The bible and capital punishment

But if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then I will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.

The bible and capital punishment

The Bible and Capital Punishment By: Norton Herbst Is the death penalty wrong, or does the Bible support it?


The idea of capital punishment is simple: Most Americans support capital punishment; thirty-two states currently practice it.

Or is there good reason to think the teachings of the Bible challenge its current practice? For Capital Punishment There are many passages in the Bible that could relate to the debate about the death penalty. First, there is the covenant God made with Noah. He said to Noah: Thus, when one human being murders another, I allow humans to punish the offender by taking his or her life in return.

But a second part of the Bible can be taken as evidence that God really did have the death penalty in mind. But the very fact that God utilized capital punishment in the Israelite legal system implies the practice itself is not inherently immoral.

The bible and capital punishment

Finally, an important New Testament passage also appears to support the death penalty. In a lengthy letter written by the Apostle Paul to Christians in Rome, he gave them practical instruction about their relationship with the government which was often hostile to Christianity: Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.

The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

But many believe this was a concession by God specifically for that time and context. Jesus seemed to take a revolutionary perspective on offenses between humans. In regard to sins like adultery and murder, he suggested that anger and lust were just as condemnable.

The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all portray Jesus as an innocent victim of unjust capital punishment at the hands of both Jewish leaders and Roman authorities. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Of course, one should not ignore other arguments about its effectiveness, implementation, practicality, cost, and how it fits into a larger theory of justice for society.

But for Christians, the Bible can and should play an important role in this debate. See The Holy Bible, Genesis 9: The Holy Bible, Genesis 9: See The Holy Bible, Exodus The Holy Bible, Romans See The Holy Bible, John 7: This story does not appear in the earliest manuscripts of the Gospel of John, but most scholars think it relates an event that likely happened.

The Holy Bible, John 8: See The Holy Bible, Acts 2: The Holy Bible, Luke Embed This Article Copy the following code and paste it into your website's code to display this article on your site.Jesus would support capital punishment in some instances.

Jesus also demonstrated grace when capital punishment was due (John ). The apostle Paul definitely recognized the power of the government to institute capital punishment where appropriate (Romans ).

The idea of capital punishment is simple: some crimes, such as premeditated murder, are so egregious to society that justice requires the death penalty—taking the offender’s life.

Jesus would support capital punishment in some instances. Jesus also demonstrated grace when capital punishment was due (John ). The apostle Paul definitely recognized the power of the government to institute capital punishment where appropriate (Romans ).

Most Relevant Verses

The Bible repeatedly provides the basis and substantiation for capital punishment. It is not as if there are two competing views on this subject in Scripture when one applies normal rules of interpretation to the text of Scripture (known historically as the Grammatical-Historical- Normative science of .

From these verses, we see that governments can elect to practice capital punishment, the harshest form of punishment. It is enforced in the United States today and each year there are about people added to death row and 35 executed.

However, Jesus never specifically repudiated capital punishment. Some opponents of capital punishment see a prohibition against capital punishment in the Ten Commandments (Exodus , "Thou shalt not kill" in the King James Version).

What Does the Bible Say About Capital Punishment?