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Ahmad: Misinterpretations again

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: This discussion board

Submitted by Joe (United States), Mar 19, 2006 at 18:15

Well first off I think we should clarify what you mean by murder. Murder, as in homicide, is not allowed in the Bible whatsoever. Killing is not allowed in the Bible either. Capital Punishment on the other hand can be interpreted to be allowed. However, the difference between the Qur'an and the Bible is that the offenses for capital punishment are specifically listed in the Bible as a code of law.

One can also argue that these lists were comprised a couple thousand years ago, pertinent only to that time period. You must remember what times were like during exodus: a mass migration of people without set homes or food sources or practically anything. Perhaps to tame the populations those statements on which man was expilicity ordered to shed the blood of other man.

In practice, most modern Christianity (as well as Judaism) does not advocate capital punishment, as exemplified by practically all of Europe's ban on capital punishment. Most of the US has also banned capital punishment, but many other factors keep its influence (including economic factors, ignorance of the populace, separation of church and state, etc.). Pope John Paul II represents the epitome of modern Christian thinking on capital punishment, and interpretation of the scriptures: He forgave his attempted assassin.

Now you may retort that this is because murder was not actually committed. However, in Catholicism intent is what is important. To attempt murder, and to actually try to kill someone or want to kill someone is just as bad as actually committing the murder. Therefore, if capital punishment were the just and God-given consequence of murder (whether it worked or not), The Pope would've had the assassin put to death. As you know, he was forgiven and let go.

New testament readings always teach forgiveness. Capital punishment is the denial of forgiveness, and as today's theologians (and as such masters of the books) show us, capital punishment is irrelevant in today's society.

One of God's first commands was that Cain (a murderer) should not be killed by any other. God in this case was the very first temporal judge, and he disallowed capital punishment and indeed any corporal punishment. In fact, those who would harm Cain would get the greater punishment than Cain himself !

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