Peace is usually defined under two aspects. On the level of relationships of people, peace is freedom from war, public disturbance or disorder. It entails public security, peace and order, and harmony. On the level of individual, peace means absence of mental conflict. The person who has peace is calm and tranquil. The word used by the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) for peace is shalom.
The root meaning of the word is "to be sound", "to be complete". Its fundamental idea is well-being in its totality. Anything that contributes to the wholeness can be expressed in terms of shalom. Shalom is used in common greeting, when a person asks for or wishes the health and well-being of another. But true Shalom is related to the Hebrew perception of salvation which is God''s gift and his action in behalf of his people in Israel. The Israelites have shalom because they are related to GOD through the covenant. This covenant provides the gifts of peace which includes liberation from evil individuals and groups and the acquisition of well-being and happiness. The Greek eirene (peace) used in the New Testament is much the same as the Hebrew shalom.
It basically means well-being and salvation. Jesus is the bringer of this peace, he sends the seventy-two disciples to bring his peace to others. When they say, "Peace to his Household," they are wishing them not only good health but their total well-being which comes to them now with the annoucement of the Gospel. Jesus is the prince of peace. At his birth, the angelic choir sing, "Glory to GOD in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will" (LK 2:14). He enters the city of Jerusalem not as a conqueror astride a horse, but as a humble and peaceful Messiah riding on a donkey. But true and complete peace comes with his death on the cross, when he breaks down the dividing wall of enmity thatseparates people from GOD and from one another. In so doing, Jesus has become "our peace" (Eph 2:14)