Download e-book for kindle: Against the death penalty: Christian and secular arguments by Gardner C. Hanks

By Gardner C. Hanks

ISBN-10: 0836190750

ISBN-13: 9780836190755

Drawing on outdated and New testomony assets in addition to secular arguments, Gardner C. Hanks exhibits that the loss of life penalty harms instead of is helping any quest for a simply, humane society. He demonstrates via learn info that the demise penalty is an useless crime-fighting device.

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Extra info for Against the death penalty: Christian and secular arguments against capital punishment

Example text

The law of the cities of refuge recognized that there could be degrees of culpability in homicide. A homicide that was unintentional, what in modern terms would be called "manslaughter," was recognized as different from the intentional killing of another human being. Under the rule of the blood feud, making such a distinction was strictly up to the clans involved. In God's law, however, a study of the intent of the killer was required. And as a result, the level of potential violence was lessened.

Life for life was not required of Moses. God allowed him to escape the justice that the Egyptians would have imposed upon him. Like Cain, Moses was punished with exile. He was removed from all that he knew, from the protection of both his natural and his adoptive people. Yet God mitigated the punishment through his providential meeting with the daughters of Jethro, the priest of Midian. The rest of the story is well-known. Moses returned from exile to become the greatest leader the Israelites were ever Page 29 to have, and one of the greatest lawgivers the world has ever known.

In spite of this, we know that the death penalty was in use from two capital cases described in the New Testamentthe Page 34 near stoning of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:111), and the stoning of Stephen for blasphemy (Acts 6 and 7). Although we will discuss these stories more thoroughly in the next chapter, it is clear that both describe authentically the way executions would be carried out. However, were executions common in Old Testament times? There is little evidence in the Bible. Over time scribal and rabbinic interpretations of the law influenced Judaism against the use of the death penalty.

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