I definitely understand why God commanded the use of the death penalty in the Old Testament. However, I don’t understand why he said to use such violent, barbaric methods to kill the transgressor. Why, for example, does he tell to stone the person who breaks the law? Why not just behead the trespasser? It seems a lot more human and painless.
Maybe God felt it should be a community practice. The sins of one are the sins of all, so to sentence someone to death should be the responsibility of the whole community. Not just one executioner.
I disagree with the death penalty altogether. The death penalty is outlawed in many countries including the UK.
The death penalty for adultery and homosexuality, reminds me of the punishments in countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia.
The people who wrote the old testament law were iron age desert nomads, goat and sheep herders, and I think, these books should be read in this context.
Stoning is inexpensive. Rocks were plentiful in the desert where Moses and the Isralites wandered.
The Jews were not known as great metalworkers however. At the time the Law was given, most swords would have been captured in battle and quite valuable.
Well, there’s certainly an irony in that the Decalogue was given on tablets of stone. So, the violation of the commandments was treated sometimes with stone, too.
It’s certainly not a pun, that st. Paul says that the law brought death.
Somewhere, I don’t recall where, I picked up the idea that it was necessary to avoid personal contact with the one being executed. I don’t remember the details.