23. Does God approve of capital punishment?
The Hebrew Scriptures require capital punishment:
And the New Testament (sometimes) agrees.
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed. Genesis 9:6
For disobedient children
Whoso killeth any person, the murderer shall be put to death. Numbers 35.30
He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put
to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.
Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Exodus 22:18
For beastiality (both the human and the beast)
Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death. Exodus 22:19
For worshipping another god
And if a man lie with a beast, he shall surely be put to death: and ye
shall slay the beast. Leviticus 20:15
And if a woman approach unto any beast, and lie down thereto, thou shalt
kill the woman, and the beast: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
He that sacrificeth unto any god save unto the LORD only, he shall be
utterly destroyed. Exodus 22:20
For breaking the Sabbath
Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one
that defileth it shall surely be put to death. Ex.31:14
Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy
to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Six days shall work bedone, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an
holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.
And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth
adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's
nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
And if a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely
be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them.
And if a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be
burnt with fire, both he and they; that there be no wickedness among you.
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them
have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all
the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:16
For stealing slaves
He that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his
hand, he shall surely be put to death. Exodus 21:16
For not being a virgin on the night of the wedding
If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... and say, I
took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the
father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the
damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate.... But if this thing be true, and the tokens
of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house,
and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought
folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father's house: so shalt thou put
evil away from among you. Deuteronomy 22:13-22
For rape victims who don't cry out loudly enough
If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man
find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall
stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he
hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
Jesus criticized the Pharisees for not killing children who curse their parents, as required by "the
commandment of God" (Exodus 21:17, Leviticus 20:9).
But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment
of God by your tradition? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and,
He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. Matthew 15:3-4
Paul implied that a long list of offenses are "worthy of death", including homosexuality.
God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use
into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of
the woman, burned in their lust one toward another. God gave them over to a reprobate mind …
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness;
full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God,
despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without
understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful …
they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have
pleasure in them that do them. Romans 1:28-32
And that the rulers have the power to execute God's wrath with the sword.
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that
be are ordained of God. ... For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. ... If thou
do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God,
a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Romans 13:1-4
While Revelation states quite matter of factly that:
He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.
No, God disapproves of capital punishment.
According to Genesis 9:6 and Numbers 35:30, muderers must be killed.
And yet, after Cain killed Abel, God put some kind of mark on Cain to prevent others from killing him.
And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should
kill him. Genesis 4:15
Jesus implied that capital punishment should only be performed by sinless people.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery;
and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very
act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what
Jesus ... said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
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