Exodus 20:13, Thou Shalt Not Kill
Thou shalt not kill.
//This is one of the ten commandments. It’s recorded also in Deuteronomy 5:17, and repeated twice in the New Testament: once by Jesus (Matthew 5:21) and again by Paul (Romans 13:9). Always in the very same, clear language. Thou shalt not kill. Serious stuff.
So strong has this polemic grown that many Christians refuse to bear arms in battle; refuse to approve the death penalty; refuse to celebrate the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Now, I’m not arguing that war is good or that capital punishment is appropriate, nor can I think of anybody I’ve ever wanted killed. That’s hardly the Christian nature. But I do want to clarify what the Bible really says.
In each case, I’ve been quoting the King James Version. But the wording has been corrected in the New King James Version, and many other translations. A much more precise wording is Thou shalt not murder. It is hardly against the Law of God to justifiably kill another person; indeed, many of God’s laws require stoning the perpetrator to death. The Hebrew verb in this commandment is ratzach, which normally describes homicide. In particular, premeditated killing. In the few cases where it refers to accidental death, provision is recorded for a lesser sentence, making it clear that the Bible does not consider all forms or reasons for killing to be equally wrong.