Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Eye for an Eye

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” This statement, or something pretty close to it, is attributed to Gandhi. Most people solemnly nod and agree with this. But it seems to me this isn’t correct, at least as applied to the biblical principle.

The biblical principle is to limit retaliatory justice so as to not let things get out of hand. But more to the point, an eye for an eye, when taken biblically, does not result in the whole world going blind. It results in one eye for one eye. It would not necessitate the original offending party responding, and the second party again in kind, until everyone was blind. Justice is served in the eye-for-eye swap. It would be an act of injustice for the original offending party to again bring harm to the individual.

This is not to say that Jesus’ commentary on the issue is mistaken. Matthew 5:38-39 have Jesus discussing the great contrasts of the understanding of the day vs. the heart issues in the Sermon on the Mount. My only point for the day is sometimes conventional wisdom can arrive at similar points to Jesus but for bad reasons.

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