Would Jesus have owned a gun if guns had been available when he lived on the Earth?
Gun advocates grab Bible verses to prove Jesus would have defended himself with a gun. Those on the other side of the gun debate do the same.
There is a fancy theological term called eisegesis which means reading one's own ideas into the text instead of letting it speak for itself. The opposite is exegesis, which is trying to determine what is actually being said in its context.
We should not use the bible to defend our beliefs. Rather, we should allow the bible to shape our beliefs.
It is true that in the Old Testament the nation of Israel, God's chosen people, were told to use weaponry. They were told to attack and kill. They were told to leave no survivors.
However in the New Testament there is a much different message The message of the New Testament is one of love.
In the Old Testament God dealt with man through nations. In the New Testament we find a different age. There is more emphasis on love and peace, and more emphasis on a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Another interesting point is the context in which it was written. In the New Testament era the Israelis had lost their nation and were under the thumb of Rome. Many people wanted to overthrow Rome and hoped Jesus would lead the revolution. It was in this context that Jesus taught.
The Sermon on the mountain that begins in Matthew 5 is believed to be a summary of Jesus teachings. In another gospel it is called the Sermon on the Plain. Scholars believe this may have been the thrust of many of his messages when he was teaching.
Here are three points to consider from these teachings as they relate to Jesus' attitude toward violence, or even defending oneself against violence.
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