In every debate concerning the death penalty both the opponents and proponents support their positions with Bible verses. This article is written to show the correct teaching of the Bible.
The Bible tells us if a person commits certain acts, he should be put to death. Among other things, if a person commits premeditated murder, kidnaps a person, rapes someone, commits adultery, commits a homosexual act, hits his parents, or commits an act of witchcraft, he should be put to death. The law of God demands the death penalty for each of these acts, and those who support the death penalty build their argument on the verses that teach this.
Many of those opposed to the death penalty dismiss all the verses in the Bible in support of the death penalty because these verses are in the Old Testament, and now we are in the New Testament age and should love our enemies and forgive.
The correct understanding is to realize only those who are born-again Christians are living under the New Testament, and all the world outside of Christ is still under the law of God, and therefore should be subject to the punishments mandated by the law.
Those who live under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus are living in the New Testament grace and will never commit a capital crime. Those who commit capital crimes are under the Old Testament law and should be put to death.
Oh, and another thing. All executions should be public executions that others might fear. The death penalty is a great deterrent to crime. At least I do not know of anyone who was executed that ever committed another crime.