Christian morals



10. Which is the commandment we must keep, ‘Turn the other cheek’ or ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’?



According to the teaching of Jesus Christ, we must keep the former precept and not the latter. Here are the words of Christ: “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:38-42). As you can see, the expression ‘but I say unto you’ makes it clear that the precept of the Old Testament which says ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’ must not be kept any longer. We are under the law of Christ, which commands us to love our enemies and to do good to those who hate us. We are not allowed to avenge ourselves.