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Do We Have to Hate Our Families to Follow Jesus?

Updated on July 8, 2013

Why are we Hated?

2011 © Roy Blizzard III

Jesus or Yeshua spoke in Luke 14:26, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

A lady once asked me the question about some zealous individuals, who facing objections from their parents, unwaveringly broke relationship with their parents for the sake of Jesus, and thereby harmed the feelings of their parents! Isn't that a sin of Jesus for teaching people something like that that is destroying families?

Ok, here we goes. the passage Luke 14:26 is actually a part of a larger teaching explaining to the people present about the nature of God and how to be a part of God's Kingdom both here and after. Jesus asked a question back in Luke 14:3 to try and elicit a response from the "spiritual leaders". It was in fact OK to heal on the sabbath but the Pharisee leaders were not being responsive to the people's needs at the time and Jesus was going to make a point that God cares even if the leaders don't.

Back to Luke 14:26. Here is another example of how the text has gotten mistranslated by only trying to understand it in the Greek. In Hebrew the word translated as "Hate" is sahneh -שנא . As usual in Hebrew we find several shades of meaning for this word. It is usually translated as hate properly, but oftentimes it has the connotation not of hate as we think of it in our western mind, but should be translated and understood as, "love less".

This is what we find in the Hebrew in Deuteronomy 21:15 - "If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated (loved less), and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated (loved less); and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated (loved less)." Also in Genesis 29:31 - "And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated (loved less), he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren."

The way this passage in Luke should be read is as follows. "If a man will come to me without loving his dad, mom, wife and kid, kinfolk and even his own life less than he loves me, he cannot be my student." This passage is about committment to a cause. The reason being is that in Jewish law there are stipulations as to what men could or couldn't do when following a teacher in order to be his student.

This also relates directly to the 1st and 2nd commandments which are "I am YHWH your God and you shall have no other Gods before me." Thus, how can you be a disciple of a Godly man and commit to him if you are worried about all of your relatives and even yourself before being worried about God and what God requires.

There is no sin here in what Jesus is saying. He is just relating standard Jewish law and interpretation.

I don’t want you to think that everything found in the Bible that you read in some other language besides Hebrew or sometimes Greek is wrong. What I am saying that you may not understand what the text is saying unless you know these languages or find someone who does. You need to understand that we really don't have as much of a translation as we have a transliteration of the Bible. There is a big difference. While there are many commentaries, there is not what I would consider a "translation" as such. I am currently working on an understandable translation of the Gospel of John based on a Hebrew text. It is quite different than the English.

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    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 

      5 years ago from On Planet Earth

      Yep some people can misunderstand the scripture if they do not have a revelation of the word and Christ. I do not think Jesus meant to literally hate your parents, brother etc. He meant to be a follow of Christ you cannot love the world the things in it etc. Also if your family live an ungodly life you cannot buddy up with them and call yourself a Christian.

      Take me for instance my three sisters, mother and father aren't Christian yes I talk to them but we don not have much fellowship because of the different lifestyles we live its not to say I hate them. But friendship with the world is enmity with GOD.........

      Thanks for sharing this interesting hub

    • Guanta profile image


      7 years ago from New York City

      Thank you for your Hub royblizzard, I found it very informative.

    • royblizzard profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Austin / Leander, Texas

      Hi Doug, Kupiou-(koorioo phonetically) in greek means Lord. They transcrbers used this Greek work so that they would not be dealing with the tetragrammaton YHWH. This was very common. Many places in the English text in both Old and New used Lord where it should be rendered YHWH

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi Roy , I am a bit green and this method of conversing Roy I was very interested to see you have studied Greek, so I hope this gets to you, very good for my query , it seems that all the NT references to Gods name were addressed as Kupiou , in English Lord , do you agree with this.

      doug belot

    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 

      7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      We must never place any person above Almighty God and Jesus. We must be willing to see every family member and friend as lesser in value in our lives than Almighty God and Jesus.

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. Up one and Useful. Hey! I'm now your fan! I am working a series of 5 novels Seeds from Heaven that touches on a lot of the things you mention. I’ll have some HUB information posted on it in a day or so. Read about it at

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 

      7 years ago

      I like this, royblizzard.

      Rated it UP.

      I just....for the life of me cannot figure out why an explanation is even needed for these issues. I mean, I was raised on the KJV (which says "hate"), but yet I had no problem even as a child realizing what it really means. My parents and others in the church knew what it meant too.


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