In considering the battle of the Old Testament versus the New Testament, many ask why is it that these two parts seem to make the Bible contradict itself? As a wise man once said, Where the Bible appears to contradict itself, it is our understanding that is at fault' and he's right! When our understanding lines up the apparent contradictions so that they are in agreement, then we know we're on the right track!
This may seem to be a contradiction in itself and the most common argument would then be to explain why the Old Testament says to extract revenge by taking an eye for an eye' and the New Testament says not to take revenge, but to forgive'.
This contradiction makes it appear that there are two separate parts to the Bible and that the Bible is divided against itself, so by the results/fruits of this belief, we can see immediately that our understanding must be false. We should know for instance, that God is in control of all things and He does not have to amend or change things as new problems develop, as we would due to human error.
So how can we correct our understanding that would make both statements true? Obviously we're fully entitled to receiving an eye for an eye' but if you think about it further, how can we extract true justice and receive exactly an eye for an eye? Chances are that we would maybe be able to get half an eye and a piece of eyebrow with it. Would this be the same as only a whole eye?
The truth is that we can't be properly recompensed for injury or damage. If we have suffered an injury or insult, there is no human agency open to us that would enable us to extract EXACTLY the justice that we are entitled to, which in this example is only one whole eye'. And who's to say that the original sin of the offender taking that eye, was not justified or motivated by some cause beyond our ken and therefore beyond our means to judge the crime properly?
There is One agency that would be able to extract true justice with absolute precision and that is the Almighty. So we should take heart (and fear in the cases where we have erred, for we are only human after all), that God will extract pure and properly weighted justice.
In the meantime, we are offered a far greater recompense and that is the forgiveness of our sins against God, by exactly the same measure that we use to forgive those other human beings who have sinned against us!
If we fully forgive others, then we receive complete and full forgiveness from God (Matthew 6:12)and how much greater would our spiritual sins against God be, in comparison to the relatively minor worldly sins that any other person could commit against us?
God previously gave men the chance to be cleansed of their sins by the blood of animal sacrifices, which many cheated Him on by short-changing Him on the quality of the animals offered up. Although they didn't realize it at the time, they were actually cheating themselves out of complete and effective forgiveness by the use of ineffective tools'. So God put His Son in place as the perfect blood sacrifice.
So while the Old Testament allows that we are entitled to an eye for an eye', it is the Son in the New Testament who provides the blood atonement for our own injustices against God and all the Son commanded in return, was that we love each other as he loved us, which is that he loved us enough to lay his life down for us.
God will apply the atoning Blood sacrifice of the Son to us, with exactly the same measure that we use to forgive others! Hence the parable in Matthew 18:21-35 of the debtor forgiven his debt, who then went about harassing those who owed him, to pay up!
So there is no conflict or contradiction between the Old Testament and the New as regards revenge and justice and both reside together as the Manual of Life; to get us to where God has planned for us to be.
We are offered justice and a far greater measure of justice than we are entitled to; without even extracting revenge from our opponent' in case we ourselves are an opponent to another. This is the wisdom of our Father God! And dare I say it; it is also the Vengeance' of God against those He has saved. What a great love God has for mankind!