Are Capital Punishment and Self-defense Biblical? Yes, capital punishment and self-defense are Biblical.

Many people object to capital punishment and self-defense. They will often cite the sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not kill,” as their basis for rejecting the death penalty and a person’s right to defend themselves and their property. However, the Bible definitely supports both means of “killing.”

Capital punishment was commanded for murder (Num. 35:31-31), for a stubborn and rebellious child (Deut. 21:18-21), for a witch (Ex. 22:18), for bestiality (Ex. 22:19), for homosexuality (Lev. 20:13), for prostitution (Deut. 22:21), for adultery (Deut. 22:22,25), etc.

And following the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the death penalty was not abolished. Paul said in his own defense, “if I be an offender or have done anything worthy of death, I refuse not to die,” (Acts 25:11). In Rom. 1, Paul lists a number of sins in verses 29-31, and concludes the list with, “they which commit such things are worthy of death.” In Rom. 13, he shows us that governing powers are ordained of God and have the command to use the sword to execute evildoers (Rom. 13:1-4).

As far as self-defense is concerned, the Lord specifically instructed the disciples to defend themselves with swords. At first, the disciples were sent out with no money and with just the clothes on their backs (Lk. 22:35), and they were given everything they needed along the way. However, at the end of Jesus’ ministry, the disciples were told to carry money on their future trips and to carry a sword (Lk. 22:36). The sword was so important, that Jesus told them to sell a garment if they didn’t have the money to buy one.

So, Jesus was continuing the Old Testament protection afforded property owners. In Exodus 22:2, it was legal for a property owner to kill a thief without suffering any legal consequences for killing him. The liberal mind can’t imagine God recommending death as a protection against or punishment for any crime. However, that’s what God told us He wanted. So, the liberal mind is just soft on God’s true judgments. That’s no surprise since they are also soft on God’s judgment of an eternity in the lake of fire for all those who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour.