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A tooth for a tooth

This Bible quotation is very popular in our country - a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye. It was used in countless of movie dialogues to mean revenge particularly when the protagonist has been abused by the antagonist. In real life, I don't think it is practical and realistic to just turn the other cheek when someone does us wrong. If that rule will be applied then abuses will mount and the world will be full of opportunist. That tooth for a tooth stance is much better particularly in poor countries where the culture is always "me first." A retaliation will teach people a neat lesson in life that the thing they did would come back to them.


  • I can honestly say, that I apply the turning of the cheek in my daily life. When I was young I didn't agree with it but as I grew up, I was able to see that violence, brings violence and it continues on an endless and vicious cycle until someone puts an end to it by turning the other cheek. When you don't turn the other cheek, you seek vengeance in return, and that goes against one of the most important messages that Jesus  brought to this world - "Love thy neighbor as thy self".
  • Posts: 64
    When I hear this saying it makes me think of karma, and that you will reap what you sow, but it will be our Lord that dishes out your serving, not us personally returning the attack. 

    Also the opposite, I once read some buddhist writings that to be sure one never becomes disabled in old age, one should take care of the elderly disabled. 

  • Another version of "Turn the other cheek" (especially in my country) is the adage, "if someone throws a stone at you, you throw bread at him." In modern times, people add the line... "Just make sure, the bread is inside a jar." I think, for most people, especially, those who were victims of oppression in the past, or people who grew up in oppressed areas like ghettos, an eye for an eye is more acceptable... vengence. It's part of survival... of learning the streets, or earning your stripes. What they forget is that violence will only result in violence. Someone will take revenge in behalf of the other and then, the other party will also take vengence, Resulting in a vicious cycle that will just go on and on and on, until somebody breaks the circuit, somebody has gotta stop and forgive.
  • I support that. What will you do somebody who has chopped off your finger? The best way to stop his behavior is by cutting off his finger also. But God tells us to forgive, maybe we may go with that one.
  • Posts: 36
    I don't think it is right to throw away one teaching and embrace another based on one's convenience. I think you should read the bible more and find out for yourself that a tooth for a tooth was an old testament way but Jesus' way is different, and based on love for God and neighbor. He basically told us the opposite and since our faith is based on the teachings of Jesus, then we should follow his teachings. The teachings in the bible are as truthful today as they are yesterday. I think we should open up a bit and not put people in boxes like poor people having an attitude of 'me first'. 
  • I believe it is so hard to implement the opposite. Many people love taking revenge in their own hands. I believe we need prayers and we also need to learn to let go and leave all forms of revenge to God. He is the only one to take revenge for us. He sees everything, He knows everything, He knew you would go through all that. Cry onto Him.

    I have learnt to walk away. It is better than saying or doing something that you would regret later. Nowadays everyone takes it that you are a whim and very weak. I stopped pleasing others and reacting to things the way they would want me to. I pray I meditate more on the word of God and practice it in all my daily activities. 

    Tooth for a a tooth was the norm during the times of the OT, before Christ. 
  • Posts: 26
    I am against all sorts of revenge. Revenge will not give you peace, it will make you a troubled soul. We need to learn the power for forgiveness. When you forgive, you will be more at peace. If you revenge someone, his/her child will revenge you some day, and your child will revenue this guy some day. This will go on and on.
  • Posts: 28
    I'm a firm believer of that stance, an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth, because it would be unfair if the perpetrator would be punished less that what is deserved and done. So I also apply that stance to my everyday living.
  • Posts: 44
    I am torn in this issue because it would depend on the kind of people. One philosopher said that if we strictly practice the tooth for a tooth and the eye for an eye then the world will be full of blind and toothless people. Maybe there is truth in it because vengeance is not a good action. 

    For me, the laws of God and the laws of the country would be enough to control the peace and order. For those abusing in the violation of the rules, well, they go to jail. 
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