Matthew 5:18

New Testament

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place. 19 So anyone who breaks one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever obeys them and teaches others to do so will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness goes beyond that of the experts in the law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven!

Sanhedrin 107a

Babylonian Talmud

David requested: “And I shall be clear from great transgression” (Psalms 19:14), meaning that my transgression with Bathsheba and Uriah will not be written in the Bible. God said to him: That is impossible. And just as the letter yod that I removed from the name of Sarai, wife of Abraham, when I changed her name to Sarah, was standing and screaming several years over its omission from the Bible until Joshua came and I added the yod to his name, as it is stated: “And Moses called Hosea, son of Nun, Joshua [Yehoshua]” (Numbers 13:16); the entire portion of your transgression, which is fit to be included in the Bible, all the more so it cannot be omitted.

 Notes and References

"... The law's intention was important, and debates about this (against its mere wording) could be important in forensic rhetoric. Gentiles would also understand Jesus' warning against removing even the tiniest part of the law (5:18), though Jesus' illustration is specifically Jewish. The repetition of 'shall be called in the kingdom of heaven' in two clauses of 5:19 would be viewed as antistrophe, or epiphora; while Matthew might not have used such a label, repetition was rhetorically effective in his milieu as well ..."

Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (p. 178) William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2009

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.