Chapter 4: The slap on the cheek

Jesus about to slap a cheek (Based on Aelbrecht Bouts, the third appearance)

(Matthew 5:38 – 42)

“You’ve heard that it was said, ‘An eye in place of an eye, and a tooth in place of a tooth.’ And I tell you, this is the Holy truth.So Jesus told his disciples: “Whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other cheek to him strike his cheek as well49; and to whoever wants to get a judgement against you and takes your shirt, you must take all his posessions from him; and if someone forces you to go one mile, cut off his feet so he can walk no more35. Give to whoever asks you, and lend to whoever wants to borrow from you—but only if they are other Christians66.


This is of course one of the most original and central values in the gospels: to make life better, we should (in an ideal world) rather sacrifice ourselves than use violence in our defense. The concept of “turning the other cheek” is completely unknown in the holy texts of the muslim world. When you’re attacked, you fight back. And you fight back in a gruesome way (see Quran (5:33)35 in the sources).