OF WHAT USE IS THE SWORD FOR THE DISCIPLES OF JESUS? A DISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF LUKE 22:35-38 IN THE LIGHT OF NEW TESTAMENT ETHICS ON NON-VIOLENCE

Mike Enyinwa Okoronkwo

Abstract


This essay conducts a biblical exegetical study of Luke 22:35-38 to clarify Jesus’ directive to the disciples: “And the one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one!” The sword saying is interpreted with the background of Jesus’ teachings and actions in other related sections of the New Testament. The purpose of the study is (i) to evaluate the sword saying and situate it correctly within the New Testament setting, and with special emphasis (ii) that the use of sword in the defence of Jesus at his arrest (Lk.:22:49f par) and Jesus’ reaction demonstrate clearly Jesus’ ab-solute rejection of violence of any kind; (iii) that the sword-saying is a didactics in metaphor; (iv) that Christians who insist on any form of legitimate violence must themselves consider how they fit in their belief with the verdict of Jesus on violence and arm resistance. Discourse analysis and word study are the main exegetical tools applied. The result of the search may be less desired especially in an environment of Christian persecution, but Christians ought to appreciate the sword metaphor and stimulate thought of other meaningful ways to survive, and mission in an unfriendly environment.

Keywords


Discipleship; Mission; Dialogue; New Testament Ethics; Violence; Retaliation; Armed Resistance; Sword

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/113-0-731

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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