John 8:3-11 : The Case Against Christians Supporting Capital Punishment

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Zaac, May 29, 2014.

  1. Zaac

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    3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6 This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10 Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:3-11
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    We can twist scripture to say whatever we want when we rip it out of context and background.
     
  3. sag38

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    The government executing a murderer and pharisees trying to pin one on Jesus are two entirely different matters.
     
  4. Zaac

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    And what context and background was it ripped from? Please feel free to add such back in.
     
  5. Zaac

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    They are both the governing authorities. And it appears that Jesus was telling them that no man measures up to being able to pass such a judgment, IMO.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    First God set up Capital punishment

    Lev_20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.


    Second Jesus said:

    Mat_5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill it.


    Jesus was not addressing Capital Punishment in John 8. He was addressing the fact that there was no one there who was not guilty of the same sin. They did not even bother to bring the man here.


    The context was that while she may have been guilty their failure to include the man in this mean they had something to hide. They were not being totally honest in their judgment of her.

    It is inconsistent to suggest that God believes that man is not capable of making such a judgement as Capital punishment in John 8 but God believes man was capable in Leviticus.
     
  7. Greektim

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    Your view assumes that this story was original to John's account. Most textual scholars do not. So you are basing a lot of your argument on a questionable passage.
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    It may "appear" to look that way to you, but throwing the death penalty out is not what this story is about.

    This story would be comparable to a modern story of an authority such as a judge condemning someone to death without due process of the law and/or without a fair and public trial.

    There's two reasons why Jesus did not pick up a rock and lead others in stoning this woman. A secondary one is that He chose to offer her a chance to repent of her sin and change.

    The primary reason was this Jesus would not stone her is this: Jesus would have been in gross violation of both Roman and Jewish law, if he had - ergo, He would have sinned and could not be a sacrifice for us.


    • The Law stated that a man caught in adultery must be executed and the married woman, too. They only brought the woman. These men didn’t give a hoot about the law. They only wanted trap Jesus, the Bible says. Stoning her without bringing the man, first, would have violated God's Law.
    • The Law also states that for someone to be executed, first two or three witnesses have to tell their stories and bring evidence before an execution could take place.
    • And that law about witnesses presenting evidence before an execution? The second part of that law said that the first persons to do the stoning of the criminal was to be the witness[es] who provided the evidence. That's why Jesus said, "The first to stone her should be you without sin." Jesus knew they [1] had no witnesses and [2] didn't bring the man.
      [*]Remember later on when the angry mob brought Jesus to Pilate? And Pilate said, “Aw, you guys go on home and execute him yourselves!” Remember what they said? They said, “You know we can’t do that – we are not allowed (under Roman rule) to execute our own criminals.” It was against the Roman law for Jews to stone people for crimes against the Mosaic Law. Only the Romans could execute people.

    So, for Jesus to actually pick up a stone and hurl it at the woman would have caused Him to break both Jewish and Roman law.


    Jesus privately showed the woman grace and told her to sin no more, but He was NOT telling these Pharisees that they weren't good enough to execute a death penalty that was lawful by God's standards.


    He was reminding them that they, too, were in violation of the law in trying to execute someone unjustly and with disrespect to the law and that the execution would have been unlawful.


    They walked away from the oldest to the youngest NOT convicted of their personal sin, but fleeing lest someone "tells" on them and that they get caught in their own trap that was meant for Jesus.


    This passage isn't about a condemnation of the death penalty, but a condemnation of an unjust execution of just law.
     
  9. Scarlett O.

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    It may "appear" to look that way to you, but throwing the death penalty out is not what this story is about.

    This story would be comparable to a modern story of an authority such as a judge condemning someone to death without due process of the law and/or without a fair and public trial.

    There's two reasons why Jesus did not pick up a rock and lead others in stoning this woman. A secondary one is that He chose to offer her a chance to repent of her sin and change.

    The primary reason that Jesus would not stone her is this: Jesus would have been in gross violation of both Roman and Jewish law, if he had - ergo, He would have sinned and could not be a sacrifice for us.


    • The Law stated that a man caught in adultery must be executed and the married woman, too. They only brought the woman. These men didn’t give a hoot about the law. They only wanted trap Jesus, the Bible says. Stoning her without bringing the man, first, would have violated God's Law.
    • The Law also states that for someone to be executed, first two or three witnesses have to tell their stories and bring evidence before an execution could take place.
    • And that law about witnesses presenting evidence before an execution? The second part of that law said that the first persons to do the stoning of the criminal was to be the witness[es] who provided the evidence. That's why Jesus said, "The first to stone her should be you without sin." Jesus knew they [1] had no witnesses and [2] didn't bring the man.
      [*]Remember later on when the angry mob brought Jesus to Pilate? And Pilate said, “Aw, you guys go on home and execute him yourselves!” Remember what they said? They said, “You know we can’t do that – we are not allowed (under Roman rule) to execute our own criminals.” It was against the Roman law for Jews to stone people for crimes against the Mosaic Law. Only the Romans could execute people.

    So, for Jesus to actually pick up a stone and hurl it at the woman would have caused Him to break both Jewish and Roman law.


    Jesus privately showed the woman grace and told her to sin no more, but He was NOT telling these Pharisees that they weren't good enough to execute a death penalty that was lawful by God's standards.


    He was reminding them that they, too, were in violation of the law in trying to execute someone unjustly and with disrespect to the law and that the execution would have been unlawful.


    They walked away from the oldest to the youngest NOT convicted of their personal sin, but fleeing lest someone "tells" on them and that they get caught in their own trap that was meant for Jesus.


    This passage isn't about a condemnation of the death penalty, but a condemnation of an unjust execution of just law.
     
  10. Van

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    Full disclosure requires that I voted against the re-introduction of Capital Punishment in California. Not because I thought God's Word taught the government should not put people to death, but because I thought the system was too deeply flawed, i.e. to many poor blacks on death row, and too few wealthy non-blacks.

    The Bible addresses our behavior within the context of three groups or classification, (1) acting as an individual, (2) acting as a church, and (3) acting under the color of government authority.

    As an individual, we are to pray for our enemies, and turn the other cheek. Within the church, we are to speak out for truth, justice, and mercy. And under the authority of government we are to protect widows and orphans from all enemies foreign and domestic. I am a veteran, and so I carried lethal weapons (thankfully never in combat) and would have used them to the best of my ability.

    Police officers, and other law enforcement personnel likewise are fully under the auspicious of Biblical authority.

    While the OP passage is under a cloud, i.e. may have be added and thus is uninspired, lets simply assume it accurately reflects God's will.

    Here we have a group not trying to carry out God's will, but were presenting a question to trap Jesus. Did the Jews, at that time, under the rule of Rome, have the government authority to carry out capital punishment? Nope. But they were speaking as a church, addressing whether this premise (stoning a person caught in the very act of adultery) was the correct understanding of the Law, given by Moses. But the trap was either answer (to stone or not to stone) would result in violating the law of Rome or the Law of Moses. Jesus of course simply wrote a thing or two on the ground and the group left.
     
    #10 Van, May 29, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2014
  11. Alcott

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    While there is a reasonable doubt about that scripture being valid, as it does not appear in the oldest manuscripts available-- where there is a reasonable doubt, do we convict by it?

    Nevertheless, if we assume that it is valid, there are a lot of possibilities about the unknown variables. Concerning the man she was caught in adultery with-- we don't know if he got away unidentified, if she was caught in his home/tent/whatever and he wasn't there at the time-- which would raise the question Jewish legal proceedings of 2 or 3 witnesses actually seeing them in the act. But I have long thought that best of all among the possibilities is that the whole things was a framing. And maybe what Jesus wrote on the ground had to do with that; he wrote the names of the accusers there who had all committed adultery with that particular woman. It's hard to see why else they would just turn and leave from the whole incident. Anyway, they had wanted to get rid of her, as well as to get rid of Jesus, and they saw the 2-birds-with-one-stone setup and went for it. The woman herself, knowing if she were not condemned for the particular case there were others right there, so it was no use denying anything (that is, if she could/would speak up at all, which is questionable).

    Conclusions to be drawn if we assume the validity of the passage:

    Did Jesus abolish the death penalty in all cases? No; he did not make such a blanket statement.

    Did he abolish it for adultery? Maybe.

    Did he abolish it for anything short of murder? We don't know.

    Did he abolish the Noahic Covenant (which includes putting a murderer to death)? I certainly don't think so-- its validity, at least in part, is confirmed in Acts 15 when the apostles said gentile converts must not eat blood.
    ----
    When Jesus made the point that only the one without sin may throw the first stone, what was that about? If He had thrown the first stone, being the one allowed by his statement, could the others then have thrown a bunch and everything then rosy? Did he actually turn his back on the Mosaic Law, destroying it after all? Is a Christian not allowed to sit on a jury, let alone become a judge, and assign guilt or not to someone accused? Can even parents not pronounce sentence upon their children when they've done something wrong, as they are not without sin themselves?

    Or--- is all this about Jesus and his role among mankind which is not to condemn, but to save? He didn't heal every diseased person or right every wrong-- at times he healed, at times he set people straight. But he often refused to get involved, such as when the man asked him to tell his brother to share their father's estate. God is salvation was both his name and his function. Why would he add to the already-overbalanced opposite position?
     
  12. Yeshua1

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    The issue here is:

    Did God command that if a person willfully kills another, that the judgement was to put to death himself?

    Yes

    Did God/Jesus/Holy Spirit ever rescind that command afterwards?

    No, for paul in Romans said that the ruling authorities established by God have the right to execute those whose crimes merit it, as in first degree murder!

    The principle is based upon the truth that God sees that crime so bad, as when one commits that offense, they are striking at image of God in that person, so tHEIR LIFE IS FORFEITED!

    And cannot say that Jesus would save them from death, as the Lord allowed many to be put to death, but still can and does save them from their sins!
     
  13. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Y'all keep feeding that thing, it'll keep comin' back like a weed.
     
  14. Zaac

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    My view is that it's in Scripture as an account given by John. That's where I read it. Why should I trust the word of scholars more than I trust the word of God?
     
  15. Zaac

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    And that would be consistent with James 2:10. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

    So we again end up with no MAN righteously being capable of demanding another's life.


    That's not the context because that's not what Scripture says.

    What's inconsistent about that? In Leviticus and throughout the OT, God gave the command to the Jews of when to take a life because HE said so. He did the same with His agents and His prophets. it was always because HE said so.

    That Levitical law is specific to the Jews. Everything in the NT and John 8 shows the picture of none being qualified to righteously demand the life of another.
     
  16. Zaac

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    You're isogeting. Scripture does not say that so it's essentially opinion.


    Why was He not saying that if Scripture says that?


    .

    Again, isogeting.


    Again you're isogeting. You have no idea how they walked away feeling.


    It's a condemnation of an unjust execution of the law if you isogete.
     
  17. Alcott

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    That is not a question of any real substance because when you read the word of God you are reading the words of scholars, per se. Or did God himself personally scribe what it is you're reading?
     
  18. Zaac

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    When I read the word of God , I'm reading words inspired by HIM that has nothing to do with scholars.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    No that is not true. The Authors of scripture were not writing as a scholar, they were writing as one who was given directly from God. A scholar would be far less than that.
     
  20. Alcott

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    Is that write? Somebody chose what words are included in the Word of God. Who did it and how was it done?
     

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