Carrying a Concealed Gun: What Would Jesus Say?

On our front door is a decal that says ‘Christians Unite, Luke 22:36.’ It is our “low key” Christian announcement that the residents of this home believe in the American right to own and carry a defensive weapon.

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution1 protects the right of citizens to keep and bear arms, so many second amendment adherents reference the book of Luke, from the Bible, as indicative of Jesus’ approval for carrying a defensive weapon (openly or concealed). In Luke, chapter 22, Jesus said to his disciples that if they had no sword, they should buy one and modern day conservative writers use this incident to indicate Jesus would approve of buying and carrying a firearm (Luke 22:36).

The holy Bible has plenty to say about owning and using weapons and here are just a very few examples. Early in the Bible, in Genesis, it states “When Abram heard that his nephew had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men, born in his house, three hundred eighteen of them, and went in pursuit” (Genesis 14:14).2 And then, in Leviticus, it says “you shall give chase to your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword” (Leviticus 26:7).

In the New Testament book of Luke, Jesus says “when a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe.” The next verse warns that you should not be “outgunned,” so to speak, because if a stronger armed man comes along, he may take it away from you (Luke 11:21, 22).

There is even an example, in the book of John, of using a weapon to defend our Lord Jesus. When Jesus was betrayed by Judas and was confronted by Roman soldiers and Temple guards in the garden at the Mount of Olives, “then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear” (John 18:10).

But, the most quoted scripture used, for supporting the carrying of a gun, is in Luke, chapter 22, which has our Lord stating that a weapon is needed. Jesus says “and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.” And, after taking an inventory among the disciples, an apostle said, “Lord, look, here are two swords,” and Jesus replied “it is enough” (Luke 22:36, 38, NKJV). At this point, Jesus and his followers walked to the Mount of Olives where Judas lead a band of men to confront him.

So, Is It Biblical?

I agree – this scripture, and others, does indicate that carrying a weapon is biblically acceptable for protection. Now that we have answered the question of what would Jesus say about carrying a weapon, we must further examine the situation in Luke to determine its full meaning. In other words, we must put the events into the proper context and examine them from a realistic perspective to understand the full meaning. So, let us take a look at the rest of the story.

First, Jesus demonstrated in his ministry that, although he had powerful abilities given to him by God, his father, his true nature was to be peaceful. He obviously didn’t need weapons for protection. Even as he was being confronted by the soldiers and guards in the garden, he told Peter “put away your sword . . . don’t you realize that I could ask my Father for thousands of angels to protect us, and he would send them instantly” (Matthew 26:52, 53, NLT).

His disciples, at this time, didn’t fully understand what Jesus was doing or what the outcome was to be. But, Jesus knew it was his time to continue with his Father’s divine plan and bring it to its necessary outcome – it was his time to die. Jesus knew in advance he would be betrayed, made a prisoner, and then be crucified.

But, it was important that Jesus surrender voluntarily, not because of fear. When they came after him, he didn’t run, but approached the mob and indicated he was who they were looking for. Jesus’s apostles having weapons with them demonstrated that they could defend themselves, if they wished to do so. But Jesus didn’t want a violent confrontation, because even after Peter drew his sword and cut off a man’s ear, Jesus “touched his ear and healed him” (Luke 22:51). As a scholarly article stated more than a hundred years ago, “we find our Lord fully submitting himself to capture.”3 Jesus wanted his apostles to be armed only to demonstrate that they had the means for defense, if they so desired.

Conclusion

We learn a few facts from this lesson. First, yes it is acceptable to carry a defensive weapon. We live in a world filled with evil entities. The righteous, everywhere, needs protection from the unrighteous, whether it is an evil individual or an evil governing authority or political organization. Another is that we have a better understanding of Jesus’ reasoning concerning his father’s divine plan for the redemption of humankind. It was planned for Jesus to die, because only then could a possible human salvation take place.4 And finally, if you do decide to carry a weapon, be smart and don’t use it in haste, as Simon Peter did. After all, unlike Jesus, in the incident stated above, we don’t have an instant means of reversing our actions.

Copyright © 2013, 2017, Dr. Ray Hermann

OutlawBibleStudent.org

(Leave comments at end, after References & Notes.)

Reference & Notes

1. 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

2. Unless otherwise noted, scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

3. “The Lord Betrayed,” (Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence, Pittsburgh, PA: Tower Publishing Company, 15 May 1899), R2468, vol. XX, No. 10, p. 118.

4. Hermann, Ray, “What Do You Mean, Christ Died for Our Sins?” (treatise, Bellingham, WA: The Outlaw Bible Student, 2017), retrieved online December 31, 2017. https://outlawbiblestudent.org/what-do-you-mean-christ-died-for-our-sins/

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14 thoughts on “Carrying a Concealed Gun: What Would Jesus Say?”

    • Thanks for the comment about your opinion. This article is not about gun control, but if it is biblically justified to carry your weapon for defense. You do have a constitutional right to express your opinion and I support that.

      Since you brought it up, what I don’t understand about people who want gun control is that you are actually begging the government to please take away one of your constitutional rights – to own a firearm. If you allow the government to take away one constitutional right, they may, at some point, also take away your right of free speech, too.

  1. Thanks for your simple explaination of Luke 22:35-38. What you said makes sense.
    I listened to pod cast about this passage and the so called experts- with doctors degrees, gave a bunch of ideas about it but it was all yapping about all kinds of stupid stuff they called a new approach to the verses about Jesus asking if there were any swords among the apostles. Talk about going out on a limb to find an answer. Seemed to me they really didn’t know and were trying to make up an explaination. None of it made andy sense.

    • I appreciate your letter and I am happy that you found my thoughts reasonable. Your take on the podcast you listened to is similar to one that I heard just this past week. Maybe it was the same one you heard. Yes, they went all over the place trying to bring the “two swords” reason to light. They gave no light, only a cloud of confusion.

  2. Well, nothing’s wrong with guns..
    It’s the wrong people that use them..I know a lot of people that have them and they never shot someone. You should be more worried about why people think to use a gun first…

  3. i agree about a gun for defense in the house but not automatic guns like the AR15. they are not needed for self defense or hunting. the AR15 should be banned from sale and people that have them should turn them in or be arrested. let the military keep them but not regular citizens.

    • Thank you for reading my article and for taking the time to comment. My article was basically about if it was biblically okay to conceal carry a hand gun but, considering the present derogatory news stories about the AR-15, I wish to add some facts to establish truth and accuracy. Any other comments on this subject may be posted, but I won’t be included in debating the issue.

      I agree with your thoughts on automatic weapons, however many people have a total misconception about the AR-15, which is available for sale at a gun store. First, you cannot go into any gun store and purchase an automatic firing weapon, even with complete federal, state, and local background checks. ALL automatic weapons are illegal and not available for purchase – that is already a federal law.

      The AR-15 type rifle available in gun shops is NOT an automatic rifle, machine-gun, or assault weapon, no matter what the news media or some politicians say. And it is NOT the type used by the military. The principle difference between the AR-15 rifle and that of a military assault rifle is that the latter has the ability to switch to full automatic fire. Contrary to popular opinion, AR does not stand for ‘Assault Rifle’ — it is a contraction of Armalite, the original manufacturer. The AR-15 and AR-10 were designed by Armalite in the 1950s and the designs were sold to Colt in 1959.1

      Most popular AR-15 calibers range from .17 and .22 rimfire to .223 Winchester rounds, all of which lack the power for large game. In fact, Washington state doesn’t even allow the use of this low power AR-15 ammo for elk or deer, because the animal cannot be taken down in one shot. So most hunters use the higher power .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield (or similar) in other rifle designs as their choice for large game. “The AR-15 is favored among homeowners, hunters [for less than large game], and sport shooters. It’s popular for both sport and self-defense among women, who find it easy to carry and handle.”2 The AR-15 cosmetically appears similar to a U.S. Military M4 carbine or M16 rifle, but that is as far as the resemblance goes.

      References:

      1. “Modern sporting rifle,” (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 21 February 2018), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_sporting_rifle

      2. Sobieski, Daniel John, “The AR15 is Not an Assault Weapon,” (American Thinker, retrieved on 21 February 2018), https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2016/06/the_ar15_is_not_an_assault_weapon.html

  4. Great article Ray. Over the years while living and working in New Orleans I’ve had some scary moments and thanked God that I got through these ordeals. I wasn’t carrying a gun then, but I pretended that I had one by placing my hand behind my back and in another situation, I put my hand in an empty paper bag when a guy was having road wage and came up to the window of my car.

    After some extensive firearm training I now have a permit to carry. I’m now in my seventies and one reason I put this off for so many years was God’s Commandment, “Thou shall not kill.” I still pray that I will never be in a position that I must take a life, and have added this request to my daily prayers ever since I bought my first firearm.

    The information in your article about Jesus’s instructions, etc. gave me more peace of mind. Thank you.

    I know so many people who own firearms who have never shot them. This is so dangerous. I would like to encourage anyone reading this to take time and get properly trained.

    • Thank you for your well-thought out comment. Carrying a gun can defuse events even if it is never removed from the holster. Many times just the thought that someone is carrying a weapon will calm the perpetrator. And you are correct in proper weapon instruction; the gun is but a tool that needs to be mastered for its proper use. Like you, I also pray that the weapon I carry will never have to be used.

      Also, I try to be prepared and not put myself in situations that I find unsafe. For instance, although not always possible, I try to stay away from “gun free zones,” for they are an invitation for criminals. A law-abiding citizen will obey the law and not carry there, but the criminal will carry a gun there and look at the situation as an opportunity, because no one has the means to stop them. Most mass murder events happen in gun free zones.

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