What are two swords good for, anyway?
The two swords passage in Luke 22:35-38 has been called the most difficult text in the Bible, not without reason! Jesus acknowledges that he is contradicting his earlier instructions when he tells the disciples to go out and buy swords. What kind of swords? Kitchen knives or lethal weapons? How effective were two swords (which he pronounced adequate) supposed to be? Against what? Why don’t any of the disciples in Acts take swords with them? What’s going on? Whether just war proponents or pacifists, this passage gives interpreters fits—and we’re going to look at ancient reading practices and try to solve the conundrum!