Most Misunderstood Scriptures:
Matthew 11:12 "God's Kingdom Suffereth Violence"
"And the violent take it by force."
The kingdom of heaven suffers “violence”
Jesus Teaching: Matthew 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent take it by force."
This sounds really bad for Christians and Christ's Kingdom (Government). However, this is a gross coincidence of meaning change over time.
FACT-1 The word "suffer" in William Shakespeare's Day meant "allow" - rather than "to endure pain and injury" as it does 400 years later.
EXAMPLE: When Jesus said "'Suffer' the little children to come unto me and forbid them not..." His meaning was "'ALLOW' the little to come unto me and forbid them not ..."
EXAMPLE: When John the Baptist didn't feel worthy to baptize Jesus, Jesus said unto him: "'Suffer' it to be so..." His meaning was "'ALLOW' it to be so ...."
EXAMPLE: When God said to Moses: "Thou shalt not 'suffer' a witch to live...." his meaning was "'ALLOW' not a witch to live..."
There are literally over 100 such examples:
FACT: Using this simple fact, let us now re-state the Scripture:
Matthew 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven ALLOWS violence, and violent take it by force."
So we see the Kingdom of Heaven ALLOWS violence: is this swords and spears? It wouldn't seem to be that Jesus wants His kingdom establish by waging and winning literal war. Let's consider further.
The words 'violent' and 'violence' also do not mean quite the same as 400 years ago. In the generation of AD 2000, violence includes causing physical pain.
However, in Shakespeare's day a violent person simply meant forceful or aggressive, even if one never used physical means. The word 'forceful' is a better definition in AD 2000.
We see the word 'force' in the King James version with the words violence and violent. This is a powerful verse, whatever it means!
'Forceful' can mean using physical harm and destruction, but it equally means being aggressive and doing whatever needs to be done to achieve a thing - while not breaking the law.
EXAMPLE: A prosecuting attorney can forcefully prosecute drug-dealers without ever lifting a finger to inflict a striking blow. Such can do it lawfully and by acceptable means.
EXAMPLE: A politician can forcefully pursue "War on Poverty", War on Cancer" and "War on Drugs" without ever lifting a finger to inflict a striking blow. Such can do it lawfully and by acceptable means.
EXAMPLE: A minister - such as Martin Luther King Jr., - can forcefully pursue "Civil Justice", "Social Justice", "War on Discrimination in Housing and Jobs", etc., without ever lifting a finger to inflict a striking blow. Such can do it lawfully and by acceptable means.
These and many other examples are commonly understood and basically meant the people involved are going to be as follows:
Very aggressive in pursuing their goals;
As forceful as words, courts and social pressure allows;
As forceful as the law physically allows;
Will use every means available including protest marches, demonstrations, social pressure;
Will even use civil disobedience at times, breaking the law - if the law is deemed unjust - but without physical destruction of people or property;
Such is the scriptural teaching of Jesus: Matthew 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven ALLOWS forceful aggression, and the forceful establish it by aggression."
Thus we see the Apostles follow this principle:
> they would not be silenced when ordered by "the Law";
> they would not be silenced, when threatened with being whipped in public;
> they would not be silenced, even when whipped in public;
they would not be silenced when threatened with prison;
> they would not be silenced, even when put in prison;
they would not be silenced when threatened with death by public execution;
> they would not be silenced, even when publicly executed;
Thus the Apostles OBEYED Christ's teaching of "forceful aggression" Matthew 11:12 "And ...the Kingdom of Heaven ALLOWS forceful aggression, and only forceful men can establish it, and only by being aggressive."
Thus many were whipped, imprisoned, stoned, beaten, martyred and shed their blood and even their very lives, to seek to establish Christ's Kingdom by aggressive, forceful action of preaching and practicing Christ's Commands.
Go thou and do likewise!
Sadly, as it is, it implies the VERY OPPOSITE of what Christ taught, and has produced generations of weak, wimpy, cowardly, effeminate type Christian leaders!
Some translators translate it this way:
New International Version 1984:*
12 "From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of (lead) it. [*the later 2005 Version (and now the 2010 version) is Pro-Gay Liberal - disgustingly evi1)
New International Version of the united Kingdom (NIVUK)*:
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. (Bible Scholars in the UK didn't like the new 2005 Pro-Gay New International Version, so they did their own keeping the CORRECT - though 'politically incorrect' translation - of a forceful Kingdom of Christ!
New Living Version:
12 And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people are attacking it.
God's Word Translation:
12 From the time of John the Baptizer until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful people 9leaders) have been seizing it.
New Century Translation:
12 Since the time John the Baptist came until now, the kingdom of heaven has been going forward in strength, and people have been trying to take it (forward) by force.
New International Readers Version (NIRV):
12 Since the days of John the Baptist, the kingdom of heaven has been advancing with force. And forceful people are taking hold of (leading) it.
NewtonStein: God's Inerrant Word (NGIW):
"And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven ALLOWS forceful aggression, and only forceful men can establish it, and only by being aggressive."
New World-Wide English Version:
12 From the time of John until now, people try hard to break into the kingdom of heaven. And strong people take hold of it.
Young's Literal Translation:
12`And, from the days of John the Baptist till now, the reign of the heavens doth suffer (allow) violence, and violent men do take it by force,'
Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. 13 For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you care to accept it, he himself is Elijah, who was to come. 15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
16 But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the market places, who call out to the other children 17 and say, 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.' 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon!' 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds." 20 Then He began to reproach the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. (NAS)
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