Shouldn't Matthew 5:39 be translated "If someone backhands you on the right cheek, then turn the other also"?

Like today most people back then were right handed.

If a right handed person simply slaps some one facing them, then they slap the other person's left cheek.

For a right handed person to strike someones right cheek, they would strike them with the back if their hand.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You are correct: Many folks, including myself, missed what Jesus actually said. It's actually pretty agressive viewed in this manner.

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  • Rick G
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Interesting and I agree.

    And as with a backhand slap, it is an insult, not a blow to cause damage. If Jesus said he "punched" your right check, that would be intended to disable or knock you out.

    So, both from the crossover blow, done with the back of the hand and is not a power stroke, and wording "slap" shows that the assault is an effort to provoke or insult. That is why he told us to turn the other cheek, not letting the insult overcome our Christian personality.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hi. Jesus Christ advised: “Whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other also to him.” (Matthew 5:39) A slap is not intended to injure physically, but only to insult or provoke. Jesus was thus teaching his followers to avoid being drawn into a fight or an argument. Rather than “paying back injury for injury or reviling for reviling,” you should “seek peace and pursue it.”—1 Peter 3:9, 11; Romans 12:14.

    That would be the point of the Scripture and the lesson Christ was teaching.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, given that Hebrew is written from right to left, it's always made me wonder if maybe, at some point, left-handers were in the majority, at least among the Jews. I have absolutely no basis for it - just kind of curious :-) So maybe "right" was correct after all!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Whether the blow was done using the right or left hand, whether it was back-handed or with the palm doesn't matter. The principle is to pursue peace.

    (Romans 12:18) If possible, as far as it depends upon YOU, be peaceable with all men.

    Regarding proper translation...


    from a derivative of a primary rhepo (to let fall, "rap");

    to slap:--smite (with the palm of the hand).

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  • Wow!


    I had to slap myself and my mirror a few times. but you are right.

    Thank you for this new insight.


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