Peace Within Two Religious Traditions

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Christianity and Peace

Explain how Christians understand the concept of peace, as informed by their sacred text….

The Christian way of peace is spoken through passages of the New Testament. The New Testament is the customary text that all Christians follow. It declares the focus of peace within the Christian tradition, all of which began with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christians are taught to live harmoniously with all humans and the belief of God. As documented in the Gospels and other writings of the New Testament, Jesus Christ taught peace and pacifism to his followers. This was at the time the Romans were the dominant force of the world, which ultimately would have made peacemaking difficult to uphold as the Romans often intimidated the Jewish people of Jerusalem.

Some Christians believe that they should work for peace by refusing to fight in wars. They believe that Christians should be pacifists because Jesus taught his followers to love their enemies and to always treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. Some Christians have the belief that the way to bring about peace is to be prepared to fight in just wars. They will fight to defend the weak and to bring peace to the world because this has been the teaching of the church throughout the ages. Peace is essential to Christianity, there can be no doubt about it, consider, for example, these passages from the New Testament Gospels…..

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:3)

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14)

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives” (John 14:27)

Most of us are familiar with the Old Testament word for peace. It is shalom. For Hebrew speakers, shalom has a much richer and fuller significance than the English word “peace”. Whereas we sometimes limit the idea of peace to the absence of conflict, shalom...
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