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frankzappa

SCRIPTURE PERMITS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

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Those who argue that the Bible permits capital punishment see strengths in both the pro and the con arguments, but disagree with the conclusions of both.

ARGUMENT 1
As noted previously, Scripture includes many provisions for capital punishment. The Mosaic Law significantly limited the scope of Genesis 9:6. For example, individuals guilty of manslaughter or accidentally causing another's death were exempted from the death penalty.

ARGUMENT 2
Perhaps the most compelling arguments against capital punishment are the examples of capital criminals who were not executed, such as Cain, Moses, and David. And not only did Jesus refuse to condemn the woman caught in adultery, but He also suggested that only those without sin were qualified to perform the execution. Jewish interpretation of Old Testament Law reflected a great reluctance to impose the death penalty. For example, circumstantial evidence wasn't admitted. The two eyewitnesses (Num. 35) had to have warned the accused he was about to commit a capital crime. If the two witnesses' testimonies differed, the accused was acquitted. Men presumed to lack compassion could not rule on a capital case.

ARGUMENT 3
New Testament passages assume the existence of the death penalty but don't take a position one way or the other. Romans 13 comes closest to speaking of the state's authority to execute, but significantly it refers to the state's authority, not obligation, to execute. This is consistent with the position that states are permitted, not mandated or prohibited, the use of this sanction.

prisonfellowship.org

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