To me, John the Baptist didn't tell the soldiers not to soldier. Nor, did he forbid warfare or the killing that occurs in battles.Hill Top wrote: ↑Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:25 pmDidn't He though?
What did John the Baptist tell the soldiers..."Do violence no man,..." (Luke 3:14)
The phrase, "Do violence to no man," is interesting to me. In my opinion, the best explanation of this that I have ever heard is that what John was talking about was when soldiers would exercise their talents off of the battlefield to take advantage of the general populace. He wasn't prohibiting them from following lawful orders in war.
In the explanation that I'm thinking of, it was pointed out that the word of "violence" is intimately connected with "violate." For example, when a person exercises self-defense, they aren't violating nor doing violence to their attacker. However, the attacker was seeking to violate and practicing violence against them. A police officer who uses necessary force against a person committing a crime isn't doing violence to them. Likewise, a soldier following a lawful order isn't violating or committing violence his opponent.
There are many biblical examples of soldiers rejoicing in the abilities that God gave them to do battle.
I like what Rev. Dake said about this passage:
I find that in line with the explanation that I was relaying, above, and in line with what I see from Strong's of the underlying Greek word... As well as the context of what was said. I think the New King James and other newer translations make this more clear for the modern reader.The soldiers are told three things:
1. Terrify no man with the view of extortion or plunder.
2. Do not oppress any man.
3. Be content with allowances.
— Dake's Annotated Reference Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments of the Authorized or King James Version Text.
Luke 3:14 New King James Version
Likewise the soldiers asked him, saying, "And what shall we do?" So he said to them, "Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages."
Luke 3:14 New American Standard Bible 1995
Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, "And what about us, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages."
Luke 3:14 New International Version 2011
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
Luke 3:14 New Living Translation, Second Edition
“What should we do?” asked some soldiers. John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”
As I've said, elsewhere, I love the King James Version, but I try to remember that it was produced for a seventeenth century audience. As such, there are words and phrases that sometimes hold a different meaning to the modern reader than the translators intended. I am not saying that the King James Version is wrong, here. Rather, I'm saying that it is right, if rightly understood. I think Paul made a similar statement about the Old Testament Law.
1 Timothy 1:8 New Living Translation, Second Edition
We know that the law is good when used correctly.
Thank you for reading. What are your thoughts?