Beyond Retribution : A New Testament Vision for Justice, Crime, and Punishment

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2001-06-01
  • Publisher: Eerdmans Pub Co

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Recently a growing number of Christians have actively promoted the concept of "restorative justice" and attempted to develop programs for dealing with crime based on restorative principles. But is this approach truly consistent with the teaching of Scripture? To date very little has been done to test this claim. Beyond Retribution fills a gap by plumbing the New Testament on the topics of crime, justice, and punishment.

Christopher Marshall first explores the problems involved in applying ethical teachings from the New Testament to mainstream society. He then surveys the extent to which the New Testament addresses criminal justice issues, looking in particular at the concept of the justice of God in the teachings of Paul and Jesus. He also examines the topic of punishment, reviewing the debate in social thinking over the ethics and purpose of punishment -- including capital punishment -- and he advocates a new concept of "restorative punishment."

Author Biography

Christopher D. Marshall teaches New Testament studies at the Tyndale Graduate School of Theology in Auckland, New Zealand

Table of Contents

Series Prefacep. x
Prefacep. xiii
Abbreviationsp. xvii
Introduction: Gaining a Perspectivep. 1
Sources of Moral Guidancep. 4
The Problem of Focus: Criminal Justice from the Undersidep. 9
The Problem of Faith: Christian Ethics in the Public Arenap. 16
The Goal and Limitations of This Studyp. 31
The Arena of Saving Justice: The Justice of God in Paul and Jesusp. 35
Paul's Gospel of Divine Justicep. 38
Justice at the Heart of the Gospelp. 40
Divine Justice as Restorative Justicep. 45
Justification by Faith as Restorative Justicep. 53
Redemptive Solidarity, Not Penal Substitutionp. 59
Jesus as the Justice of Godp. 69
Forgiveness of Offendersp. 72
The Stance of Nonretaliationp. 77
Summaryp. 93
Punishment That Fits: The Purpose and Ethics of Punishmentp. 97
The Debate over Criminal Punishmentp. 98
The Rehabilitation Theoryp. 99
The Deterrence Theoryp. 104
The Retributivist Theoryp. 109
Other Approachesp. 129
Restorative Punishment?p. 131
Punishment as the Pain of Taking Responsibilityp. 132
Punishment as Symbol and Invitationp. 135
Summaryp. 140
Vengeance Is Mine: Divine and Human Punishment in the New Testamentp. 145
Punishment by Human Agencyp. 146
Punishment in Societyp. 146
Punishment in the Churchp. 149
Punishment by Divine Agencyp. 162
Historical Judgmentp. 162
Final Judgmentp. 175
Summaryp. 197
Justice That Kills: Is There a Place for Capital Punishment?p. 201
Capital Punishment in the Biblep. 204
The Death Penalty in the Old Testamentp. 204
The Death Penalty in Early Judaismp. 208
The Death Penalty in the New Testamentp. 213
A Critique of Biblical Arguments in Support of Capital Punishmentp. 214
Genesis 9:4-6p. 215
Pentateuchal Lawp. 217
New Testament Materialp. 223
Summary of the Biblical Argumentsp. 239
A Critique of Other Arguments for Capital Punishmentp. 241
The Need for Moral Boundariesp. 241
A Deterrent to Serious Crimep. 243
The Demands of Justicep. 246
Protection of the Innocentp. 248
Summaryp. 252
Conclusion: Forgiveness as the Consummation of Justicep. 255
Summary of Findingsp. 256
Imitatio Christi--Imitatio Deip. 259
The Nature and Task of Forgivenessp. 263
What Is Forgiveness?p. 263
What Forgiveness Is Notp. 270
The Dynamics of Forgivenessp. 275
Forgiveness and the Justice Systemp. 279
Bibliographyp. 285
Index of Scripture Referencesp. 317
Index of Modern Authorsp. 334
Index of Subjectsp. 340
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