The Evils of Pacifism ~ Turning the Other Cheek ~ Jesus was Not a Pacifist

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Introduction
In considering the subject of pacifism, perhaps using the definition from Wikipedia might help to get us started.

“Pacifism is opposition to war and violence.  The word pacifism was coined by the French peace campaigner Emile Arnaud (1864–1921) and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress in Glasgow in 1901.

A related term is ahimsa (“to do no harm”), which is a core philosophy in Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism.  While modern connotations are recent, having been explicated since the 19th century, ancient references abound.

In Western religion, Jesus Christ’s injunction to “love thy neighbour” and asking for forgiveness for his crucifiers “for they know not what they do” have been interpreted as calling for pacifism.  In modern times, interest was revived by Leo Tolstoy in his late works, particularly in “The Kingdom of God Is Within You.”

Mohandas Gandhi (1869–1948) propounded the practice of steadfast nonviolent opposition which he called “satyagraha,” instrumental in its role in the Indian Independence Movement.  Its effectiveness served as inspiration to Martin Luther King Jr., James Lawson, James Bevel, and many others in the 1950s and 1960s American Civil Rights Movement (wikipedia.org).

Before getting into the meat of what I wish to deal with regarding the problems with pacifism, I feel it is worth our time to consider the above statement regarding Jesus Christ, wherein many people consider Him a pacifist – this is blatantly untrue, and the next few paragraphs will explain why, then we will go on.

Jesus’ and His Different Roles
For those that would attempt to define Jesus concerning His First Coming, display that they have an agenda by which they interpret everything else rather than honestly examining the situation – they show a lack of integrity in attempting to use Jesus as a prop for what they deem as a most important issue – pacifism.

Now, why would I say such a judgmental thing, the answer is very simple.

The Problem
What they are attempting to do, if you really think about it, is so transparent, wherein their point of reference treats Jesus only as a man – a one-dimensional man at that, laying aside the fact that He is the logos (“The Word” ~ John 1:1a), the communication of God, who is eternal (John 1:1a), as well as divine (John 1:1c; 1:2).

They never consider Jesus beyond His Incarnation (Meaning: “The embodiment of a deity within the human body” – which is when Jesus became a man in order to die for the sins of mankind – this principle commonly referred to as Jesus functioning as the “Kinsman-Redeemer”  Please see our article entitled: “Kinsman-Redeemer ~ Part 1 ~ A Brief Introduction“), beyond the 3 years of His ministry – they don’t consider the Old Testament appearances of Christ, referred to as Theophanies.

Where on more than a half a dozen occasions the pre-incarnate Christ, came to earth to do God’s will; wherein He did not display pacifism whatsoever  (Please see our article regarding the pre-incarnate visits of Jesus Christ – “The Preeminence of Christ ~ Part 8 ~ Christophanies ~ The Old Testament Appearances of Jesus“), as witnessed in one of visits, His role as the “”The Captain of the Host of the Lord” (Joshua 5:13-15) demanding worship, as He did decades before with Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:3-5).  

Many pacifists make the momentous mistake of confusing Christ roles (Functions) with His personality, stating He was a pacifist  in His personality.

We never define a person’s personality according to the role that they play in any given situation.

To confuse someone’s role, their mission or job with their personality displays a lack of integrity in that they will go to any length in order to promote their own cause, even if it displays a misrepresentation of someone’s personality, by confusing it with the mission that they are undertaking.

Personality vs. Roles
For the true believer in Jesus Christ, the Christian who keeps Jesus preeminent in his life, who sees Jesus not only has a great prophet, but the Son of God – God Incarnate; such a person does not handle the subject of Jesus and His personality haphazardly or superficially.

You might treat a beggar or a panhandler with little interest, with little regard – but it is only at your own detriment that you would treat a King with such disinterest and disrespect – this is what those that attempt to confuse the personality of Jesus Christ with His role do in confusing these two aspects.

Personality
Personality is made up the individual traits and distinctions of a person, wherein they are defined in their core.  Their personality is communicated in not only what they say, but how they say it, their body language and the gestures that they utilize; it is the whole presentation of a person that displays their personality.

Simply put, personality is who we are.

Personality is solidified and uniform, though there are shades of change within every person, consistency is normally seen in a person’s personality; Even if their personality trait is to be inconsistent, especially in the case of those who have mental illness issues as seen in personality or mood disorders.

Roles
However, a role or a function, or a mission that one does is not necessarily a reflection of personality and is to never be confused with it.

Yes the individual may perform the role that he has, in a distinctive based upon his personality, yet to confuse the role that someone has with their personality is not only naïve concerning human nature, it is dishonest in allowing for the sanctity of personhood.

A person may be a father in the role of parenting wherein his son is subordinate to his father’s authority and therefore displays respect as an underling.

Yet, when he goes to his own father’s house; then being the son, he finds himself subordinate to his own father – the distinction is in his diverse roles.

A man may be a police officer who commands respect in his ability to temporarily lay aside the Constitutional rights of a citizen by pulling him over and giving him a ticket, or even arresting him in taking control of his person.

Yet, if he is under investigation by federal authorities, he may be but the one that loses his civil rights along with the power that he gained when he took his oath –  the distinction is in his diverse roles.

A man may be the King of his castle at home, yet he may be the lowest employee doing the most menial honest job at work – the distinction is in his diverse roles.

Jesus’ First Coming – His First Role
Jesus Christ had a very distinct role to portray in His First Coming as a Lamb of God who was sent to die for the sins of the world (John 1:29; Rev. 5:6,12).

Jesus came in His First Coming and fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, such as Zechariah 12:10; Psalm 22; Psalm 69; Isaiah 42; Isaiah 52:14-53:12; all which exhibit His role as the “Suffering Servant” of God, to die and suffer for the sins of others.

However, these are not a reflection of the personality of Christ, though He was a perfect display of humility when He was yet divine, but this First Coming was a role that He lived out which was distinct from His personality.

Jesus’ Second Coming – His Second Role
It is during His Second Coming, that while maintaining the same personality; Jesus functions in a completely different role, riding a white horse killing millions who are gathered against Him, seeking to destroy His people, Israel (Revelation 19:11-21), wherein Revelation 19:21 states: “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth…”.

And for those that do not hold for a literal translation of the Bible, especially pacifist concerning this and many other text which would seem to present God as one that takes life and has his servants do so as well, we must remember that when it comes to Bible interpretation; if you examine individuals in both the Old and New Testaments, as they deal with interpreting prior Scriptures, they always do so literally and not figuratively.

Figures of speech are something totally different, very distinct; and are not figurative in nature.

This time Jesus is not a pacifist, as some would attempt to label Him, He is a warring King destroying His enemies – the distinction is in his diverse roles.

During His Second Coming Jesus’ role is not to be a baby born in a manger, who is offensive to none, and grows up prepared to die and to suffer at the hands of others, no he is the opposite of a pacifist, He is a warrior – the distinction is in his diverse roles.

It is this unbiblical determination to portray Christ based upon His First coming (His role) as a pacifist, confusing His personality with His role that is unscriptural and distorted at the least; and evil and the doctrine of devils (“demons” ~ 1 Timothy 4:1) at its worst – the distinction is in his diverse roles.

The Difficulties with Pacifism
Pacifism limits God regarding the use of force or violence to achieve His own Will, and anything that attempts to harness God; is opposed to God and His divine and sovereign will to do as He chooses.  It subordinates God to a principle that God must adhere to in order to be moral and righteous.

God uses Violence
We know from the Old Testament that God utilized force, physical engagement, and even the taking of human life concerning His Will, and anything that attempts to subvert the Will of God is evil; even especially if it poses as righteousness.

Pacifism Becomes Preeminent
Pacifism is a tool of the enemy in order to draw attention to itself, and away from God – wherein pacifism becomes a standard which restricts the abilities of people to rightly protect themselves and their families in order to gain a feeling of righteousness, whereas the only righteousness that the Born-again believer has is in Jesus Christ, and not anything he does.

Pacifism Assaults Jesus’ Deity
Pacifism attempts to hijack the gospel and placate Jesus Christ to the same level as people such as Gandhi or Martin Luther King; it makes Christ a great prophet at the expense of being the all-powerful God.

Some men have been called great because they display pacifism; however, it is in understanding that there is a time to suffer persecution, and a time to fight evil; even to do so physically.

The wise old expression is true, “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.”

The Correct Response within an Individual Situation
It is the guidance of the Holy Spirit wherein we understand the correct application for both suffering, as well as self-defense.

As Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 states:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

The Old Testament and Today
One issue for pacifist is how they handle the violence as seen exhibited by God and his instructions to kill given to his servants.

The Old Testament Is Dead
There are those that would say that the Old Testament is dead, and therefore, it is not meant for today.

However, Jesus said in Matthew 5: 17-18,

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”

We know that in the New Testament, when they referred to the law and the prophets, this was a synonym for the Old Testament Scripture, the law was the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible; and the prophets were the major and minor prophets combined.

Jesus Came to Fulfill the Old Testament
What Jesus was in essence saying is that He came to fulfill the prophecies and requirements of the Old Testament – this is where Jesus validates that the Old Testament shall not pass away until everything in both Testaments is fulfilled; including the conclusion of the prophecies of the last days, the Second Coming, His millennial Reign, and the New Heaven and the New Earth; which is still to come.

Therefore, the passage in Ecclesiastics is still relevant today, as it was then.

Only One Tool
There is a great expression, “If the only tool that you have is a hammer, then every problem must be a nail.”

The Problem
Concerning aggression and violence, which includes self-protection, if the only tool that an individual has is pacifism, they have limited themselves with a specific response, even though there may be a diversity of situations that they could find themselves in – and a true pacifist doesn’t even run away from evil – they stand and get slaughtered for what they believe is some moral high ground, wherein within many situations their death achieves nothing.

And for the believer this is especially dangerous as their death takes them out of the arena of fulfilling anything God might have for them to yet complete, whereby they limit God’s ability in their life to handle the situation in any manner that He would choose.

Suicide
Pacifism, which leads to death is a form of suicide, and as we understand suicide is by far the greatest display of a lack of faith in God, it displays a lack of trust that He is in total control of a person’s life – it hinders God from working in their lives, because their lives stop – it takes control away from God and therefore is an expression of not trusting God; normally speaking.

No matter how much the Pacifist would attempt to say that its God’s will is for them to die in every situation where violence would arise; this is completely contradicted overwhelmingly in the Old Testament in the stories of people’s lives where God never chose for them to die at the hands of the others in pacifism, unless it was a special circumstance.

Samson
One example might be Samson.  Samson disobeyed God by confiding the secret he was never to expose concerning the relationship of his hair and his strength.  This disobedience cost for him to lose his sight, which meant he was no longer capable of being the protector of Israel – you must have sight to fight, and fighting is necessary in order to protect Israel as he did.

Some might say that he was the first suicide bomber (Bringing down boulders upon his enemies), yet his purpose was not suicide; it just happens that the only way he could destroy the enemy, meant he would lose his life as well, and he had made himself  unavailable to fulfill his purpose.

God Decides How to Respond in Each Situation
This was a very unusual situation, and again the issue is following God’s will; and if we find ourselves in an unusual situation like the first century Christians in Rome, then dying as a martyr may be God’s will for your life.

The problem is pacifism says that every situation demands pacifism and death, therefore limiting what God can do in the believer’s life.

Christian Pacifist2
Pacifist, rather intentionally or not, create what is referred to as a circular argument when they state that killing is immoral; therefore any God that would kill, or demand others to kill would be immoral – therefore those that refer to themselves as Christian pacifist conclude that the God of the Bible could not be immoral, therefore He did not kill or demand for others to kill.

Pacifism is Moral?
Their argument starts with the conclusion that pacifism is the standard of morality, and since they don’t start off with the premise of God’s will is the standard of morality, their God is not really the God of the Bible at all, it is pacifism that uses the God of the Bible to legitimize itself.

It Is Different Today
As addressed above, some Christian pacifist have stated that during the Old Testament God used killing because the situation demanded such extremities that are not needed today, And that Jesus was this turning point where now pacifism is to be the standard.

Biblical Language is Incorrect
Or worse yet, they say that the language of the Bible is only rhetoric, and does not mean what it says; that gruesome language was used, but this was not what was actually done.

They define their interpretation of the Bible according to their predetermination as pacifist, truly God did not say to kill every man woman and child, this must be symbolic in some way.

Literal Interpretation
Yet as stated before, when it comes to Bible interpretation; if you examine individuals in both the Old and New Testaments as they deal with interpreting prior Scriptures, they always do so literally and not figuratively.  Figures of speech are something totally different, very distinct; and are not figurative in nature.

God is the Boss Because of His Power, Not His Morals
These individuals who state that they are Christians, yet are more solidified concerning their pacifistic beliefs overlook the Biblical teaching that God is God, not because He is moral or righteous; but because He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present within His creation, including all of reality.

They sidestep Romans 9 wherein God is portrayed as the Potter and we are the clay, which states:

“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very thing I raised you up, so that I might display My power in you, and so that My name might be publicized in all the earth.” Ex. 9:16 So, then, to whom He desires, He shows mercy. And to whom He desires, He hardens. You will then say to me, Why does He yet find fault? For who has resisted His will? Yes, rather, O man, who are you answering against God? Shall the thing formed say to the One forming it, Why did You make me like this? Isa. 29:16 Or does not the potter have authority over the clay, out of the one lump to make one vessel to honor, and one to dishonor? Jer. 18:6 But if God, desiring to demonstrate His wrath, and to make His power known, endured in much long-suffering vessels of wrath having been fitted out for destruction, and that He make known the riches of His glory on vessels of mercy which He before prepared for glory” (Romans 9:17-23 LITV GREEK)

This bypasses the teaching that God can kill anything that He has created because He is the master of His creation, and since He made the creation, if He decides to destroy it, it is His to do so and it is not immoral – any more than it would be immoral for me to destroy a chair that I have built.

Now of course all analogies break down at some point, but concerning this statement some would stay the problem with this analogy is that wood is not a living being, and were talking about destroying human life, not a wooden chair; yet the analogy works because humans cannot create living beings; though they could re-create / change a wooden chair.

God Gives Each Individual Their Life
The point is God is God because He is the boss, not because He fits any predetermined mold of what moral or righteousness is, and since it is God that determines every humans beings first breath (Job 12:9-10; Isaiah 42:5; Daniel 5:23; Psalm 104:29; Acts 17:28), not just that we reproduce each new living soul, but that He gives each individual life; this is yet another illustration that He is the master and owns all that He creates; to give life or to take it.

God Has Changed
Some pacifist, in order to uphold pacifism even attempt to state that the God of the Old Testament either no longer exist, or has changed to be a God of love only – a pacifists himself.

A Correct Christian View on Pacifism
One of the great Christian scholar Francis Schaeffer stated concerning pacifism:

“I am not a pacifist because pacifism in this fallen world in which we live means that we desert the people who need our greatest help. Consider the following illustration: I am walking down the street. I see a great big, burly man who is beating a helpless little girl to death. I come up and I plead with him to stop. If he won’t stop, what does love mean? Love means I stop him in any way I can including, quite frankly, hitting him. To me this is necessary Christian love in a fallen world. What about the little girl? If I desert the little girl to the bully, I have deserted the true meaning of Christian love and responsibility to my neighbor. Now extend this illustration to violence at a national level. We have in World War II the clearest possible illustration with Hitler’s terrorism. There was no possible way to stop the awful terror that was occurring in Hitler’s Germany except by the use of force. As far as I’m concerned, this is the necessary outworking of Christian love. The world is an abnormal world. Because of the fall it is not the way God meant it to be” (Author of “A Christian Manifesto,” this statement was made during a speech given in Washington, D.C. in 1982).

A Few Scriptures
What does the Bible say about protecting your own body for God’s use, self-protection, protection of one’s family, responsibility for protecting others.

What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

But if any provide [Includes physical protection] not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” ~ 1 Timothy 5:8

But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” ~ Ezekiel 33:6

If the thief is found breaking in, and is stricken and dies, no blood shall be shed for him.” ~ Exodus 22:2 LITV

He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.” ~ Psalms 18:34

A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight” ~ Psalms 144:1

Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” ~ Psalms 82:4

If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works? ~ Proverbs 24:11-12

 Understanding the Languages Regarding the Word “Kill”
One other point must be made, God did not hand down the Old and New Testaments in the English language.  He chose the Hebrew language and the Greek language for His own purposes.

To Kill
We must understand that when we read in our English translation of the Bible the word “kill,” it does not mean the same thing that we believe it means in the Greek.

In the Greek Language (We must also understand that the Old Testament Scripture that Jesus used in His day2, referred to as the Septuagint; is a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture – so that we actually have both Testaments in the Greek.  The Greek language is an exact language; much more detailed than the English.  See Endnote # 2 for an explanation of why today when we read a New Testament passage which quotes the Old Testament, then you look up the Old Testament passage; why the 2 readings do not sound the same.), there is the understanding of this word “kill“, which would better be translated as “murder,” in some passages, and “manslaughter” in another; and not simply the general term to “kill” as it is rendered according to the English language.

Killing another man that is attempting to kill you is known as “self-defense,” and is not just allowed, but mandated in Scripture (See: “A Few Scriptures” above.); which will be seen in great detail below.

Examples Regarding the word “Kill,” which should be the word “Murder”
One of the passages that many pacifists attempt to use to say that it is never right to kill, as found in the Bible, is Matthew 5:21 which states:

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment”

The word that is translated into the English word kill, in this verse is the Greek word phoneuo, and actually means “murder,” or “to slay a man unjustly;” which is another terminology for murder.

In fact all of the following Scriptures use the same Greek word phoneuo, which is translated into “kill” or “slew“, yet is correctly translated into the word murder:

Matthew 19:18 ~ “He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder [This one they got it right], Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness”

Matthew 23:31 ~ “Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.”

Matthew 23:35 ~ “That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.”

Mark 10:19 ~ “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.”

Luke 18:20 ~ “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.”

Romans 13:9 ~ “For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

James 2:11 ~ “For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.”

James 4:2 ~ “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”

James 5:6 ~ “Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.”

Jesus and the Sermon on the Mount
Perhaps one of the most used passages concerning the allegation that Jesus taught pacifism is found within the Sermon on the Mount, specifically Matthew 5:38-41, which states:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the left also. And if any man will sue the act the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”

This passage above all others has been used to promote pacifism, yet done in complete ignorance of what it truly means; so let’s take it situation by situation.

The Problem
One of the problems that we repeatedly face when interpreting God’s word is not understanding a specific phrase concerning the culture of that day, then we haphazardly apply that specific situation to a general situation that we are encountering, and confuse the two when they do not mean the same thing at all.

But I say…
A key point of this passage is that Jesus is correcting what they had deviated from which is God’s word to the extent that they abused God’s word concerning justice (Leviticus 24:19-22) to fulfill their own evil desires.

Resist Not Evil – Taking the Law into Their Own Hands
It had become common during that period of time, that if a Jew (Especially those that were wealthy & powerful prominent individuals) had felt that he had been wronged, chided or humiliated, or wronged at the hands of another, rather than following Gods ordained system of law (Deuteronomy 19:18-21), which dictated that a local magistrate would investigate the situation and render justice in the form of any prescribed punishment according to the law of God, the Jews would instead revenge themselves, which meant that it was no longer a system of justice, but react in revenge.

Yet more importantly than seeking justice Jesus was teaching them a better way, to suffer as opposed to seeking revenge or retaliation

Turn the Other Cheek
Regarding the principle of: “turning the other cheek,” let us again examine the passage of Matthew 5:38-41, which states:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the left also. And if any man will sue thy at the act the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”

It had become common that if a Jew felt humiliated or shamed by another, in return they would strike a person upon the cheek which in itself was viewed as an act of humiliation, demeaning the individual as opposed to harming them physically by striking them on other parts of their body (Lam. 3:30; Job 16:11).

It was a symbol as opposed to an action which created bodily harm.

It was to insult somebody To disgrace them and humiliate them.

This was usually done with an audience, in front of others as a display of shame and ridicule.

The physical pain was minimal, and not meant to address or correct negative behavior, but it was the humiliation of the act that was the point of the offense.

The very act of slapping another person on the face was an act of condescension, displaying pride and arrogance, and therefore considered evil in its self.

Resist not Him That Is Evil – Endured the Shame and Humiliation
The Greek phrase used here (me antistenai toi poneroi), would be more literally translated: “resist not him that is evil,” which concerning the grammar is in the infinitive (second aorist active), an indirect command; which could place the emphasis either on “the evil man,” or “the evil deed,” but either way this plays the assumption of the definite article (“THE“) in the English, which indicates that Christ was NOT saying to allow evil to permeate our society, without resisting it according to God’s law (1 Timothy 1:8-9).

On any individual basis, when a believer is minimally assaulted physically, and (To the real issue at hand) is humiliated or shamed, which is evil or done by an evil person; don’t retaliate, or supposedly defend yourself by verbally insulting them in return.

We must keep in view that the issue here is not the physical contact, but the humiliation and shame intended.

This also does not say that we are NOT to defend ourselves if we are physically attacked – it is the shaming that we allow to occur – to use this verse to say we are not to defend ourselves physically in “reading into the text” that which Christ did not say.

What Jesus Does Not Say
We are to notice what Jesus does NOT say, wherein we would imply things that are not in the text such as:

Jesus does not say to allow someone to physically harm you
Jesus does not say to allow someone to physically harm your family
Jesus does not say that we are NOT to utilize the law in seeking justice
Jesus does not say that we are to be abused by anyone in any way shape or form

As believers, we should allow our feelings to be hurt by others shaming us, which is not about our feelings, but our pride.

This is the point of this teaching – don’t let your pride lead you by getting into a tit for tact situation when you are humiliated.

Jesus displayed our example of this Himself when He was slapped (As a sign of humiliation and ridicule) by one of the Temple officer’s while being questioned by the High Priest (John 18:19-23), and Jesus responded by verbally defending himself and saying,

If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?”

Jesus the Protector – which is the opposite of Jesus The Pacifist
Jesus also protected His followers, which is much easier to see in the Greek language and Grammar than the English (John 17:12; John 6:37-40 – SEE JOHN 18:8-9), displaying His ability to defend them (Jesus kept them spiritually concerning salvation, yet also physically as well), as seen in John 18:17-9, which states:

“Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way: That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.”

As well as Jesus statement to the Father, As stated in John 17:12 which states,

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.”

You also can see that Jesus did not teach nor display weakness or timidity when in the presence of danger and violence.  We need to see this for what it says.  Here we have the priest and dozens of individuals armed representing the power and majesty of Jewish priesthood with all of its armed guards, yet look who is talking with force and is in control (Again this is much easily seen in the Greek where Jesus is making demands, not asking for indulgences).

And you think Jesus would’ve allowed these men to be hurt – when it was his will and even spoken obligation to take care of them – do we think that Jesus would allow them to be hurt for the sake of pacifism when it contradicts What he has said and done?

Based upon the fact that Jesus never lies, and fulfilled Scripture concerning him taking care of those that were his, that Jesus would not of been timid and allowed those to be hurt but would’ve done great violence to those that would attempted to do others.

The point is that Jesus is not presenting a pacifist doctrine here.

Opposing Evil Men and Evil Schemes
It is that total contradiction of everything taught in both the old and New Testament, to take the position that we as believers are to allow evil men with evil schemes to continue without resistance.

As believers we are always to fight against evil, and those that promote it, otherwise we would violate the very law which God had given to man as a reference concerning what was good, which always mandated fighting and punishing what was evil.

Jesus was not contradicting the law.

Jesus did not come to change the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:44) by dying for the sins of the world (2 Corinthians 5:21).

A good example of this is Peter cutting off the ear of Malchus in the garden when Jesus was being taken.  What was Jesus response to Peter as recorded in John 18:11:

“Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

You see Jesus did not ridicule Peter for using force and protecting Jesus are the others.  He told them to put up his sword because the event that Jesus had come to earth to do, to die for the sins of the world as he had taught them, it had to be completed which Meant that Jesus had to be arrested prior to his crucifixion.

If Jesus was teaching pacifism he would not of stated that the reason why Peter was to put up his sword was because Jesus had to be taken and violence, Jesus who is perfect and true what a condemned the act of violence if pacifism was the new law of the kingdom of God.

What Christ is saying concerning turning the cheek is that if a (Small) offense is committed against you, such as being shamed or humiliated by another (To reiterate, which is what being stricken on the cheek meant to the Jews, striking on the cheek was considered a non-punishable offense, one of questioning another’s integrity by publicly shaming them), take the offense and don’t revenge yourself, show honor and character in the face of humiliation.

If any man will sue thee at the law
Regarding the principle of: “if any man will sue thy at the act the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also,” let us again examine the passage of Matthew 5:38-41, which states:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the left also. And if any man will sue thy at the act the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”

First – You Are Guilty
First, and most importantly, what Jesus indicates here is that if you are found guilty in this litigation, and that your accuser wins his case against you, according to the legal conclusion against you in a the court of law determines to: “take away thy coat,

You see what is implied directly within the context is that someone has sued you “at the act the law,” and has won a judgment to take away thy coat.

You see the only way if a man took you to court that he could take away your code is that he won a judgment against you, and since there is no implication by Jesus that you are innocent of the judgment, it is obvious that Jesus is indicating that you are guilty and that the act of law is correct in taking away your coat.

Because you lose the Case – It Implies You Are Guilty
Because if this was not the case, it would be morally deceptive to make the audience think that the person was actually suffering because he deserved it, and the judgment was just; when in actuality he was innocent, because Jesus did not say so.  Lying is simply deception, which can be done by not saying something and implying a lie is true, Just as easily as making a false statement.

The law was very specific concerning the loss of personal property, especially if it was the essentials, such as a personal wardrobe (Which is mainly consisted of the clothes on your back).

Tunic / Inner Garment Given as Collateral
Jesus is here referring to a common occurrence of his day, wherein an individual would utilize their (Tunic) inner garment (Somewhat synonymous with your shirt) as collateral for a purchase, and after being found guilty of not having fulfilled your part of the bargain, Jesus is saying you should be prepared to surrender your outer garment (Your coat) as well.

The Hebrew Law concerning the Tunic
Here’s where understanding the Hebrew law comes into giving greater understanding of the situation, because of the essential nature of the need of clothing, such as the tunic, in Hebrew law, the only way that your adversary could seize your tunic was because you used it as collateral for a loan and default on the loan.

Bartering using Collateral
It was common that if an individual conducted a street transaction (Bartering) and did not have the items with them (Which in a case where coinage was not used or available, bartering by using animals or other intrinsic articles was common), they would leave as collateral something of greater value with the person, such as their interior coat / tunic.  The tunic was the normal article to be used For barter because the outer coat, if used for bartering would appear inappropriate out in public, and pragmatically speaking was necessary to keep one warm.

The Example of Tamar and Judah
This is seen when Judah did not have the price of bartering (“A kid of the flock“) to pay Tamar, but uses as collateral (Pledge) his signet, bracelets, and his staff (Genesis 38:17-18).

Therefore what Christ is saying is if you lose litigation, indicating that you are wrong, be prepared to pay not just your obligation but even more in recompense, which in this case would be to allow the claimant to have your outer cloak as well, which was more expensive.

Whoever shall compel thee to go a mile
Regarding the principle of: “whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain,” let us again examine the passage of Matthew 5:38-41, which states:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the left also. And if any man will sue thy at the act the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.”

Shall Compel
The expression “shall compel” was a specific terminology of Persian origin (A Figure of Speech, a current American cultural expression would be like saying “the few, the proud, …”, which would set the stage for the understanding that the reference was an expression concerning “…the Marines”), and was utilized concerning a royal standing command that was as a Royal law of a kingdom, throughout the conquered lands of Persia (From which the Jews had many times been under, such as Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, And also used by the Romans as a law of Caesar), and was understood that one of the officers of the King’s court (Such as a courier, representative, or soldier) could demand that a local citizen would personally escort them during their journey for a distance of up to 1 mile in aiding them during their travels.

Angaria
This principle was used at the time of Jesus by the Romans, and known as the law of Angaria.

Whereas verbal instructions concerning directions could be misunderstood (Such as: “go straight for 1 mile, then turn right at where Farmer Joe’s barn used to be”), having a local citizen personally take you to in route to your destination became necessary.

The point that Christ is making is that when it comes to our civil commitments (whether they seem righteous or not), we should be willing to not only fulfill the requirement of the law, but sacrifice even more than required. Believers, as citizens are not only to meet their requirements, but to exceed them.

A final thought Concerning this Section of Sermon on the Mount  
It is amazing to consider that due to a lack of understanding concerning cultural issues of Bible times, that when believers do not study (studying is far more than simply reading, it is using credible Biblical dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, word studies, and being fed by Spirit and guided Bible teachers; and more. If we love God with our whole being [Mark 12:33], why would we do less) God’s word, attempting to learn from scholars and theologians, How easy it is to perceive superficially Issues and doctrines that end up being completely different from that which appears on the surface – especially when translating from Greek, such a detailed and exact language into English, which is so broad and ever-changing.

Summation Concerning of this Section of Sermon on the Mount
Concerning Matthew 5:38-41, these 3 short verses hold tremendous insights and immense meaning.

Firstdo not revenge yourself, but allow the Powers that God has ordained (Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-17) to administer justice Be a forgiving person.

Second, if someone shames, humiliates, or ridicules you; do not revenge yourself, but show honor and character by not reiterating the same back Be a humble person.

Thirdly, if you have been found legally guilty, and rightly so, be prepared to suffer for your wrongs and to pay back even more than what seems fair Be a righteous person.

Fourthly, concerning your civil commitments; be willing to not simply meet your requirements, but to exceed them as well Be a good neighbor, good citizen, and therefore be a good example.

It is amazing that the main Scripture that was utilized for pacifism is actually nothing at all to do with this practice – it is guidance for pragmatic biblical behavior for the child of God.

Martyrdom
Pacifism is not linked with martyrdom, the two have nothing in common.  There are times and situations where a believer must make the choice to be martyred, wherein the evil ones that have power over you demand that you either recant or be willing to die for our belief in Christ – that is not what we are speaking about here – this is not pacifism, this is something that is noble submission to God’s will and the ultimate act of faith in trusting him.

As we all know, the first martyr of the New Testament was Stephen (Acts 22:20).  Yet, the English word “martyr” has changed in its meaning from the original Greek word “martus,” which means “to witness(As used in Matt. 18:16; 26:65; Mark 14:63; Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8,22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32; 6:13; 7:58; 10:39,41; 13:31; 22:15; 26:16; Rom. 1:9; 2 Cor. 1:23; 2 Cor. 13:1; Philip. 1:8; 1 Thess. 2:5, 10; 1 Tim. 5:19; 6:12; 2 Tim. 2:2; Heb. 10:28;12:1; 1 Peter 5:1; Rev. 1:5; 3:14; 11:3).

The difference is the point of focus.  The pacifist is fixated on his refusal to be violent, even in the defense of his life or the lives of others, whereas martyrdom has to do with refusing to renounce Christ and dying for him in the process.

Providing For Your Own
Does 1 Timothy 5:8 mean that a man is to support his family financially, yet allow them to be killed by murderers and thieves, when it states:

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” (KJV)

The grammatical breakdown for the Greek word (pronoeo) which is translated into English word provide, is that it is in the present tense, meaning it is a continuous action which never stops, active voice meaning that it is done by the person referred to, not by God or government.  And it is in the indicative mood indicating it is a mood of certainty, and a complete reality that is to be performed.

This word means to be prepared in advance by thinking through how to meet all of the needs of the people that are being provided for, It means to take care of and includes physical safety as well as food and clothing.  It is an all-encompassing word which cannot be separated from the thought of physical protection.

Governmental Punishment By Violence and Death
Romans 13: 1-7 states:

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.”  (Romans 13:1-7 – KJV) 

This Passage speaks about submitting to the governmental powers that “bearth not the sword in vain,” which is a literal precursor to deterrent of criminality, and is not figurative due to the lack of the words “like” or “as,” which are always used when metaphor, allegory, or similes are used.  It also deals with the death sentence concerning the legal phrase “revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil,” and there can be no greater violence perpetrated than the taking of a human life.

Thou Shall Not Kill
The following was taken from an Internet article entitled the “Problems with Pacifism

“Notice that it’s “Thou shalt not kill,” or “but David slew Goliath“?

In the Bible, when you find a word in italics, this means that this precise word is not in the original text, it is implied or there is not an exact English word with the same meaning, and the translators use their own guess at what the word would be close to in their current grammar. 

The main problem with this is that many English words have changed their meanings over the last 400 years.  The Biblical Greek word can now be better understood based upon the grammar and a more educated understanding of the Koine Greek as compared to four centuries ago.

Why two different words?  Because the original meaning of kill was more nearly that of murder, whereas slay meant homicide in general. Although there’s some overlap in usage in the Bible, generally actions like killing in battle are translated with slay. The distinction was clear in the 1600’s when the King James Bible was published. It’s only when we became intellectually sloppy that we blurred the distinction between the two words.  This is a pons asinorum (bridge of asses) – an initial first step that has to be made before any productive discussion can begin. People who trot out “thou shalt not kill” as a basis for pacifism are revealing only their illiteracy.”3

The Violence of Turning over the Money Changers Tables & Whipping Them
If Jesus was a pacifist then how do we explain John 2:14 and Matthew 21:12, where on these two occasions, at the beginning of His ministry, and at the end of His ministry; Jesus cleared the Temple using a scourge to whip the money changers, turning over tables; displaying violence.

Some would say since He was without sin, and the judge of the world, He could do this where we could not.  They say that He was beyond the example, exempt from His own teaching.  Do you hear the hypocrisy in this.

Christ and Buy a Sword
Jesus the pacifist, who at one time had told the 70 as they were going on a special mission (A specific event to teach them about evangelism – The event determined their preparation, which included no need for self-protection – remember Jesus words about him keeping his own while he was with them), to not prepare for their journey by taking extra clothes, as well as not taking a weapon with them, referred to as staves.”4

However three years later, shortly before His departure; Jesus gave a new directive and told His disciples to arm themselves against robbers as seen in Luke 22:36-38, which states:

And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. 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. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.”  (KJV) 

Some of the Christian pacifist listed above attempt to distort this Scripture into saying what it doesn’t literally say.  Jesus tells them to prepare by purchasing a sword.

Yet as all humans do, feeling trust in our own flesh and our own ability to take care of ourselves, they point out that they have 2 swords, displaying that they believe that the swords are actually what will protect them – where in reality it is God who uses us in our ability to use the weapons to protect ourselves, it’s not the weapons themselves it’s God’s ability to use the weapons in our hands.

It is Enough
At their lack of understanding Jesus said, “it is enough.”

Many from my side of the argument, that don’t examine or understand the language think that Jesus is saying to swords is enough, that’s not what Jesus is saying.

He was saying “enough”! – as in – He’s finished with this conversation.

It was obvious that Jesus was frustrated that they didn’t understand that though He was telling them to purchase a sword for self-protection, again as in every situation it is God who ultimately takes care of us, rather He uses a sword when we defend ourselves, or does a miracle; it is God who is our strength and our protector.

Jesus’ retort to them was simply a reflection that they didn’t get it, and he was not going to continue on indulging them in their misinterpretation.

The fact is that if they had A sword, that’s what they needed.

And the argument that Jesus was talking about the immediate situation, is not supported by the context.

He was talking about a principal wherein they were going to no longer have Jesus in person on earth to protect them.

Wherein they would be vulnerable to robbers and others that would do them harm.

Do you think that Jesus, knowing the future, would wanted them to escort the money that was later collected in the Gentile churches that was to be taken back to Jerusalem during the famine, to have them without protection as they transported this large sum of money – is Jesus a fool that He would tempt the situation.

The Founding of America
This last example is personal for all of us in the United States.

As the founding of America occurred, and our forefathers determined to use violence to protect themselves against violence; wherein a righteous cause would be won by the shedding of guilty man’s blood, and freedom would be acquired to worship God and become the greatest country to ever outreach the world with the gospel; do you think that God was not the one actually who saved us and gave us the power to be His hand extended around the world.

Concluding Thoughts
Have we not presented enough evidence to show that our protection is in God, even if God uses the gun in my hand to protect the lives of my family, or a knife, or an ax, or anything that I might used to protect myself or others, yet it is ultimately and always God who utilizes these things to protect us.

And if it’s God’s will that we die as martyrs for the faith, and we have no ability to protect ourselves; then we die to His glory.

It is not the weapon that we need to be focused on, which is the case of the pacifist; it is that God that uses a weapon, or even the jawbone of an ass, to protect us; it is he that we keep in focus, not the tools that he would have us use.

Brent

Endnotes
1.  Christian Pacifists

Ted Grimsrud, Christian Early, Preston Sprinkle, Jacques Ellul, John Howard Yoder, Archie Penner; and Motyer, Stibbs and Wiseman, editors of the “New Bible Commentary”, along with the commentator John Gill.

2.  The Greek Septuagint was Jesus’ Bible

Have You ever notice that sometimes when you’re reading a section of the New Testament where the speaker is quoting an Old Testament passage, then you go look up the Old Testament passage and the two passages are not the same.

The reason why is that the common translation that was used by Jesus repeatedly (Which indicated that Jesus validated this translation by using it) of the Old Testament, was the Greek Septuagint (The symbol being “LXX”), and when you read our current Bibles, the Old Testament is actually a newer translation of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Therefore the New Testament is presenting a Greek Translation of the Old Testament, wherein our current Old Testament’s are the Hebrew translation; which is why the two are not exactly the same; and in some cases appear to be quite different, though reading them in the original languages, rather than the English translation of both those languages, clears up all of these inconsistencies.

The reason why the Jews of the first century were utilizing a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures is that 270 years before Christ, due to the Greek occupation, the Hebrew language fell out of use among many of the Jews.

Their common language of the day was the Greek language, introduced and mandated by Alexander the Great 330 years before.  Therefore, The priests felt that translating the Hebrew Scripture into the Greek would facilitate the Scriptures being read again.  It is this Greek translation, the Septuagint (Meaning 70 in Latin , as Approximately 70 translators were used in the process) that Jesus used, as well as Paul and many of the other New Testament writers.

3.  But what about “Thou shalt not kill?”

http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/ProblemWithPacifism.HTM)

4.  Staves

According to most of the newer translations, those based upon the corrupted Alexandrian Codice, they translate this word to be a “staff,” and infer that it must be referring to a “walking staff,” by conjecture only.  Yet according to the “Textus Receptus,” as well as the “Majority Text” renderings, this should be translated “rod” as seen in its usage in the following Scriptures: 1 Cor. 4:21, Heb. 9:4, Rev. 2:27; 11:1; 12:5; 19:15.  However, it is the words of Jesus Christ Himself that referred to a “stave” as a weapon, as stated in Matthew 26:55, which states: “In that same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me.”

The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’
is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.”

6 comments

  1. Hal H · ·

    oh my…..

    Please forgive them, they know not what they do…..

    Like

  2. Hal,
    I find your answer condescending, or perhaps it is just me. After spending so much time and effort to try to point out the flaws in this false doctrine, your answer I find to be inadequate at the least, and complacent at its best.

    Do you not understand what’s at stake here.

    Every pacifist I’ve ever met, likes to use Jesus as a wise and noble prophet, alongside others; at the stake of His deity. This is an assault upon the integrity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

    If you are a Christian, which at this point I would not know; but if you are, you should be offended at the assault regarding the deity of your Savior – the one that died for you.

    And if you’re not, you have other issues that are far more eternal than the subject of pacifism.

    Regarding Christian pacifist, I have never personally met one that I would say is truly born again; though this is not my call and I could be totally wrong, because I haven’t met that many.

    I see that you didn’t get what this article really got down to, that the main problem with pacifism is a point of focus, where pacifism becomes preempt in evaluating the Bible as opposed to maintaining the preeminence of Christ and His authority over the life of not only the believers, but all of His creation.

    Right now there are pacifists on the West Bank and in Gaza that support the Palestinians; who are opposed to Israel, the Apple of God’s eye.

    There are pacifists standing by in Africa as hundreds of thousands of Christians are martyred, promoting the idea of death unto compliance.

    This is not a trivial matter.

    During the great tribulation there will be hundreds of thousands martyred for the name of Jesus Christ, not because they are pacifists and are seduced into a false doctrine; but because they are standing up for Jesus Christ, and death is the only choice rather than compromise.

    So please do not treat this subject so cavalierly.

    Agree or disagree, yet mediocrity is one of the current problems of the church, in fact I think it would be warranted to repeat what Jesus said concerning the last church age, that He would rather have them hot or cold, but because they are neither He spit them out of His mouth.

    Now if you have something insightful to say please do so, otherwise please do not treat such an important issue so curtly. bb

    Like

  3. Michael Snow · ·

    I agree with your distinction of Christ and his roles. Many do not think about that.
    God reserves violence for himself, see Romans 12.

    Born again pacifists that you have never met: D. L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Wm. Booth, Vernon Grounds, etc. (Link Deleted)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Michael,
    Thank you very much for your comment.

    Before replying concerning your statement, I would like to ask a question regarding what you have NOT stated.

    Some might interpret your response to indicate that God, and God alone is the one that is allowed to be violent; that there is no place for the believer to ever act violently.

    Please let me know if I misinterpreted what you’ve stated, or if you have truly implied what I have suggested.

    I really hate to deal with subterfuge, rather intentional or not; and I dare not accuse you of that, I just want to make sure I understand what you’re truly saying; as well as which are not saying.

    Also, it is a practice of our ministry not to validate other websites by posting their website links or addresses (We always post email addresses for courtesy sake).

    We do this because there are many individuals that will go to any extreme to attempt to promote their own agendas by even presenting what seems to be statements of agreement in order to have their links posted.

    So please don’t take offense that we don’t republish links, regarding this type of nefarious behavior.

    I once knew a pacifist that was very dishonest and aggressive in their promotion of pacifism.

    How antithetical that they would be aggressive in nature, while stating that aggression of the physical sort is antithetical to the Bible.

    Normally, these kind of people live by the mantra, “the ends justify the means,” which I find To be a violent rationality of deceptive behavior which truly is opposed to God and His word.

    This is why I talk about the evils of pacifism, it can rationalize any behavior in order to promote its cause – which by its very nature is antithetical to Jesus Christ and the gospel (Sorry to keep utilizing the word antithetical, it just sounds so much better than saying hypocritical, But then it does get to the Root of the problem, that of an inconsistency within ethics).

    But as Paul says, I am persuaded of better things of you.

    Brent

    Like

  5. Brent · ·

    Very well written.

    Like

  6. Thank you. Brent (Good name) Bolin

    Like

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“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This online Bible study series addresses primary New Testament words in their original language - Koinè Greek - as opposed to mainly using the English translations; which is like adding color to a black-and-white picture.

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