3rd Mose 24, 19
The Law - Old Testament

The Ten Commandments and all the other everyday-regulations were considered as God’s will put into words by the Israelites. The law was a vast progress for the people because here,  for individual  sins, the degree of revenge was clearly limited by regulations. The principle “a life for a life”, “an eye for an eye”, “a tooth for a tooth” … limited the violence that had always escalated again and caused  the bloody vendetta. (Ex. 21,23ff, Dtn. 19,21)

In the Old Testament the nature of violence is understood and brought out into the open. In addition prospects  are given for a new world without violence.
The prophets criticize the sacrifice-cults (Jer. 7,1-11). They demand the knowledge of God and love (Hos. 6,6), which on the other hand is the harvest of justice  and is obtained by keeping the laws (Hos.10,12).

Only in the New Testament does the example of Jesus show the way to overcoming violence.


(The Pharisees  practised the literal compliance of the law of the Old Testament. There are 613 regulations, 248 commands, 365  prohibitions in the Torah. Jesus put ethical demands on the law. On the one hand it tightened up the law as offences not actually done,  but already “in the heart” condemned. On the other hand some regulations of the law were abolished. --- Ethics = moral demands on how people should behave in their lives. )
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