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Love Your Enemy? A Short Commentary on the Greek and Hebrew of Matthew 5:43

Rev. Roy is a Pastor, holder of a MRE and Biblical Scholar. He translated The Gospel of John, An Actual Translation and numerous articles.


Who Is Your Enemy

Roy Blizzard III © 2011

As an ordained minister and a Hebrew, Greek etc. student of the Bible, holder of a MRE, as well as the son of a PhD in Hebrew studies and minister, I am well aware of many of the errors spread in the name of Christianity, especially the Old Testament ones that the so called pacifist movement so loves to spread, “thou shall not kill” and Jesus’ New Testament words “Love your enemies”.

Even if one is familiar with Hebrew it can be difficult to trace the real roots behind these Words and if you only know Greek you are at a real disadvantage and will probably never know what the truth is unless someone like me were to tell you.

You may or may not be aware that the Old Testament passage of Exodus 20:13, “thou shall not kill” actually is translated as “thou shall not commit premeditated murder”. There has been several good articles about this. However, I have never seen anyone write about what I am going to share with you now except for my father and I, as most Christians probably don't know enough to find where to look for it.

In Matthew 5, where Jesus is speaking on the mount, he is giving a perfectly good Jewish sermon, saying nothing new, but just commenting on Jewish law. But when you read it in Greek and then English, if you know Jewish Law, you are immediately thrown off when you come to the statement to “love your enemies” as this does not make good Jewish sense as they had a teaching that said that if a man were to come to kill you, you should rise up and kill him first as your righteous character and that of your family is worth more than the unrighteous character of the evil one coming to destroy you.

So then, why does Jesus say to “love your enemy”? Is he stating some new law that we were unaware of? No, for to do so would have been to make God out to be changeable.

When I was taking Classical Greek at the University of Texas in 1986, this perplexed me so I started researching it. It took me several days to find out the answer. In the Liddell and Scott Greek English Lexicon which is the authoritative lexical aid for Greek I found an unusual reference that finally led me to the truth. The Greek word in question here is Exthros which is generally translated as Enemy in EVERY NEW TESTAMENT LEXICAL AID.

However, in the Liddell and Scott there is a reference to a 1st century A.D. grammaticus, Ammonius - Grammaticus, which defined the word Exthros as someone who had been a Philos (a brother) but is alienated (out of enmity you had become estranged from them for a while). It was different than a Polamios, who you are at war with (who was a blood enemy who was out to kill you) and a Dusmenos is one who has long been alienated and refuses to reconcile.

Then it all made sense to me.

Jesus was quoting the Jewish Law and EVERY New Testament commentary was wrong.

In the Babylonian Talmud, in the Book called Sanhedrin, which dealt with trials and legal issues, # III 5, there is a reference to this subject, “If one had not spoken to his brother (a person of the community or a Philos) for 3 days due to “enmity” then you could not sit on a court of law either for that individual or against that individual.

What Jesus was saying then was that you brothers had better quit behaving badly towards one another or else you won't be able to support your community if such a need arises. A person may be falsely accused and if you haven't spoken to your brother for 3 days you won't be able to get him out of trouble or vice versa if you see your brother committing a crime, you can't bring charges.

Even if we raise the argument that “Your "enemy” is someone who persecutes “you” in any or all situations how does this argument make Jewish sense if Jesus says that the time would come when even those of a man's household would be an “enemy” (Matthew 10:36).

Scholar Richard A. Horsely in his book "Covenant Economics: A Biblical Vision of Justice for All" states concerning the verses in Luke 6:27-29 (and the corresponding ones in Matthew 5:43-44): “These are sayings on which pacifists (Including myself) who demonstrated against war and for civil rights based our non-violence. This interpretation, HOWEVER, takes the sayings by themselves out of the context of the covenantal speech. "Enemies" was the standard term in covenantal teaching for those local neighbors with whom people had come into conflict (and who could sabotage one's crops - see Matthew 13:25), it is not a reference to the Romans” (page 110).

So Horsely, the pacifist, recognizes that this passage does not have to do with "blood enemies" or the polamios who would do us harm/violence. As a matter of fact he goes on to state “Neither in this speech (Luke's version) or in Matthew's adaptation of the Sermon of the Mount do these admonitions and illustrations concern violence, the slap on the cheek (Luke 6:29a) is an insult, NOT a full-fledged physical attack” (ibid. page110).

Also, scholar James L. Kugel in his book: “In Potiphar's House: The Interpretative life of Biblical Texts” shows quite convincingly that the text in Leviticus 19:17-18, “17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord”. As interpreted by the Qumran community they see “brother”, “neighbor” and “children of thy people” as referring only to members of the Qumran community - anyone outside of the community, that is other Israelite's, were seen as “enemies”. Enemies were anyone outside of the community.

As Kugel writes: “...for the drafters of the Damascus Document”(a Qumran scroll), it seemly likely that for them the “sons of your people” was a far narrower concept. For throughout their writings it is clear that they viewed the border between themselves and other Jews as absolute, and practices enjoined within the community did not apply to those outside. The world outside the sect was indeed full of "enemies” (ibid. page234). So loving your neighbor and not hating the son of your people or a brother only applied to fellow members of the Qumran sect - not to other Israelites outside of the community as they were enemies (because they were outside of the community, out of harmony with the community. Not in fellowship with them).

Kugel goes on to state that this helps to clarify Jesus' words in Matthew 5:43-44. That Jesus was arguing against (as he was throughout the sermon) a “restrictive interpretation” of the Torah that interpreted Leviticus 19:17-18 as meaning you are to love those you are in harmony and fellowship with (your neighbor or brother) - but it is okay to hate one of your fellow countrymen or member of the community that you are out of fellowship with, that you have had a falling out with (and thus becomes your enemy - ibid. pages 236-239).

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Kugel also shows that this is alluded to in 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 where Paul writes: “If anyone refuses to obey what we say in this letter, note that man and have nothing to do with him, so that he may be put to shame. [Yet] do not consider (or treat him) as an enemy but warn him as a brother” So here we see a brother who is out of harmony, out of fellowship with the community of believers - but he is not to be seen or treated as an enemy but still held and admonished as a brother.

This suggests that Paul understood the tendency to treat one whom you are out of fellowship with as an enemy - so he tells them “DON’T do that!” An enemy came to be one who was close to us but who we are now out of fellowship with. Thus they become “an enemy”.

Jesus and Paul teaches us this is NOT how Leviticus 19:17-18 is to be interpreted, that is we are NOT to treat a brother/fellow believer whom we are out of fellowship with (or he with us) as an enemy. We are to treat them with love, do good to them, pray for them, maybe even admonish them – i.e. treat them as a brother still (even if they do not treat us as one). The full context of Matthew 5 and Luke 6 has to do with the community and the persecution that can be received from these we were once in fellowship with as Richard Horsely and Matthew 10:36 show.

So there you have it. Too many Christians have needlessly gone to their deaths and others have let too many individuals take advantage of others due to misunderstanding this one passage and the other passages and Jewish teachings that support it. All real men, especially the godly Alpha Males, should be prepared to defend themselves and their families from thugs and criminals and even false teachers and politicians who come in as wolves to destroy through distorted teachings that are just flat out wrong in order to manipulate you and control you.

You can now see that in Judaism, hatred by a Christian or Believer is only an invalid emotion when it is directed towards the innocent or the righteous. Nowhere does God tell us not to hate the cruel, the wicked, the barbaric, the murderers, communists/socialists and especially terrorists who stand against God and the righteous and innocent. In fact, if we are truly Believers/Christians then we are obligated by God’s Law to hate evil in order to resist and fight evil. Just remember that Jesus said “your enemy” in relation to your brother in Christ, he never said to love “Gods enemy” the one who is coming to kill you, the righteous or the innocent.

The enemy of the Believer/Christian in relation to what Jesus spoke on the Sermon on the Mt. is the person who somehow frustrates your day to day relationship with your fellow man and interrupts you fellowship with God by doing something stupid like denting your car or cutting you off while driving and because of it you’re pissed off. God’s enemy is the man who raped and killed some young girl. He is a brute fiend.

We, as Believers/Christians are under no such obligation to forgive ungodly, fiendish behavior. We should be hating, fighting and neutralizing ungodly terrorists within our midst no matter who they are so that they can never harm innocent people again, because when channeled in the right direction hatred is a positively positive emotion.

I hope you can find this useful in your daily lives.

Thanks to Rabbi Shmuley Boteach for the concept on God's enemies vs. Our enemies. Thanks to Mike Davis for further information regarding an Enemy.

For excellent information on how to live your life as a Godly Alpha Male I can recommend the book The Alpha Male by John H. Ingle at your book store.


Doneta Wrate from Michigan on May 02, 2019:

A Christian can fight against evil without hating the person doing evil. The old adage, hate the sin but love the sinner. You can do what you can to try to stop a person from doing evil without hating him. If he is out to kill you or your family, you need to defend yourself. But if you can just injure him if that will stop him. If you have to kill him, you can regret having to do so. That is different than hating. Hating someone brings much harm to the soul and body of the Christian. Christ can give us forgiveness. But if we forgive, that does not mean we have to be good buddy buddies if the person still might do us harm. We just don't try to be vengeful. We just defend ourselves as need be. Jesus said Father forgive them about those that crucified him.

YAH'S VINDICATOR on April 24, 2019:

We should not be running to antichrist rabbi's to help us discern scripture. God can show us without doing so foolishly.

Interesting points nonetheless.

royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on January 26, 2016:

The precedent was set by God when He instructed man in how to interact with our fellow man. When the righteous sit silent as the unrighteous murder their families, who is the more evil? The murderer who is operating according to his nature - evil, or the righteous who has abrogated their righteous responsibility to raise and protect their family and turned them over to be killed by the unrighteous thereby turning to unrighteousness as the answer? Violence is not in punishing the violator, violence is perpetrating evil upon an innocent. The Pope is simply wrong.

royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on October 10, 2015:

Lacey, there are a couple of errors you make in your statement. 1st, enemies really does need to be translated and understood as your brother within a believing society. Oftentimes we are treated not so good by others within our own believing group. WE expect it from non-believers so it is not as spiritually damaging to us as when we are treated badly by our own. The second mistake you make is translating the word davar as commandment. It should be understood as statement. The 10 commandments are actually the 10 statements. This is one reason we have a misunderstanding of God and His plans for us and a huge misunderstanding of Yeshua and His teachings. Mitzvot are also translated as commandments but are better translated into English as Precepts, a command or principle intended especially as a general rule of action, commonly suggesting something advisory and not obligatory communicated typically through teaching. When we begin to translate the Biblical teachings as LAW then we get a misunderstanding of the nature of God and the relationship He desires. God moves to remoteness and destroyer of all who commit any trespass, thereby striking terror into the hearts of man instead of a blessed father who loves and guides his creation in a unified relationship.

Lacey K on October 08, 2015:

NOT Uranus, Yeshua. Silly auto correct.

Lacey K on October 08, 2015:

While the meaning of the exthros may not be enemy, the next verse (Matthew 5:44) gives us some more context about the point that Yeshua is making.

5:44 "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" I don't think that Uranus was telling us to let evil run wild and do whatever it wants to us, we have specific commandments of how you should treat evil actions within a Torah society. I do think that Yeshua's words are a commandment on how to treat anyone who does any of the above in the verse I quoted. We are to ACTUALLY love them and not repay evil for evil. Which is not a natural reaction for most of us but it is amazing the way YHVH works through us when we go the things he commands us to do, especially the hard ones that are contrary to our nature. Praise YHVH!

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on December 31, 2014:

Hi Roy. I enjoyed this excellent hub. I am reminded of a quote by the late President; JFK. 'Forgive your enemies but never forget their names' Thanks for your informed perspective.


royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on December 31, 2014:

Dear Daggertx, Unfortunately, I was the first one to find out this information when I was at school at UT Austin. I conferred with my father who is Dr. Roy Blizzard - PhD in Hebrew studies from UT Austin, and he confirmed my findings. Since that time many others whom I know also agree that this is correct. Dr. William McDonald -Associate Professor at Oral Roberts - Hebrew Studies, Dr. Johnny Bradford - PhD UT Austin- Hebrew Studies, Dr. Ron Moseley - PhD and ThD in biblical studies in Little Rock Arkansas, and quite a few more. While some have began to see this and teach this, unfortunately most Christian Theological institutions are hopelessly mired in denominational drivel and not in promoting the truth of the text.

daggertx on December 26, 2014:

Has this been talked about or taught by anyone else? What you have to say is good but I would like more confirmation. No offense intended. Thank you!!



BlueJayPoint733 on June 08, 2012:

Thank you for your reply. "...on the other hand maybe that is what God wanted revealed as truth." The same thing occurred to me. I wish I was somewhere in the vicinity of Austin, TX so I could hear you give a sermon some Sunday. I also got a reply from your father yesterday regarding a question I asked him. He's got a sense of humor, which is a character trait I always appreciate. Enjoy your weekend sir!

royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on June 07, 2012:

Hi Bluejaypoint733, yeah, I'm familiar with this temporal punishment concept and many of the ideas stemming from a time in Persia. I however have to look at what Jesus and Jesus alone says on this issue as I feel he probably had a better handle on the issue than anyone else if he indeed was the Messiah and should know. It appears to me that punishment means eternal separation from God and on the other hand eternal unification with God for those who are not punished. There was always a dualism since Love has a dualistic nature about it inherently. While some of what Judaism absorbed from Persia no doubt colored much of Jewish thought, on the other hand maybe that is what God wanted revealed as truth. We'll have to ask him when we get there.

BlueJayPoint733 on June 07, 2012:

Mr. Blizzard, do you have any idea what happened to the Jewish idea of temporal punishment for wrong doing that was, and is seemingly still (at least among certain Jews), an element of Jewish afterlife? There's a Jewish tradition of one's soul being punished for a maximum of a year, which is reduced to eleven months if your relatives who are still alive pray for you. It's best described as a time of purification that prepares the soul for life with God after the sin has been "burned away". It seems a lot like the notion of purgatory in the Roman Catholic church. I also read that when Jesus preached against the priests who "consumed widows' households", he was railing against the priesthood (focused on the Temple in Jerusalem)insisting that widows paying money into the Temple treasury as part of the rituals entailed in "getting their deceased husbands out of purgatory", for lack of a better term available to me. My point is that this notion of temporal punishment was clearly around Judea and probably Galilee in Jesus's time, and it's still around today in at least some members of the Jewish community. This is a place where Jesus and the Pharisees part with the really old tradition as there was seemingly no clear cut notion of heaven and hell in the Torah. Didn't this strong duality get established after the return from exile? Didn't Judaism change some beliefs & practices in response to its encounters with Zoroastrianism via the Persians? Since the Pharisees (Parsi-Persians) took over the responsibility for shaping Orthodox Judaism after the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, it's easy to see how the Zoroastrian concepts of eternal punishment in hell or eternal blissful existence with God in heaven became mainstream thought in Judaism after the first century.

royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on June 06, 2012:

Hi Bluejaypoint 733, A couple of things you have to consider, RACA was an idiom that meant an Atheist(the fool says in his heart, there is no God). So given that you can see where the people would be in eternal separation and torment. While I can't shed probably a lot more light for you then the average individual, Jesus appears to hold to the viewpoint of the Pharisees that #1 - there is a Heaven and Hell and #2 that Hell is somehow a state of eternal separation from God. Now, if that is true, you can see where being unified with God and Jesus here on this earth in Jesus' Kingdom is likened to "Heaven on earth". What we have to realize is that if we are somehow "separated" from God, we are in a state of eternal Torment because we are separated from that which gives life and joined to that which brings death. All we have to do is look around us at the torment that individuals on earth experience who are without God and multiply that for those who die without God. I don't know if this helps you or not, but remember that everything you read in the Text needs to be viewed in light of a unification aspect with God. I don't hold much stock in the spiritual teachings of the Sadducees since they had no spiritual discernment to amount to anything. While they did hold to the Torah, they seemed to get into many arguments with Jesus and the Disciples, so they didn't fit in to the spiritual movement of the kingdom. I don't think that Matthew concentrated any more or any less on the aspect of Hell, you just aren't catching the references to it in the other books.

BlueJayPoint733 on June 05, 2012:

Mr. Blizzard, would you please shed some light on Jesus's teaching about Gehenna, hell, in the book of Matthew based on your knowledge of Hebrew languange and culture of the 1st century? Judaism in Jesus's time had unsettled, fluid, even totally contradictory views of the afterlife (Sadducees believing there was no afterlife). What did Jesus really teach about eternal punishment in the afterlife? Why does the Book of Matthew go in to so much more detail than the other three gospels about eternal punishment in hell? Was this grafted on as a late addition by the writer of Matthew as an affront to those who did not adopt the views of this new emerging faith which is now called Christianity? I'm confused by this seeming contradiction; Jesus just gets done telling people not to refer to each other as raca in the Sermon on the Mount, but then starts threatening people with eternal torment and separation from God.

royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on May 29, 2012:

bluejaypoint733, You make some good observations and you are truly correct for the most part. Kabbalah is the orthodox response to try to find "salvation" and "unification" with God without having to accept the "Christian" messiah, as they see him. Gnosticism,no matter what denomination it is found in, always had a contingient of "we're better than you because we've got special knowledge". This was the problem with the Gnostics. Faith and ritual is only as good as one's understanding of them and their purpose. They all have a component of truth behind each movement, but all were in error for not recognizing the main issue and that is that there is really nothing "mystical" or even "magical" about God at all. God wants us to be unified with Him. What this means is one needs to have a relationship with him so that we are so close to him that we know what he would do in any situation, almost as a husband and wife who have been married for many years will know what the other is thinking. This is what I call walking and talking with God. Just as Enoch, Elijah and Adam did. If you have not read the book, " Who is the End times Church, Recognizing the Spirit Realm, by Dusty Farrell, I would recommend you do so. You can find it on AMazon. Dusty and I had to deal with this concept you are asking about in that book.

bluejaypoint733 on May 28, 2012:

Thank you for your response Mr. Blizzard. Not only did Paul speak of the mystery of who The Messiah would be, we've also got the Synoptic Mystery. Often times the 12 didn't get it, much less the overwhelming majority of the others who encountered Jesus during His ministry. Those few who did "get it" were singled out by Jesus as being particularly faithful, and the Gospel notes these special rare moments. This stuff is not easy to come to grips with even for those who were there the whole time. People here 2,000 years later have a monumental, if not impossible, task in trying to come to grips with all of this.

If I may, I'm now going to build off your response a bit. From what I've read, Kabbalah is "Jewish mysticism". I understand that it's the orthodox Jewish beliefs that reject Jesus as Lord and Messiah. Am I wrong? One would think a more mystical understanding of Jesus could be a better path to understanding.

On the subject of mysticism, Gnosticism is a label used by the "Orthodox" Christians to cover a multitude of heresies. What I've learned of Gnotics is that they believed you found salvation through special knowledge obtained through a mystical experience of/with God. We see this kind of thing in virtually all religions throughout history. Perhaps a mystical, transcendant experience is precisely what many people need to reach unification with God in order to receive God's complete truth.

Orthodoxy, on the other hand, says you find salvation through faith and ritual (and good works, depending on which sect you talk to), not some "special knowledge". I believe there's a good case to be made that the Gnostics were not all wet, that Paul's experience on the road to Damascus was a mystical experience of the risen Christ (he never met Jesus in the flesh, either before or after the resurrection), and that Jesus was a bit of a mystic as well. I don't want to be presumptuous, but your last response may imply that as well?

royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on May 28, 2012:

What you ask is a good point bluejaypoint733. There are a couple of things one must remember about Judaism and it also somewhat reflects into Christianity, 1) Judaism had a mystery of which Paul spoke, the mystery wasn't that there was a messiah, but who was the messiah, the suffering servant messiah or the davidic messiah. the Jews of Jesus' day were expecting the davidic messiah. After the fall of the Temple, which side remained?, The Davidic Messiah group. They had rejected Jesus for this reason then and they concocted all sorts of theology(kabbalah) to explain why he couldn't have been the messiah then and to this day are still doing so. But again what does Jesus himself say about this subject,Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father. This is an indication that the person rejecting Jesus as messiah has simply no intimate relationship with the father and therefore has not unified with god to the point that God is able to reveal truth to the individual, be it this point or any other point. I'm not saying that the people aren't good righteous people and that aren't going to heaven, just that they are not a part of Jesus' kingdom here on this earth which involves spiritual unification. Neither Jews nor Christian for the most part are correct about the nature and meaning of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection as neither side understands the nature of what was happening in the Bible from the first word in Genesis onward.

bluejaypoint733 on May 27, 2012:

Sir,I've spent a lot of time reading your father's (and others') essays at Biblical Scholars. He's not always as readily available to answer questions as you seem to be, so I'll pose this question to you. Your father repeatedly states that Judaism holds regular, consistent religious study in the highest regard. He also has a tremendous amount of respect for Judaism, which I do as well. But I have to wonder why pious Jews don't see Yeshua as a prophet, much less God. I have read the litany of reasons for Judaism's rejection of Jesus as The Messiah and humankind's redeemer. One comment I found noteworthy was this; when asked what Jews think of Jesus,they respond that they don't think about Him. What are Christians missing? What are Jews missing? Both can't be correct about the meaning of Jesus's ministry, death, and resurrection.

bluejaypoint733 on May 09, 2012:

That was some profound stuff Mr. Blizzard. Things are starting to fit together for me a little better now. I really appreciate the time you spend on these responses. Thank you. And I hope you'll indulge me if I have any questions in the future. Hopefully there are others reading along who find our exchanges interesting and informative.

royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on May 08, 2012:

Dear bluejaypoint733,

Jesus never said anything about a “higher law”. What he did say was 5:17 “I came to fill the law full of meaning” which was a Hebrew way of saying that he felt that the law had been misinterpreted from the way it was supposed to be understood. He wasn’t proposing any new law, just properly giving us what it should have been.

While it may seem to indicate to you and others that Jesus is indicating a move away from the do unto others this isn’t right as Jesus specifically tell us to treat others as we ourselves would want to be treated specifically as we may be the only messenger of the kingdom that someone ever meets. Again you must remember that Jesus is specifically speaking of Believers here, fellow Jews, not pagans and evil doers. Jesus doesn’t tell us not to fight if necessary in a war or a fight where someone is seeking our death as this would go against all Jewish law. This is a problem of misunderstanding the message and the messenger. While many went out and were subject to any manner of cruel deaths, that doesn’t mean Jesus commanded us to do so. We are commanded to “take a stand” for Jesus, the real meaning of take up your cross, and if in the process of taking a stand we happen to suffer for what we have been called to do then we can accept that just as Jesus did. Jesus didn’t necessarily have a “passive” acceptance of his fate. I saw him struggle mightily in the garden over his fate. But again, his fight was a spiritual fight and this is where the kingdom is secured, not in a physical but spiritual context. So while it may look like Jesus was passive, he was leading an army to destroy the strong hold of HaSatan. This is not a passive act.

If the scripture is correct and God doesn’t lie then God or Jesus didn’t need to set any new standards as what was established was sufficient to enact all that God needed to enact. Maybe Jesus needed to make known the truth behind what man had misinterpreted, but Jesus said nothing new that some other Jew had not said before, except that he was God, and even that wasn’t a new concept as the old Testament says that God will come to seek and to save that which was lost, so Jesus Being God should have been expected. Most of the sermon on the mount is a restatement of the sayings of the fathers in Judaism, so it is no wonder that you don’t understand the sermon if you haven’t read the sayings. Also you have to remember, Judaism was given to the Jews out of rebellion at Sinai. It is not that Judaism is bad, it is just that it was to point to something that they missed at Sinai. Namely and intimate relationship with their creator. Several OT men experienced that namely Enoch and Elijah, even Job was filled with the Holy Spirit. It was just that some blood had to be shed sometime for permanent redemption to occur.

Again, the reason there are over 30,000 different denominations is due to a tragic misunderstanding of Jesus and his teachings. I can only help those who are willing to be open to the fact that the “church” as a whole manipulates men to death for their own evil purposes. The fact that many go to their deaths in shear acceptance of what befalls you is in my opinion wrong and a lie of the devil to destroy the righteous off the face of the earth. If you will read my “A Rethinking of the Tower of Babel Story” you will see at the end of the article what I’m talking about.

bluejaypoint733 on May 06, 2012:

I read your posts about Nimrod and Babel, but I still have a couple more questions Mr. Blizzard. I recall Jesus teaching, and I paraphrase a bit here, You have heard it said to treat others as you wish to be treated. But I call you to a higher law... Then we get the rest of the Sermon on the Mount.

You noted Lev. 19:16. You indicate Jesus isn't proposing a new law. However, it still seems to me and many others that Jesus IS in fact saying that people need to move beyond "do unto others"- to choose oppression and death, if necessary, rather than engaging in violence, including self-defense? After all, Jesus' ministry culminated in a passive acceptance of a horrible fate in order to fully bring about God's kingdom.

As God, doesn't Jesus have the right to set a new standard beyond the law of the OT? The Law and all its interpretations had not been successful in reconciling God and humankind over thousands of years up to that point, hence the need for Jesus' ministry, death, and resurrection. I'm not saying you are wrong. I just am perhaps having trouble seeing the Sermon on the Mount in a new light after decades of being fed a much different understanding of scripture.

I appreciate the fact that most of us let insults and challenges, some of them major, roll off us like water off a duck. Many have been inspired by Jesus' example to walk away from confrontations of all sorts. That's great, but that's not going to cut it when the Khmer Rouge or Taliban show up in your town. They will destroy your civilization and turn you and your family into slaves even if you are a kind and good person. If a person cannot return fire with fire when the local criminal syndicate, whatever form it takes, shows up to take over, then what is life really about? Many Christians seem to think that life is about bearing the burdens you've been given, acceptance of what befalls you, and that follows Jesus' example.

Also, one of your other posts mentioned that Jesus' instruction to the apostles that they must take up their cross and follow him to be a disciple has been mistranslated. Please elaborate on that point as well. Thank you, sir.

bluejaypoint733 on April 25, 2012:

I appreciate your insights Mr. Blizzard. Thank you very much.

royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on April 24, 2012:

Dear Bluejaypoint733,

I’m never offended by criticism so fire away. You have recognized an important point that most Christians have overlooked and that is the apparent conflict of Jesus’ message in the King James and other so called translations and what the real world is really like. Are we supposed to roll over and play dead like a bunch of opossums when Hitlers come calling? The answer is no. You must remember that Jesus is speaking to “brothers” or fellow Jews here, not roman soldiers with their swords drawn about to cut everyone down. My point is this, what Jesus preached was all found somewhere within Judaism and unless we can find where it was he found his sources then we can’t fully understand what it was he was preaching. Only if one is unfamiliar with Judaism would my sources be obscure and that is one point you must be aware of, very few “Bible teachers” are educated enough to find these sources. We also have to remember that there are instances when we don’t return evil for evil. I don’t insult someone just because they insult me. That would be lowering myself to their level and forgo living in Jesus’ Kingdom here on earth to dwell in their earthly kingdom. Of course, when pure evil comes calling, ie Hitlers, then Judaism insists to rise up and protect oneself and ones family if at all possible due to the fact that the righteousness of you and your family is worth more than the unrighteousness of those trying to kill you. In those instances where it is not possible then all we can do is be the light and power of God here on this Earth to the extent that it is possible to do so. Jesus’ message is only conflicting if we don’t understand Jewish Theology and that is the problem. I would suggest you read my article on A Rethinking of the Tower of Babel Story as much of what I speak about in it has direct bearing on why one has to resist evil. Jesus’ comment only had to do with how to live in His Kingdom now, not anytime in the future. He was not an apocalyptic preacher, but a realist and knew the operations of man and the importance of unifying with God in purpose to overcome the daily evils we face.

bluejaypoint733 on April 23, 2012:

Mr. Blizzard, I've enjoyed your posts, but I'm flummoxed by your comments on this point. Please elaborate because this is the most unique understanding of the "love your enemies" teaching I've ever seen. Your explanation has its roots in a very obscure source, and I don't get your point. (Please don't take that as criticism- it's just my observation.)

Also, do you have insight on the directive to "not return evil for evil"? Everyone else seems to think Jesus completely renounced violence with his Sermon on the Mount. I think it seems he renounced using violence or fighting to protect any principle, or oppose any assault, or oppression. Would Jesus have said fighting Germany in WWII wasn't worth it- that the Nazis should have been dealt with in a non-violent manner? What about contemporary issues like al Qaida terrorists, or responding to the North Korean leaders? Could Jesus' comments have their basis in his belief that the the end of the present world was near and that God was going to create the "new heaven and new earth" in the apocalypse very soon? If one sees Jesus as an apocalyptic preacher who believed the end of the physical, material world was just around the corner, his teachings make a lot more sense.

Pat on October 10, 2011:

I will defend myself if necessary if one puts me in an untenable situation. I have done so but with legal, not other means. And, I think that it is not up to a man to do it but every individual. Methinks that each man and woman need to take care of self. Different with a minor but a women over 18 need to take care of herself!

Charlene Gates-Phillips on August 24, 2011:

Shalom Roy,

The Bible says there is "one" God. The Shema "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one"... So the Trinity is not correct in the since that there are "three" gods. What's your stance on that?

pastor sam barr from U.K on June 05, 2011:

Amen, nice work Roy, toda for the blessing and be encouraged to continue, may we all grow in the grace of our God/Elohim, coming to a better understanding of His word, will and ways.

Deidre Shelden from Texas, USA on May 25, 2011:

Great to know! This makes more sense since it is the same word as in Rom 5:10--the 'kind' of enemy we are to God without Christ. (I'm one of those unfortunate ones who have studied Greek but not Hebrew.)

royblizzard (author) from Austin / Leander, Texas on April 26, 2011:

Immediately after stating that we should not engage in gossip (i.e., lashon hara), the LORD commands: Lo ta'amod al dam re'ekha: "You must not stand idly by when your neighbor's life is at stake" (Lev. 19:16). Lo Ta'amod (?? ??????) means that we have a moral duty to speak the truth when others are victimized...

This is a comment From Hebrew For Christians.!/pages/Hebrew-for-Christians/56347292809

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on April 19, 2011:

To Love My Enemy, first I would have to see someone as my enemy. I do not necessarily have to like them, nor do I have to try and befriend them, just try to be civil to them if I see them. If they avoid me, so be it. I can still hold a portion of love in my heart for them.

Greg Gulbrandsen on April 18, 2011:

Thank you for clearing up that you said, it has caused needless death, sorrow, and unhappiness.

Clay Miller on April 17, 2011:

I find this fascinating. I need to learn Hebrew. Good article, Roy.

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