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Have there been other instances before or parallel to Christianity where war, revenge and conflict was repudiated or not seen as an ideal - and instead peace and love for the others (love for the neighbor) was one of the core ideals?

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closed as off-topic by American Luke, Pieter Geerkens, Kobunite, jwenting, Mark C. Wallace May 19 '14 at 11:10

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Do not think that I came to bring peace on Earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother... – Tyler Durden May 19 '14 at 3:20
I fear you are looking at Christianity with rose tinted spectacles. Yes it preaches peace, but also war. Much like most human philosophies. Deuteronomy 20:10-17 comes to mind: "However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you." – Richard Tingle May 19 '14 at 8:18
@RichardTingle - Except that's a command to the Israelites, for a specific geographic region, and effectively to a specific time period; by the time Christ showed up, a number of those people groups were gone (whether through those wars, later ones from other parties, intermarriage, whatever). Deuteronomy is only included in the Christian bible as a way of explaining history/cultural context of the Israelites. Most (modern) denominations really only use the 10 Commandments as the base, and that verse would probably be superseded by Matthew 28:19. – Clockwork-Muse May 19 '14 at 9:02
@Clockwork-Muse Its the same god. Christianity has to be taken as a whole; the point is that under certain circumstances violence is encouraged. Perhaps those situations no longer exist by 0AD but that’s hardly the point. Not to mention that many current day Christians do very much draw inspiration from the old Testament – Richard Tingle May 19 '14 at 9:10
After a while the idea of peace wore thin, and the First Crusade was launched on 27 November 1095 by Pope Urban II. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Crusade – andy256 May 19 '14 at 10:40

Buddhism predates Christianity and some believe some of the ideas of Buddhism traveled along the Silk Road and reached the Middle East. They may have influenced thought in that area in the years before the appearance of Christianity.

Buddhism, although some would argue it’s not a religion, does promote peaceful co-existence. The five precepts are:

To refrain from taking life (non-violence towards sentient life forms), or ahimsā;
To refrain from taking that which is not given (not committing theft);
To refrain from sensual (including sexual) misconduct;
To refrain from lying (speaking truth always);
To refrain from intoxicants which lead to loss of mindfulness (specifically, drugs and alcohol).

Wikipedia has an article on Buddhist influences on Christianity.

Without going into details, however, I believe there are arguments against the perception of Christianity as entirely peaceful and repudiating things like revenge (eternal punishment in Hell for starters).

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Thanks, Buddhism yes that makes sense. I am not an expert but re "After all, Jesus does promise eternal hell and punishment for those that don't follow him." I'm not sure AFAIK that's just some of the more extremist denominations. I guess I meant the Early or Central Christianity. Any idea if the peaceful co-existence in Buddhism is promoted in an active sense or more in a spiritual/metaphysical sense? – BlackBookOfThe60s May 18 '14 at 22:37
@BlackBookOfThe60s Updated my answer! Hope it helps answer the question. – Juicy May 18 '14 at 22:59
@BlackBookOfThe60s. Belief in Hell is by no means a minority position in Christianity. – TRiG May 19 '14 at 9:18
...and those arguments are? Eternal punishment/Hell is generally treated as something akin to a natural consequence of the universe, not as a command to followers. Your argument there seems to me to be the equivalent of "Well, America would be a peaceful country, if it wasn't for the fact that falling off a tall building would kill you!". For the Israelites (before Christianity), revenge was specifically left in God's domain (barring a specific set regarding murder); for Christians it's really more turn the other cheek. – Clockwork-Muse May 19 '14 at 9:21
@Clockwork-Muse Also, Christianity incorporates the Torah as the Old Testament. The God portrayed in the Torah does regularly call for violence, extermination of other peoples... – Juicy May 19 '14 at 12:21

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