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    Is capital punishment for today

    Is Capital Punishment for Today?

    by Russell Fuller on December 28, 2014; last featured July 14, 2019






    The death penalty is a barbaric relic of the past, according to our enlightened age. Is capital punishment for today? . . . Genesis has the answer.
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    When passages from the Old Testament are used to justify or condemn a modern practice, many respond with the all-or-nothing argument, “Well, if you are going to follow the Old Testament on that issue, why not follow it everywhere else—build a rail on top of your roof (Deuteronomy 22:8), do not mix seeds in your garden (Leviticus 19:19), and execute blasphemers (Leviticus 24:11–23).” This often intimidates believers from appealing to the Old Testament. The dreaded all-or-nothing argument always lurks behind the next corner.
    Of course, some believers never appeal to the Old Testament. Their reason is clear: we live under the New Testament, not the Old Testament. The Old Testament, therefore, is obsolete—or nearly so. It may help us understand the New Testament, but its laws and customs are a bygone product of a bygone Testament.

    But a closer reading of the New Testament indicates a different reality. The Old Testament is not obsolete. It has not ceased to be God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Indeed, how can any word from God become truly obsolete? It may attain fulfillment, but it never becomes defunct. True, New Testament believers do not live under the Old Testament economy, but that does not render the Old Testament obsolete—or even nearly so.

    Certainly the book of Genesis still applies to New Testament believers. In fact, it is still authoritative for Christian belief and practice, as any truly Christian statement of faith demonstrates.1 And happily, Genesis 9:6—in its meaning, authority, and application—still determines Christian belief and practice and is essential for a healthy society that values and protects human life.

    Genesis 9:5–7Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.

    The Context and Meaning of Genesis 9:6

    The command of Genesis 9:6 for capital punishment occurs after the worldwide Flood. This command affirms again that the pre-Flood society was reprobate, as mentioned earlier in Genesis 6.2 “Then the Lord saw,” in the words of Moses the lawgiver, “that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). In particular, society was given over to violence and murder, “And the land became corrupted before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11, 6:13). What began as brother murdering brother (Genesis 4:8) had become endemic—“all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth” (Genesis 6:12). Clearly, the post-Flood world needed a divine decree to restrain violence.

    As the post-Flood world begins, God blesses and commands Noah and his sons. Most of the commands echo God’s commands to Adam to multiply and fill the earth. As one of the few survivors of the Flood, Noah became another Adam, but with differences. God’s commands to Adam came in the context of a sinless world; the commands came to Noah in the context of a sinful world. Although the animals were put under the authority of Adam and later Noah, God placed fear and terror on the animals to protect Noah and his family (Genesis 9:2–3). Furthermore, God restricted Noah’s authority over the animals in one particular way: Noah and his descendants must not consume the lifeblood of an animal (Genesis 9:4).3

    God then turns to the lifeblood of man. God prefaces the command of Genesis 9:6 by stating that He will “seek” those who take the lifeblood of man (Genesis 9:5). God will personally seek out and avenge4 those who commit murder. God emphasizes His determination to “seek” by repeating it (Genesis 41:32), with the addition that He will hold even animals responsible: “From every beast He will indeed seek [and avenge] him” for taking the life of a man. Then God repeats it a third time for even greater emphasis that He will seek out and avenge murder “from all mankind and from every individual man [responsible].”
    Since human souls bear the image of God, human life is sacred.
    Such language about God’s vengeance against murderers is used elsewhere in the Old Testament. In Psalm 9:12, David refers to God as “the One who seeks out [and avenges] murder,” like a title given to one constantly employed in seeking and avenging murder. Indeed, the godly pray for God to avenge murder and other injustices of the wicked: “Break the arm of the wicked, and as for the evildoer may You seek out (and avenge) his wickedness [until] You cannot find it out [any longer]” (Psalm 10:15). When Joash murdered Jehoiada’s son, Zechariah, his last words were, “May the Lord see and may He seek [and avenge]” (2 Chronicles 24:22).

    Then God gives a command to Noah not given to Adam: a prohibition against murder. The Lord orders Noah, “The one who sheds the blood of man, by man his blood will be shed” (Genesis 9:6).5 The meaning is straightforward: a murderer must be put to death. Moreover, the command charges mankind with the task of executing the murderer—by man the murderer is to be put to death. The reason given for the command is likewise straightforward: “because in the image of God, He made man” (Genesis 9:6). Man may kill and eat animals (Genesis 9:3), but man, because he is made in God’s image, may not be unlawfully killed [murdered].

    The Abiding Authority of Genesis 9:6

    As the context and meaning of Genesis 9:6 is straightforward, so is its abiding authority.
    The context of Genesis 9:6 reveals its abiding authority. As God gave to Adam the creation ordinance of marriage that still has abiding authority, so God gave to Noah post-Flood ordinances, including capital punishment, that are still authoritative. God did not restrict these ordinances to Israel or to other nations. They are universal, intended for all the descendants of Adam and Noah.

    Moreover, the reason given for capital punishment in Genesis 9:6 is permanent: because man is made in God’s image. As long as man is made in the image of God, this commandment is binding.




    Some of the laws of the Old Testament, particularly in the Mosaic covenant, were temporary, meant for Israel and its particular circumstances. These laws include the dietary laws and worship laws. But Mosaic laws based on the character of God, such as laws against murder or adultery, or Mosaic laws based on the permanent relationships of people, such as children honoring their parents, are permanent. Such commandments, therefore, transcend the Mosaic covenant, as the Ten Commandments transcend the Mosaic Covenant. The commandments given to Adam and Noah preceded the Mosaic Covenant, continued during the Mosaic Covenant, and abide after the Mosaic Covenant into the New Covenant until the end of time.

    Later Old Testament passages confirm this. The Mosaic Covenant requires the death penalty for murder, “He who strikes a man that he dies shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 21:12; Numbers 35:16). Even the intentional killing of a slave merited the death penalty, “And if a man strikes his servant or his female servant with a rod that he should die under his hand, he will surely be avenged”6 (Exodus 21:20). No ransom could take away the death penalty (Numbers 35:32). Nothing, not even the altar, could protect the murderer (Exodus 21:14). He was to die without mercy (Deuteronomy 19:13). Murder polluted and defiled the land, and only the death of the murderer could expiate or rectify the polluted land (Numbers 35:33–34).

    The New Testament, of course, also confirms this. Paul in Romans 13:4 describes the civil magistrate as a minister of God, “who does not bear the sword in vain. For the minister of God [the civil magistrate] is an avenger for wrath to the one doing evil.” The words “bear the sword” denote punishment, but particularly capital punishment, as the sword was an instrument of execution. Furthermore, speaking before Festus, Paul declares that he should be executed if he committed any crimes worthy of death, “If I have done anything worthy of death, then I do not refuse to die” (Acts 25:11).

    Clearly, Paul recognizes the appropriateness of capital punishment for certain offenses. Even the thief on the cross who believed on Christ recognized the justness of his death sentence, “And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds” (Luke 23:41). All Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, attests to the abiding authority of Genesis 9:6.
    The Application of Genesis 9:6

    The application of Genesis 9:6 has consequences for all the descendants of Adam and Noah.
    This verse, along with Genesis 1:26–27, establishes the sanctity of life. God created man uniquely by breathing the breath of life directly into Adam and by making Adam and all mankind in His image. Since human souls bear the image of God, human life is sacred.

    The value of the human soul and of human life is incalculable (Matthew 6:26, 16:26). The taking away of human life by murder—including those forms of murder known by their various euphemisms as abortion, euthanasia, population control, one-child policy (family planning policy), and so on—are not just human tragedies, they are a sacrilege, a direct assault and affront to God. Any individual or society that desecrates God’s image invites divine judgment. Contrary to secular societies that are always given over to sin and that routinely devalue human life (Romans 1:18–32), Genesis 9:6 sanctifies human life and dignifies every human being.

    Because of the sanctity of life, God ordains the ultimate punishment to protect it. And Genesis 9:6 does just that. But some in the pro-life movement and some denominations claim that capital punishment contradicts the sanctity of life.7 This view stresses consistency: if we are consistently prolife, then all life—even the life of the murderer— should be protected. We should not pick and choose. All life means all life.
    This sanctity and protection of life are essential for a healthy society.
    Though Genesis 9:6 may seem inconsistent or contradictory to the sanctity of life, it in fact demonstrates the sacredness of life. The Scriptures view murder as such a contemptible crime against man and God that the only just penalty is the forfeiting of the murderer’s life. Any other punishment degrades the life of the victim. Any other punishment risks additional murderous acts, even by those serving a lifetime prison sentence. Any other punishment reduces the heinousness of murder, thereby endangering society by lessening its stigma. In a sinful society, Genesis 9:6, though a dreadful command, is a blessing from God. It furnishes the ultimate protection for human life.


    This sanctity and protection of life are essential for a healthy society. Without these, human life is cheapened, society becomes dangerous, and civilization regresses. Societies that regard life as sacred and protect life are safe and dynamic. Such societies reflect a virtuous people.

    Of course, the opposite is true as well. Those who can rejoice over “reproductive freedoms” that end in the murder of the most innocent human lives—even in the death of those who survive the abortionist’s grisly efforts—may certainly rejoice over the murder of those less innocent. Perhaps, they can rejoice over the “voluntary death” of the elderly to prevent them from over-consuming medical resources at the end of life. Perhaps, they can even rejoice over the murder of those deemed politically dangerous or just simply undesirable. How a society views Genesis 9:6, in its sanctifying and protecting of life, is a sure barometer of the health—or impending death—of a society.

    Conclusion

    In Romans 15:4, Paul, referring to the Old Testament, states, “For whatsoever things were written beforehand—they were written for our instruction that through patience and through the consolation of the Scriptures we might have hope.” To Paul, the Old Testament was not a dead letter. In fact, it was written for our instruction, that is, the New Testament church’s instruction.

    Paul instituted Christian belief from the Old Testament (Romans 4), he established Christian morals from the Old Testament (Romans 13:8–10), and he found Christian admonishments and examples from the Old Testament (1 Corinthians 10:6, 10:11). Of course, this is true not only of Paul, but also of the other New Testament authors. The Old Testament writers, Moses and the Prophets (Luke 16:29, 16:31), did not serve just their own generation, but they served us, the New Testament church (1 Peter 1:10–12).

    Certainly, Genesis 9:6 in its sanctity and protection of life is instruction for us. It was given to all mankind after the Flood, as marriage was given to all mankind after creation. It was reaffirmed throughout the rest of the Old and New Testament. It was furnished to indicate God’s value of human life. And it was graciously provided to protect all. God has blessed all peoples since the Flood with the command of Genesis 9:6.

    Dr. Russell Fuller serves as professor of Old Testament at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He coauthored Invitation to Biblical Hebrew.
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    As long as man is made in the image of God, this commandment is binding.

    is this the reason or satan's concept of cloning?
    Last edited by Calypso Jones; 07-19-2019 at 05:54 AM.
    Sarah Sanders doesn't often mop the White House Press Corp Floor...but when she does, she uses Jim Acosta.

    There is no American free press. They're bought and paid for.

    The Devil whispered in Trump's ear and said, 'You're not strong enough to withstand the storm". President Trump whispered back, "i am The Storm"!

    and Epstein didn't kill himself.

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    The penalty is not used enough . Yes GOD will be the final judge in the end.
    Montana

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    Tl;dr

    Could said the whole thing in one sentence.

    Make love, not war.

    Even a liberal would agree with that.

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    Yes.
    More so, than ever.
    Evil has a new face.
    Today we live. Tomorrow we die.
    "Evil is da Devil minus da D"

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    Keeping in mind...

    The laws of the Pentateuch (Mosaic Laws) were part of the old Covenant and fulfilled by Jesus on his death.

    The old covenant law was made with the sons of Israel no others...
    "He is telling his word to Jacob, his regulations and his judicial [law] decisions to Israel. He has not done that way to any other nation." Ps. 147:19,20

    Jesus was a Jew and admonished his followers (disciples) to adhere to the old law brought forth by Moses. Jesus also said: "I came to fulfill the law [covenant], not destroy it." Obviously, he could not fulfill that law until he died, nor could the new covenant take place until that time.

    God foretold the new covenant by the prophet Jeremiah in the seventh century B.C.E., stating that it would not be like the Law covenant, which Israel broke. (Jer 31:31-34) On the night before his death, Nisan 14, 33 .C.E., (Jewish calendar) when he established the celebration of the Lord's Evening Meal, Jesus Christ announced the new covenant, to be validated by his sacrifice. (* see below) On the 50th day from his resurrection and 10 days after he had ascended to his Father, he poured out the holy spirit, which he had received from Jehovah, on his disciples, gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem. (Acts 2:1-4, 17, 33; 2 Cor. 3:6, 8,9; Heb. 2:3,4)

    (*) "Also, the cup in the same way after they had the evening meal, he saying: "This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf." (Luke 22:20)

    The O.T. serves as an important historical view of the past, and especially insight on those laws passed down to Moses for the nation of Israel. In the O.T. A law code consist of the "law" and "Commandments." For example those items in Leviticus was a "law" within that code", Those items in the law code throughout the O.T. that were considered relevant were brought forth to the N.T. For example, the 10 Commandments are no longer held in the context given, because...

    The entire old law code was summarized in the new Covenant (replacing those in the OT)

    Jesus gave us a new law covenant comprising of two Commandments: "He said to him "You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with and with your whole soul and with your whole mind." This is the greatest and FIRST commandment."


    "The SECOND, like it, is this, "You must love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.". . .Matt. 22:37-40. See also Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28.

    (if one thinks about it, these two commandments pretty much cover the old ten in application)

    "Do not you people be owing anybody a single thing, except to love one another; for he that loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. For the law code, 'You must not commit adultery, You must not murder, You must not steal, You must not covet'and whatever other commandment there is, is summed up in this word, namely, 'You must love your neighbor as yourself.' AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, YOU WILL HAVE THIS: "Love does not work evil to ones neighbor; therefore love is the law's fulfillment.". . . Rom. 13:8-10
    (My emphasis)
    Last edited by S-N-A-F-U; 07-19-2019 at 08:00 AM.

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    Chicago police/prosecutors are currently resolving fewer than 10% of their murder cases. My bet is that most cities in America struggle with similar clearance rates. With people literally getting away with murder, the death penalty for the few we catch almost becomes a mute point. 90% of murderers are free to murder again, and again. I wonder why most murders go unsolved, and my hunch is that it is because nobody's talking.

    Coupled with the failure of the justice system to speedily execute convicted murders, averaging decades between sentencing and execution, natural causes take the life of most murderers. Again, people fail to do what the laws of society tell us to do.

    And speaking of our justice system, I am reminded of Illinois governor George Ryan, a former prosecutor from northern Illinois. He famously ended the death penalty in Illinois, because he believed too many were falsely convicted. Remember, he was a former prosecutor. With the current DOJ/FBI debacle, it seems there is no justice we can trust. Again, the corruption of people.

    I am not good at quoting chapter/verse, but I remember somewhere it is written "vengeance is mine". Maybe not biblical, but I also remember a quote "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."

    We can't seem to execute murderers, but we have no problem ending the life of unborn babies, both at the hands of the same "progressives".

    We are witnessing a breakdown in society. It is world-wide, but seems to be happening at a fast pace in the USA right now. I don't know if we are just catching up or leading the pack. God's vengeance may be playing out, here and now.

    We should all be concerned. If you see someone seriously building a big, concrete, fireproof zoo, be really concerned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by S-N-A-F-U View Post
    Keeping in mind...

    The laws of the Pentateuch (Mosaic Laws) were part of the old Covenant and fulfilled by Jesus on his death.

    The old covenant law was made with the sons of Israel no others...
    "He is telling his word to Jacob, his regulations and his judicial [law] decisions to Israel. He has not done that way to any other nation." Ps. 147:19,20

    Jesus was a Jew and admonished his followers (disciples) to adhere to the old law brought forth by Moses. Jesus also said: "I came to fulfill the law [covenant], not destroy it." Obviously, he could not fulfill that law until he died, nor could the new covenant take place until that time.

    God foretold the new covenant by the prophet Jeremiah in the seventh century B.C.E., stating that it would not be like the Law covenant, which Israel broke. (Jer 31:31-34) On the night before his death, Nisan 14, 33 .C.E., (Jewish calendar) when he established the celebration of the Lord's Evening Meal, Jesus Christ announced the new covenant, to be validated by his sacrifice. (* see below) On the 50th day from his resurrection and 10 days after he had ascended to his Father, he poured out the holy spirit, which he had received from Jehovah, on his disciples, gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem. (Acts 2:1-4, 17, 33; 2 Cor. 3:6, 8,9; Heb. 2:3,4)

    (*) "Also, the cup in the same way after they had the evening meal, he saying: "This cup means the new covenant by virtue of my blood, which is to be poured out in your behalf." (Luke 22:20)

    The O.T. serves as an important historical view of the past, and especially insight on those laws passed down to Moses for the nation of Israel. In the O.T. A law code consist of the "law" and "Commandments." For example those items in Leviticus was a "law" within that code", Those items in the law code throughout the O.T. that were considered relevant were brought forth to the N.T. For example, the 10 Commandments are no longer held in the context given, because...

    The entire old law code was summarized in the new Covenant (replacing those in the OT)

    Jesus gave us a new law covenant comprising of two Commandments: "He said to him "You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with and with your whole soul and with your whole mind." This is the greatest and FIRST commandment."


    "The SECOND, like it, is this, "You must love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets.". . .Matt. 22:37-40. See also Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28.

    (if one thinks about it, these two commandments pretty much cover the old ten in application)

    "Do not you people be owing anybody a single thing, except to love one another; for he that loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. For the law code, 'You must not commit adultery, You must not murder, You must not steal, You must not covet'and whatever other commandment there is, is summed up in this word, namely, 'You must love your neighbor as yourself.' AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS, YOU WILL HAVE THIS: "Love does not work evil to ones neighbor; therefore love is the law's fulfillment.". . . Rom. 13:8-10
    (My emphasis)
    Sometimes in love a society MUST protect its innocent.

    These commandments of the NT were to individuals not necessarily to government.

    Note Jesus didn't come to overthrow Rome & they did a LOT of executions. Some just & some unjust {Jesus Himself} and yet Jesus didn't set out to change Roman law. He said out to transform the hearts & minds of people individually. If we do the commandments in the NT including forgiving each other government & society as a whole would need less and less usage of the death penalty. However, it is still just for a society/government to have that option to protect the innocent.
    LGBT = Liberty Guns Bibles Trump / FDR = F Dem Racists

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calypso Jones View Post
    Is Capital Punishment for Today?

    by Russell Fuller on December 28, 2014; last featured July 14, 2019




    The death penalty is a barbaric relic of the past, according to our enlightened age. Is capital punishment for today? . . . Genesis has the answer.
    When we understand and embrace God’s Word, we will know the difference between the truth and the lies, and we won’t be deceived.
    Find Out More


    Discover the origin of people groups (there is only one race), the genetics of skin color, and biblical truths on “interracial” marriage.
    Find Out More




    When passages from the Old Testament are used to justify or condemn a modern practice, many respond with the all-or-nothing argument, “Well, if you are going to follow the Old Testament on that issue, why not follow it everywhere else—build a rail on top of your roof (Deuteronomy 22:8), do not mix seeds in your garden (Leviticus 19:19), and execute blasphemers (Leviticus 24:11–23).” This often intimidates believers from appealing to the Old Testament. The dreaded all-or-nothing argument always lurks behind the next corner.
    Of course, some believers never appeal to the Old Testament. Their reason is clear: we live under the New Testament, not the Old Testament. The Old Testament, therefore, is obsolete—or nearly so. It may help us understand the New Testament, but its laws and customs are a bygone product of a bygone Testament.

    But a closer reading of the New Testament indicates a different reality. The Old Testament is not obsolete. It has not ceased to be God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Indeed, how can any word from God become truly obsolete? It may attain fulfillment, but it never becomes defunct. True, New Testament believers do not live under the Old Testament economy, but that does not render the Old Testament obsolete—or even nearly so.

    Certainly the book of Genesis still applies to New Testament believers. In fact, it is still authoritative for Christian belief and practice, as any truly Christian statement of faith demonstrates.1 And happily, Genesis 9:6—in its meaning, authority, and application—still determines Christian belief and practice and is essential for a healthy society that values and protects human life.
    Genesis 9:5–7Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed; for in the image of God He made man. And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth and multiply in it.

    The Context and Meaning of Genesis 9:6


    The command of Genesis 9:6 for capital punishment occurs after the worldwide Flood. This command affirms again that the pre-Flood society was reprobate, as mentioned earlier in Genesis 6.2 “Then the Lord saw,” in the words of Moses the lawgiver, “that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). In particular, society was given over to violence and murder, “And the land became corrupted before God, and the earth was filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11, 6:13). What began as brother murdering brother (Genesis 4:8) had become endemic—“all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth” (Genesis 6:12). Clearly, the post-Flood world needed a divine decree to restrain violence.

    As the post-Flood world begins, God blesses and commands Noah and his sons. Most of the commands echo God’s commands to Adam to multiply and fill the earth. As one of the few survivors of the Flood, Noah became another Adam, but with differences. God’s commands to Adam came in the context of a sinless world; the commands came to Noah in the context of a sinful world. Although the animals were put under the authority of Adam and later Noah, God placed fear and terror on the animals to protect Noah and his family (Genesis 9:2–3). Furthermore, God restricted Noah’s authority over the animals in one particular way: Noah and his descendants must not consume the lifeblood of an animal (Genesis 9:4).3

    God then turns to the lifeblood of man. God prefaces the command of Genesis 9:6 by stating that He will “seek” those who take the lifeblood of man (Genesis 9:5). God will personally seek out and avenge4 those who commit murder. God emphasizes His determination to “seek” by repeating it (Genesis 41:32), with the addition that He will hold even animals responsible: “From every beast He will indeed seek [and avenge] him” for taking the life of a man. Then God repeats it a third time for even greater emphasis that He will seek out and avenge murder “from all mankind and from every individual man [responsible].”
    Since human souls bear the image of God, human life is sacred.
    Such language about God’s vengeance against murderers is used elsewhere in the Old Testament. In Psalm 9:12, David refers to God as “the One who seeks out [and avenges] murder,” like a title given to one constantly employed in seeking and avenging murder. Indeed, the godly pray for God to avenge murder and other injustices of the wicked: “Break the arm of the wicked, and as for the evildoer may You seek out (and avenge) his wickedness [until] You cannot find it out [any longer]” (Psalm 10:15). When Joash murdered Jehoiada’s son, Zechariah, his last words were, “May the Lord see and may He seek [and avenge]” (2 Chronicles 24:22).

    Then God gives a command to Noah not given to Adam: a prohibition against murder. The Lord orders Noah, “The one who sheds the blood of man, by man his blood will be shed” (Genesis 9:6).5 The meaning is straightforward: a murderer must be put to death. Moreover, the command charges mankind with the task of executing the murderer—by man the murderer is to be put to death. The reason given for the command is likewise straightforward: “because in the image of God, He made man” (Genesis 9:6). Man may kill and eat animals (Genesis 9:3), but man, because he is made in God’s image, may not be unlawfully killed [murdered].

    The Abiding Authority of Genesis 9:6


    As the context and meaning of Genesis 9:6 is straightforward, so is its abiding authority.
    The context of Genesis 9:6 reveals its abiding authority. As God gave to Adam the creation ordinance of marriage that still has abiding authority, so God gave to Noah post-Flood ordinances, including capital punishment, that are still authoritative. God did not restrict these ordinances to Israel or to other nations. They are universal, intended for all the descendants of Adam and Noah.

    Moreover, the reason given for capital punishment in Genesis 9:6 is permanent: because man is made in God’s image. As long as man is made in the image of God, this commandment is binding.




    Some of the laws of the Old Testament, particularly in the Mosaic covenant, were temporary, meant for Israel and its particular circumstances. These laws include the dietary laws and worship laws. But Mosaic laws based on the character of God, such as laws against murder or adultery, or Mosaic laws based on the permanent relationships of people, such as children honoring their parents, are permanent. Such commandments, therefore, transcend the Mosaic covenant, as the Ten Commandments transcend the Mosaic Covenant. The commandments given to Adam and Noah preceded the Mosaic Covenant, continued during the Mosaic Covenant, and abide after the Mosaic Covenant into the New Covenant until the end of time.

    Later Old Testament passages confirm this. The Mosaic Covenant requires the death penalty for murder, “He who strikes a man that he dies shall surely be put to death” (Exodus 21:12; Numbers 35:16). Even the intentional killing of a slave merited the death penalty, “And if a man strikes his servant or his female servant with a rod that he should die under his hand, he will surely be avenged”6 (Exodus 21:20). No ransom could take away the death penalty (Numbers 35:32). Nothing, not even the altar, could protect the murderer (Exodus 21:14). He was to die without mercy (Deuteronomy 19:13). Murder polluted and defiled the land, and only the death of the murderer could expiate or rectify the polluted land (Numbers 35:33–34).

    The New Testament, of course, also confirms this. Paul in Romans 13:4 describes the civil magistrate as a minister of God, “who does not bear the sword in vain. For the minister of God [the civil magistrate] is an avenger for wrath to the one doing evil.” The words “bear the sword” denote punishment, but particularly capital punishment, as the sword was an instrument of execution. Furthermore, speaking before Festus, Paul declares that he should be executed if he committed any crimes worthy of death, “If I have done anything worthy of death, then I do not refuse to die” (Acts 25:11).

    Clearly, Paul recognizes the appropriateness of capital punishment for certain offenses. Even the thief on the cross who believed on Christ recognized the justness of his death sentence, “And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds” (Luke 23:41). All Scripture, both Old and New Testaments, attests to the abiding authority of Genesis 9:6.
    The Application of Genesis 9:6

    The application of Genesis 9:6 has consequences for all the descendants of Adam and Noah.
    This verse, along with Genesis 1:26–27, establishes the sanctity of life. God created man uniquely by breathing the breath of life directly into Adam and by making Adam and all mankind in His image. Since human souls bear the image of God, human life is sacred.

    The value of the human soul and of human life is incalculable (Matthew 6:26, 16:26). The taking away of human life by murder—including those forms of murder known by their various euphemisms as abortion, euthanasia, population control, one-child policy (family planning policy), and so on—are not just human tragedies, they are a sacrilege, a direct assault and affront to God. Any individual or society that desecrates God’s image invites divine judgment. Contrary to secular societies that are always given over to sin and that routinely devalue human life (Romans 1:18–32), Genesis 9:6 sanctifies human life and dignifies every human being.

    Because of the sanctity of life, God ordains the ultimate punishment to protect it. And Genesis 9:6 does just that. But some in the pro-life movement and some denominations claim that capital punishment contradicts the sanctity of life.7 This view stresses consistency: if we are consistently prolife, then all life—even the life of the murderer— should be protected. We should not pick and choose. All life means all life.
    This sanctity and protection of life are essential for a healthy society.
    Though Genesis 9:6 may seem inconsistent or contradictory to the sanctity of life, it in fact demonstrates the sacredness of life. The Scriptures view murder as such a contemptible crime against man and God that the only just penalty is the forfeiting of the murderer’s life. Any other punishment degrades the life of the victim. Any other punishment risks additional murderous acts, even by those serving a lifetime prison sentence. Any other punishment reduces the heinousness of murder, thereby endangering society by lessening its stigma. In a sinful society, Genesis 9:6, though a dreadful command, is a blessing from God. It furnishes the ultimate protection for human life.


    This sanctity and protection of life are essential for a healthy society. Without these, human life is cheapened, society becomes dangerous, and civilization regresses. Societies that regard life as sacred and protect life are safe and dynamic. Such societies reflect a virtuous people.

    Of course, the opposite is true as well. Those who can rejoice over “reproductive freedoms” that end in the murder of the most innocent human lives—even in the death of those who survive the abortionist’s grisly efforts—may certainly rejoice over the murder of those less innocent. Perhaps, they can rejoice over the “voluntary death” of the elderly to prevent them from over-consuming medical resources at the end of life. Perhaps, they can even rejoice over the murder of those deemed politically dangerous or just simply undesirable. How a society views Genesis 9:6, in its sanctifying and protecting of life, is a sure barometer of the health—or impending death—of a society.

    Conclusion


    In Romans 15:4, Paul, referring to the Old Testament, states, “For whatsoever things were written beforehand—they were written for our instruction that through patience and through the consolation of the Scriptures we might have hope.” To Paul, the Old Testament was not a dead letter. In fact, it was written for our instruction, that is, the New Testament church’s instruction.

    Paul instituted Christian belief from the Old Testament (Romans 4), he established Christian morals from the Old Testament (Romans 13:8–10), and he found Christian admonishments and examples from the Old Testament (1 Corinthians 10:6, 10:11). Of course, this is true not only of Paul, but also of the other New Testament authors. The Old Testament writers, Moses and the Prophets (Luke 16:29, 16:31), did not serve just their own generation, but they served us, the New Testament church (1 Peter 1:10–12).

    Certainly, Genesis 9:6 in its sanctity and protection of life is instruction for us. It was given to all mankind after the Flood, as marriage was given to all mankind after creation. It was reaffirmed throughout the rest of the Old and New Testament. It was furnished to indicate God’s value of human life. And it was graciously provided to protect all. God has blessed all peoples since the Flood with the command of Genesis 9:6.

    Dr. Russell Fuller serves as professor of Old Testament at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He coauthored Invitation to Biblical Hebrew.
    The reference to II Timothy 3:16-17 obviously refers to Old Testament scripture--there was no canonization of what later came to be known as the New Testament at the time--but I would prefer to be rather careful with the word "inspired" here (theopneustos in the Greek): Some have noted that it literally means God-breathed.

    But I really would not wish to read too much into that. If we were to accept the so-called Dictation Theory of inspiration--i.e. the view that God literally gave these words verbatim (as opposed to thought inspiration--it would be very difficult, I think, to explain just why, for instance, the style of Peter is so different from the style of Paul; or the style of Mark is so different from the style of John.

    And those who have a far greater knowledge of the Koine Greek than I do--I have only a cursory knowledge--can appreciate this far better than I can.

    And I do, indeed, believe that it is reasonable to conclude that the Old Testament can "help us understand the New Testament; but that "its laws and customs are a bygone product of a bygone Testament."

    Note: Nine of the 10 commandments of the Decalogue--or "Ten Commandments," if you prefer--are repeated, in some fashion or another, in the New Testament. The single exception is the commandment to observe the Sabbath. (No, Sunday is not the "Christian Sabbath," as some erroneously call it--it is described as "The Lord's Day" in both the Book of Acts and the Book of Revelation--but it is never called the "Christian Sabbath" in the New Testament. And there is no indication that the prohibitions against "work" (which the ancient rabbis defined quite broadly) apply to the Lord's Day. Even the most devout Christian may work (or play) on Sunday, without any fear of possibly offending God.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knightkore View Post
    Sometimes in love a society MUST protect its innocent.

    These commandments of the NT were to individuals not necessarily to government.

    Note Jesus didn't come to overthrow Rome & they did a LOT of executions. Some just & some unjust {Jesus Himself} and yet Jesus didn't set out to change Roman law. He said out to transform the hearts & minds of people individually. If we do the commandments in the NT including forgiving each other government & society as a whole would need less and less usage of the death penalty. However, it is still just for a society/government to have that option to protect the innocent.
    Jehovah God didn't send his Son, Jesus to seek revenge against govts or Kingdoms. He was sent as our redeemer, and to give us an opportunity for Salvation.

    The bible was given to man (not his govt) for his direction and guidance. He was also created as a free moral agent to be able to choose the path that he wishes to follow. However, there are consequences and rewards attached thereto. Man was also admonished to put his faith in God, not human govt.

    Governments are frequently classified according to the source and scope of their authority. Jehovah God is the Universal Sovereign, who confers authority on others in accord with his will and purpose. However, Satan the Devil, the foremost rebel against Jehovah’s sovereignty, is “the ruler of the world”(2 Cor. 4:4)--this by God’s permission for a limited period of time. The Bible depicts the global system of political ruler ship as a wild beast and says that “the dragon [Satan the Devil] gave to the beast its power and its throne and great authority -- John 14:30; Rev. 13:2; 1 John 5:19.

    The Bible foretold in detail the world conditions of our day, and it puts us on notice that all human governments will come to their end at the hands of God and that God’s Kingdom in the hands of his Son, Jesus Christ, will rule over all mankind forever following "the battle of that great day of God Almighty … to the place called Armageddon” Dan. 2:44; 7:13-14; Revelation 16:13-16
    Last edited by S-N-A-F-U; 07-20-2019 at 06:11 AM.

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