Love Thy Enemy? 





                   Joseph Francis Alward  
                        © Copyright 2001 




Jesus seems to disagree with Scripture regarding one’s treatment of enemies.



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Scripture teaches that one should destroy one's enemies, and take an eye for an eye: "Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them. (Samuel 22:40-42)...Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." (Deuteronomy 19:20-22 )


In his second letter to Timothy, Paul confirms that Scripture is the infallible word of God: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)



However, Matthew apparently thought that Jesus contradicted Scripture's teaching of destruction of one's enemies, and taking an eye an eye, a life for a life:


Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matthew 5:38-39)...Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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. (Matthew 5:38-44)



Was Matthew mistaken about what Jesus said, or was Paul wrong about Scripture being the word of God? Either way, one of these writers must have been wrong.