The Bible and Capital Punishment — Summary

This is a summary (for the sidebar menu) of a series of posts on Scriptural teaching related to the death penalty.

Detailed Series

The Death Penalty — A Biblical Command — Capital punishment is commanded throughout Scripture, not merely in the Old Testament.  Some people find this surprising, but it even makes an appearance in the teachings of Jesus.

Did Jesus Abolish the Death Penalty in John 8? — This is the story of the woman taken in adultery.  Contrary to popular opinion, Jesus was NOT abolishing the death penalty when He told them that the one who was sinless should cast the first stone.  He was affirming the Old Testament teaching on the death penalty, telling them that to execute her they needed to do so according to the Law, which specified who would cast the first stone.

Loosely related:  “I Wasn’t Planning an Execution by Stoning” — answering another wrong application of this account in John 8.

Did Jesus Abolish the Death Penalty in the Sermon on the Mount? — Jesus was not telling governments how to deal with capital crimes, He was telling people to be less concerned with their own rights, less quick to take offence and take revenge.  This teaching has nothing to do with the death penalty.

The Death Penalty — God Requires it to be Just — God commanded the death penalty, but He did not endorse a casual attitude towards it.  He established stringent safeguards to protect against miscarriages of justice.  Some of the worst miscarriages of justice which Britain has seen have come because British law did not reflect those some safeguards.

The Death Penalty — Civic Purposes — The Bible lists at least six ways in which a society benefits by the proper administration of capital punishment.

The Death Penalty — Redemptive Purpose — Capital punishment illustrates the ultimate death penalty — the wages of sin is death.  It helps to teach a society the seriousness and drastic consequences of sin, instilling in hearts a fear of justice, and preparing people to recognise their need of a Saviour.

Why Christians Often Don’t Like the Death Penalty — We aren’t supposed to like the death penalty.  God doesn’t like it, either.  It is a necessary response to evil, but God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.

Other Posts Addressing Capital Punishment

Three More Boston Thoughts — A death penalty opponent reconsiders his view when he encounters victims.  Compassion should be towards the victims first, and a judicial system should not show compassion to a killer at the expense of the victims.

Super-Prison Coming — a justice system that has abandoned capital punishment is failing badly.

Rape, Abortion, and Justice — the Bible calls for the death penalty for the rapist — but not for an unborn child, even if the child’s father was a rapist.

Punishment, Barbarism, the god of This World, and the Gospel

Less Than 100 Days — Even the Norwegian mass murderer understands justice better than European governments.

About Jon Gleason

Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
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