Pacifism and the Sword in the Gospels

Did Jesus endorse and encourage violence in the four Gospels, presumably a righteous kind of violence? Did he call his original disciples to this? Did he order all of his disciples to really buy swords? Two verses may indicate that he did these things. Matthew 10:34 reads: 34 Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword (New International Version, NIV) 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, those two verses suggest that swords and violence are a possibility. It seems as if Jesus carried and wielded a sword. 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 two verses...(Read Full Article)

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