Jesus' Abusive Tongue


Words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips (Eccl 10:12).

The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools (Eccles 9:17).

Anyone who says to his brother, “Raqa” is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell (Matt 5:22).

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen (Eph 4:29).

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged (Col 3:21).

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be (James 3:9-10).

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:19).

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt (Col 4:6).

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thess 5:11).

But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips (Col 3:8).

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (Rom 14:19).

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother (Gal 6:1).

Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort [the repentant sinner], so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow (2 Cor 2:7).


Jesus was very abusive to Jewish leaders in routine day to day sermons. 


He himself admitted this was immoral and wrong and sinful when he warned solemnly of the importance of being as wise as possible and as gentle as doves in the face of wolves in lamb’s clothing.  It puts his saying that he was not a good teacher for only God was truly good in a new light!


Jesus said to his Jewish protagonists, who were doing nothing at the time bad enough to deserve such a rant: “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good?” (Matthew 12:34).

And Jesus turned on them and said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are. “Woe to you, blind guides! … You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. … You hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. … And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers! “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” (Matt 23)

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. … You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. … He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God” (John 8:42-47).

Jesus said, Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Mark 7:6).

And Jesus answered them, O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long must I tolerate you? (Mark 9:19)

Jesus said to the disciples, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt 7:11)

Jesus said to the crowd, “I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts” (Jn 5:41-42).

So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables (John 2:15).

Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (John 6:70)

Paul: O senseless Galatians, who hath bewitched you that you should not obey the truth … As for those circumcisers, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves! (Galatians 3, 5)

Paul against the false apostles: And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve (2 Cor 11:11-14).

Paul on the Cretans: Even one of their own prophets has said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith (Titus 1:12-13).

Peter against dissenters: Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings…these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like brute beasts, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like beasts they too will perish. … They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. … They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you. With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood! … Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud” (2 Peter 2).

Jude against dissenters: These dreamers pollute their own bodies, reject authority and slander celestial beings….these men speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them. Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; … These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever. … These men are grumblers and fault finders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage (Jude 1).


The Bible contradicts itself.

The believer who thinks it Is a sin to have a terrible tongue against sinners has no right to tell you to be nice. The Bible contradicts itself so if you are nice or nasty it is up to you.  People who are lacking integrity say holy books are fine if they command bad and good for it is up to you to choose the good!  The fact remains that the book is still permitting you to be bad and you are claiming to be the real holy book if you ignore the nasty bits!


Jesus did claim to be an ordinary man.  Catholics and Christians claim that St Paul wrote that the super-being or God that became Jesus emptied himself of his rights as God to live and be subject to human authority.  So the idea is that though Jesus was God he was still an ordinary man.  Jesus even obeyed civil law! He kept calling himself son of man, ordinary man, because he wished to assert that his teaching and behaviour are roles for us. So when Jesus judged the scribes and Pharisees he was saying it has nothing to do with his being God but everything to do with his being man.  Don't start saying, "Jesus could judge them so harshly for he was God".  That is only you trying to get out of copying him for you are worried about your social standing.

Jesus is believed to be fully man. Jesus did not encourage anybody to think that if he was God or the Son of God that this could justify him doing things that would be considered wrong for an ordinary person. Paul says Jesus emptied himself and became as a slave. Jesus was careful to be ordinary and subject to the same demands as ordinary people are subject to. The argument that it was different for Jesus to have a bad tongue for he could control the consequences as he was God and make it for the best is nonsense. Jesus denied that he could tell people when the son of man would come and that only God knew that. Jesus never said why he could have a bad tongue. He just thought it was right to be sharp.

Even if Jesus had never abused people verbally, if he wrote the Bible and inspired the prophets and apostles then he was abusive through them.

The preferred Christian view is that Jesus' tongue lashings were okay in a culture that was thick-skinned and which had no problem with being spoken to like that. There is no evidence that Jesus' culture was like that. Indeed the gospels show that politeness was expected. Even the bad people were usually courteous.

If civility is just a cultural norm, then what use is Christianity? It would mean the faith sanctions verbal abuse if people are willing to take it.


The Church may attempt to argue, "Sometimes strident language in certain situations is fine say if leaders are about to murder an innocent civilian".  It cannot do that here.  Jesus had no need to abuse.


It says that talking to people like that was acceptable in those days but the Bible evidence we have seen says the opposite.


Jesus essentially accuses the scribes and Pharisees of being proud and we know proud people are not going to take kindly to what he has to say.


And even today in our culture which virtually forbids angry discourse, there are people who will take a telling off. Some people taking it in the ancient world does not imply it was ever acceptable.  People are inconsistent.  There is no evidence that a right to diatribe was ever accepted by society.


Even if a culture did allow it, it would allow it only if evidence based.  Jesus just hurls accusations and says nothing to back them up and gives no concrete examples as to why people should agree with him.

Christians who praise Jesus knowing how vicious he was as a verbal antagonist and how he didn't even need provocation in Matthew 23 are obviously okay with verbal violence when Jesus does it. If you really hate such behaviour you do not support any god or religion that honours it. To pray to Jesus involves honouring it.  Jesus was sectarian against his own Jewish leaders and remember what he said about by your fruits you know them?  Is it any wonder Christianity is rife with sectarianism?


Don’t think that Jewish religious leaders were necessarily rich. Most were just living in hamlets and villages and were poor. Nothng stopped Jesus from provoking hate and violence against them. He knew the families would be the real targets.  Don't believe the rubbish about Jesus being poor and having rapport with the poor.  He hated the poor and gave them nothing.


CONCLUSION - Jesus attacked the Jewish leaders verbally when even if they were bad they were still doing nothing at the time to justify such an attack.  There was nothing constructive in his criticism.  "I wish to bring your attention to how you treated x.  It is clear you did this and that."  It was general and he gave them no guidance on how to do things better.  And he did not claim to be speaking on information from God when he abused them.  So he was speaking man to man.  Christians cannot excuse their worship of this man.


No Copyright