Is the Death Penalty Just?
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Is the Death Penalty Just?

About the Book

The story of the Church in the modern era is one of Christians molding the Bible to the ideas of the times. Laypeople and theologians alike have rejected Biblical justice in civil government, which has victimized victims, pardoned perpetrators, and indicted the innocent. Hebrews 2:2 says that in the Law "every transgression and disobedience received a just reward". But if we allow our ideas to shape our jurisprudence, instead of scripture, we will miss out on the blessing of the "perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25). God’s Holy Word alone should determine the parameters for righteous punishment of crimes.

Because He is wiser than we are, God has provided us with a flexible legal framework that offers both mercy and justice to victim, accused, and perpetrator. Humility must drive our application of the Bible to jurisprudence and the punishment of criminals so that we "do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24).

About the Author

Phillip Kayser
Phillip Kayser

Phillip Kayser has degrees in education, theology, and philosophy. Ordained in 1987, he currently serves as Senior Pastor of Dominion Covenant Church, a Presbyterian (CPC) church in Omaha, Nebraska. He also serves as Professor of Ethics at Whitefield Theological Seminary and President of the Providential History Festival.

Pastor Kayser has spoken at over 50 conferences in the last 10+ years, such as the National Council of Family Integrated Churches conference and the Generations Shepherds Conference. He also helps churches and church plants with problem solving.

Most of his sermons are online, along with many other booklets, blog posts, and other valuable resources at

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
    • Why the need for Biblical justice?
    • The Misuse Of Biblical Civil Law
  • 1. Objections Answered
    • Objection 1 – “If we accept the Old Testament penalty for murder, then we need to accept the death penalty for adultery, homosexuality, bestiality, blasphemy and all the rest.”
    • Objection 2 - “In John 8:3-11 Christ removes the death penalty.”
    • Objection 3 – “The death penalty does not deter criminals.”
    • Objection 4 – “We ought to be concerned about the salvation of his soul, and the death penalty puts an end to that possibility.”
    • Objection 5 – “The poor are convicted and the wealthy escape.”
    • Objection 6 – “David wasn’t executed for his murder of Uriah.”
    • Objection 7 – “Cain was not executed.”
    • Objection 8 – “The New Testament commands us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44), to not take ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ (Matt. 5:38) and to not avenge ourselves since vengeance belongs to the Lord (Rom. 12:19).”
    • Objection 9 - “What if an innocent man is executed?”
    • Objection 10 – “Prison is more humane than capital punishment.”
    • Objection 11 – “Those who advocate capital punishment are not consistently pro-life.”
    • Objection 12 – “There are other legitimate forms of justice than those given in Scripture.”
    • Objection 13 – “This would lead to a blood bath if we were to implement that law today because almost our entire nation is implicated in capital crimes.”
  • 2. Conclusion
  • Appendix A
    • Checks & Balances in God’s Legal System that Protected the Accused
  • Appendix B
    • A Listing of the Capital Crimes
  • About the Author
  • Notes

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