Friday, July 31, 2009

Capital Punishment, Part 2

The Flood is the dividing line of human history regarding capital punishment. The covenant with Noah was not abrogated by Moses. What does that mean? LISTEN HERE.


James the Thickheaded said...


Still listening. Not buying it. But still listening. :)

Came the other direction... not 'cause I'm a liberal... because I'm not. But I'm no Attilla the Hun either... nor do I suspect you are.

And I'm not saying I'm comfortable with my reasoning, because I'm not. I know it's shot through with problems "in the real world"... just as I strongly believe yours is, too. But then again, as my Dad always said, if you're uncomfortable, you're probably going in the right direction... or at least more right than wrong. And if you tick off both sides... hey.. then you're probably on to something.

s-p said...

Hi JtTh, Yeah, in the "real world" I act and look like a bleeding heart liberal, I'd imagine 90% of the people who know me would never guess I'm pro-death penalty. So at least I have that going for me. :) And its not a comfortable position to hold. I know both sides are loaded with problems both theologically and in "real world" practice, especially when it comes to less than perfect justice systems. (Which is on the agenda for discussion...) Anyway, I've gotten a LOT of good feedback on both sides, and I'm still treading water. Like an old elder once told me, "If people ain't in the market for it, they probably won't buy it." and I think so far it has at least made people think their positions through a bit more precisely (even me), which is more than I could hope for.

Romanicus said...

Are you saying that Gen 9:6 describes a covenant between God and Noah? I read this more as a prophecy. It's as if God is saying, "If someone kills, he will eventually be killed himself."

Which holy father comments on it?

Until now, the only covenant between God and Noah of which I was aware, is Gen 9:8-17 (the rainbow).

s-p said...

Romanicus, I don't know if it could be called a "covenant" since Orthodoxy doesn't generally hold to a "covenental framework". The sense of the passage is, before the flood Cain, Lamech and everyone else were NOT executed and it seems God is saying, "That didn't work" so He executed everyone but Noah and his family then started over again. The new "covenant" if you want to call it that is borne out in Moses and the Law. If a man sheds blood, by man his blood will be shed: capital punishment. You can't get around it being ordained by God no matter what you call the "deal" with Noah. The "holy fathers" don't have much commentary on the OT, so we have to extrapolate their thinking by how they approach the NT. They are not unanimous on capital punishment (and war) as the rest of the podcasts on the topic reveal. I hope this helps a little.
Thanks for the comment.