Not Peace but Sword?

<h2 class=”objection”>Matthew 10:34—”The Injīl teaches violence: Jesus said, ‘I did not come to bring peace but a sword. “</h2>
This verse is using ‘sword’ as a <i>metaphor </i> to describe the unfortunate division and conflict which result within families when one family member chooses to follow God alone and the rest do not. The parallel account in Luke 12:51 shows that the meaning is simply division, and the Greek word ‘sword’ (μάχαιρα) is used elsewhere as a metaphor of division (Hebrews 4:12).<p>

Critics’ using this verse to say that Jesus taught and brought violence is ridiculous, for Jesus never used a sword and taught his disciples to renounce violence:<p>

<blockquote>”Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)</blockquote>

In fact, the first two centuries of Jesus’ followers were so strict against violence that they were criticized for their pacifism. The community of Jesus’ followers grew like wildfire despite opposition and persecution by the Roman Empire. Yet Jesus’ followers never retaliated or rebelled, nor did they form an army or political branch. When Jesus was asked about his political goals, he answered:<p>

<blockquote>”My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (John 18:36)</blockquote>
For more on the topic of violence and the Scriptures, see “<a href=””>here</a>.

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