Re: Matthew 5:39

On Tue, 1 Nov 1994, Travis Bauer wrote:

> I'm wondering if you could specify what you mean by "metaphorical."  Do 
> you mean metaphorical in the sense that it applys to contexts other than 
> facial blows?  If so, I think Jesus' whole arrest and cricifixion is an 
> act of turning the other cheek and we're left with the question (probably 
> out of the context of B-Greek) of when one should act as Jesus did, not 
> resisting when it would be possible.  At any rate, we are not necessarily 
> justified in calling Jesus a hypocrite.

I certainly wasn't calling Jesus a hypocrite, and yes by metaphorical I 
meant that I think Jesus (Matthew, to be finicky) was referring to something 
other than physically turning another cheek towards someone who wants to hit 
it.  Mostly my reasons are religious (it would be like encouraging sin, 
IMHO) but I also seriously find it difficult to visualize at the literal 
level.  And this in spite of the fact that I would interpret most of the 
Sermon on the Mount as meant literally.

> On the other hand, if by metaphorical you mean that Jesus did not 
> indicate that one should, at time, not resist evil, what did he mean?

But that's just it - turning the other cheek would seem to mean more than 
just not resisting evil: it would be almost like encouraging evil to give 
it a second try! (which encouragement evil surely doesn't need).  In the 
gospels, Jesus is portrayed as not resisting his enemies, but he is 
also nowhere shown egging them on and helping them to hurt him.  So that's 
why I see metaphorical usage in this passage.

Greg Jordan