A life for a life?: death penalty on trial by Vernon W. Redekop

By Vernon W. Redekop

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That is one reason so few executions were recorded in the Bible. The Flood, for example, was a once-for-all-time response to pervasive rebellion against the ways of God. Another understanding was that of transference of guilt. The atonement rituals transferred guilt to an animal. The idea of a merciful God ready to forgive was there all along. The prophets made clear that the quality of one's heart was more important than sacrificial rituals. If Jesus died once for all, taking on the guilt of the world, he died even for those who committed the most abhorrent crimes.

We have studied the fictional story of Abseh and Benshor in the light of biblical teaching on murder. We have seen that in ancient Israel the emphasis was on limiting revenge killing. In the case of deliberate murder, allowance was made in biblical teaching for revenge to occur after a trial. But we know from Jewish sources that the trial procedure was aimed at making vengeance killing almost impossible. Page 35 Genesis 9:6 makes clear that all human life is precious and that we hurt ourselves if we "shed the blood" of another person.

A. (as trustee). , Wheaton, IL 60189. All rights reserved. A LIFE FOR A LIFE? Copyright ã 1990 by Herald Press, Scottdale, Pa. 15683 Published simultaneously in Canada by Herald Press, Waterloo, Ont. N2L 6H7. All rights reserved. Library of Congress Catalog Number: 89-26709 International Standard Book Number: 0-8361-3516-4 Printed in the United States of America Design by Gwen M. Stamm 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 96 95 94 93 92 91 90 Page 5 To Gloria, my lifelong companion in the search for truth.  . 40 7 The Teachings of Jesus 44 8 The Meaning of Jesus' Death 48 9 What Is Justice?

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