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What God Says About Capital Punishment
by Wayne Blank
(Note: the original Hebrew word, pronounced raw-tsakh, although sometimes translated into English from The Ten Commandments as kill, both in the above verse and in Deuteronomy 5:17, actually refers specifically to the criminal act of murder, as the context of all of the other verses where it is used plainly show)
"For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it and of man; of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in His Own image." (Genesis 9:5-6 RSV)
"Say to the people of Israel, When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there. The cities shall be for you a refuge from the avenger, that the manslayer may not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment. And the cities which you give shall be your six cities of refuge. You shall give three cities beyond the Jordan, and three cities in the land of Canaan, to be cities of refuge. These six cities shall be for refuge for the people of Israel, and for the stranger and for the sojourner among them, that any one who kills any person without intent may flee there."
What Did Jesus Christ Say About It?
"I do nothing on My own authority but speak thus as the Father taught Me." (John 8:28 RSV)
"if thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandments ... thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear false witness, honour thy father and thy mother: and, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Matthew 19:17-19 KJV)
"The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His servants" (Revelation 1:1 RSV)
"He who conquers shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:7-8 RSV)
Fact Finder: In perhaps the greatest mockery of justice ever committed, was the murderer Barabbas released so that Jesus Christ would be executed?