The Bible says not to kill yet many Christians support the death penalty

by Matt Slick

Email:  The Bible says it is forbidden to kill, yet many Christians in America support the death penalty and order wars and bombs which kill tens of thousands, yet this is somehow rationalized and an excuse is made as to how this does not violate Christianity, when it plainly does.

Response:   First of all, the Bible does not say that it is forbidden to kill. The Bible says that it is forbidden to murder. The old the King James translation is unfortunate. For example, God gives us the right of self-defense, and sometimes in that self-defense it is necessary to kill someone. Furthermore, the Bible supports the death penalty as many Old Testament Scriptures clearly state. So, God is not making a mistake by saying do not kill and yet putting people to death via the death penalty.

Furthermore, murder is the unlawful taking of life. Killing is the lawful taking of life. Therefore, in the issue of taking life we must determine whether it is lawful or not. If a murderer is sentenced to death in a lawful manner via the law of the land, then it is not murder. However, if a person were to rob someone else and kill him in the process, that is not a lawful taking of life and is murder. God never murders because before God, all people are guilty before the holy law that he has given.

Finally, it is not a self-contradiction for a person to condemn murder but believe in the death penalty. 


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.