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Does The Bible Support The Death Penalty

The Death Penalty And Hell

Does the Bible support the death penalty? – Albert Mohler | Ask Anything Live

The crime of not repenting and putting your trust in Christ for salvation is punishable by life in Hell.

12. 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.

13. John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for Gods wrath remains on them.

14. Revelation 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liarsthey will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.

15. Revelation 21:27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lambs book of life.

What Does The Bible Say About Death Penalty

Capital punishment is a very controversial topic. In the Old Testament we see that God commanded people to be executed for murder and various other crimes such as adultery, homosexuality, sorcery, kidnapping, etc.

God instituted the death penalty and Christians are to never try to fight against it. Scripture makes it clear that the government has the authority to determine when it is to be used.

Most of the time in the United States murder does not result in the death penalty, but when it does we are not to rejoice or oppose it unless the person is innocent.

At the end of the day all sin results in being sentenced to eternity in hell.

The only way to escape the wrath of God even for people who committed murder before, is by accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior.

How Biblical Is It To Be Pro

Not Definitively

David P. Gushee is a professor of Christian ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University.

It is plausible for a Christian to be both pro-death penalty and pro-life, if that term means “anti-abortion.” But ultimately, both the gospel and human experience ought to incline Christians to oppose the death penalty.

The most plausible biblical support for the death penalty is Genesis 9:5-6. This pivotal text, framed as part of God’s covenant with Noah after the Flood, says that God requires a “reckoning” for human life , that this divine reckoning shall be undertaken by humans as if on behalf of God, and that this reckoning is a corollary of human beings having been made in the image of God.

This is a short passage, and a somewhat cryptic one. It is possible to interpret 9:6 as an observation or proverb rather than a command. But when linked to 9:5, and especially when considered in the context of a flood sent as divine judgment in large part because of human violence , it is hard not to read it as divine institution of the death penalty against murderers to protect humans made in the image of God.

Thus one can plausibly be both pro-death penalty and pro-life, even if one understands the term “pro-life” …

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Was The Death Penalty Used In The Bible

The Old Testament does show evidence for capital punishment. The punishment of death was not only for murder , but also for rape , adultery , kidnapping , homosexuality , and bestiality . False prophets were also condemned to death.

That prophet or dreamer must be put to death for inciting rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. That prophet or dreamer tried to turn you from the way the Lord your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you .

Does this mean that when a believer sees any of these things occur, the criminal should be killed? Even though each of these crimes was punishable by death, God extended mercy to each individual as shown in the case of David.

David had committed adultery with Bathsheba, but God did not order that David be killed. Instead, God showered David with mercy. David confessed his sin to God and expressed his need for Gods forgiveness .

Believers today should extend mercy and kindness just as God did to David however, believers must also be aware that there are consequences for sin even though God forgives the sin. God is merciful, loving, and forgiving, but He is also righteous, holy, and perfect . Sin cannot coexist with God as sin separates us from God.

But your iniquities have separated you from your God your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear .

The Bible Teaching Is Inconsistent

What does the Bible say About the Death Penalty

The Bible speaks in favour of the death penalty for murder. But it also prescribes it for 35 other crimes that we no longer regard as deserving the death penalty. In order to be consistent, humanity should remove the death penalty for murder.

Secondly, modern society has alternative punishments available which were not used in Biblical times, and these make the death penalty unnecessary.

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God Authorises The Death Penalty

Christians who support the death penalty often do so on the ground that the state acts not on its own authority but as the agent of God, who does have legal power over life and death.

This argument is well expressed by St Augustine, who wrote:

The same divine law which forbids the killing of a human being allows certain exceptions, as when God authorises killing by a general law or when He gives an explicit commission to an individual for a limited time.

Since the agent of authority is but a sword in the hand, and is not responsible for the killing, it is in no way contrary to the commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill’ to wage war at God’s bidding, or for the representatives of the State’s authority to put criminals to death, according to law or the rule of rational justice.

Eye For An Eye Christians Strongly Support Death Penalty New Poll Shows

Is the death penalty morally wrong? The answer depends on who you ask and their faith.

A new poll from Pew Research Center shows that Christians and atheists have very different ideas on whether capital punishment is morally justifiable, and if it should be legal at all.

The poll, conducted earlier this year, asked a random sampling of Americans if theyre in favor of executing convicted murderers, as well as if the death penalty is moral, if it deters crimes, and if there is risk that an innocent person might be put to death.

When broken down along religious lines, there was a sharp contrast: Christians were overwhelmingly in support of executing convicted killers, while atheists were largely opposed.

Critics of organized religion argue there’s a logical fallacy in these responses. “How can a group that calls itself pro-life be simultaneously so pro-death?” they ask.

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What Does The Bible Say About The Death Penalty

Image source: thedailybeast.com

There has been a lot of debate lately surrounding the death penalty, with Utah approving the use of execution by firing squad .

This leads to an important question: What does the Bible say about the death penalty? Everyone knows that one of the Ten Commandments is, You shall not kill. How, then, could Christians stand for something like the death penalty? As we will discuss, though, the Bible actually supports the death penalty, and so should Christians.

Death Penalty in the Old Testament

The Underlying Reason and the New Testament

The question remains: Why did God allow the death penalty if he told Israel, You shall not kill? First off, one must understand the meaning of the Hebrew word, ra, to be murder, not kill. If all forms of killing were prohibited, then there would be quite a few contradictions throughout the Bible. However, if the prohibition is against murder, then it is cohesive with the rest of the Mosaic Law and the council of Scripture.

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul recognized the death penalty as permissible by God and as a function of government .

Contemporary Times

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

A Hard And Complicated Situation

Does The Bible Support The Death Penalty?

Each Christian has to choose whether or not they believe in the death penalty. There are strong reasons for each side of the argument. In the Old Testament, there were times when the death penalty needed to be enacted and it was carried out.

Even though capital punishment is a reality in the present world today, believers need to approach the subject with wisdom. Galatians 6:6-7 tells us, Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

God does not desire anyone to die however, there are consequences for our sins. God can forgive any sin, but the government and authority figures have created their own human system for justice. It is fully possible for criminals, prisoners, and murderers to place faith in Jesus and receive forgiveness.

As Christians, we need to study the Bible and come to our own findings on the death penalty. Praying for Gods guidance, direction, and wisdom will help believers make good decisions for all areas of life, including taking a stance on the arguments of capital punishment. God promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you .

For further reading:

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Capital Punishment In The New Testament

The New Testament adds important context to the topic but doesnt clearly instruct us one way or the other regarding the death penalty. The apostle Paul acknowledges that wielding the sword is a legitimate exercise of government authoritypresumably he is referring to its duty to punish criminals, with violence if necessary. On the other hand, many of Jesus actions and words, such as his foiling of the execution of the adulterous woman, suggest that mercy and humility should stay societys killing hand. And of course, no Christian is unaware of Jesus own experience with capital punishment: he was the ultimate innocent victim of the governments sword wielded unjustly.

Because the New Testaments gospel of grace is held to have fulfilled the Old Testament law, it is worth questioning whether Old Testament capital punishmenta powerful enforcer of that lawis a tool we should use today or whether it was appropriate only within the context of the Old Testament covenant. An over-arching theme of the New Testament is the undeserved forgiveness extended to us by a merciful God. As recipients of Gods grace, we are called to extend grace to others as well. How do we reconcile the need for justice with the importance of mercy and forgiveness? Do the requirements of justice trump the opportunity for mercy, or vice versa?

Capital Punishment Is Like Suicide

This argument is that the criminal, by choosing to commit a particular crime has also chosen to surrender his life to the state if caught.

Even when there is question of the execution of a condemned man, the State does not dispose of the individual’s right to life. In this case it is reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned person of the enjoyment of life in expiation of his crime when, by his crime, he has already dispossessed himself of his right to life.

Pope Pius XII

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The Catholic Church And Capital Punishment

Throughout the first half of the twentieth century the consensus amongst Catholic theologians remained in favour of capital punishment in those cases deemed suitably extreme. Until 1969, the Vatican had a penal code that included the death penalty for anyone who attempted to assassinate the Pope.

However, by the end of this century opinions were changing. In 1980, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops published an almost entirely negative statement on capital punishment, approved by a majority vote of those present, though not by the required two-thirds majority of the entire conference.

In 1997 the Vatican announced changes to the Catechism, thus making it more in line with John Paul II’s 1995 encyclical The Gospel of Life. The amendments include the following statement concerning capital punishment:

Need For Moral Accountability

Does the Bible Support the Death Penalty?

Which leads me to a second observation. The death penalty ultimately confronts us with the issue of moral accountability in the present life. Contemporary society seems totally unwilling to assign moral responsibility to anyone. Everything imaginable is due to a dysfunctional family or to having had our knuckles rapped while we were in grade-school. We really have reached a point where the Menendez brothers plead for mercyand get it!because they are orphans, after acknowledging they made themselves orphans by killing their parents.

Non-Christians and Christians alike are not absolved from the consequences of their behavior. Whether or not faith is professed, penalties for everything from speeding to strangulation apply to all. In American society people are literally getting away with murder, and the moral stupor that has descended over our culture reflects a decay, an utter erosion, of time-tested moral normsnorms that have been guarded for generations. Can anyone really wonder why evidence of a moral dry rot is everywhere?

As for what is called the failure of death punishment, who is able to judge of that? We partly know who those are whom it has not deterred but who is there who knows whom it has deterred, or how many human beings it has saved who would have lived to be murderers if that awful association had not been thrown round the idea of murder from their earliest infancy?

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Scripture Mandates Capital Punishment

The principal argument is that because life is sacred, those who wrongfully take another human life must lose their own lives. This is a form of restitution a matter of justice the state purging itself of those who shed innocent blood. Proponents of this position cite three scriptural arguments:

ARGUMENT 1Genesis 9:6 says, “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed for in the image of God has God made man.” This is part of the larger covenant that God made with Noah after the flood. It not only reflects the great value of human life, but also gives the reason for that value: Man is made in God’s image.The absolute language of Genesis 9:6 suggests that all those who kill another human being must be killed. And since this mandate was given long before the Mosaic Law to all who survived the flood, it apparently has universal application.

ARGUMENT 2The Law, as given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, ordained execution for several offenses: murder , striking or cursing a parent, kidnapping, adultery, incest, bestiality, sodomy, rape of a betrothed virgin, witchcraft, incorrigible delinquency, breaking the Sabbath, blasphemy, sacrificing to false gods, oppressing the weak, and other transgressions.

Scripture Prohibits Capital Punishment

Old Testament Law clearly calls for capital punishment. So those who believe Scripture prohibits capital punishment argue that the developments of the New Testament era supersede the Old Testament Law.

ARGUMENT 1Israel was a theocracy, a nation ruled directly by God. Therefore, its Law was unique. Executing false teachers and those who sacrificed to false gods are examples of provisions that sprang from Israel’s unique position as a nation of God called to be holy. When Israel ceased to exist as a nation, its Law was nullified.Even the execution of murderers stemmed, in part, from God’s special relationship to Israel. Numbers 35:33 says that the blood of a murder victim “pollutes the land,” a pollution that must be cleansed by the death of the murderer. If the murderer could not be found, an animal was to be sacrificed to God to purge the community of guilt .

ARGUMENT 2Christ’s death on the cross ended the requirement for blood recompense and blood sacrifice. The sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, replaced the sacrifice of animals. His death also made it unnecessary to execute murderers to maintain human dignity and value because the crucifixion forever established human value. Hebrews 9:14 says, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”

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The Argument For The Death Penalty

There are multiple arguments in support of the death penalty however, the most popular argument is The death penalty is an effective deterrent. In other words, the death penalty prevents the criminal from committing any future harm.

Right now, in 2021, the death penalty is legal in 27 states of America, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

All of the current criminals in limbo on death row have all been found guilty of murder. More specifically, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, Death sentences may only be imposed for crimes in which a victim is killed, but state legislatures can determine what specific circumstances make a murder eligible for a death sentence.

Thus, the death penalty is only enacted if murder was involved. In the past, the crime of rape would be found worthy of the death penalty however, in the 21st century, rape is no longer seen as a crime deserving death. As of 2021, the only crime guilty of receiving the death penalty is murder.

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