Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Sacred Scripture
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Mar 6, '11, 2:36 pm
ddarko ddarko is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: April 28, 2010
Posts: 1,748
Religion: Strictly Roman Catholic
Default Turn the other cheek

Hi again,

In another thread, I've also been repeatedly presented with the following as the interpretation for "Turn the other cheek".

Quote:
Measure for measure and turning the other cheek are two different teachings and are in disagreement with each other UNLESS there is something overlooked in that teaching. Because He was constantly watched by the Romans, Jesus spoke in parables that were easily mis-interpreted by a quick or simplistic reading.

You need to keep in mind a couple of things - one, 2,000 years ago the customs and laws were very different. Two, the middle east was a conquered land, harshly occupied by armed Roman soldiers.

In Roman times, conduct between citizens and conquered peoples was often strictly formalized and controlled in many small ways. As such, a Roman citizen or soldier could chastise a slave or non-citizen, and the slave could not retaliate - that would be mutiny, and punishable by death.

A slave or servant was chastised with a slap on the face with the open hand. This was an insulting blow, delivered to an inferior person or an animal. A non-citizen could be beaten by a citizen as much as desired with the open hand, and had no recourse. Defending themselves would mean death. A blow with the back of the hand or a closed fist, however, was a fighting blow - one delivered between equals, and one to which anyone, even a slave could respond.

Try it with someone. Have a friend pretend to slap you and you immediately step forward offering the other cheek. Look at what will happen based on the positions that both of you are in. Your friend will have three choices: (1) He can take a step back and slap you again with the open hand but that will cause him to lose face because a non-Roman made him back up. (2) He can strike you with the back of the hand but that will be viewed as a challenge to fight because he hit you with his knuckles freeing you to retaliate without fear of being condemned to death for mutiny. (3) Or, he can walk away making his point with only one slap instead of slapping you repeatedly as often happened.

The same can be said when Jesus advised people, when asked to walk a mile, then to respond by walking a second mile. Roman soldiers could legally require any non-citizen to carry their packs (weighing 60 pounds) for one mile. But there was a very severe penalty for compulsion beyond one mile. A non-citizen who carried a pack a second mile could cause the soldier to be demoted, fined, flogged or even discharged.

Jesus taught his followers a practical way to avoid being slapped around, or abused, by the Romans, as was frequently the case if you study the history from that area.
I believe this exegesis is incorrect and I find it totally absurd. Has this ever been considered as a viable theological interpretation of the passage? The author of this insists that I am insane and this is the correct interpretation.

Am I missing something?

God Bless
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old Mar 6, '11, 3:42 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is online now
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 14, 2009
Posts: 19,071
Religion: Christian! Catholic! Disciple of Jesus of Nazareth!
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddarko View Post
Hi again,

In another thread, I've also been repeatedly presented with the following as the interpretation for "Turn the other cheek".



I believe this exegesis is incorrect and I find it totally absurd. Has this ever been considered as a viable theological interpretation of the passage? The author of this insists that I am insane and this is the correct interpretation.

Am I missing something?

God Bless
I think there can be certain aspects perhaps in what the person was noting regarding the culture....

But in any case...I would not say Jesus was giving the various counsels of this sort to keep his followers from being "knocked around" but as the way of "excess"...a way of life...of generosity ...of love...
__________________
VIVAS IN DEO
IHCOY XPICTOY
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old Mar 6, '11, 3:42 pm
smithm29 smithm29 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 27, 2010
Posts: 345
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

I fail to see how that interpretation is at all consistent with the rest of Jesus' teachings. "Trick someone into losing face" just doesn't square with the beatitudes.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old Mar 6, '11, 3:43 pm
m8g8 m8g8 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 11, 2010
Posts: 275
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

It's an interesting view, but I don't believe this is the correct interpretation.

Jesus taught to love and pray for our enemies. He said to forgive and that if we're persecuted for doing good, to be happy that we will be rewarded in heaven.

With this in mind, I believe that 'turn the other cheek' simply means to not retaliate. Knowing Jesus' selflessness, it might even mean to literally offer them our other cheek (this is what I've always believed).
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old Mar 6, '11, 3:46 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is online now
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 14, 2009
Posts: 19,071
Religion: Christian! Catholic! Disciple of Jesus of Nazareth!
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Pope Benedict XVI

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This Sunday's Gospel contains some of the most typical and forceful words of Jesus' preaching: "Love your enemies" (Lk 6: 27). It is taken from Luke's Gospel but is also found in Matthew's (5: 44), in the context of the programmatic discourse that opens with the famous "Beatitudes". Jesus delivered it in Galilee at the beginning of his public life: it is, as it were, a "manifesto" presented to all, in which he asks for his disciples' adherence, proposing his model of life to them in radical terms.

But what do his words mean? Why does Jesus ask us to love precisely our enemies, that is, a love which exceeds human capacities?

Actually, Christ's proposal is realistic because it takes into account that in the world there is too much violence, too much injustice, and therefore that this situation cannot be overcome except by countering it with more love, with more goodness. This "more" comes from God: it is his mercy which was made flesh in Jesus and which alone can "tip the balance" of the world from evil to good, starting with that small and decisive "world" which is the human heart.

This Gospel passage is rightly considered the magna carta of Christian non-violence. It does not consist in succumbing to evil, as a false interpretation of "turning the other cheek" (cf. Lk 6: 29) claims, but in responding to evil with good (cf. Rom 12: 17-21) and thereby breaking the chain of injustice.

One then understands that for Christians, non-violence is not merely tactical behaviour but a person's way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God's love and power that he is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone.

Love of one's enemy constitutes the nucleus of the "Christian revolution", a revolution not based on strategies of economic, political or media power: the revolution of love, a love that does not rely ultimately on human resources but is a gift of God which is obtained by trusting solely and unreservedly in his merciful goodness. Here is the newness of the Gospel which silently changes the world! Here is the heroism of the "lowly" who believe in God's love and spread it, even at the cost of their lives.

Dear brothers and sisters, Lent, which will begin this Wednesday with the Rite of Ashes, is the favourable season in which all Christians are asked to convert ever more deeply to Christ's love.

Let us ask the Virgin Mary, docile disciple of the Redeemer who helps us to allow ourselves to be won over without reserve by that love, to learn to love as he loved us, to be merciful as Our Father in Heaven is merciful (cf. Lk 6: 36).


http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/be...070218_en.html
__________________
VIVAS IN DEO
IHCOY XPICTOY
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old Mar 6, '11, 3:47 pm
Beth Cecilia Beth Cecilia is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: December 4, 2010
Posts: 245
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

A quick search of the Church father's writings (on newadvent.com) on the subject yielded no like interpretation. They seemed rather to connect the verse to other like verses:
"See that none render evil for evil to any man: but ever follow that which is good towards each other and towards all men." 1 Thessalonians 5:15
"Be not overcome by evil: but overcome evil by good." Romans 12:21
They talk about humility and patience.

I have never heard the interpretation you present. I am not sure I would go so far as to proclaim in entirely false- at least not without more history knowledge than I have. The interpretation need not exclude the more common interpretation. They can both be true. It can be true that Jesus called all people for all time to a completely unprecedented humility and love and also true that with the same words Jesus gave his followers a pragmatic solution to a contemporary problem. I refuse to believe, however, that the verse does not have meaning for us today.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old Mar 6, '11, 3:53 pm
Robertanthony Robertanthony is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: December 1, 2010
Posts: 2,183
Religion: Raised Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddarko View Post




The author of this insists that I am insane and this is the correct interpretation.
Let me see, he doesn't insist that you're wrong, that you're mistaken, that you've committed the sola scriptura sin, but that you're insane? I hope you've reported him/her to CAF authorities. His interpretation of the "turn the other cheek" passage is outlandish.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old Mar 6, '11, 4:03 pm
Sir Knight Sir Knight is offline
Banned
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2004
Posts: 7,611
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddarko View Post
The author of this insists that I am insane and this is the correct interpretation.

Am I missing something?

God Bless
Where have I called you "insane"? Please post the URL for those comments.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old Mar 6, '11, 4:07 pm
Sir Knight Sir Knight is offline
Banned
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2004
Posts: 7,611
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertanthony View Post
His interpretation of the "turn the other cheek" passage is outlandish.
As far as my interpretation being outlandish ... first off, it isn't "my" interpretation but how a retired Monsignor that used to be a resident at our parish explained it to us during bible study. I wish that I knew where he was transferred to so that I could get more details on it. Secondly, how could Jesus be in perfect agreement with His heavenly Father on all things if He taught in opposition to the measure for measure teachings of the Old Testament?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old Mar 6, '11, 4:16 pm
Robertanthony Robertanthony is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: December 1, 2010
Posts: 2,183
Religion: Raised Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Didn't Jesus explicitly teach that some elements of the law in Moses' time were such because of the hardness of heart of men in that time ? So "measure for measure" is a start, "turn the other cheek" is a progression from that.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old Mar 6, '11, 4:43 pm
Bookcat Bookcat is online now
Forum Elder
 
Join Date: January 14, 2009
Posts: 19,071
Religion: Christian! Catholic! Disciple of Jesus of Nazareth!
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Look to Pope Benedict XVI above...for a great meditation on it.
__________________
VIVAS IN DEO
IHCOY XPICTOY
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old Mar 6, '11, 4:56 pm
ddarko ddarko is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: April 28, 2010
Posts: 1,748
Religion: Strictly Roman Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookcat View Post
Look to Pope Benedict XVI above...for a great meditation on it.
Thanks, that's a beautiful meditation on loving ones enemy.

God Bless
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old Mar 6, '11, 5:21 pm
Sir Knight Sir Knight is offline
Banned
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2004
Posts: 7,611
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Pope Benedict XVI talks about the perfect ideal that we should strive for. If we are to offer no resistance, why does the Pope have armed guards? What are they going to do with those weapons? Shouldn't they and the Pope turn the other cheek when attacked? Yes, we should definitely look to Pope Benedict XVI and follow his example.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old Mar 6, '11, 5:28 pm
Sir Knight Sir Knight is offline
Banned
Book Club Member
 
Join Date: June 9, 2004
Posts: 7,611
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

Quote:
Originally Posted by ddarko View Post
Thanks, that's a beautiful meditation on loving ones enemy.

God Bless
I ask again, where have I called you "insane"? Please provide the URL for those comments.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old Mar 6, '11, 5:40 pm
fred conty fred conty is offline
Regular Member
 
Join Date: December 15, 2010
Posts: 5,530
Religion: catholic
Default Re: Turn the other cheek

"Turn the other cheek." I don't hear anyone turning the other cheek in this thread.
I do have another one though. "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." Now if we all go at it on this one, we will all be blind and toothless. But thank goodness, we are all just letting off some ......
Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Apologetics > Sacred Scripture

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8376Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: svid2
5102CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: mountee
4417Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: daughterstm
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3859SOLITUDE
Last by: Prairie Rose
3697Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3269Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3264Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3218Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: memphian
3094For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: flower lady



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 9:37 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.