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Does the Bible support the death penalty and the jail/prison systems?

q.gif (1639 bytes)   Where is all the supporting evidence for capital punishment in the Bible?

a.gif (1659 bytes)   Genesis 9:6 says, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." That was when God ordained that man could rule over man, and punish him when he got out of line.

    The same thing is clearly shown in the New Testament in Romans 13:1-4 says, "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. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For RULERS are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For HE IS THE MINISTER OF GOD to thee for good. But 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."

    That passage is clearly referring to government — the right of man ruling over man to punish him for doing evil, if necessary. But does the punishment go as far as the death penalty? That passage clearly teaches that the answer is "Yes," for two reasons.

    Number one, it says that the government "bears the sword." What do you do with a sword? You cut with it. You chastise with a "whip." You beat with a "rod." But you kill with a "sword." It says here that the government bears the "sword."

    Number two, the government has the right to put criminals to death, because the Bible refers to the government as "a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." That language is unmistakably clear. Consider what the Old Testament says about the "revenger of wrath." Numbers 35:15-19 says, "These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth any person unawares may flee thither. And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. Or if he smite him with an hand weapon of wood, wherewith he may die, and he die, he is a murderer: the murderer shall surely be put to death. THE REVENGER OF BLOOD HIMSELF SHALL SLAY THE MURDERER: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him." The government is put in the place as "the avenger of wrath," which clearly shows that they have the power to put criminals to death for certain wicked crimes.

    You might also want to look up our Bible Course on the subject of "Hell," to see how God never ordained a "jail" or "prison system." The closest thing to it was the "Cities of Refuge," where people awaited trial. Jails are not necessary in God’s plan. Wicked, vile criminals are put to death. Unruly people are whipped. Criminals which steal or harm people’s property are made to make restitution and pay back the victims. Jails and prisons are growing and sapping more and more money from the working people. That would not be, if we followed God’s plan. You can read about it in the Bible Course on the subject of "Hell."

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