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Capital Crimes in the Bible

    The example of our Lord in forgiving sinners—for instance the woman caught in adultery (John viii: 1‑11)—suggests that Christian society can and should be forgiving when it is possible to do so without causing further damage to victims and society.  Nonetheless, the fact that God designated certain crimes as worthy of death speaks to the fact of their great evil—an evil which is in no way condoned by forgiveness.  The mercy of Jesus Christ must never be confused with "permission to sin."

  • Murder:  Genesis ix: 5-6;  Exodus xxi: 12-15.

  • Kidnapping:  Exodus xxi 16;  Deuteronomy xxiv: 7

  • Cursing one's parents:  Exodus xxi: 17;  Leviticus xx: 9; 

  • Negligence in controlling a dangerous animal:  Exodus xxi: 29.

  • Sorcery:  Exodus xxii: 18;   Leviticus xx: 27

  • Bestiality:  Exodus xxii: 19;  Leviticus xviii: 23;  xx:15-16

  • Worship of false gods:  Exodus xxii: 20

  • Enticement to false gods:  Deuteronomy xiii: 6-16

  • Affliction of widows or orphans:   Exodus xxii: 21-23.

  • Offering children to Moloch:  Leviticus xx: 2.

  • Adultery:   Leviticus xx: 10;  Deuteronomy xxii: 22-27.

  • Incest:  Leviticus xviii: 6-18;  xx: 11-12, 14

  • Sodomy:   Leviticus xviii: 22;  xx: 13

  • Blasphemy:   Leviticus xxiv: 14-16

  • Mediums, fortunetellers:  Leviticus xx: 27.

  • False prophecy:  Deuteronomy xiii: 5-6; 


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