Malchus‏


According to the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Bible, Malchus is the servant of the Jewish High Priest, Caiaphas, who participated in the arrest of Jesus. According to John, one of the disciples, the Apostle Peter, being armed with a sword, cut off the servant’s ear in an attempt to prevent his Master’s arrest.

The capture of Christ (detail)

St. Peter striking Malchus

The story is related in all four gospels, John 18:10–11; Matthew 26:51; Mark 14:47; and Luke 22:51, but the servant and the disciple are named only in John. Also, Luke is the only gospel that says Jesus healed the ear.

The relevant passage in the Gospel of John, (18:10–11), reads:

Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the scabbard: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

The story is sometimes used to illustrate Jesus’ rejection of violence and surrender to God’s will. Nevertheless, violence, as we know, has always been a common act in nature; unfortunately, it could also be argued that it has always been inseparable from Christianity or any of the Abrahamic religions for that matter.

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