Turn the other Cheek: the Third Way of Christ

I have some reactions to some things in the article at Lew Rockwell on the “third way of Christ”.


I agree with the idea of the “third way”, another way of referring to Christian “resistance”.

First, I must make an observation about Mr. Wink’s mention of the translation in “Resist not evil”. Picking on one word, “resists”, he throws out the baby (KJB) with what he thinks is bath water.

Every verse occurs surrounded by a context of scripture. I understand what Jesus is saying in this passage. If “Resist not evil” does not suggest docility in the whole of scripture any more than you can get docility from the passage that says to offer a second cheek after someone smites the first one, or giving somebody a second coat after he sues you for the first one. Reading along, the criticism of the King James translators in that one place falls flat in this context.

The Scholars Version as you quoted it is more confusing and adds nothing at all to the practical application of the guidance in the verse. How does one react, in context, to walking two miles with someone who only asked you to go one mile? How is that resisting evil non-violently?

Jesus clarified the whole idea a few verses down:

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. –Matthew 5:45

Romans 13 as you apparently must realize, also does not mean a doormat interpretation of blind obedience to government.

The translators of the Authorized Version spoke multiple languages from the area, Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic, Latin. They were the generation of the culture that sired Isaac Newton. They could sling around any of those languages for dinner. And yet their Preface speaks to the awe and reverence they took to the task.

Nobody can claim better credentials for making the Christian case for non-violent resistance to authority, such as demanding more disdain for America’s imperialist wars. I recommend his compilation of biographies of the KJB translators. He authors a directory of all the words that modern “scholars” claim are archaic. No longer used? He gives modern times references to them, using the same meanings as used in the Authorized Version itself.

“Free speech for me, but not for thee”, for example. If nothing else, the KJB beats out ALL the “modern” versions in accuracy of translation in the usage of the second person pronoun, singular and plural.

“Rightly dividing the word of God”, looking to Isaiah to find the answer to

…”Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?”
He goes on to record the answer: “them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” –Isaiah 28:9-10

One must be very prayerful before picking on a word like this to correct the Word, while realizing the truth that our adversary the devil now “goeth about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may destroy”. One must avoid straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel. I suggest Laurence Vance’s writings on the issue of the KJB, and others at http://www.av1611.com.

And that the two biggest examples of temptation to sin in the Bible featured Satan using a deceitful interpretation of the word of God. The first of the two were when the Serpent asked Eve about the fruit of the tree of life, implying an unfair restriction, leading Eve to add “not touch it” to what God had said. And pouncing with more interpretation on the meaning.

The second of the two greatest temptations was when Satan quoted scripture to Jesus himself. In this case he quoted directly, but added an implicit meaning that was not there: permission to violate other passages.

If Mr. Wink thinks the translators advocated such passivity in this verse, he ignores all of the rest of that group’s anointed work. Like telling Pilate to his face that he was nothing before the power of God, even though he was also telling him his kingdom was not of “this world”. He was defiant before Pilate’s power in the way you describe in your article, and comported as the King of kings he is to this day, even as he let them lead him to the cross.

Even in the march to Golgotha, Christ was triumphant over both Pilate and the Sanhedrin. They were powerless to stop the “latter rain” of the spread of the Gospel. Just powerless. Christ’s salvation, his truth, his triumph over death and hell, sent wildfire into civilization and beyond.

Comfort for the broken heart, healing for the broken body, and salvation for the lost soul.

(Copied to my blog at http://www.trutherator.wordpress.com)


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