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who would jesus whip? the temple cleansing episode

A recent conversation with a good friend left us in square disagreement about the validity of violence for Christians.

My perspective, which I have frequently made known on this blog, was that violence was out of the question for Christians. Indeed, even if one were to accept that God commanded violence in the Old Testament (most do, I am not so sure…), we must take seriously Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:38-39a:

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 (violently*) resist the one who is evil.

My friend responded by stating that he thought Jesus was violent; in the story of the cleansing of the temple Jesus seems to act violently when he fashions a whip, which is unique to John’s version: Read the rest of this entry

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