Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Testament Death Penalty Support Overwhelming

updated 1/2022

New Testament Death Penalty Support Overwhelming
Dudley Sharp, independent researcher, death penalty expert, former opponent 832-4389-2113, CV at bottom

Through today and for more than 2000 years, there has been Christian New Testament support for the death penalty, from Popes, Saints, Doctors and Fathers of the Church, church leadership, biblical scholars and theologians that, in breadth and depth, overwhelms any teachings to the contrary, particularly those wrongly dependent upon secular concerns such as defense of society and the poor standards of criminal justice systems in protecting the innocent, as the error filled, amended CCC: 2267 of 1997/2018 demonstrates.

Major Christian denominations didn't start to, officially, oppose the death penalty until the mid 1950's, the Catholic Church, not until late 2018. 

Did the bible and fundamental theology, suddenly, change after 1950 or in 2018? Of course not.

In 2018, Pope Francis and others are saying that the greatest of all Catholic Popes, Saints, Doctors of the Church, biblical scholars and theologians, were dead wrong for over 2000 years and that those most revered figures are morally and intellectually inferior because, for over 2000 years, they found the death penalty not just admissible, but, sometimes, an obligatory, merciful, part of Holy Scripture, and that it, specifically, recognized the dignity of man and was just - all very well known.

All of a sudden - POOF - those 2000 years of teaching are thrown in the trash heap.

Let's look:

The following is a review of the obvious problems within the latest amendment to CCC 2267 (2018):
The Church made it about "safeguarding the common good" (2267), which the Church cannot do. Why? Because She knows that justice is primary and safeguarding, while very important, must be and is, always, secondary. 

Rationally and factually, the death penalty is a greater safeguard than either a life sentence and/or solitary confinement, both of which Pope Francis opposes, making it clear that "safeguarding the common good" is, certainly, of no concern in refuting 2000 years of well accepted Church teachings.
2267: “Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state. Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption."
Reply: 1) There is no new increasing awareness of the dignity of persons, as has been, fully, covered from Genesis, as throughout the bible, witnessed by St. Dismas and fully, addressed by the Church, for centuries. 2) We are all, well aware, or should be, of the many major problems within criminal justice systems, again and again, having practices and errors which harm innocents, every day and throughout the world. 3) The Church cannot deny that God grants us the opportunity of redemption, at all times, and within all circumstances, regardless of how or when we die, obviously, inclusive of the death penalty. Only man can deprive himself of the possibility of. redemption. God, always and in all circumstances, offers it to us, prior to our deaths, no matter when and what that death may be. As we are all "guilty", all Christians know the possibility of redemption will, always, exist, prior to our deaths, no matter what that death maybe. The Church cannot refute that, as She attempts, here.

The three factual errors, above, make the 2018 amendment of CCC 2267 untrue, meaning invalid.

More detail, here:
Catechism Death Penalty Problems: Section 2267 

Here are some recent (2018-19), detailed reviews of some of the most obvious, additional problems in The Church's newest, most curious teachings, 

1) "For the earnest believer, the derogation of the doctrinal patrimony of the Church on this matter—as though Scripture, tradition, the consensus of the Fathers, the teaching of Aquinas, and the teaching of all papacies up to the present had been swept away—is in its way as saddening as is the derogation of spiritual and moral integrity in the case of Theodore McCarrick."

from    Magisterial Irresponsibility, First Things, 10/18

2)  Three questions for Catholic opponents of capital punishment,  Dr. Edward Feser, Catholic World Report, 9/15/2019, 
3)  Rev. Brian A. Graebe,  July 26, 2022:
"The last three popes have sought to limit (death penalty) application, and Pope Francis has declared it 'inadmissible.'
The designation is something of a theological unicorn: The pope says that capital punishment should never actually take place. But that’s not the same as saying it is wrong in itself.
To say that would be to contradict the apostolic faith of the church. The church has always taught that the state has the inherent right to carry out capital punishment. How and when is a matter for debate."
("The Catholic Church Has a Duty to Correct the Powerful on Abortion: A response to Fr. James Martin and others who deflect the pre-eminent moral issue of our time", Rev. Brian A. Graebe, Wall Street Journal, July 26, 2022)

4) Critical Dismay:  The Catholic Church's Latest (2018-19)
Death Penalty Catechism Amendment
5)  "All interpretations, contrary to the biblical support of capital punishment, are false. Interpreters ought to listen to the Bible’s own agenda, rather than to squeeze from it implications for their own agenda. As the ancient rabbis taught, “Do not seek to be more righteous than your Creator.” (Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7.33.). Part of Synopsis of Professor Lloyd R. Bailey’s book Capital Punishment: What the Bible Says, Abingdon Press, 1987.

6)  Saint (& Pope) Pius V, "The just use of (executions), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this (Fifth) Commandment which prohibits murder." "The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566).

7) The Death Penalty: Mercy, Expiation, Redemption & Salvation

9) Pope Pius XII: "When it is a question of the execution of a man condemned to death it is then reserved to the public power to deprive the condemned of the benefit of life, in expiation of his fault, when already, by his fault, he has dispossessed himself of the right to live." 9/14/52.

10) "Moral/ethical Death Penalty Support: Modern Catholic Scholars"

11) Catholic Church: Problems with Her Newest Death Penalty Position:
The Catechism & Section 2267 

12) "In Defense of the Death Penalty", Chris Plance and Timothy Gordon, Church Militant, 11/28/17,

13) Archbishop Charles Chaput: 

“Both Scripture and long Christian tradition acknowledge the legitimacy of capital punishment . . . " "The Church cannot repudiate (the death penalty) without repudiating her own identity."  
"Archbishop Chaput clarifies Church’s stance on death penalty", CNA, Catholic News Agency, Oct 18, 2005. Chaput was then archbishop of Denver, now of Philadelphia


A Review of All Innocence Issues

14) "The same divine law which forbids the killing of a human being allows certain exceptions. Since the agent of authority is but a sword in the hand, and is not responsible for the killing, it is in no way contrary to the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’, for the representative of the State’s authority to put criminals to death, according to the Law or the rule of rational justice." St. Augustine, The City of God, Book 1, Chapter 21.

15) Christianity and the death penalty.

16)  "The rejection of capital punishment is not to be dignified as a ‘higher Christian way’ that enthrones the ethics of Jesus. The argument that Jesus as the incarnation of divine love cancels the appropriateness of capital punishment in the New Testament era has little to commend it. Nowhere does the Bible repudiate capital punishment for premeditated murder; not only is the death penalty for deliberate killing of a fellow human being permitted, but it is approved and encouraged, and for any government that attaches at least as much value to the life of an innocent victim as to a deliberate murderer, it is ethically imperative." Dr. Carl F. H. Henry, Twilight Of A Great Civilization, Crossway, 1988, p 70,72.

17) Catholic and other Christian References: Support for the Death Penalty,

18) "It is because humans are created in the image of God that capital punishment for premeditated murder was a perpetual obligation. The full range of biblical data weighs in its favor. This is the one crime in the Bible for which no restitution was possible (Numbers 35:31,33). The Noahic covenant recorded in Genesis 9 ("Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed. "Gen 9:6) antedates Israel and the Mosaic code; it transcends Old Testament Law, per se, and mirrors ethical legislation that is binding for all cultures and eras. The sanctity of human life is rooted in the universal creation ethic and thus retains its force in society. The Christian community is called upon to articulate standards of biblical justice, even when this may be unpopular. Capital justice is part of that non-negotiable standard. Society should execute capital offenders to balance the scales of moral judgement."  From "Capital Punishment: A Personal Statement", by Charles W. Colson., a former opponent. He is spiritual advisor and friend to numerous death row inmates and the Founder of Prison Fellowship, the largest Christian ministry serving incarcerated prisoners.

19) Pro Life: The Death Penalty

20)  With regard to some Catholic anti-death penalty statements, Catholic theologian Steven Long places the arrow:

" . . . (it) is symptomatic of a society that can garner more support to spare the guilty than to save the innocent."

"The crowd still wants Barrabas."

Four Catholic Journals Indulge in (anti-death penalty) Doctrinal Solipsism, Steven Long, THOMISTICA, March 5, 2015,

21) Categorical Pardon: On the Argument for Abolishing Capital Punishment, J. Budziszewski, 16 Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 43  (2002).

22) " . . . the decree of Genesis 9:5-6 is equally enduring and cannot be separated from the other pledges and instructions of its immediate context, Genesis 8:20-9:17; . . . that is true unless specific Biblical authority can be cited for the deletion, of which there appears to be none. It seems strange that any opponents of capital punishment who professes to recognize the authority of the Bible either overlook or disregard the divine decree in this covenant with Noah; . . . capital punishment should be recognized . . . as the divinely instituted penalty for murder; The basis of this decree . . . is as enduring as God; . . . murder not only deprives a man of a portion of his earthly life . . . it is a further sin against him as a creature made in the image of God and against God Himself whose image the murderer does not respect." (p. 111-113), Quaker scholar Dr. Gervas A. Carey. A Professor of Bible and past President of George Fox College, "A Bible Study", from Essays on the Death Penalty, T. Robert Ingram, ed., St. Thomas Press, Houston, 1963, 1992.
23) Pre Constantine Death Penalty Support


The Death Penalty: Fair & Just

95% of Murder Victim's Family Members Support Death Penalty

The Woman Caught in Adultery, the Death Penalty & John 8:2-11

Read these three, below, as one.  Letting Cain live and spread evil is what necessitated the Food.
Cain and His Family
From the Fall to the Flood
The Book of Jasher , Read Chapters 1-5, 

Is There a Biblical Requirement for Two Eyewitnesses for Criminal Prosecution

The Death Row "Exonerated"/"Innocent" Frauds 
 71-83% Error Rate in Death Row "Innocent" Claims, Well Known Since 2000 

"Killing Equals Killing: The Amoral Confusion of Death Penalty Opponents"

Murder Victims' Families Against The Death Penalty:

More Hurt For Victims' Families

Victim's Voices - These are the murder victims

Sister Helen Prejean: Does Truth Matter?

A Refutation of the ELCA Social Statement on the Death Penalty

"The DeLuna Deception: At the Death House Door" Can Rev. Carroll Pickett be trusted?"