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Capital Punishment: Biblical
Is Capital Punishment Biblical?
Capital punishment has always been an arguable issue and for good reason.
The Old Testament clearly calls for the death penalty on many occasions,
whereas; many of the teachings of Jesus and others in the New testament readily
denounce it. Therefore, both advocates ands opponents of capital punishment
have Biblical references to support their beliefs.
Opponents use the creation story to show that all are created in God's
image. Genesis 1:27a states that “God created man in his image.”1 God, thus,
has the power to give and take away life as he chooses. All men are to preserve
life to the best of their ability. M. Margaret Falls says that we cannot treat
people as mere instruments to personal survival, success or fulfillment.2
Advocates will also utilize Genesis 1:27 to prove that because man is
created in God's image, man must preserve as many lives as possible, Therefore,
the death of one, who has murdered many, will spare the useless and countless
deaths of others. God's command to preserve life seems much more important here
than the preservation of criminals.
Capital punishment is never used legitimately in the New Testament.
Jesus' constant preaching of love and forgiveness shows his contempt for the
harming of others. One example of love is found in John 15:17 “This is my
command: Love each other.” An example of forgiveness is Matthew 6:14 “For if
you forgive men when they sin against you, yo...