Luke 6:29 ~ Mt 5:38-41
Renouncing One's Own Rights
This continues the thought of the preceding passage, still within the Lukan Sermon on the Plain.
IQP. [The one who slaps] you on the cheek, offer [him] the other as well, and [to the person wanting to take you to court and get] your shirt, [turn over to him] the coat as well. And the one who conscripts you for one mile, go with him a second].
- Mt 5:38 (ASV): Ye have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,  but I say unto you, resist not him that is evil, but whosoever smiteth thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if any man would go to law with thee and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.  And whoseover shall compel thee to go one mile, go with him two.
- Lk 6:29 (ASV): To him that smiteth thee on the [one] cheek offer also the other, and from him that taketh away thy cloak withhold not thy coat also.
Comment. The IQP heading for this passage is dubious; despite the legalistic tone of the Matthean passage, which as we see has no parallel in Luke, there is no question of formally renouncing legal rights, but rather (as Matthew himself spells out) of not resisting evil. This is counterintuitive in much the same way as the preceding passage, and specifically, as Matthew makes a point of mentioning, it goes against the ancient ethos of vengeance. Mt 5:38-39a is probably best seen as an explanation of the Lukan saying in legal terms, and the Lukan saying is thus probably the earlier of the two. We then have Lk > Mt.
Authenticity. The Lukan sayiing is not addressed to a community, but to an individual, and to an individual subject to the oppressions of an army of occupation as well as the usual bandits and bullies. There is thus no indicator of the date of this saying within the history of the Jesus movement, and therefore no evidence either for or against its being said by Jesus.
12 May 2011 / Contact The Project / Exit to Alpha Page