Question:

Is Matthew 5:25-26 a reference to the Catholic Purgatory?


Answer:

"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, 'Raca!' shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny" (Matthew 5:21-26).

No.

  1. Catholicism didn't exist at this time.
  2. The rule is don't look for figurative language when a plain meaning will do.
  3. One can't settle matter on the way to final judgment.
  4. The context is not about final judgment but about anger and relationships.

Jesus is basically stating that unresolved problems can quickly grow out of proportion and become major issues that are difficult to bring to an end. It is better to settle matters before they get out of hand.