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What Does the Bible Say About … CAPITAL PUNISHMENT?

How does God look upon murder and capital punishment?

This is a question that must be answered from the perspective of spiritual and physical point of view. It is clear from scriptures that God detests sin. Murder in itself is not the only form of sin. When capital punishment is released unto the sinner by the law of the land where the sin has been committed; it should not be seen as bad. The scripture also says that no sinner will go unpunished. God has ordained those who are in authority –

Romans 13:1 “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”.

Therefore, God endorses whatever capital punishment that may be released on the offender in any country or land and for whatever offense in compliance with the penal code of that country.


The original language words variously rendered “kill”, “murder,” and “slay” refer to the taking of a life, the context or other scriptures determining whether the deliberate and unauthorized or unlawful taking of another person ‘s life is involved. For example, in the command, “You must not murder” (Ex. 2:13), the Hebrew word for “murder” (ratsach) here clearly refers to deliberate and unlawful killing. But at Numbers 35:27 the same term denotes an act that an avenger of blood was authorized to carryout. Therefore, the command, “You must not murder”, has to be understood within the framework of the entire Mosaic Law, which authorized the taking of human life under certain circumstances, as in the execution of criminals.

Revelation 21:8

“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death”

In each of the eight offences against God and man listed in the above passage, the law of the land to which the offender belongs has punishment for it including murder. God has placed those in authority there to rule and to judge. When men apply the law justly, according to the accepted norms and values of the community/land, God endorses such action of the Government.

From the above passage, God has a provision to penalize all those who commit any of the above eight offences. The penalty is the second death. Eternal destruction. That is even more serious that whatever capital punishment any nation can release unto the offender.

Psalm 37:38

“But all sinners will be destroyed, the future of the wicked will be cut off”.

You can see from the above passage that the final destination of everyone in this world is either heaven or hell. In this world, you and I are passers-by. All those who walk in the path of righteousness are guaranteed heaven, while those who are sinners and commit murder will go to hell. Those who commit abortion are also murderers. Lives have been formed in the fetus yet unborn. The breath of God has already been released. Even is you abort a pregnancy of 0 – 6 weeks, you are a murder. In a situation where the pregnancy will be injurious to the life of the woman, the qualified medical doctors in recognized medical centers have every right to remove it. This will be based on medical grounds: no more no less! But where the sinners will like to cover his/her shame, God detests this greatly and the end result is hell fire except he/she repents.


Murders issue forth from the heart of an individual.

Romans 1:28-32

“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed, and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent way of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heatless, and ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them”.

Jesus Christ also associated murder with wrong attitudes in an individual’s continuing wrathful with his brother, speaking abusive to him, or wrongly judging and condemning him as a ‘despicable fool’

Matthew 5:21,22 . “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder’, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again anyone who says to his brother, “Raca, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, “You fool! Will be in danger of the fire of hell.

This is the provision of the Holy Bible. There is no controversy about it.


Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ who has been appointed for you – even Jesus”.

To those who are passing through capital punishment meted to them by the law of any nation, all is not lost. You can repent and the Son of Man will set you free. If the law of this land has condemned you, you should not be eternally condemned. That is why the Lord Jesus is offering a gentle invitation to you.

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light”.

It is important to note that sin does not evaporate. The blood of Jesus is the only cleansing agent. When you accept Him, you will be adopted as a child; no matter the offense you might have committed.

Repent today. Come to Jesus and He will accept you.

God bless.

Rev Debo Adeyemo


 How does God look upon murder and capital punishment?

The act of murder is forbidden. It is one of the ten commandments. Thou shalt not kill would have been better translated as ; Thou shalt not commit murder. The commandment has to do with unlawful killing. There are plenty of examples in the bible of men of God doing lawful killing. In some cases this was actually ordered by God. You can read stories of how God used the Children of Israel to commit genocide on Canaanite tribes whose cup of iniquity had become full. Even today it is lawful to kill in the course of one’s duty as a soldier, police officer, or in self defense, or in defense of a loved one or member of the public. It is also lawful for the state to kill in the carrying out of capital punishment.

On a personal level, Jesus taught forgiveness of one’s enemies. Often I see on TV where the victims of a horrible crime are being interviewed and they are crying for the blood of the offender. This is public expression of the human need for vengeance. It is this that Jesus taught against. Very rarely one sees victims being interviewed who express concern for the offender, that he or she might become saved as a result of the guilt they must feel. This is the Christian ethic being expressed.

We must not confuse capital punishment with forgiveness on a personal level. Capital punishment was introduced by God into the civil laws of Israel. It was to be implemented for such crimes as murder, rape, incest, adultery, witchcraft (spell casting, astrology, sooth saying, fortune telling, clairvoyance, talking to the dead, devil worship), homosexuality, bestiality, necrophilia, and working on the Sabbath. It is interesting to note that there was no provision for imprisonment in the civil laws given to Moses. This would have been difficult given their wandering in the desert at the time. Subsequent leaders and governments have changed some of these laws to include imprisonment and have watered down some of the punishments. In our modern society for instance, homosexuality, witchcraft and adultery do not carry any penalty at all and are regarded as somewhat normal. Such is our degeneration. Nevertheless, I support the right of governments to make civil laws in accordance with the wishes of the people they govern.

In Old Testament times, convicted felons could always make their peace with God before their execution was carried out. The same privilege is extended in our society where the death penalty exists. The reason God gave for the use of capital punishment was; to put evil away from among you

Do not confuse the teachings of Jesus with the laws of God pertaining to capital punishment. They were one and the same personages, and God does not change.

James 1:17-AV Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

The lesson for the Christian in considering the death penalty is that despite whatever might be legal in our society, God’s attitude to these acts has not changed. Whilst some of the above crimes will not get you punished by the civil authorities these days, be aware that you will have to face the judgement seat of God. If you want Jesus to defend you, He will do so upon you asking, but once under His protection, He will expect you to observe God’s laws as best you are able and to stay away from the practices He has condemned. Nothing in the New Testament changes anything in the Old Testament so far as the attitude of God to human evil is concerned.

May you all go in peace and if there is a need for cleansing from sin in your life, may you turn to Jesus for salvation before it is forever too late for you.

Lance Wearmouth

If one asks forgiveness he looks on it with mercy not judgment. To God there is no big sin or little sin. Just Sin. In Gods sight the penalty for any sin, from the white lie (if there were such a thing), to murder, is death. However we have an advocate with the Father who is Christ the Lord. If a man comes and confesses his sin, he is faithful and just to forgive that sin, no matter what.

Sandra Evans


God simply states in his Ten Commandments: Thow shall not kill.

Dave Schiefele


It’s unacceptable in God’s eyes! Matthew 5:21-22 says: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca (aramaic term of contempt),’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. Matthew 5: 38-42 says: You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. 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. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. Matthew 5:43-45 says:You have heard that it was s! aid, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. May You Be Blessed!

I know I’ve already written in my answer for this question, but I came across this quote and I had to share it.

For us, murder is once for all forbidden… It makes no difference whether one take away the life once born, or destroy it as it comes to birth. He is a man, who is to be a man; the fruit is always present in the seed. Tertullian (160?-230?)



Biblical arguments against execution consist primarily of six arguments:

First, Jesus said:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you… whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” Mat. 5:38-39

Second, Jesus forgave the woman “caught in adultery, in the very act.” To those arguing that she should be put to death, Jesus said:

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” John 8:7

Third, Jesus taught believers to forgive:

“But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Mat. 6:15

Fourth, the New Testament teaches Christians not to judge:

“Judge not, that you be not judged.” Mat. 7:1

Fifth, Paul taught believers to:

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse… Repay no one evil for evil… do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I Will repay,” says the Lord.” Rom. 12:14, 17, 19

Sixth, the Ten Commandments teach “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:13).

Biblical History of Execution

In the first crime in the Bible, Cain murdered his brother Abel. Cain intuitively believed that everyone would think themselves justified in executing a murderer.

“It will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.” Gen. 4:14

So God forbade capital punishment:

“Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. Gen. 4:15

From: “Bailey Gertrude E NSSC”