'An eye for an eye?' - Pastor Gordon weighs in
The old adage an 'eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth', also known as the law of retaliation, is taken in everyday life to mean that a person who injures another should be punished in a similar way. Often times, we also hear that the Bible backs that claim - and it does. But in what context?
Elder George Gordon, who attends the Chapelton Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chapelton, Clarendon, shares his thoughts on the issue.
"The Bible says the wages of sin is death, but when Jesus came, He gave us grace which changed a lot of things, including each person having to die for their own sins. He came to restore. And the scripture went on to say that because 'the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eternal life'. So, because Jesus came and died, it changed a lot of things that should have been. In other words, because you pluck out a man's eye, yours would have been taken out: but here Jesus is saying 'walk away from evil'," he explained, adding that the scripture also says we are to forgive 70 times seven. But because we are not following that principle, we use the term 'an eye for an eye' forgetting that the same Bible also says in 1 Peter 3:9, that we shouldn't render evil for evil.
Elder Gordon was also keen to point out that the Bible does not contradict itself, but based on how the Bible is structured, 'an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth' is the principle from the Old Testament, which is there to show that that is what used to happen but because Christ came things changed.
"I'm not saying that everything in the Old Testament isn't relevant in society today, but according to the New Testament, Jesus came and died for all our sins so we wouldn't have to. Otherwise all of us would have been dead because we have all sinned.
"Those were the laws that concerned man's behaviour and the punishment which means that if He (Jesus) never came, all of us would be dead. But Jesus has brought grace and salvation which saves us all.
"Romans 12:17 says we are to recompense no man evil for evil, instead 'dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves but rather give place unto wrath for it is written, vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord'."
READ THE BIBLE, ASK FOR UNDERSTANDING
For anyone who is reading the Bible, Elder Gordon gave this advice: "Before you start getting critical, it's best you read it right through first and ask God for understanding. It's not wise to just read the Bible and take out a portion which suits us for a particular situation. We have to be careful so it's good to read and understand its context," he concluded.