Author Topic: killing & murdering in Scriptures  (Read 297 times)

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 41904
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
killing & murdering in Scriptures
« on: October 13, 2020, 02:38:36 PM »
I decided to do a study of the words and verses for "killing" and "murdering" in scriptures. I began by doing a search for "kill" and "murder" in BibleGateway.com. A search for "kill" also finds "kills," "killing," "killers, etc.; and similarly for "murder."

The search for "kill" in the NRSV came up with a total of 570 verses: 374 OT, 101 NT, and 95 Apoc.
The search for "murder" in the NRSV came up with a total of 125 verses: 77 OT; 31 NT, and 17 Apoc.

I charted which Hebrew and Greek words they used in nearly all 695 verses. (I wasn't able to find the verses in 2 Esdras.) The comments below come from the NRSV.

Before sharing some findings, I also did a comparison of a few other translations. Since a couple of them do not include the Apocrypha, these are the totals for just the OT & NT.

                 NRSV  CEB  ESV  NASB
"kill" OT       374   400  301   221
"kill" NT       101   110    92     80
TOTAL        475  510   393   301
"murder" OT  77     50     30     32
"murder" NT  31     36     29     27
TOTAL        108    86     59     59

While not delving deeply into the differences, I suspect that the great discrepancy in occurrences from the low numbers in NASB to the high in CEB/NRSV is that the NASB and ESV tend to be more literal. That is, one of the Hebrew words means "to pierce." In some contexts, the piercing causes death, so the meaning of the word in that context is "to kill," which is how the CEB and to a lesser extent the NRSV will translate it. In other contexts it means "to wound." Another Hebrew word means, "to strike" or "to smite." In some contexts, it refers to causing the death of a person, so it means to kill in those contexts. The CEB will make that clear in the translation. A phrase like "to strike with the sword," could mean wounding the other person. The NASB is willing to leave the ambiguity about the meaning.

Some observations from the 695 verses in the NRSV.

The most common Hebrew roots translated, "kill" are:
הגר
נכה
מות


Two observations about these three roots:
1. All are also translated with "murder" in a few contexts. Thus they can refer to both legal and illegal killing; and intentional and unintentional killing. The Torah makes a distinction between intentional and unintentional killing. There were cities of refuge where someone who accidentally killed another could flee and be safe. Those who intentionally killed another (committed murder,) were to be put to death (מות).
2. All three words are used of God killing humans as divine judgment against sin, e.g., the LORD killing the first born sons (Exodus 13:15); or, the statement in Deuteronomy 32:39: "See now that I, even I, am he; there is no god besides me. I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and no one can deliver from my hand." Presumably, such killing by God is justifiable. What these words describe is not always an illegal act.

A different root is the most common one for "murder". It is the one used in the Ten Commandments:
רצח
A few times this root is also translated "kill".
It is never used of God causing the death of a person. Thus, it seems to me, this is the preferred word for illegal or immoral killing, i.e., the crime of "murder." God would not be guilty of murdering human beings.

In the NT, the related words: φονεύω, "to murder," φόνος, "murder," and φονεύς "murderer,"  are always used for illegal and intentional killing = "murder," except, perhaps, Hebrews 11:37 where the NRSV, ESV, and NASB don't translate φόνος. The phrase in that verse: ἐν φόνῳ μαχαίρης ἀπέθανον, could be translated, "by murder of a sword they were killed."

« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 05:39:46 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

  • ALPB Contribution Leader
  • *****
  • Posts: 41904
  • ἐγὼ δὲ λέγω ὑμῖν, ἀγαπᾶτε τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑμῶν
    • View Profile
Re: killing & murdering in Scriptures
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2020, 06:10:03 PM »
He said God does not give the individual the right to murder. He said nothing about God retaining that right for Himself or giving that right to the community. Your responses so often obfuscate by not using the same subject as the things you're responding to.
The subject is killing human beings. There's an awful lot of that in the Bible. The NRSV has 570 verses with a form of "kill" in it, plus another 125 verses with a form of "murder" in it. There are verses where God kills people. There are verses where God asks the people to kill other people. Killing other people is not always forbidden. to.

Wrong again ... this discussion began with the statement “
The God I worship and believe in does not give the individual the right or permission to murder.”  This is the topic ... not what ever spin you wish to use to distract from the subject at hand.



I gave examples where God did give individuals the right and permission to kill - even children, which I would call murder.
Quote
Quote
How does God give the right to kill to the community? Isn't it through legal codes? The right to an abortion has been given to the community. The right to perform an abortion has been given to the experts in the field.
It is also better to obey God rather than man ... in the case of abortion, man’s laws transgress God’s laws. to.


God gave laws to the Jews, but God did not require the Jews to force his laws on everyone. Gentiles were not required to be circumcised. Gentiles could eat bacon wrapped shrimp stuffed with cheese. Gentiles could work on the Sabbath. We can do that in our country because the Jews did not force congress to turn this into a theocracy where all citizens had to follow the 613 commands from God in the Torah.


You can follow God's laws. You don't have to force them onto those who disagree with them.


Quote
Quote
Individuals kill in scriptures. Jael kills Sisera. David kills Goliath. Samson kills the Philistines.
Individuals do kill in scriptures.  You falsely insinuate that God blesses an activity simply because he allows activities to occur.


Nope, I made no judgment on these killings. However, when God orders the Israelites to kill people, I believe that God approves of it. Conversely, God punished Israel and Judah because they didn't destroy all the pagans that were living in the lands.


To take another approach, what are the biblical verses you use to support your anti-abortion position? Note well, I am anti-abortion, I just don't think the decision should be controlled by the government or insurance companies. I also believe that the better way to reduce the number of abortions is to prevent unwanted pregnancies; not through legislation.
"The church … had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

readselerttoo

  • Guest
Re: killing & murdering in Scriptures
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2020, 08:04:33 PM »
Yep.  This thread proves St. Paul’s point:  “...through the law comes the knowledge of sin.”

Julio

  • ALPB Forum Regular
  • ****
  • Posts: 285
  • Still awaiting the Certified Election Results!
    • View Profile
Re: killing & murdering in Scriptures
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 01:17:51 AM »
James:

You have defended the faith... you have contended for the truth ... in dealing with Rev. Stoffregen, Rev. Speckhard most recent post applies here as well ...
Nuff said.