Anger and New Testament

Nuclear BlastAnger

Text from: Words to Live By, S Mansfield, L. Empson (ed.), 2004 [Edited]

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:26

Two Greek words are used for anger in the New Testament. The first is thumos. This is the healthier version, the kind of anger that is part of being alive. It means  “[human] response to pain, suffering, and injustice.” It tends to be more seasonal, is usually tied to wrongdoing, and it ends when the condition that created it ends.

This is the anger that moves a mother to discipline a child or a man to correct his friend’s behavior. It is the anger that moves a woman to right a social wrong. When Paul told believers to be angry without sin, he meant this version of anger, the kind that can be of help if handled well.

The second Greek word for anger in the New Testament is orge. It means more than just the feeling of anger. It describes what happens when unanswered anger is allowed to seep into the mind, into the innermost heart, and build a fortress there. Wrongs are turned over and over in the mind. The words of pain and protest are rehearsed aloud. Revenge is planned. The heart hardens and rage is seldom far away. This is orge, and it is a killer.

In fact, it may be a killer in the most literal sense. The English word for anger comes from the Latin word that means to choke or strangle. The word has long been used to describe something that is narrow, strained and drawn together. Indeed, the word angina comes from it. It means the pain that comes from a tightening of the arteries, and you have to wonder if a connection doesn’t exit between the heart problems in this generation and the intense anger so many carry inside.

Even if doesn’t kill, this orge kind of anger makes the human heart narrow, like the word suggests. You live out of your lesser self. But there is hope. Anger has a secret to tell that may help you break its hold and free you to live large again. It is this: Anger is most often a mask for hurt.




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4 thoughts on “Anger and New Testament

  1. bert0001 March 17, 2013 at 7:47 am Reply

    Thank you for putting my interest on this. Vocabulary really does make a difference.

    • thesevenminds March 17, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks for commenting. Words are powerful, especially when it concerns the emotions. So I try to dig in deeper a bit now and then. 🙂

  2. thesevenminds December 14, 2013 at 8:59 pm Reply

    Strong’s Greek: 3709.
    ὀργή (orgé) — impulse, wrath
    3709 orgḗ (from orgáō, “to teem, swelling up to constitutionally oppose”) – properly, settled anger (opposition), i.e. rising up from an ongoing (fixed) opposition.

  3. Bernard Luce June 26, 2017 at 4:53 am Reply

    True gives understanding!

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