Crime and Punishment: A Biblical Perspective

PMI Center for Biblical Studies

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Stephen McDowell

Crime is rampant throughout the world. Different nations combat crime in different ways with varying degrees of success. To properly deal with crime in society, we must first understand what causes crime. The Bible teaches that crime is caused by evil in men’s hearts.

And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  (Gen 6:5) 

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. (Gen 6:11)

The fall of man brought about corruption in the heart of man, which manifested itself externally with violence, murder, theft, and all manner of criminal behavior. God established civil government in the earth as the means of restraining evil doers and protecting law-abiding citizens (Genesis 9:6; Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14). It was given the use of the…

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