Self defense in the bible?


If when Jesus follower pulled out his sword when the soilders came to arrest Jesus and crucify him; and cut off the man’s ear, he healed the mans ear and told him to put away his sword. He said, “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword”.(These may not be His exact words) then why is it not a sin for catholics to buy guns. Shouldn’t it be he who lives by the gun dies by it. Where in the bible does it say it is ok to purchase weapons that you know can kill people. If it is ok then why did He make that statement. I bought a gun recently, and I am feeling a little guilty. I bought it for the house because I am alone most of the time and a senior citizen.


I am curious to see how folks respond to this as I am conflicted over this issue myself.
God be with you


In West Virginia people buy rifles to hunt. Deer is delicious. I own a pistol because I enjoy target shooting and take it with me when I go camping downstate. The camp site is roughly 45-60 minutes from a hospital and there’s only two rangers to cover the whole mountain. Rifles can indeed kill man, but that isn’t their only purpose. As a side note, Christ didn’t condemn the centurion.


Remember, people who don’t live by the sword often die by it too. There is no conflict in Christian theology with it. As a matter of fact, there is more justification for you due to your stage in life and resulting physical capabilities than a man in his 30’s who works out all the time.

While everyone likes to quote Isaiah 2 “beat your swords into plow shares”, Joel 3:10 tells folks to beat their plow shares into swords and pruning hooks into spears, and let the weak say “I am strong!”. A gun, like a knife or taser is neither moral or immoral. They are tools which which allow a frail woman to have a fighting chance against a wacked out man intent on doing her harm.

Here is a link to a tv news report which shows a woman being attacked in her home, WARNING: THIS IS INCREDIBLY DISTURBING. DO NOT WATCH IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO VIOLENCE. NOT KIDDING. but it shows the despairity of force most people don’t even imagine in possible and a good reason people should be able to have a means of protection available.

I will pray you never need to use it, and that you never hesitate if you do need to…

Good luck.

(If you have not yet done so, taking a course such as “Women on Target” can help with your confidence and proficiency)


The Pope has armed guards. The Swiss Guard carry firearms.

Jesus never told the Roman centurion to quit the army, He healed the man’s servant because of his faith.

He said to other soldiers to be happy with their wages, not to plunder or rob, etc. He never told them to put up their arms.

Luke 3:14: Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”

Luke 22:36: And He said to them, "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.

Legitimate and reasonable self-defence is not immoral.


So what does the statement mean. He who lives by the sword dies by it.


I always thought He meant you cannot LIVE by the sword: violence is not the universal solution.

He also said man cannot live by bread alone. It means there is more to life.


Don’t forget that the reason that St. Peter had a sword in the first place is because Christ told him to sell his cloak and buy one

Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they answered.

He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

Luke 22


Is self-defense really such a difficult issue? The purpose of a handgun and training is to protect life.

There is an acronym that summarizes when you should fire your gun: IDOL…In Defense Of Life.

There is no requirement to own a gun or receive defensive training either. If you’re uncomfortable owning a weapon, or aren’t willing to put in the many hours of training, then please don’t buy one.


Do you actually live by the gun? Do you go around shooting people, just for the thrill of it? Do you wave your gun at people who pass you on the road, or pull it out at every argument, or obtain your food and drink by flashing it at every cashier you come across? Do you earn your paycheck by pointing it at bank tellers on a monthly basis?

No? Then you don’t live by the gun. You bought a gun to increase your safety and mitigate your risk. You bought a gun hoping you’d never have to use it, but ready to do so to defend yourself. You may own a gun, but don’t live by it.

Even soldiers and police officers don’t live by the gun. Their weapons are issued for use only when necessary, and as a last resort, never as a routine instrument for day to day living.


You have to look at the circumstances that He is talking about. At one point He tells them “But now he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise a scrip; and he that hath not, let him sell his coat, and buy a sword.”

If you are a warlord then you might be “living by the sword”, but it is another thing entirely to defend the lives of the innocent against evil.


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