Death Penalty: the Christian View Essay

2479 Words Apr 16th, 2011 10 Pages
In almost every society, there are crimes and violations of human rights. To deal with these things, there are laws that prescribe the prevention of their occurrences. However, if the law is broken, commensurate punishment is put on the violator. Depending on the seriousness of the crime, the punishment may be light such as imprisonment for up to one year with corresponding fines, or it could also be severe as death penalty.
Capital punishment or death penalty is usually imposed on persons who committed heinous crimes and are those that endanger the safety of the society. Some countries and societies implement capital punishment while others do not. There are various reasons for this policy of countries, including the social view on the
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This resolution was made in recognition of the human rights of accused criminals and the possibility of redemption and change.
Various religions also have varied responses to capital punishment. Even a particular denomination or religious group may not have a unified stand regarding capital punishment. Religious sentiments do play a significant part in the views of people regarding capital punishment. The Bible is replete with various passages that may seem to support or condemn capital punishment. The Old Testament, particularly, is based upon a morality of “teeth against teeth” and “life for life.” The books of laws of the Old Testament actually prescribe stoning to death the persons who commit serious crimes against God and against the community. A number of biblical scholars have considered the part of the Ten Commandments that say “You shall not kill” as a prohibition against individual cases of murder (The Ryrie Study Bible, Exodus 20:13). In the first place, the Christian faith believes that humans are created in the image of God. As such, a serious crime against another person is also a crime against God. In the Old Testament, premeditated murder was sufficient reason for the death penalty (Numbers 35:31, 33). Moreover, in Genesis 9:6, it can be read that “whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed”. St. Thomas Aquinas also published his thoughts regarding capital…