The Gospel Of Matthew, The First Book Of The New Testament Essay

1374 Words Dec 6th, 2016 6 Pages
Christians often turn to the Bible for answers to their problems including how to appropriately respond to violence. The Gospel of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament, makes numerous references to violence and is well known for Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. In this teaching, Jesus proposes different nonviolent tactics to utilize in response to several forms of evil and violence. Instead of responding vengefully Jesus states, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile” (Matthew, 5:38-41). One may initially think that this means that an individual shouldn’t resist injustices, shouldn’t fight back if they’re being attacked, or should let others take advantage of them, however that is not the case. What Jesus meant by “do not resist an evildoer” isn’t that people shouldn’t resist injustices and violence at all, but that they shouldn’t resist violently. Violence in response to violence can only lead to more violence. This particular teaching is advocating for the end of the cycle of violence and oppression. This statement implies that the ultimate goal is to end violence by changing the heart of the oppressor. Turning the other cheek, giving someone your coat and cloak, and…

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