Could someone explain to me why there are some Christians who hold fast to the idea behind the second amendment and owning guns?
I've looked in the Greek text and there are no commands about self-defense or owning weapons. I understand in the Hebrew, that there are specific instances where Israel was commanded to wield weapons. There is one instance in the New Testament that confuses me, it's Luke 22:36. Why would Jesus say to the apostles to sell their cloaks to buy a sword? Is this a mistranslation?
If you are able to read the Greek text, then you know that Luke 22:36-38 is not mistranslated. Whenever you run across a text that doesn't match your understanding, it is typically an indication that your understanding is off.
While the words self-defense is not used in most of the translations of the Bible, it does not mean the concept is missing. The article Self-Defense and The Use of Force does a thorough job covering the issue from a variety of viewpoints, including a discussion of Luke 22:36-38.
Thank you, Mr. Hamilton, for your response.
I do not want to give the impression that I can read Greek. I was using a concordance which had the original Greek. I am always looking for opportunities to grow.
I read through the article you sent. While I think it is helpful, and certainly has given me more to consider, I believe it can be refined. Regarding the event in Luke 22, why is it so important in this instance that the apostles arm themselves? Why not those other times they were imprisoned, stoned, but not to death, or mobs were after them? And if the apostles could use weapons, why were they worshipping in odd places like upper rooms?
I just don't see how these passages are more than specific examples of instances where self-defense is appropriate versus always being allowed to own weapons and carry them freely.
Upper rooms were not odd places. Rooms above a business were commonly rented out. Thus, today we would speak of a rented hall. In Jesus' day, they were referred to as upper rooms.
When Jesus first sent out his disciples, he told them to bring nothing with them. "And He said to them, "When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?" So they said, "Nothing." " (Luke 22:35).
Jesus reminded the disciples that they were sent out with nothing, yet they never lack anything (Matthew 10:10-15; Mark 6:8-9). It was a reminder that God would watch over them. But now conditions have changed. They need to be prepared to take care of themselves. Not that God won’t continue to watch over them, but they will be on their own in dangerous and hostile regions. Saying that they should sell their clothing if necessary to buy a sword is a way of saying the danger is very real and cannot be ignored. They need funds because the people around them won’t always be willing to support them. They will need protection because the areas they will be traveling in won’t be safe.
Though Jesus is speaking about the future, the disciples once again misunderstood and took his words to mean the present. They pointed out that they had two swords with them. Even Jerusalem can be dangerous at times and they had some protection. Obviously, two swords are not typically enough to defend twelve men. But Jesus never needed their defense. Rather than extend the conversation, Jesus told them it was enough for now – perhaps knowing that by mentioning the swords it would prepare the scene when he is arrested.
However, for our purposes, we need to note that some of the disciples did carry weapons with them as a matter of course and Jesus did not forbid it. Since you now realize that self-defense is allowed, then why would you conclude that owning a weapon would be forbidden by God?