Is Jesus Quoting The Pharisees Or The Old Law In Matt 5:38?

It is strange that some gospel preachers teach Jesus is quoting the false teaching of the Pharisees in Matthew 5:21-48, when in all six cases, we can find precisely what Jesus referred to in the Old Testament law. Another good example is verse 38 where Jesus says “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” This is an exact quote of Exod 21:24 and Lev 24:20. How could an exact quote of an Old Testament verse be a false interpretation of Old Testament teaching? If you just quote Mark 16:16 without comment, could a denominational person correctly accuse you of falsely interpreting Jesus’ teaching on baptism?

The truth about 38ff is – as in all six cases in Matt 5:21-48 – Jesus quotes an Old Testament verse, and then proceeds to give His stricter New Testament teaching – “resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

Many brethren get around the force of this passage by saying it refers only to “personal” vengeance:

· But the passage doesn’t mention personal vengeance, so limiting it to that is just subtracting from God’s word. It means to never retaliate against physical violence – personal, impersonal, national (war) … any violence.

· And by including personal vengeance, it stands in direct contrast to the “revenger of blood” instructions in Num 35:19.

Rom 12:17 reads “Recompense to no man evil for evil.” That is another absolute that teaches the same thing.

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