Forgiveness, or revenge?

It’s a deep moral dilemma. On which side does justice lie? On the one hand: “Life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” Thus the Biblical book of Exodus, a no-nonsense piece of legislation that seems not only to permit revenge but to demand it — limiting it, however, to the extent of the original injury.

On the other hand: forgiveness, a much later development. “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you,” said Jesus, and when the disciple Peter asked, “How many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me — up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times but seventy times seven.”