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Featured The Violent Take it By Force

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Tree of Life, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Matthew 11:12

    ESV - From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

    NASB - From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.

    NIV - From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it.

    KJV - And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

    Greek - ἀπὸ δὲ τῶν ἡμερῶν Ἰωάννου τοῦ βαπτιστοῦ ἕως ἄρτι ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν βιάζεται καὶ βιασταὶ ἁρπάζουσιν αὐτήν.​

    A similar expression can be found in Luke 16:16 but it's not clear that Luke's usage is the same as Matthew's. They could mean entirely different things.

    What did Jesus mean?
     
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  2. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    Following Matthew 11:12, we see in the parallel gospel account of John for the event in Matthew 14, those who tried to force Jesus to be king (in one of the miraculous feedings of the multitude).

    "When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone." (John 6:15).

    Paul, was a Pharisee, and he used force to destroy Christians. He had them imprisoned and forced them to blaspheme. Paul thought he was doing God a good service by what he was doing.

    The violent take the kingdom by force.
     
  3. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    27 "So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
    28 "He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
    29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them." (Matthew 13:28-29).
     
  4. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    The same Greek word is used in both John 6:15 and Matthew 11:12. Are you saying that Jesus is talking about forcefully bringing the kingdom about like the zealots wanted to do?

    This seems to be a different tack than the one above. Would Jesus be saying that the kingdom is under persecution?
     
  5. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    What relevance do you believe this has on Matthew 11:12?
     
  6. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    No. I am saying that the Pharisees and others were trying to enforce their kingdom by use of violence or hostile force (i.e. physical force).

    No. It is not. Jesus is telling his disciples not to be like those who take things by force.
     
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  7. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    See post #6.
     
  8. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    The kingdom of Heaven has suffered violence.
    And the violent (the Pharisees) sought to take God's Kingdom by force (Which is impossible, but they tried to do so none the less).
     
  9. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Some options that have historically been presented:
    1. The Kingdom is forcefully breaking into the present age.
    2. Violent men like the zealots try to advance the Kingdom by force.
    3. Needy souls force their way into the doors of the Kingdom.
    4. The Kingdom is persecuted in the present age. It suffers violence from violent, unbelieving men.
     
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  10. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    How did the Pharisees try to take God's Kingdom by force?
     
  11. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Jesus isn't talking about the kingdom of the Pharisees, though. He's talking about the Kingdom of Heaven.

    Jesus is talking about what's happening to the Kingdom. He's not, in this verse, directly telling his disciples what to do or what not to do.
     
  12. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    I'm still not getting it. Could you spell it out for me?
     
  13. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    I have already told you. Paul (Saul) was a Pharisee, and he persecuted Christians. This was no doubt to convert them back to Judaism. We also see the multitude at one of the miraculous feedings whereby they tried to force Jesus to be king. Jesus (being God) obviously was one step ahead of them and He did not allow that to happen (by nonviolent means).
     
  14. icxn

    icxn Bραδύγλωσσος αἰπόλος μαθητεύων κνίζειν συκάμινα

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    It means to do struggle with ones passions, to be violent with ones fleshly appetites and to oppose them. That is how righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17), which is the Kingdom of God, is taken.

    Quote from your patron Saint:

    [4.] Wherefore, I exhort you, use we every means that our life may be righteous, that our minds may be cleansed, so that no filthiness be a hindrance to us; kindle for yourselves the light of knowledge, and sow not among thorns. For how shall one who knows not that covetousness is an evil, ever know the greater good? how shall one who refrains not from these earthly things ever hold fast to those heavenly? It is good to take by violence, not the things that perish, but the Kingdom of heaven. “The violent,” it saith, “take it by force.” ( Matt. xi. 12.) It is then not possible to attain to it by sluggishness, but by zeal. But what meaneth “the violent”? There is need of much violence, (for strait is the way,) there is need of a youthful soul and a noble. Plunderers desire to outstrip all other, they look to nothing, neither to conviction, nor accusation, nor punishment, but are given up to one thing only, the getting hold of what they desire to seize, and they run past all that are before them in the way. Seize we then the Kingdom of heaven, for here to seize is no fault but rather praise, and the fault is the not seizing. Here our wealth comes not from another’s loss. Haste we then to seize it. Should passion disquiet us, should lust disquiet us, let us do violence to our nature, let us become more gentle, let us labor a little, that we may rest forever. (Source)​
     
  15. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    I see this as a mixture of (1) the Kingdom is persecuted and (2) people try to advance the kingdom through forceful means.
     
  16. Sanoy

    Sanoy Well-Known Member

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    The entire chapter here in Matthew is about the identity of the Messiah. John ask if he is the Messiah to come ( the Messiah coming on the clouds in Daniel. Remember John already knew He was a Messiah). Then Jesus validates His own Messiahship by showing that John is to precede Him. Using the same format of the relationship between John and Jesus he nails the time line of violence in the same gap, between John and Jesus. I think the violence is Jesus retaking the spiritual kingdom from the rulers in heavenly places. The same rulers, and Princes over the nations, that kidnapped Gabriel in Daniel 10:13, for which Michael, Israel's Prince, had to rescue him. This is Jesus establishing a new spiritual kingdom on the bones of the old one, and hell shall not withstand it.
     
  17. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Luther also held to this interpretation. I find it implausible because it doesn't fit the context. That may be the meaning in Luke 16:16, however.
     
  18. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Sounds weird!
     
  19. icxn

    icxn Bραδύγλωσσος αἰπόλος μαθητεύων κνίζειν συκάμινα

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    But the interpretation fits the context perfectly. St John the Baptist, whose way of life and character define the context starting from verse 7, is a living image of someone who did violence to himself as explained above.
     
  20. Jason0047

    Jason0047 Give in secret & you will be rewarded openly. Supporter

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    The Pharisees were God's chosen people, but the Kingdom (as presented in the Scriptures that they had) suffered violence by their own hands. Jesus said they made a new convert a two fold the child of hell than they were. They wrongfully accused Jesus of crimes he did not commit and they crucified Him. This is all pretty straight forward in the Scriptures. Then again, it is easier to see if you accept Jesus's teachings on NT Pacifism or non-violence.

    The weeds are false believers amongst the real believers. Obviously at points through out history, and even to come, there will be a Judas among them who will betray them into the so called accepted religious elite. Jesus says,

    "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." (John 16:2).
     
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