Passages like Romans 13:4 present a good case for capital punishment, for the passage says, “for it [the government] does not bear a sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil” (nasb). In John 8 a woman is caught in an adulterous situation, which was cause for stoning according to the Mosaic Law. Yet Jesus did not seek her death, but rather forgave her sin. Did Jesus thereby reject capital punishment?
John 7:53 - 8:11
ESV - 53 [[They went each to his own house. 1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
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A good question Jack and some have pontificated that view. I humbly submit that at first it appears to be the case. But upon a closer examination; what the Lord was repudiating was the UNEQUAL application of the capital statue law. By a self righteous mob; perhaps members with hidden transgressions of their own. (Hosea 5:4) (Deuteronomy 22:22) "If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, BOTH of them SHALL DIE, the MAN who lay with the woman, and the WOMAN. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. Scriptural statues are very clear and precise on all things; so there will be no wiggle room for those humans inclined to seek them! (Habakkuk 1:4) The word "SHALL" in modern legalese is a commanding term, where everything that comes after it; is a command. There is no choice, other than to do what is clearly written. (1 Samuel 8:3; John 7:24) All capital punishment cases require two or three witnesses to be within the governing statues. Also under the law any false or lying witnesses are subject to the penalty of the indicted. The system protects the accused by requiring; clean hands of both those who judge and provide witness. (Numbers 35:30) "If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death on the evidence of witnesses. But no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness.” In this example there were no witnesses perhaps because the Lord exposed their own transgressions to any would be witness? (John 8:6; John 8:9; John 8:10) Also who and where is the other missing transgressor in this matter? (John 8:4) (Proverbs 6:29) So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife; none who touches her will go unpunished. (Proverbs 6:32) He who commits adultery lacks sense; he who does it destroys himself. "When injustice becomes law, then rebellion becomes duty." ~Thomas Jefferson In the Lord's freedom and justice..warrior on
Using the scriptures to make political hay is a normal thing, but I don’t think it’s a good idea. The scriptures testify (tell us) of Jesus (God). We who are alive now couldn't learn of Him any other way. And we won't KNOW Him from an intellectual grasp of His word. He has to introduce Himself to us; there are no chance meetings with God. Does God endorse His creatures killing each other? No, of course not! Does He support or approve of revenge? Not by us... No, He doesn't! The scriptures are to be understood in two ways combined, to produce one mode: our perspective in light of who God is, and God's perspective in light of who we are. Those two viewpoints are to be blended together to form the basis of the context of an effectual meaning we get from God's writings. The scriptures are truth (John 17:17); the truth about "the lie," the manner in which the truth is lied about (1John 2:21). Truth is much more difficult for us to conjoin than falsehood. The lie is our associate, the truth our antagonist (Romans 3:4). Jesus said, 'I am the way, truth, and life' (John 14:6). He meant, the way to God, the truth of God, and the life with God. He didn't mean He was our referee. Jesus didn't, and wouldn't repudiate any political argument. He did repudiate one sinner condemning another sinner, when He adjudicated the "John 8 " woman's kangaroo court case right there in the court yard of the temple. That was the point of the story. (The bible is a teacher; it isn't to be used as an arbitrator in political squabbles the way it is commonly used). There are two main points we're to gain from the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8. 1) we should never condemn one another for being sinners, and 2) Jesus doesn't condemn us. He didn't come to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved (John 3:17). The writers of scripture were not politicians or political activists. Capital punishment was as common as a head cold; there was no need to campaign for its use. There is still no need to try and make executions "Godly." Our laws serve our political appetites. If the need arises for free labor, we make slavery legal and point to scriptures for its endorsement. When the need for peace outweighs the need for slaves, we amend the law and claim to be spiritually reformed. But there is always a faction that hangs on to the notion that their horrible social agendas are sanctioned by God. They do that by separating the Father of the Old Testament section of the bible from the Son of the New Testament section. It's as if they think they are kings of two different kingdoms. Jesus didn't get involved in the politics of Palestine. He was asked a question by some men who wanted Him to get involved in their political matters. They "wanted to accuse Him." There are still people who want to accuse God of being wishy washy. But most are interested in getting Him to "take a side." Capital punishment is a left / right, conservative/ liberal argument. The question is, 'God, whose side are you on?' This is almost identical to what the temple leaders did when God was here in person. I don’t think it’s what God would do.
I liked what Emo said, “What the Lord was repudiating was the UNEQUAL application of the capital statue law. By a self righteous mob; perhaps members with hidden transgressions of their own. (Hosea 5:4) (Deuteronomy 22:22) "If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, BOTH of them SHALL DIE, the MAN who lay with the woman, and the WOMAN. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.” The scribes and Pharisees did not act in accordance with the Law itself. The Law stated that both the parties, male and female, had to be brought before the people (Deut. 22:22-24). Since this woman was caught in the very act (Jn 8:4), why wasn’t the man brought out with the woman to be stoned? The scribes and Pharisees who were supposed to be law abiding citizens failed in a key aspect of their own law. And most importantly, “This passage, then, is not a good text for anyone who wants to propose that Jesus opposed capital punishment. In fact, other places of Scripture seem to support the very idea (see Gen. 9:6 and Matt. 26:52).”In the latter verse, Jesus said, “Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Who was Jesus talking to? From John 18:10-11 we learn that Jesus was speaking to Peter. See more about this on https://defendinginerrancy.com/bible-solutions/John_8.3-11_(cf._Rom._13.4).php
The woman in John 8 was certainly caught in the act and deserved stoning, Deuteronomy 17:6-7, 22:22. She was brought before Jesus, but the scribes and Pharisees had schemed to test Him to try to entrap Him for the purpose of accusing Him before the authorities. They knew that He could neither uphold nor overturn the Law or else He would be in trouble either with officials or the people. He would either claim power belonging to the Roman authorities or deny the authority of the law as one already accused of being friendly to sinners. As it turned out, He did not say anything either way. In fact, there was a deliberate silence on His part as He stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger. He acted as if He did not hear. The scribes and Pharisees had nothing on Him. But the unexpected response of Jesus amazed them. He stated that the one who is without sin should throw the first stone. And whatever He wrote on the ground would have had a bearing on their response. As a result, the scribes and Pharisees filed out in an orderly manner, the oldest to the youngest, leaving no one but Jesus and the woman. There is evidence that Jesus had honored the Law and upheld the teaching of capital punishment. An example is His reference to it in Matthew 5:38. However, in this incident covered in John 8, Jesus made no decisive statement on capital punishment. And theoretically, being the only sinless person there, He was in the position to uphold the Law. But He would not condemn her either. That was not His intent. He said in John 12:47, that He did not come to judge the world, but to save it, John 3:17, Luke 19:10. Thus, His actions reflected the mission to rescue the unsaved. Because there were no accusers or witnesses against her, He could not do any more but to let her go free. He then admonished her to go and sin no more, John 8:11. He would not sit as judge at this time nor punish sinners. That time will come eventually, John 12:48, Acts 17:31. Commentators state that this passage does not prove that Jesus repudiated capital punishment. What this passage shows is that Jesus is the wisdom from above. It further shows His character was perfect in every way, and His ways in dealing with people was unsurpassed. Finally, it also shows the astounding mission and work of the Son of God who gives sinners grace and mercy, hope and healing.
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