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Does Jesus encourage violence ?


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#1    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 01:41 PM

Does Jesus preach to others to use violence?

Luke 22:36
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"
Matthew 10:34
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword".

When reading the above quotes from the bible - Luke 22.36 and Matthew 10 34, Does Jesus really mean for them to use violence with swords?  Or is there more to the verses, like context?

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 05 February 2013 - 02:06 PM.

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#2    Esoteric Toad

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:10 PM

Agh! I am an atheist but I have noticed that Christianity seems to be such an easy target for any sort of derision. Nearly all organized religions' texts, if taken literally, promote violence. What I find amazing is societies apparent fear of the second largest religion in the world, Islam. At least I can draw a stick figure of Jesus and not have to fear for my life or be the creator of globe spanning riots that result in deaths.

Search hard enough and I am sure you can find violence associated with any large organize group. Atheists themselves can be extremely narrow minded and quite militants to a neurotic, almost zealotry like follower.... I have read rants by atheist that put Southern Baptist fire and brimstone sermons to shame.

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#3    J. K.

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:16 PM

I think that you would find, in context, that Jesus was telling the disciples that following Him would bring the attack of the world upon them.  He was cautioning them, in His customary way of speaking in parables and symbols, to be ready for the attack.

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#4    Mnemonix

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:21 PM

Christians: No.


#5    and then

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:23 PM

View PostBeckys_Mom, on 05 February 2013 - 01:41 PM, said:

Does Jesus preach to others to use violence?

Luke 22:36
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"
Matthew 10:34
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword".

When reading the above quotes from the bible - Luke 22.36 and Matthew 10 34, Does Jesus really mean for them to use violence with swords?  Or is there more to the verses, like context?
As JK said, I think He was preparing them for attacks both physical and otherwise from "the world".  He had sent them on a mission to build His church in all the reaches of the earth and He knew they would die in that effort.  I think He literally intended that they draw sword to defend themselves when necessary so that His message could reach the world.

  We've cast the world, we've set the stage,
  for what could be, the darkest age...

#6    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:42 PM

View PostJ. K., on 05 February 2013 - 02:16 PM, said:

I think that you would find, in context, that Jesus was telling the disciples that following Him would bring the attack of the world upon them.  He was cautioning them, in His customary way of speaking in parables and symbols, to be ready for the attack.

View Postand then, on 05 February 2013 - 02:23 PM, said:

As JK said, I think He was preparing them for attacks both physical and otherwise from "the world".  He had sent them on a mission to build His church in all the reaches of the earth and He knew they would die in that effort.  I think He literally intended that they draw sword to defend themselves when necessary so that His message could reach the world.

Take a look at this below..

   A Brief Explanation of the Sword in Luke 22:36

James M. Arlandson

Did Jesus endorse and encourage violence in the Gospels, presumably a righteous kind of violence? Did he call his original disciples to this? Did he order all of his disciples to buy swords, really? One verse may indicate that he did.
And Luke 22:36 reads:

36 [Jesus] said to [the disciples], "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." (New Revised Standard Version, NRSV)


Cited in isolation, the verse suggests that swords and violence are a possibility. It seems as if all of the disciples should go out and buy one each. After the death and burial of Jesus, they would have to face the world alone without him, so they thought.
However, what happens to the apparent meaning of the verse when it is not read in isolation, but in context? Did Jesus really wield a sword and want all of the disciples to buy one each?
Exegesis of Luke 22:36
The historical context of Luke 22:36 demonstrates that for three years Jesus avoided making a public, triumphal entry of his visits to Jerusalem because he understood that when he set foot in the holy city in this way, he would fulfil his mission to die, in a death that looked like one of a common criminal, just as Isaiah the prophet had predicted hundreds of years before (Is. 53:12). He needed to complete his work outside of Jerusalem.

Now, however, Jesus finally enters the city famous for killing her prophets (Luke 13:33-34), a few days before his arrest, trial and crucifixion, all of which he predicted. Religious leaders were spying on him and asked him trick questions, so they could incriminate him (Luke 20:20). These insincere questions, though they were also asked before he entered the city, increased in frequency during these compacted tense days. But he answered impressively, avoiding their traps. Despite the tension, each day Jesus taught in the temple, and crowds gathered around him, so the authorities could not arrest him, for fear of the people. Then Judas volunteered to betray him, saying that he would report back to the authorities when no crowd was present (Luke 22:1-6).

As Passover drew near, Jesus asked some of his disciples to prepare the Last Supper (most likely the Seder). He elevated the bread and the wine, representing his body and blood, which was broken and shed for the sins of the world in the New Covenant (Luke 22:17-20)......... However, during the meal, Judas slipped out to search for the authorities because he knew that it was the custom of Jesus to go to the Mount of Olives to pray (Luke 21:37), and that night would be no different.
At this point we pick up the textual context of Luke 22:36 (bold print). He is eating the Last Supper on the night he was betrayed.
Luke 22:35-38 says:

35 [Jesus] asked them [the eleven apostles], "When I sent you out without a purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?"
They said, "No, not a thing."
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 numbered among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled."
38 They [the disciples] said, "See, Lord, here are two swords."
"It is enough," he replied. (NRSV)


The textual context reveals at least two truths.
First, Jesus contrasts his ministry before his arrival in Jerusalem with the tense few days in Jerusalem when spies and the authorities themselves were seeking to trap him. Does the tension play a part in understanding why he told his disciples to go out and buy swords? This is answered, below.

Second, he says that he would be arrested and tried as a criminal, as the prophecy in Is. 53:12 predicted. Does this have anything to do with swords? Do criminals carry them around? This too is explained, below. Jesus may have a deeper meaning in mind than the violent use of the swords. What is it?
The interpretation of the verses can follow either a strictly physical direction in which swords must be used, or a non-physical one in which swords must not be used, during Jesus’ last hours. The surest and clearest direction is the non-literal one, but first we analyze why the literal one will not fit into Luke 22:34-38 and into the passage about the arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:39-53).
Violent use of the swords
Jesus says to the disciples to buy swords, but when they show him two, Jesus says the two are enough.
The first direction, the literal one, is inadequate for two reasons.
First, the obvious question is: two swords are enough for what? Are they enough for a physical fight to resist arrest? This is hardly the case because during Jesus’ arrest a disciple (Peter according to John 18:10) took out his sword and cut off the ear of the servant (Malchus according to John 18:10) of the high priest. Jesus sternly tells Peter to put away his sword, "No more of this!" and then he heals the servant, restoring his ear (Luke 22:49-51). Resisting arrest cannot be the purpose of the two swords.

Second, were the two swords enough for an armed rebellion to resist the authorities and to impose the new Jesus movement in a political and military way? Jesus denounces this purpose in Luke 22:52, as the authorities are in the process of arresting him: "Am I leading a rebellion that you have come with swords and clubs?" The answer is no, as he is seized and led away (v. 54).
So the physical interpretation of Luke 22:36 (the two swords were intended to be used) will not work in the larger context. Two swords are not enough to resist arrest, to pull off a revolt of some kind, or to fully protect themselves in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The contextual meaning of the swords
In contrast to the literal interpretation of using swords physically, the following interpretation works smoothly in context so that all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.
First, Jesus reminds the disciples of his mission for them before he arrived in Jerusalem (Luke 9:3; 10:1-17). Did they need a purse, a bag, or extra sandals? No, because people were friendlier, and their opposition to him was spread out over three years. Now, however, he is in Jerusalem, and he has undergone the compacted antagonism of religious leaders seeking to trap him with self-incriminating words.
When the authorities are not present, they send their spies. The atmosphere is therefore tense, and the two swords—no more than that—represent the tension. Jesus’ mission has shifted to a clear danger, and the disciples must beware.

However, he certainly did not intend for his disciples to use the swords, as we just saw in the literal interpretation, above, for he is about to tell Peter to put away his sword.
Second, "For I tell you, this scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered among the lawless’" (Luke 22:37).By far the clearest purpose of the two swords is Jesus’ reference to Isaiah’s prophecy (53:12). He was destined to be arrested like a criminal, put on trial like a criminal, and even crucified like a criminal (but his arrest, trial, and execution were based on false evidence. He did nothing but good.) Yet, he was hung on the cross between two thieves, which is also a fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy (Luke 23:32; 39-43).... What are criminals known for carrying with them? Weapons, and to be numbered among criminals, Jesus must also have weapons. That is why he said that only two swords would be enough—to fulfil this prophecy.

Also, Matthew mentions fulfilling prophecy (26:54). If Peter had kept on physically using the sword to prevent Christ’s arrest, prophecy would not have been accomplished smoothly and without hindrance. Jesus says that he could call on twelve legions of angels to protect him, meaning he is destined by God to die; he was not permitted to stop even the mighty Roman Empire from fulfilling its role (Matt. 26:53). That is why Jesus told Peter to put his sword back in its place (Matt. 26:52). And in Luke he says to Peter after the disciple cut off an ear, "No more of this!" (22:51)

The third and final non literal interpretation says that Jesus frequently used physical objects (seeds, lamps, vineyards, coins, lost sheep and so on) to teach non-physical  universal truths, and the same is possibly true of the two swords.
This interpretation of clarification is supported by Matt. 10:34: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword." As seen in this article on Matt. 10:34, in context he does not mean a physical sword that cuts up and bloodies the family, but a spiritual and moral one that may divide it up non-physically ...... And it is precisely Luke who clarifies Jesus’ meaning of "sword" as non literal  in the two parallel passages of Matt. 10:34 and Luke 12:51. If Luke does this in 12:51, then why would he not shift slightly the meaning of "sword" in 22:36-38?  http://www.answering.../luke_22_36.htm

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 05 February 2013 - 02:52 PM.

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#7    Abramelin

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 04:12 PM

View PostJ. K., on 05 February 2013 - 02:16 PM, said:

I think that you would find, in context, that Jesus was telling the disciples that following Him would bring the attack of the world upon them.  He was cautioning them, in His customary way of speaking in parables and symbols, to be ready for the attack.

He cautioned his followers and told them to buy swords to defend themselves?

Cool, and how about this:

"But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."


#8    Ashotep

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 04:25 PM

Turning the other cheek always perplexed me.  How many times should you turn it before you decide you have had enough and slap theirs.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you only works so long until its time to do unto them as they have done unto you.  That's the only thing some people understand.  I guess that's when its time to draw your sword.

Edited by Hilander, 05 February 2013 - 04:28 PM.


#9    RavenHawk

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

Which question do you want an answer to?  "Does Jesus encourage violence" or "Does Jesus preach to others to use violence"?  Of course, Jesus encourages violence just simply by his existence.  Just look at a militant atheist or a Muslim.  I can't say that Jesus actually preaches to others to use violence in the way you are looking for, organizing the Jews in a revolt against the Romans.  But by his actions uses violence in the form of righteous anger when chasing the money changers out of the temple.  He does say in John: 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."  And it is reaffirmed in 1 John 3:16 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."  This is the basis of why our soldiers fight for us, why they fight for those who can't.  This is unadulterated violence.

You seem to think that violence can only come about by the use of a sword.  It does not.  Violence emanates from the person, and not the sword.  Swords don't kill people, people kill people.

You're thinking of swords in today's gun control mindset.  Criminals aren't the ones that own guns or swords.  Most people carried them then for self defense.  It was the exception that the Disciples hadn't been carrying swords in the first place.  If they had been, not everyone needed to.  Perhaps they were carrying swords and this incident (Luke 22:36) was just a lesson??  Again, you are thinking of Hollywood and the sword fights from Robin Hood or Princess Bride.  The fighting in those movies is fencing.  The swords in Jesus day were not fencing blades.  It was more of like a knife fight from West Side Story.  You didn't parry the blade, you tried to dodge it.  Swords in the hands of civilians weren't about to over throw anything unless it was going to be organized, but the Romans had pikes and shields in a phalanx.  That is like putting revolvers up against machineguns.  The Romans had no need to disarm anyone, therefore anyone that had a sword wasn't a criminal.  Swords were just an accouterment.

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#10    J. K.

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:45 PM

Quote

Ephesians 6

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints-- (bold/underline mine)

Quote

Turning the other cheek always perplexed me.  How many times should you turn it before you decide you have had enough and slap theirs.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you only works so long until its time to do unto them as they have done unto you.  That's the only thing some people understand.  I guess that's when its time to draw your sword.


If someone wrongs us, God expects us to react selflessly, not selfishly.  To try to repay someone with evil for evil amounts to judgement, which is reserved for God alone.  If we try to avenge the wrong done to us, then we are assuming God's role in the world.  Trying to do that is what got Satan in trouble.

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#11    Hasina

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:05 PM

Depends on who's at the pulpit.

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#12    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 06:43 PM

View PostRavenHawk, on 05 February 2013 - 05:32 PM, said:

I can't say that Jesus actually preaches to others to use violence in the way you are looking for
I know you cant, I told you this last time too..In this thread, post 98, I quote you saying, Jesus is not about non violence, so I post back -  

Quote

Go  on then, you copy and paste something from the NT that shows Jesus telling people  -  The best way to get what you want, is to kill people .. Use as much violence as thy can .. I want to see where Jesus has in fact told people to use violence. to get their way?
  As seen  post 98 in here - http://www.unexplain...ic=242024&st=90
I built this thread to see if others who followed him would agree that Jesus did preach about using violence..  A you seemed to think he did, and when I asked you to prove it, you threw up those two bible quotes, but you got it wrong, and you never looked at the context ..Jesus saying two swords are enough, was about this prophecy and he told Peter to put his sword away... None of this  is proof he preached to others about using violence

Quote

Just look at a militant atheist or a Muslim.   

Jesus knew people would be victims of their faith, but he still didn't say, go out and use violence that ought to teach them.. You are clutching at straws here .

Quote

But by his actions uses violence in the form of righteous anger when chasing the money changers out of the temple   

How many times are you going to ride this horse?   Jesus getting angry in a temple is not proof he preached for others to use violence

Quote

   Swords don't kill people, people kill people.   

You took a known quote from the NRA that says - Guns don't kill people, people do.. I can say - Toothpaste don't clean our teeth, people do ..  You are seriously getting away from the point.. The point is, Jesus did not go and preach to people to use violence..This is what my OP is about, the same question I put to you elsewhere -  Does Jesus preach to others to use violence?    Will I get anything that says just this?  I'll wait and see

Edited by Beckys_Mom, 05 February 2013 - 07:05 PM.

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#13    Beckys_Mom

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

View PostJ. K., on 05 February 2013 - 05:45 PM, said:


If someone wrongs us, God expects us to react selflessly, not selfishly.  To try to repay someone with evil for evil amounts to judgement, which is reserved for God alone.  If we try to avenge the wrong done to us, then we are assuming God's role in the world.  Trying to do that is what got Satan in trouble.

So basically the sword means the word of god ..Take it and use it

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#14    notforgotten

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:28 PM

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

The sword is the word of God.
Gird your waist with truth.
The breastplate of righteousness.
Shod your feet with the gospel of peace.
Take the shield of faith.
and
The helmet of salvation.


#15    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:15 AM

He also said those who live by the sword, die by the sword.

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