - 1894
Nestle - 1927 as revised in seventeenth edition in 1941
Nestle-Aland - 1979 - Twenty Sixth Edition
Nestle-Aland - 1993 - Twenty Seventh Edition
United Bible Societies - 1983 - Fourth Edition
 
Affected Teachings
This verse contains some instructions to the true child of God concerning their witness which is evidence of their transformation. First of all, when someone is cursing us, which means they are wishing evil against us, we are not to return evil for evil, instead we are to show them kindness in words. We do not curse them, we bless them and seek their best and not their worst. Then there are those who are going to hate us because of our testimony for Christ. Instead of us thinking up vengeful acts against them, we are to do good to them. How many times has a person hated us and sometimes they might need a little help and the Lord may engineer their circumstances so that you are the only one who can help them. Then there are those who will despitefully use us. The word “despitefully” carries with it the meaning of “mistreat us.” How many times have believers been used by those in the world to advance themselves while the believer is left behind? This happens every day. Sometimes the world uses our talents or money and makes believe they are appreciative when in reality they are just using us. The Lord Jesus Christ makes sure that we will take no acts of vengeance against anyone who does these things. Instead we are to bless them, pray for them, do good for them, and finally love them. No one says it is going to be easy. When the Gnostics left out these words by chopping up the verse, they were acting on their own mindsets. In the academic world there is cut throat competition to be the tops in the field. What kind of a person would earn the respect of their colleagues if it looked like they were being walked over. Arrogance and pride were at the heart of the butchering of this verse and it is a shame that the modern translators have allowed the arrogance of the Gnostics to have survived. Sixteen words have been removed from the verse.

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