The Lineage of Jesus

A Crucified Messiah?
Jesus the Prophet
Where is world peace?
Was Jesus violent?

It is claimed that Jesus was a violent man.
The temple incident and Isaiah 53:9
The term חָמָס when used throughout Tanakh has the sense of physical violence to one or more persons (Genesis 49:5; Judges 9:24; Psalm 7:17; 25:19) and tends to involve extreme violence with the element of injustice or wrongdoing (Job 19:7; Amos 3:10). חָמָס is not merely the turning over of tables but complete ruining with accompanying violence and bloodshed towards others. In fact, Deuteronomy 19:16-21 shows the underlying idea of physical harm to someone. Someone who is עֵד חָמָס, who intends to do violence to another through lies, is seen as רַע, evil and was to be repaid with the physical violence he intended.

חָמָס - violence (act) n., an act of aggression; especially involving physical contact: Ge 6:11, 13; 49:5; Ex 23:1; Dt 19:16; Jdg 9:24; 2 Sa 22:3, 49; Is 53:9; 59:6; 60:18; Je 20:8; 51:35; Eze 7:23; 12:19; 28:16; 45:9; Joe 4:19; Am 3:10; 6:3; Ob 10; Jon 3:8; Mic 6:12; Hab 1:3, 9; 2:8, 17; Zep 1:9; Ps 7:17; 11:5; 18:49; 25:19; 27:12; 35:11; 55:10; 58:3; 72:14; 73:6; 74:20; 140:2, 5, 12; Job 16:17; Pr 3:31; 4:17; 10:6, 11; 13:2; 16:29; 26:6

The Lexham Analytical Lexicon of the Hebrew Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017).

Here are the passages:
And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.”

In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

If we are going to look at it properly then it's not the English translation 'no violence' but the Hebrew לֹא־חָמָ֣ס. An English phrase is used to define the meaning of a Hebrew term in order to ameliorate the sense of חָמָס. Referring to the Hebrew text we can ask about חָמָס and it's use. Much is made of the word 'especially' but context must be understood in the Hebrew dictionary. In terms of Deuteronomy 19:16ff, the עֵ֥ד חָמָֽס, though not physically causing harm, intends to harm physically as a result of lying testimony. And so the great majority of the uses of חָמָס in Tanakh passages refer to direct physical harm while a few such as Deut. 19:16 refer to indirect physical harm through the עֵ֥ד חָמָֽס. We see this intent in Psalm 27:12 “Give me not up to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out חָמָס.” The swords of שִׁמְעוֹן and לֵוִי are implements of חָמָס (Genesis 49:5 Compare Psalm 7:12-16 and Isaiah 59:6-7). Jeremiah is very clear as to what חָמָס implies: “The חָמָס done to me and to my kinsmen be upon Babylon,” let the inhabitant of Zion say. “My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,” let Jerusalem say.” (Jeremiah 51:35).
An עֵ֥ד חָמָֽס is best understood as a 'violent witness' with חָמָֽס predicating the kind of witness, a witness intent on physical harm. Deuteronomy 19:19, 21 defines the phrase in verse 16 for us: “...then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother... Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” (Deuteronomy 19:19–21). Exodus 22:1 is neither relevant to, nor mentions חָמָֽס.

In summary the main events mentioned in all four gospels are: Jesus entered the temple area; he drove out the merchants; overturned seats and tables (notice that he tipped them up, not destroyed them); he remonstrated with them about the misuse of the temple; he appeals to the Tanakh for support (Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11 and Yohanan mentions Psalm 69:9). Only in John's Gospel do we read about a whip of cords and only in context with driving out the cows and sheep: "In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep... And making a whip of cords (φραγέλλιον ἐκ σχοινίων), he drove them all out of the temple, both the sheep and oxen (τά τε πρόβατα καὶ τοὺς βόας). The whip of cords refers to a rope of twisted rushes (σχοινίων is the diminutive of σχοῖνος - a rush), hardly a cat 'o nine tails! A few rushes wound together to drive out the cattle and sheep! If this were such a riotous and violent scene it would have caught the attention of the temple guards or even the Romans, yet there is not a mention.

"So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you."  Is Jesus teaching cannibalism here?

Some try to assert that he is but what does the context teach us? The first thing we can see in context is that Jesus refers to himself as 'the Bread of Heaven' and makes a comparison with the provision of Manna to the Israelites in the wilderness (John 6:41, 51, 58). The issue was the crowd's misunderstanding of what Jesus said. The had taken his words literally but he was speaking metaphorically (As he did in the other 'I am' sayings in John's Gospel).

The crowd had already become offended by his claim that he had come down from heaven and would return there (John 6:38, 41-42, 62). It was the crowd who misunderstood Jesus' words and took them literally (John 6:51-52) They didn't comprehend that he was speaking in metaphors and we can see this even when he explained to them that " is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." (John 6:63). We can see the same ignorance with Nicodemus the religious teacher who could only see from an earthly, literal viewpoint (John 3:3-6, 12, 31).

The primary point that Jesus makes in all his claims is that life comes from believing in the one who offered his body upon the cross for the life of the world (John 6:40, 51). Looking at other comparisons given by Jesus it is clear that he was giving metaphors. For instance, Jesus compares himself to the 'bronze serpent' in the wilderness (John 3:14-15; Numbers 21:9). Just as the people were healed when they looked to the nehushtan so those who believe in the offering up of Jesus on the cross will receive eternal life. We find the same metaphors used with Jacob's Well (John 4:6, 12-14); Jacob's Ladder (John 2:51; Genesis 28:12); the Servant/Lamb of God (John 1:29; Isaiah 53:7); the Temple (2:18-22); the entrance to the sheep fold - Israel (John 10:1-9); the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14-15; Isaiah 40:11; Isaiah 34:23); the genuine Vine (John 15:1; Psalm 80:8ff; Isaiah 5:1ff); the only way to God the Father (John 14:6). None of these were meant to be taken literally but figuratively.

The parallel between John 6:54 and 6:40 shows this clearly:

"Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day."
"For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

To 'eat' Jesus flesh and 'drink' his blood is a metaphor for believing in him, the one crucified and resurrected. The metaphor is Jesus dying on the cross to give life to the one believing. This is shown throughout John's Gospel - it is always believing in Jesus as the dying and rising Messiah, the Lamb of God,  which gives eternal life (John 1:12; 2:11, 23; 3:16, 18, 36; 4:39; 6:29, 35, 40; 7:5, 31, 38, 39, 48; 8:30; 9:35-36; 10:45; 11:25-26, 45, 48; 12:11, 36-37, 42, 44, 46; 14:1, 12; 16:9).

So no, there is no cannibalism taught here. Nor is there any idea that the bread and wine of the Eucharist is anything more than a meal reminding believers of the meaning of Messiah's death - to save us from sin.