The objective of this article will be to determine if the death penalty, as imposed by modern-day countries is biblical. What is the Bible’s point of view? Undeniably, this is an ethical issue overflowing with passion, for we are talking about a human life, both that of the victim and the offender, the greatest gift from God. Are modern-day nations qualified and authorized to determine such issues as life and death?
The Bible contains references to the use of capital punishment in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. In the Old Testament, capital punishment was prescribed for a variety of offenses, including murder, adultery, rape, and blasphemy, among others. The death penalty was often carried out by stoning, beheading, or by other means. In the New Testament, Jesus teaches that the commandment “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13) is a central part of the moral law. He also teaches that people should love their neighbors as themselves (Mark 12:31) and that they should turn the other cheek when wronged (Matthew 5:38-39). These teachings of Jesus have been interpreted by some as indicating a general principle of non-violence and a rejection of the death penalty. On the other hand, some Christian traditions have understood the New Testament to affirm the principle of government authority and the right of the state to use the death penalty as a means of punishment and deterrence. These traditions have pointed to passages such as Romans 13:1-7, which speaks of the role of government as God's servant for the common good and as an avenger who carries out God's wrath on those who do evil. So. who is correct?