Jesus (courtesy ohioriverlife.blogspot.com)

“Interestingly, Atwood does not make much of the one biblical passage used by Christians who are against all use of guns, except perhaps for hunting. That directive from Jesus is found in Matthew 5:39 (Revised Standard Version): ‘Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.’ Of course, interpretations of Jesus’ directive differ. Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), the reputed father of international law, is famous for reasoning that Jesus meant his directive only for strikes literally on the cheeks, and not for strikes on any other body parts. So, if someone hits you on your lower jaw or anywhere else but the cheeks, you can blow them away and still be a Christian.” – Hector Avalos, Jesus and guns [via amestrib.com]

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102 Responses to Quote of the Day: Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition Edition

  1. And that is why we have freedom of religion. I would take Philosophy over religion any day, and would prefer no one hit me at all and me not hitting anyone else.

  2. ” Only 8 percent of those 2.5 million defensive uses of guns actually wounded or killed any aggressor.”

    Wait, isn’t that a good thing?

    ” Only a small minority of homicides appear to be the carefully planned acts of individuals with a single-minded intention to kill.”

    Now that is an astounding claim. So most dead gangsters were just having a screaming match that simply got out of hand? It reminds of an episode of “the first 48” where the victims family cried and preached about guns while the victims homies were erecting an infamous “ghetto shrine” (liquor bottles, gang graffiti) to him in the background.

    • For the mathematically challenged, they are claiming that only 200,000 (8% of 2.5 million) criminals are shot and killed or wounded by law abiding citizens acting in self defense every year. Like that’s an argument
      against firearms!

  3. Luke 22:36
    “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”

    • Context is everything. Jesus needed swords among his disciples so that the Jewish leaders could turn him over to the Romans for the death penalty. The only way the Romans would put Jesus to death was if he was leading an insurrection; having swords gave the Jewish leaders the ability to accuse Jesus of being a traitor to the Roman Empire and have Jesus crucified.

      Recall also that when Peter struck a Jewish leaders aide with a sword, Jesus promptly rebuked him and healed the man’s ear. He didn’t grab a sword himself and take up the fight.

      • Recall also that when Peter struck a Jewish leaders aide with a sword, Jesus promptly rebuked him and healed the man’s ear. He didn’t grab a sword himself and take up the fight.

        Yea, but if Jesus couldn’t heal – he probably would have just finished him off. Better for them to wonder where the aide went rather than know the “insurrectionist forces led by Jesus” cut his ear off. Right??

        Instead Jesus went with the “how to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie” approach. In fact, Since god is omniscient, Alpha/omega, etc., Jesus probably already read that book at that time.

      • Luke 22 (NRS): 36 He said to them, “But now, the one who has a purse must take it, and likewise a bag. And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me, “And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” 38 They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” He replied, “It is enough.”

      • I’m pretty certain they would have arrested Jesus, whether or not his disciples were armed.

        There’s probably some deep theological meaning behind that instruction that is beyond my understanding. But one thing is apparent: Jesus was a peaceful man but he was not a pacifist. And the natural right of self-defense was understood by Jesus and others of his day.

        • “…But one thing is apparent: Jesus was a peaceful man but he was not a pacifist…”

          Exactly.

      • Luke 23:4
        “Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find no guilt in this man.'”

        If the goal was to look guilty, then it failed. Jesus wasn’t crucified because of having a sword; He was crucified because the rabble demanded it. Also note that Jesus was constantly quoting the Jewish scriptures (Old Testament) which strongly support self defense.

        As a Christian, I can not stand it when other Christians try to force pacifism on others when the right to self-defense is clearly a universal, natural, and God-given right.

      • Yes, context is important, and should not be manipulated. Christ believed in self-defense, but Peter was not being personally attacked (at risk of death or dismemberment), and of course, the arrest of Christ had to occur.
        As to turning the other cheek, not fearing evil is a virtue, and sends a message of love and acceptance. When it becomes a matter of life and limb, not predominantly embarrassment, it is another thing entirely.

        • “…Christ believed in self-defense, but Peter was not being personally attacked (at risk of death or dismemberment), and of course, the arrest of Christ had to occur…”

          Another way to look at it is this… if someone falsely accuses you, do you have the right to shoot the cop who comes to arrest you? Heck, do you have the right to attack the person who falsely accused you (even if they’re a government official)?

          No, that’s for the court to decide. And Pilate did find Jesus guiltless.

        • the immediately preceeding passage adds to it, he defines his instructions in terms of going out into the world as thy had done before. “When I sent you out with only the clothes on your backs, did you want for anything?” he asks. “Well, now it’s different. Go prepared, bring all that you may need to survive on your own. Most Importantly, bring a sword. If you have no sword, GO BUY ONE, even if you have to sell your clothing to do so.”

          I would imagine he didn’t expect them to go out right then and there to get a sword so that they could be armed for some set piece. He was getting betrayed that night, and it was Passover. No businesses would have been open at all. No one would have sold them a loaf of bread, let alone a blade.

          The only people I hear making these asinine Pacifist Jesus arguments are spongy, soft, white-bread Christians, the ones who have never had to walk a bad street or live in a bad neighborhood, who have never had to grab a rifle and stand a post, and who have always slept soundly at night, willfully ignorant of the rough men who stand ready to do violence on their behalf… The Jewish people don’t. They have read that book, and have learned from hard experience what happens when you let ANYONE disarm you.

  4. And in Luke 22:36, Jesus effectively is a proponent of protecting oneself:

    “He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

  5. I’m wrestling with this myself: If I were alone or with my wife, would I want to take the life of someone who hasn’t been saved? On the other hand, if there’s a threat against my daughter (who hasn’t confessed Jesus as her Lord and savior), it starts to seem like an easier choice. :\

    • You wouldn’t protect your own child because s/he isn’t as religious as you are? Or did I misunderstand? Besr with me please, English is my 3rd language

      • It’s pretty much impossible to know whether an intruder/threat is saved, but I know I am, so my life is secure. I’d hate to use deadly force and live regretting that decision. After all, Jesus laid down his life for the world even as the world crucified him, so my personal response to a threat doesn’t need to be self-preservation.

        But like I said, if the lives of the [assumed] lost are pitted against one another (i.e. intruder vs. my unsaved daughter, or a serial killer vs. a mall), the situation seems totally different to me.

        • I don’t think any serious believer would answer “what would Jesus do” with “armed robbery”, so…

    • Wrestling with ethically tough questions is ok! It’s how we come to understand. As a Christian for 43 years, I would suggest it is not up to you to worry over whether a hypothetical bad guy is somehow saved or not. God is utterly sovereign in that. Proceed on what is clear, not what is unclear: You are as a man responsible before the Lord as a protector to your family, your friends, the “household of faith’, and even to “your neighbor”, defined broadly [parable of the good Samaritan]. Gentleness is not powerlessness, it is all the courage and strength you have, under good self-control. If the government is not present to deter evil against those you love, you may have to, even if it means laying down your own life doing so, much less some conscienceless criminal’s.

      • Doug, that’s true. However, I can’t take credit for not being a conscience-less criminal myself. I didn’t choose the circumstances I’d be born into, and I can’t take credit for turning my life around. When I think of things that way, I have compassion on them.

        Not saying that settles it! 🙂 Just saying it muddies the water from what I’m used to hearing.

  6. That verse is about being personally insulted or humiliated, not fighting for survival or defending your family from harm. All firearm owners seek to endure whatever imposition they can to avoid taking a life, and to never assume the role of aggressor with their weapon. Additionally, I would suggest that a man who would do nothing while another person commits an act of violence is himself an evil man.

    Two things:
    It’s a testimony to the general success of Christians in observing this verse that you can post a blasphemous painting of our Lord on this post without us flipping out or saying things like, “We will slaughter your wives and your children’s blood will flood the earth!!!” like *SOME* religions.

    Those who don’t know the entire Bible well should not isolate a verse or passage and pontificate on it or purport to understand it.

    • It is a Photoshop of an artist’s rendering of a person neither you nor the artist have ever seen before. Based on my limited understanding of things I’m pretty sure Jesus did not have long hair and has never worn a hat like that. It makes no sense to get put out over it. Otherwise you should check up on the second commandment.

      • Yes, everyone knows that our representations of Jesus are just that, particularly when we portray Him as lily white with anglo features. But regardless, it is a deliberate representation of Jesus, made to look ridiculous. It could be an occasion for the devout Christian to take some offense. My point was not that such representations should never appear, but simply that Christians have a greater sense of humor, higher degree of tolerance, and better sense of graciousness about such things than your typical middle-eastern Muslim when confronted with a similarly adorned image of Mohammed.

        Incidentally, the 2nd commandment refers to idols. If you are not worshiping the statue/painting/whatever in such a way that it displaces God, there’s no relevance there.

    • Thank you for this. I was about to post something quite similar.

      Methinks the person who quoted the verse needs to go back and study the historical milieu in which Jesus was making this point. The higher moral implication of the directive is still valid today to be sure, but the example has a very direct 1st century meaning to it that is obviously lost to most here in the 21st century…

      • Exactly. In 1st century Palestine, it was considered acceptable for a superior to strike an inferior on the cheek, but only if the superior slapped the inferior with the back of the hand. To strike someone with a closed fist essentially meant that the striker and the strike-ee were equals. To “turn the other cheek” meant to present the other side of the face in such a way that the face could only be struck with a closed fist, not with the back of the hand – essentially daring the other person to consider one as an equal. Essentially “turn the other cheek,” as well as the rest of the passage – “go the extra mile,” “offer your cloak as well as your coat” – advocated peaceful rebellion.

        *Go the extra mile: Roman law permitted a soldier to force a peasant to carry his armor one mile, but no more. Offering to carry the armor for an extra mile put the soldier in the position of having to violate the law. Offer your cloak as well as your coat: The debtor was reduced to nakedness. Shame, in that culture, came upon the one witnessing the nakedness – the creditor seizing the coat – not on the naked person.

    • +1

      If anyone strikes you on the right cheek….

      A right-handed person striking someone on the right cheek is making a back-handed strike. It is literally and figuratively being insulted/humiliated, not physically assaulted.

      The verse has absolutely nothing to do with the moral implication of using deadly force in self-defense. God declares that all life is sacred. Allowing an attacker to take one’s life, out of fear of the moral implication of deadly force being required in order to stop the threat on one’s own life, makes no sense. The person choosing to take life is the attacker, not the victim. The victim is merely being forced to act, in order to protect his own, equally sacred, life.

      Oh, and I suppose the Caananites, Hittites, Hivites, Amorites, etc. might have some testimony regarding whether the use of deadly force is inherently immoral, given that God commanded the Israelites to wipe them out upon entering the Promised Land.

  7. The intent of turn the other cheek is for slights and insults. There’s a significant difference in being slapped and someone attempting to kill you.

  8. I think the point is a strike on the cheek is not deadly force.

    If someone is threatening murder, that is a capital crime. Deadly force may be used righteously to stop the agressor.

    If someone lashes out with a harmless but violent action, do not respond in kind further escalating the situation.

  9. Christians need not be anti-gun.

    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

    Legitimate defense

    2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.”65

    2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

    If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.66

    2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

  10. Sorry, but I just had to chime in, since this Biblical verse is often misinterpreted.

    Yes, Jesus does say “turn the other cheek” (Matt 5:39), but when Jesus Himself is struck on the cheek by the servant of the high priest (John 18:22-23), Jesus **does not** turn the other cheek!

    Why? Because it depends. If turning the other cheek would make the situation better, then you should turn the other cheek. If turning the other cheek would increase the amount of injustice in the world, then you must resist injustice and **not** turn the other cheek. Example of first case: your wife has had a long day and says something nasty to you. Probably a good opportunity to not snap back at her, but “turn the other cheek”. Example of second case: any justified DGU.

    Signed,
    A devout Catholic who thinks Father Michael Pfleger is a bad priest.

  11. If your will is protect the good people from the evil one. Then it would seam that not defending our life from an assailant would just be helping the evil spread. If someone tries to kill me because I was at home when they wanted to break in and I didn’t shoot to kill then I would be allowing potential others to be killed or victimized. I feel that I’m a better person for those around me than anyone that would break in and try to kill me. Easy call at least on paper.

  12. God, being ( good ) needs the devil, being ( bad ).. in order to win hearts and minds… thus, defeating evil is in turn defeating ourselves… much like cancer’s advancement to kill it’s host..

    A perplexing situation to be sure.

  13. I am a Christian. I don’t will harm to come to others. I would love to see others come to know God and be saved.

    But, if someone threatens me or my family, he is going to have to deal with potentially lethal force. Whether or not he tried to make peace with God is not my concern at that point, and what happens to him if he passes is between him and God. My hands are clean, because I only did what was necessary to protect family.

  14. It’s very specific on being struck on the right cheek. Now to do this a right-handed man has to use the back of his hand, which is traditionally something someone of higher status does to a lesser. Turn the other cheek, and to continue he must use an open hand or a fist which would be treating you as an equal and allowing you to respond in kind.

  15. When taking that verse in context to other verses in the New Testament, I always interpreted it as to mean that we should not be quick to anger, that we should retreat (or whatever) whenever feasible. In a sense, it is saying that you should be the better man. If you are a conceal carrier, it is also in your legal best interest not to get into arguments or altercations, to deescalate the situation even if your pride should be hurt. But, it certainly does not mean you should let yourself be injured or killed.

    • Hmmm, the AK has been thriving in that biblical middle Eastern region though. Plus the IDF standard issue is galil and akm right? Not that he needed a weapon at all ever. Did he even carry a sword? I know a few of the twelve disciples did.

    • No, definitely the AK. In the desert, weeks or months on the road with dirt and sand getting into everything. Not having access to gun smiths or replacement parts if something broke. and if you ran out of ammo, you can use the AK as a club. And as a carpenter, Jesus would appreciate that with simple metal working tools, you can pretty much build an entire AK , you can’t do that with an AR.

      Nope, definitely the AK.

      • You can do all those things with an AR.. But unlike the AK..the AR’s first useful purpose is actually a rifle.. where as the AK is Just a metal club, masquerading as a rifle.

        Definitely the AR.

    • Well, there’s an old story about that, featuring one of those turn-of-the-century evangelists who was a former boxer. Seems a local tough hit him in the face, so he turned the other cheek and got hit again. Then he said, “the Lord tells me to turn the other cheek, but after that He didn’t make any other requirement of me,” and promptly set to thrashing the lout. But it’s probably apochryphal.

  16. I’m a Lutheran, and I spent a lot of time thinking about this. I’m totally in support of loving my neighbor, even the wicked evil neighbor who wants to take my life or my stuff. But I also love the neighbors closest to me, my wife and my kid, and God has given me certain responsibilities to them. If turn the other cheek has any bearing on self defense, it certainly has nothing to do with defense of neighbor.

    From Luther’s Small Catechism:

    The Fifth Commandment.

    Thou shalt not kill.

    What does this mean?–Answer.

    We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body].

    From the Large Catechism:

    Secondly, under this commandment not only he is guilty who does evil to his neighbor, but he also who can do him good, prevent, resist evil, defend and save him, so that no bodily harm or hurt happen to him, and yet does not do it. 190] If, therefore, you send away one that is naked when you could clothe him, you have caused him to freeze to death; if you see one suffer hunger and do not give him food, you have caused him to starve. So also, if you see any one innocently sentenced to death or in like distress, and do not save him, although you know ways and means to do so, you have killed him. And it will not avail you to make the pretext that you did not afford any help, counsel, or aid thereto, for you have withheld your love from him and deprived him of the benefit whereby his life would have been saved.

    tl;dr Lutherans believe that allowing someone to be deprived of life is the same as killing them, so if you have the means to protect someone from being murdered, you should use them.

    • Did you really just equate killing with murder? Both the ancient Greek and the Hebrew words are different, ergo, different meanings.

      • I copied and pasted a translation, but BDAG (the top scholarly lexicon for Koine (biblical) greek offers murder or killing for the word φονεύσεις (Matt 5:21), so the Greek can go either way, the Hebrew תִּֿרְצָֽ֖ח (Exodus 20:13) more strongly implies murder, but it can also refer to unintentional killings. Or at least, that’s what Brown Driver Briggs says.

        That said, in both cases the context is clearly discussing wrongful killing, thus, murder. Also, if I didn’t make it clear in my original post, I’m totally okay with self-defense, although if you looked at the turn the other cheek pericope in a vacuum, you could totally see it as forbidding it. So also with the “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword” bit. But it’s telling there that Peter was carrying a sword without Jesus objecting.

        • Good points all. To get a little “grayer,” how about preemptive self-defense? Turning the other cheek implies a double-check on intent. However, it doesn’t necessarily imply letting the blow land, IMO.

  17. Here is some context for the “turn the other cheek” directive:

    From Luke, Chapter 6 (NRS): 27 “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you. 32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”

    “The measure you give will be the measure you get back” pretty well sums it up.

  18. Funny how I never thought of Jesus as a pacifist. I always recall what he said in the garden. Just keep in mind that a LEGION is a military term.

    Matthew 26:53
    Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?

  19. And Jesus also said …Sell your coat and get a SWORD….put in correct meaning Jesus is telling you to befriend all people FIRST… but a attack on your life is SELF DEFENSE . not too hard to understand a Christian is for peace , but is also not a doormat….He who lives by the sword (evil) will die by same………..

  20. As much as I agree with the post itself, that picture pisses me off. A sword, fine, that illustrates the point. But sunglasses and a cigarette? Come on, how would you like it if I shopped Moses as a rapper?

    Let’s not alienate our allies.

  21. Two points. First if you are pushing gun control because it is the ‘Christian’ thing to do you will have to repeal both the First and Second Amendments to the Constitution.

    Second, just because you value life as a Christian doesn’t mean that you should value the life of a murderous felon over your own life. A slap on the cheek is at best a minor injury. Christ didn’t say if someone stabs you in the stomach with a sword, turn around so he can stab you in the back. Also, Peter carried a sword and Jesus never rebuked him for it until he cut the ear off the Roman, and I think that was because it was time for him to be delivered to the Romans. If it was wrong to carry a sword he would have been rebuked long before he was.

  22. As I explain in my book, “A Time To Kill: The Myth of Christian Pacifism” Jesus was referring to dealing with an insult, NOT an actual assault meant to do harm.
    Striking the right check with the left hand was an insult because for 1,000’s of years before Jesus and to this day in the Middle East, the left hand is used to wipe your but!

  23. OK…I’m prepared to be attacked or mocked. I believe the God of the old testament is the same one revealed in Jesus Christ. (Let US make man in our own image-ELOHIM) The progressive revelation is continued in the new testament. Jesus did say buy a sword. He did violently beat moneychanger in the temple. He is presented as one with eyes as a flame of fire. He WILL return to earth to violently kill his enemies. He is the LION and THE LAMB all in one person. The new testament also states he that doesn’t look after his own family is WORSE than an infidel. So I’m going to defend my wife and kids to the death. And support them. No matter what some likely apostate presbyterian minister says. Or a marxist catholic priest. God is love, light and life. But he is also just-even the pope is calling for violence against ISIS. Oh yeah +1000 Chip B.

  24. If someone strikes your “right cheek” they are doing it with their “right” hand because touching someone with your left hand was a fineable offense. So that person would be “back-handing” you. Turn your other cheek and deny your beotch status.

    Anyway, the Pic of MY SAVIOR (albeit with the AK is cool) is offensive, please remove/amend it (I don’t care if you’re quoting anyone else).

    • I’m Christian and I don’t have a problem with the picture. AK, thumbs up, that’s one of the “swords” he would recommend in the modern era, in my opinion. Sun glasses, hey! he’s in the desert, makes sense to me.

      Cigarettes, Christ was all about not being controlled by the every day taboos of the current culture. especially if they are mindless and mostly about control. Cigarettes, like anything in moderation, is also in my opinion, not particularly harmful.

  25. Or Jesus is a mythological figure who never existed. His life was made up after the fact by various different people and therefore his ‘actions’ are anything but consistent and sometimes self-contradictory.

    Might as well get upset that all the accounts of Zeus’ behavior are not consistent.

    • Or Julius Caesar. Maybe the Homeric works are all attributed falsely as well, seeing as there is less provenance for them than Jesus.
      Zeus was never attributed to be a real-life human, and I believe that to be true. Christ was attributed to have walked the earth, and I believe that as well.
      Sounds like you spend too much time weewaxing, not enough time researching before posting.

    • The Christ-Myth historical argument is one of the weakest of the modern skeptics. That Jesus lived and was executed is attested to in independent works outside the Bible by both those antagonistic to Christianity and those neutral to it.

      The Christ-Myth theory is a modern invention of the mid-18th Century and is not taken seriously by most modern scholarship regardless their position on Jesus’ divinity. For the most part it is the realm of the pop-skeptic crowd of the likes of HItchens and Dawkins.

    • Or Jesus is a mythological figure who never existed.

      What a completely ignorant thing to say. There is a greater volume of more-reliable, original-source historical record for the existence of Jesus of Nazareth than there is of Julius Caesar – by an order of magnitude.

      You’re entitled to your own opinion; you’re not entitled to your own facts.

    • Who his real father was may be open for discussion, but historical records show that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed somebody’s son. We’re very sorry those mean billygoats chased you off your bridge, Mr. Weewax, but we’d nevertheless rather you go be a troll someplace else.

  26. Concerning Luke 22:36:
    The consensus among the early fathers of the Church, was that He was warning his disciples of the wars and troubles that would wrack the region in the decades to come. And also, that the disciples would be seen to be able to defend themselves but would not. This method of “heaping coals upon the heads” of their enemies, payed off in the persecutions under the Roman Emperors. Many, witnessing the calmness and placidity with which the martyrs endured torture converted to Christianity.

  27. A slap in the face is an insult, not a life threatening injury. It’s pretty clear the passage is about not escalating insults into violence needlessly.

    The bible is a pretty good manual for taming ones own ego, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t say you have to let people kill you.

      • Anybody can rewrite or retranslate it in an attempt to make it more understandable, that doesn’t mean they actually did what they set out to do.

        • The more a story is told, the more it changes.. I wonder how much of the bible is actually in true form after so many translations, written by man.

        • The more a story is told, the more it changes.. I wonder how much of the bible is actually in true form after so many translations, written by man.

          …something else that you could answer yourself, if you were at all serious about such a question, and weren’t merely being a lazy, ignorant troll. By standards for ancient writings, the Bible is absurdly faithful to original manuscripts. And as more original manuscripts are found (e.g. the Dead Sea Scrolls), the more accurate/faithful the Bible is shown to be.

          Is there an ancient text more faithful to the original sources than the Bible? Name your ancient text. It will be at least two orders of magnitude less accurate/faithful/internally consistent.

        • My money is on the Biblical texts, but I cheated and did the research, decades ago. Considering the New Testament, the earliest available texts are almost contemporary to the time they are writing about, and the sheer volume of available copies made examination for falsification into simple work. Even the minor errors in transcription read like a road map to chart the transmission of the text into different languages and areas of the world. The available evidence is enormous compared to any other works of antiquity.

        • We also have many other written records from the 1St. century (church fathers) these were people who saw , talked to, or sat under the teaching of St. John, but had see Paul, or Peter, and back up each other as to what was said and known and records left in many nations in first century… We also have what is called the DEAD SEA records that were written before and during the time of Jesus ,,, again PROVING the Bible to not only being true , but that the later translations used in the King James bible to be correct and proven TRUE……. the FACT is we have MORE back up records and copies etc. for the Bible that any other history EVER WRITTEN….

        • Even as the bible was copied by hand it was checked and rechecked many times by the Jews so that not a word was missed or left out… same thing with the King James Bible was translated by several teams over and over and the copies also were checked in Greek, etc.. no Bible since has such checking as to be very correct and Yes Jesus was a REAL PERSON , we have records in Roman/and other history records… our public schools do not want you to know the TRUTH ,,,why ? so they can control the people….

        • Fuque
          You can go back and check, very early manuscripts still exist. Your simple excuse is just that, an excuse, and a poor one at that. Easily destroyed by the light of research.

      • Personally, I have done the vast majority of my study from NIV (1984). If I want to do some exegesis, I use a combination of Young’s Literal Translation, with KJV/Strong’s Concordance w/Greek and Hebrew lexicon. (It’s the closest I can get to going back to the original text, without actually learning ancient Greek and Hebrew.)

      • The short answer is because there are different approaches to translation. There are many ways to convey a thought from one language to another, and even more if you consider different audiences (kids, 17th century Englishmen, seminarians, ESL speakers, etc.).

  28. Proverbs 25:26 “Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.”

    Luke 11:21 “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe.”

    Just sayin’.

  29. Several have mentioned the Luke passage about selling you cloak for a sword. Something to keep in mind though, is that two of the disciples already had swords.

    Also note that the NT is clear that Jesus didn’t set aside the law, he fulfilled the law.

    Nothing in the OT or NT prohibit the RTKBA or self defense. It prohibits murder and rebellion. That latter is an important reason the Founders went to so much trouble to justify their actions and spent years and years exhausting every option until the Crown forced initiated violence and forced their response. (and yes, I’m well aware of the arguments against the Founder’s position. I’m writing from their perspective.)

    • Yes, two disciples had swords, but it seems that Jesus did not know this before hand, for after he is told that two of them have swords, he says that that is enough. He does not tell everyone else to go and get more swords–two is enough for the prophecy to be complete:

      He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.

      • Yes, two disciples had swords, but it seems that Jesus did not know this before hand, for after he is told that two of them have swords, he says that that is enough. He does not tell everyone else to go and get more swords…

        But if the question is the inherent morality of keeping and bearing arms, then the reason for obtaining and bearing arms in that circumstance is irrelevant. God does not tempt, and does not lead his followers into sin. If bearing swords was inherently sinful, then Jesus led his disciples into sin. Ergo, bearing arms cannot be inherently sinful.

        (Similarly: consumption of alcohol cannot be inherently sinful, because Jesus, in his first miracle, turned water into wine, that was capable of causing drunkenness – i.e. it was alcoholic, not “sweet”, wine.)

        Sin is a matter of how the freedom is exercised: using arms to commit murder, or consuming alcohol to the point of drunkenness.

      • karlb, Jesus knew they had two swords. He is God. He was telling the others to get swords because He was going to be crucified and wouldn’t be around to provide for their needs anymore. They got excited and thought that He was finally going to lead them in rebellion against the Romans. He told them it was enough because He was going to be crucified to pay the penalty for our sins. He wasn’t leading a rebellion and they still didn’t understand what He had been telling them for the last three years. He told them to buy a sword because when you are out on the road doing missionary work you may be attacked. It was so important that they were to sell their cloak, their most important piece of clothing, in order to get a sword to protect themselves from robbers. If you didn’t have a sword you couldn’t protect yourself or others just as today you can’t do either without a gun. Jesus was mostly exasperated with the disciples at that point.

  30. Robert, respectfully, the picture is offensive.

    It isn’t that Jesus is just meek and mild. Any believer who’s ever read Revelation19 knows that isn’t so. The issue is showing some respect for those of your readers who are Christians, and there are a good number of us, and we like TTAG for the information and the good open discussion.

    Rev. 19:11 is about a last battle, called Armageddon. It begins: “And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes are a flame of fire… and He’s wearing a robe dipped in blood. Picture that.

    • And the Bible says when JESUS (GOD) returns he will RULE WITH A ROD of IRON (is that rod a Gun ? We will find out)…. and the Angles will have swords of FIRE and be in the tens of thousands …..Does not sound like JESUS is a WIMP………….

  31. Good to see fellow believers on this site. I can tell you the return of Christ is very close. Perilous times indeed…

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