Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pointed to a vengeful teaching specifically contradicted by Jesus as the Bible verse or story that's influenced him during a Thursday morning radio appearance.
“Is there a favorite Bible verse or Bible story that has informed your thinking or your character through life, sir?” host Bob Lonsberry asked Trump on Rochester, New York's WHAM 1180AM.
"When we get into the Bible, I think many, so many," Trump said. "Look, an eye for an eye, you can almost say that. That's not a particularly nice thing."
The "eye for an eye" and "tooth for a tooth" concept of punishment that Trump cited is included in the Old Testament in Exodus, which set up case law for Israel's judges after Moses was given the Ten Commandments.
[sharequote="center"]"But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise." — Exodus 21:23-25[/sharequote]
The concept is also known for its inclusion in the Code of Hammurabi — an ancient Babylonian system of law known for its brutality.
The businessman and the 2016 GOP frontrunner went on to explain further: "If you look at what's happening to our country, when you see what's going on with our country, how people are taking advantage of us and how they scoff at us and laugh at us and laugh at our face. They're taking our jobs, they're taking our money, they're taking the health of our country. We have to be very firm and we have to be very strong, and we can learn a lot from the Bible, that I can tell you."
Here's the audio of Trump's answer, from Buzzfeed:
But in the New Testament, Jesus pushed back on the concept of "eye for an eye" retaliation.
Instead, he told his followers to "turn the other cheek" when someone strikes them literally or metaphorically, rather than repaying evil with evil.
[sharequote="center"]"You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well." — Matthew 5:38-40[/sharequote]
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