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Is Capital Punishment Biblical

Is capital punishment Biblical?

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 ---Cynthia on 8/21/07
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Old Testament law commanded an eye for an eye. But Jesus changed that drastically by saying to love and pray for our enemies. The lady caught in adultery had her death sentence overturned also. However, it remains Biblical to provide proper justice and protection to the public by those in authority.
---john on 12/18/07

Capital punishment is not biblical.
---duke on 12/18/07

Capital Punishment is Biblical. God order the slaughter of the Canaanites in Deut. 20"16-17. We are ask how can we reconcile such appalling harsh commands as these with the doctrine so plainly taught in the New Testament that "God is love" as Ed and others mentioned, found in 1 John 4:8? But Frank is correct in his answers. God ordered the complete distruction of many in Scripture but God had a purpose.
---Mark_V. on 9/18/07

#2. It seems appalling that people would be utterly put to the sword, not only men of war, but also the old men and old women, as well as the young women and children. But what was more appalling to God was about the whole matter in question. And that was the iniquity of any people that would become so full, their rebellion against God so strong and so universal, their moral corruption and debasement so utter and so pervasive, even down to babies just born, as to make such a treatment absolutely necessary
---Mark_V. on 9/18/07

#3. in the interest of humanity. This was precisely the case with the nations in question. We learn, not only through Scripture but also from other sources, how unfathomable were the depths of moral pollution to which these nations had sunk. They had become a moral cancer, threatening the very life of the whole human race. That cancer had to be cut out at every fiber if the body was to be saved. Cutting out a cancer is a dreadful thing to do. The kindest thing that God could do for the human race
---Mark_V. on 9/18/07

#4. Was to cut out this cancer in every root. In the case of capital punishment, man has the right for the sake of those who are been murdered, raped, dismembered, hurt forever, to cut the cancer from hurting our families, and for their survival in life. We have responsibilities to vote, to follow the law of the land, and we can express those actions by voting. While God is love, He is also just. The wicked are wicked and all they want is to inflick pain to the innocent.
---Mark_V. on 9/18/07


I don't know you but the only question I have for you is how would you feel if a member of your family was murdered and they caught the person who did it? Or if some one broke into your house and stole valuable items and they caught them? Would you still feel total forgiveness?
---denna7667 on 9/17/07

You are contradicting yourself because you enforce Capital
punishment. Whomever disagrees with you, they henceforth
will be DeCap-itated! Like when I became .nana...
---Nana on 9/17/07

1)A friend of mines father was an ambassador and he grew up in Turkey. There is practically no violent crime against citizens there because of their horrendious laws. He witnessed many things. One stands out when he was 6 yrs old, on a playground he saw a mother cut her sons tongue out of his mouth for "backtalking". This is not right of course, but I think we have allowed violent crime to go way too far in this country.
---jody_martin on 9/16/07

2)If a man knows that his hand will be cut off if he steals,he probably will not steal.Consequences for behavior are very important.In this country,criminals are not held accountable enough.We put kids in prison drugs and parole pedifiles after serving a short sentence. There is no methodology. Innocent girls are raped with little consequence for the offender. In OT days he would have been stoned to death. Jesus said to turn the other cheek to individuals. He did not dictate the Law of the Land.
---jody_martin on 9/16/07

capital punishment is abolished O.T. Law and sin, and Forgiveness is currently in force N.T. Law and right.
---Eloy on 9/16/07

Capital punishment was actually instituted by God. Genesis 9:6 "Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man. If you notice it says that, "By man his blood shall be shed,". It does not seem that life imprison is not much of a deterrent.
---denna7667 on 9/15/07

Its ugly - its good its ugly. It shows we have a conscience.
War is ugly too. sometimes its necessary.
But we can't be sending just minorities to the front line.
---Andrea on 8/25/07

Frank, I am deeply, deeply sorry. My brother was murdered in '81 and that's taken me forever to heal from, I cannot even imagine going through the violence again and again! I was a victim of a rather violent crime, too, as a teen, but it was mild. Crime is so horrible, I am so sorry for all you've been through.
---Mary on 8/25/07

Punishment has three elements
Protection of others
Example offenders
Retribution is the weakest.
I would understand if Frank felt the need for revenge, but he emphasises the more valid need to protect against repeat offences
Sadly. the law seems nowadays to think more about protecting the "human rights" of the offender, (unfair to keep the poor darling in jail, even though he is known to be dangerous) than about protecting the rest of sov#ciety from him
---alan_of_UK on 8/25/07


I don't want to rub the salt into the wounds by talking about Capital Punishment to you after the horrors that you have suffered.
---Ed on 8/25/07

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I'm sorry Frank.
When I was young my best friend was raped and murdered - I do not see any good coming from most of these people staying alive. But I'm not God. I think death row serves as a wonderful launching pad to those fortunate enough to come to know a gracious Lord.
But if 80% of the people on death row are minorities and that proportion does not fit the crime stats equally - its wrong!
---Andrea on 8/25/07

Ed, First off I wish to apologize for my anger.

When you have two daughters raped by so-called Christian repeat offenders that get off and a son that was raped by a so-called Christian pedophile you tend to be touchy even though you forgive. When your cousin is also raped, tied to a tree and murdered execution style by a repeat offender as well you tend to search the scriptures and not just say capital punishment is wrong for all. I did forgive them but it is still a touchy subjest.
---Frank on 8/25/07

"and then there is the family - what parent deserves to have her child's life taken"

No parent deserves to see their child executed. But no parent deserves to see thier child spend their whole life in prison.

No parent deserves to see their child killed by a murderer, or turned into a quadraplegic by a drunk driver.

These are all tragedies. But we can't just magically eliminate them by saying they are unfair. THIS life IS unfair.
---Mark on 8/25/07

I do endorse capital punishment and too many take grace too far. Governments, militaries and law enforcement have been institutions ordained of God and scripturally sound. When someone rejects the Lord or even plays games with being "saved" to escape capital punishment just to be released and murder, rape, or whatever again they should be put to death! And I am talking about those who refuse to repent and show no remorse!
---Frank on 8/25/07

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Ed, furthermore, when Ananias and Saphira lied to the Holy Ghost they were struck down dead! In this dispensation of grace!
And, the Lord will not "love the sinner and hate the sin" when he damns their soul to hell at the judgment seat!
---Frank on 8/25/07

Another thing Ed, Clyde Barrow was pardoned after cutting off some toes on a work detail. He had no plans of being taken alive nor living a law-abiding life. I think it would be very interesting to go back in time and watch you preach your lovey-dovey Jesus to the relatives of his victims. And as for as my statement being ludicrous, just who are you to make such a statement? O' exalted one!
---Frank on 8/25/07

Ed, you may feel passionately about this but there are some out here that will not compromise on the word of God and some of us have been the victims of those who refuse to repent. Maybe our kids shouldn't have a screwed up life because some non-repentent spawn of satan decides he wants to have fun.And some of us have forgiven as commanded when put to the test. But that doesn't make what is wrong right.
---Frank on 8/25/07

Susie I think that is a wonderful ministry that your husband and son have, and I am sure God has richly blessed it. Prison ministries are much needed in this world, for ones on death row as well as the ones who are being tortured and persecuted for their Faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I do send letters to persecuted believers being tortured for their Faith IN CHRIST through voice of the martyrs. It is a wonderful ministry to support.
---Cynthia on 8/24/07

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I never condemned you. I said your reasoning is ludicrous.

You are supporting the condemning of someone to death. That is how serious this issue is, and there are Christians - at this very moment in history - supporting the condemning to death of people in the USA.

I think Capital Punishment is immoral like stem embryonic cell research or abortion.

Do you support abortion? What would you say, and how would you say it, to oppose someone on this blog who did?
---Ed on 8/24/07

2. Frank

Again, I believe that Capital Punishment is wrong. And i believe that Christians in America, where capital punishment takes place, have a moral duty to oppose it.

Jesus said 'Love the sinner, hate the sin.'

But He didn't say not to speak out againt injustice.

And so i am not going to keep my mouth shut when there are people in America dying from Capital Punishment - and there being Americans on this blog, some of whom support Capital Punishment.
---Ed on 8/24/07

3. Frank

Lastly, this is more about social injustice than about personal faith, in the sense that this isn't so much about you or me, but like abortion and embryonic stem cell research, it is about the life (or death) of another human being.

I sincerely apologize if in anyway i condemned or judged you, personally, (that was certainly NOT my intention). I feel passionately about this, and perhaps my passions got the better of me, which is wrong.

I wish you well,
God bless.
---Ed on 8/24/07

Cynthia...My husband and son have ministered on death row. There are many on death row who have been born again. It is a sad place to be, but even sadder without Jesus.
---Susie on 8/24/07

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1. Mark

Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it - to bring it to its completion. The law of retaliation was remedial and temporary but the law of non-retaliation is ideal and the law we MUST NOW follow.

Jesus: 'You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you ... If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.'
---Ed on 8/24/07

Your reasoning is ludicrous.

Remarks like this and "you are lost","he's lost","she's lost" and "you're judgmental, hateful" and others may to bring about an eternal capital punishment at the judgment seat of Christ from passing judgment if some people here don't repent and turn from this arogance. Moses called the children of Israel stiff necked rebels and couldn't enter in. That should be a warning to all of us!
---Frank on 8/24/07


Peter was eventually executed. As was Stephen. Paul. John the Baptist. And Our Lord. Your reasoning is ludicrous.
---Ed on 8/24/07


I'm still trying to understand your position.
You said that genocide and capital punishment are evil.
Yet God commanded Israel to carry them out. Does this mean that God was evil? Or does it mean that genocide and capital punishment were OK then, but not OK now? or if none of these, how do you reconcile these two seemingly contradictory things?
---Mark on 8/24/07

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If we applied the same criterion today, there woudld be nobody worthy to throw the switch.
---Mark on 8/22/07
This is one of my problems with the death penalty - someone has to do it. can anyone not suffer themselves - I know that there are some that we'd all like to put down like dogs(forgive me Lord) but the executioner doesn't get to decide who.

and then there is the family - what parent deserves to have her child's life taken.
---Andrea on 8/24/07

Yes, capital punishment is biblical. The Lord gave the theif on the cross eternal life but allowed his physical death. It would have only taken a word and he could have been delivered just as Peter was delivered from prison facing death.
---Frank on 8/23/07


'Shouldn't we to whom the good news of the Gospel has been revealed be involved in prison ministries, especially the people on death row? To share with them how they can have Eternal Life through Jesus Christ'

- Absolutely.
---Ed on 8/23/07

1. Mark

It is evil to go against the will of God.

With Jesus, the convenant of God with His people was updated - and radically so. Let's not forget the Jews who tried to trick Jesus, throughout His ministry - Jews who knew the laws of the Old Testament inside out. The one over the Sabbath is one of the most famous, but there are many more. But Jesus came with something quite new. Something that the Holy Spirit had been preparing the Jews for.
---Ed on 8/23/07

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2. Mark

But the Jews who tried to trick Jesus were out of touch with their consciences and the inspired teaching of God. They were transfixed on the first and ancient laws of Israel, as if those laws could never be updated with news ones. As if faith was something static and not progressive. And they rejected Jesus' radical new teachings. Believing Jesus to have gone against God's laws. And they ended up demanding His life to the Roman authorities. That is how serious this matter is.
---Ed on 8/23/07

4. Mark

By the way, just to make sure there is NO misunderstanding. When i refered to the Jews who tried to trick Jesus i was in no way suggesting or insinuating anyone else on this board was like this. But i just can't think of the episodes at the moment with their Biblical references. But i think most people know what i mean from Bible class / gospel - reading during Church service - about the Jews who tried to trick Jesus.
---Ed on 8/23/07

5. Mark

Don't forget that during the time of The Jews before Jesus, the Jews were the chosen people. But with Jesus that 'chosen' is extended to the Gentiles, as well.
---Ed on 8/23/07

Like slavery and subjugation of women you can find support for it in the Bible. God gave the Israelites divorce too.

If the death penalty could be swift and not biased then maybe it could serve a purpose.
As it is if your black, non-white and or male the odds are the Bible says DEATH.

We are mere humans - we must judge but we must judge with the same measure we want to be judged.

Either do it like Texas - where everyone gets whacked or put them in prison for life.
---Andrea on 8/23/07

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So in reply to some of the answers given to this question, I would like to ask another question. Shouldn't we to whom the good news of the Gospel has been revealed be involved in prison ministries, especially the people on death row? To share with them how they can have Eternal Life through Jesus Christ?
---Cynthia on 8/23/07

You say "Capital Punishment and Genocide are evil. Pure and simple.".
Yet in the Old Testament, God often commanded the Israelites to use capital punishment and commit genocide. Does that mean he was evil.
And with God "the same, yesterday, today, and forever", does that mean God is evil now too?
---Mark on 8/23/07

** God mandates Capital Punishment for specific offenses.
God mandates War on specific occasions.
God mandates Genocide on specific occasions.**

Phil, you can claim this is valid for Christianity if and only if you observe ALL the 613 commandments, instead of picking and choosing which you will observe as most pop-evangelicals do.

But remember, if you try to be saved by law, Christ will do you no good. Read Galatians.
---Jack on 8/22/07

Can we live without judging? Perhaps, but I seen that most our waking
hours are spent judging this, that, or each other. An issue is raised as to
if we have the right to judge. I believe that not only we have the right to
judge but also a duty to do so and do it justly.
---Nana on 8/23/07

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Some Christians quickly throw the look at the beam in your own eye
defense at the slightest opposition to whatever it is they are confronted
with. Usually, they are also the ones that say that only God can judge
them. I say that God is not the author, nor the judge even, to most of the
issues we get into with one another.
---Nana on 8/23/07

Luke 12:13: And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to
my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. 14: And he said unto
him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? That verse
teaches that we are to judge amongst ourselves. Matthew 18 also speaks
of us sorting our differences, first one on one, and then through appeal to
a higher hierarchy in the church. It is stated there that
---Nana on 8/23/07

such a one found at fault in the judgement shall be considered as a heathen
man and a publican. Now, how about incarceration and even death for a judgement? In Matthew 5: 25: Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles
thou art in the way with him, lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to
the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into
prison. 26: Verily I say unto thee,
---Nana on 8/23/07

That is like the principle of a bad apple in the bunch spoils the rest. In
Matthew 26 v. 52: Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into
his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. What
then? Yes, we should cultivate forbearance and the turning of the other
cheek A Cereal Killer gets to be so one murder at a time.
---Nana on 8/23/07

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Fist Snap, then if unchecked we should start worrying about the wellbeing of
Crackle and Pop and Rice Krispies as we know it!
---Nana on 8/23/07

'God mandates Capital Punishment for specific offenses.
God mandates War on specific occasions.
God mandates Genocide on specific occasions'

- this reads like something from a Communist Stalinist or a Nazi Germany political manifesto.

Capital Punishment and Genocide are evil. Pure and simple. There are 'just wars' such as the Allies versus Nazi Germany. But even with a 'just war' we pray to God for forgiveness for killing (we can never be certain) and that the war will be speedy.
---Ed on 8/23/07

That Christians support the death penalty and use the Bible and God to justify their beliefs is really quite scary.

Jesus was very clear in his preaching of non-violence and non-judgement of others. Only God can decide when someone can live or die and whether they have the right to live and die.

Reading some of the posts here is like reading the posts off a radical Islamic blog in Taliban Afghanistan, or Iran.
---Ed on 8/23/07

God mandates Capital Punishment for specific offenses.
God mandates War on specific occasions.
God mandates Genocide on specific occasions.

God is just not LOVE, there is a lot more to to his nature than that and people had better wake up to that fact.
---Phil_the_Elder on 8/22/07

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greetings.On the woman caught in adultry.The group who brought her to Jesus was a "hanging party" to trap Jesus into becoming a judge and jury over her.In so doing she would be stoned with out civil authorities,judge, witnesses and peers in a court of law in that day.Jesus said he did not come to judge.He said to us,use just judgement.He said ,if this were my kingdom then I could command 12 legions of angels to fight.Judging outside a court room would be taking the law into his own hands.
---earl on 8/22/07

Mark, You stated this on another blog: "If someone is saved...lives a foolish worldly lifestyle, he will be saved, but most of what he does in life will go up in smoke:"

--God says: (1 John 2:15-17), Your PREMISE that there's true born again people living worldly/in sin & that Christians living worldly are on that narrow Holy Ghost road to Heaven(that Jesus spoke of), is a deadly one, to say the least. God said come let us reason together.
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/22/07

Anyone who believes that the Old Testament should be our guide when deciding who should be put to death should remember that anyone who curses their father or mother comes in that category. Also a man who rapes a woman and even the woman who is raped if she did not cry for help. There is an enormous list of sins that carry the death penalty in the Old Testament so why are some Christians keen to adopt the punishment for only some of them these days and not the others?
---RitaH on 8/22/07

Capital Punishment is as immoral as abortion or embryonic stem cell research.

Nowhere does Jesus ever say we have the right to kill. But to turn the other cheek.

Capital Punishment is wrong. There is a difference between defending one-self in a direct attack or in a just war (i.e The Allies against Nazi Germany in WW2).

But NEVER when someone has been captured and imprisoned.
---Ed on 8/22/07

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Firstly what happens if the person is not guilty (a percentage of those executed in the USA were proven to be innocent, afterwards).

Secondly, what happens if the sinner generally repents.

Thirdly, in Europe there is no death penalty, Europe has a far lower murder rate than in USA.

But the main point is:


Jesus was very clear about this with the crowd who tried to stone the woman.
---Ed on 8/22/07


'Of course, if you believe that God is just a loving God (minus the wrath) who doesn't punish people for their sins, then you would have trouble with this statement'

It is about whether human beings have the right to decide whether someone has the right to live or not. Whether thier life has value or not, in contuining to live or not.

---Ed on 8/22/07

Cynthia, In certain cases God called for Captial Punishment under the old Testament law. Man makes MANY laws without seeking God's Will, so a discussion on "man's laws and the Bible" can only go so far,there isn't much time, that time must be used wisely. Render to Ceasers what is Cearser, and the things of God,unto Him (Luke 20:25). The most important thing is to get the uncompromised gospel Truth of Christ to a lost & dying world before it's too late. God Bless!
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/22/07

(1.)Someone said : "John 8 deals with the woman taken in adultery. Jesus said "let ye who is without sin cast the first stone.". All the executioners walked away. Why? because NONE of them was without sin.If we applied the same criterion today, there woudld be nobody worthy to throw the switch."
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/22/07

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(2.)You are clearly trying to peddle the LIE that the born again sin, you are offending God by doing so, calling Him a liar, His Word says that He has a people that have His Word/Seed (1 John 3:9-10) Firmly planted in their HEART ,they walk in the POWER of His Spirit, depending on Him/His Power, daily,walk in His Spirit,so they can't sin. God's Words are clear,will stand forever,but lies/half-truths, will soon cease.
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/22/07

(3.)In (John 8:4-12) Jesus made the point that those people who wanted to stone that woman were hypocrites (John 8:44-45), but not all were, We read that Jesus said behold a an Israelite with NO guile, referring to Nathan'a-el. God always had/has a holy people, small in number though. Jesus said only a FEW would make it, it's very clear why, those few dont live a life dictated by the flesh, but rather the Spirit.
---Mrs._Morgan on 8/22/07

Evidentally, God thought so when he sent the flood, killed David and Bathsheba's baby, turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt and prepared a lake of fire for those who reject HIS son. **

Are you claiming to be on the spiritual level of God, Susie?
---Jack on 8/22/07


John 8 deals with the woman taken in adultery. Jesus said "let ye who is without sin cast the first stone.". All the executioners walked away. Why? because NONE of them was without sin.

If we applied the same criterion today, there woudld be nobody worthy to throw the switch.
---Mark on 8/22/07

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If you want to go to the old testament for the punishments, you need to also go to the laws that demand such punishments.

Just one example: Sabbath breaking.
So anyone who has done ANY of the following:
- eating out on Friday night
- going for a Saturday drive
- buying groceries on Saturday
- turning on an electric light on Friday
would require capital punishment under Jewish law. Anybody want to play?
---Mark on 8/22/07

All you doubters: You do the deeds of your Father [The Devil.] Jesus said,"If God were your Father, you would love me, for I PROCEEDED FORTH and came from GOD, nor have I come of myself, but He sent ME. Why do you not understand my SPEECH? >>>Because you are not able to listen to my word. You are of your Father the devil [That is what God is going to say to people on judgment day too}, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning and a liar to. And nothing but.
---catherine on 8/21/07

Susie, the flaw in your logic, (and I'm assuming that your comment was meant to support capital punishment) is that while you are entirely correct that God is wrathful as well as loving, and that he does punish sinners with death (the second death of Hell,) the bible teaches that no one but God has the right to judge others or to decide whether they deserve punishment. We are all flawed.
---Marla on 8/21/07

greetings.Is it barbaric to to prevent the downfall of civilized society?Without a working plan of prevention civilized society will fall by the sword.Should the population be passive or protect the ground they stand on?
---earl on 8/21/07

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I am a first timer on here. Jack, I re-read John 8 and I am at loss of how you interpreted it for the death penalty. The closest I come to is that it appeared Jesus would accept death if they proved he was lying. Is this what you were thinking?
---Bruce on 8/21/07

Evidentally, God thought so when he sent the flood, killed David and Bathsheba's baby, turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt and prepared a lake of fire for those who reject HIS son. Of course, if you believe that God is just a loving God (minus the wrath) who doesn't punish people for their sins, then you would have trouble with this statement.
---Susie on 8/21/07

While the Old Testament does support capital punishment, that is one of the teachings that Jesus changed: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

It is not mankind's place to judge whether another's actions are worthy of punishment. Judgment will be taken care of by God after the Rapture.
---Marla on 8/21/07

Maybe capital punishment would be a greater deterrent if it was painful and slow like an old testament stoning, instead of falling asleep from an ejection. But do we want to become barbaric?
---yoshin on 8/21/07

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** It is mandated for so many Old Testament offenses that should clear any doubt that it is totally Biblical.**

And if you're going to use this argument to support capital punishment, you are also going to have to be consistent and obey ALL the 613 commandments of the OT i/o picking and choosing in the customary manner of most pop-evangelicals.

Jesus did not directly abrogate captial punishment, but He did give the qualifications for the executioners in John 8.
---Jack on 8/21/07

greetings.Is long term incarceration an effective method ?What is it's payoff to society?Is the criminal mind repetitious?In this age the wheat is being choked by the tares at an increasing alarming rate.Does a wise farmer weed out the unfit tares to allow the grain to increase it's growth?
---earl on 8/21/07

It is mandated for so many Old Testament offenses that should clear any doubt that it is totally Biblical.
---notlaw99 on 8/21/07

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