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WHEELER

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2011 :  15:24:39  


The Seventh Commandment in the Hebrew, specifically says "Thou shalt not murder". It doesn't say not kill.

I have the Septuagint Breton Translation. In it, it has "phono" and is translated as "Thou shalt not kill". Christ in Matthew, chapter 5, uses the word "phono" as well.

Is there a distinction in Greek of the Septuagint and New Testament between killing and murdering. Does the Greek word mean both things? Did an ancient Greek make a distinction between both? Is there a difference in context that a Greek would recognize?

"Skotoso" is that "To kill"? Was that part of Koine Greek?


 

George

Greece
615 Posts

Posted - 13 Sep 2011 :  18:01:10  

 

Hi Wheeler!

Yes, phoneuo is used for both senses, but is more related with planned killing, which is the reason the Commandments prefer this verb. Another verb also used in the Bible, having both meanings (murder and kill) is the verb apokteino.

Skotono appears first in the Byzantine period (so far as I know) and is in current use today along with phoneuo (apokteino is not used anymore), mainly as a noun and epithet (phonos, phoniko, etc).

Do you have any reason for thinking about these differences?

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WHEELER

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2011 :  10:18:30  

 

Yes, I do. I am very disturbed by a section of Roman Catholics that have turned the sayings of Jesus into saying that because of "love" we can't even commit capital punishment.

Vox Nova is a blog of liberal Catholics and in several posts, here and here

"I have nothing but disdain for the raising and pounding of fists in anticipation of a war, the gleeful celebration of some alleged terrorist being killed, or the whistling and applauding this evening at the mention of Rick Perry having executed more people than any other governor in modern times. Violence should break the heart, not propel it toward the heights of enthusiasm."

Capital punishment is not violence. Capital Punishment is Justice; it is Dikaios. Is it not? They are confusing terms together which is not right. All the commentators there, like a cheering section, think that capital punishment is wrong but there are many times in the OT that the Bible commands capital punishment. They are taking things to an extreme -- not Greek-like which is the Golden Mean.

The killing of terrorists as well, is a necessary event, sad, but it needs to be done.

Common sense must enter into the picture. I understand the message of mercy in the Gospel, that we are to turn the other cheek and not hold a grudge. That is normal Christian teaching. But when something is so outrageous a crime, sometimes capital punishment is justified, necessary and needful. For the victims, for the community, for the rule of law and for deterrent sake.

Wisdom is what is used to know what to use when. Wisdom should guide our actions. Right?

I just think these liberal Catholics are way out of line and don't understand the Greek and the context. Jesus' sayings are not against lawful state authorized capital punishment. In the Acts, the Holy Spirit condemned two people for lying to St. Peter. This contradiction here does not register for those folks. We are living in a crazy world where common sense is not working.

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George

Greece
615 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2011 :  11:15:43  

 

I don't remember this killing that you mention in the Acts. Could you give us an exact reference?

Aside from this, when we think about matters like these, we can somehow help our judgment not by trying to find passages in the Bible that support this or that idea, but by bringing ourselves in the position of a person that haves a living relationship with the Christ. What such a person would do? Similarly in the case of countries. If a country, its people and their state, were inspired mainly by faith, what would they do?

Imagine a saint, imagine an ascetic, who suffers an injustice or whatever. Can you imagine him killing?

At the state level, you speak about the Greek spirit as opposed to those "liberate" Catholics that condemn capital punishment. Byzantium was Greek, and Byzantium was an empire, fighting battles, etc. Yet Byzantium had abolished the death penalty completely. It still continued to use some penalties that were common those days and today seem brutal, such as maiming, but precisely because of the Christian influence the Byzantines did not use the death penalty.

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WHEELER

USA
69 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2011 :  12:56:37  

 

I didn't know that about the Byzantine Empire. Interesting. The reference is to chapter 5 in Acts, Ananias and his wife Sapphira. These people lied to St. Peter and they both lost their lives. This for "tempting the Spirit of the Lord". Capital punishment is not used for lying. In this case, it is. I think this in Acts clarifies what Jesus says. God sets the example for us. Here is an example. Jesus did not condemn killing, he condemned murder and holding hatred to our kinsmen.

Harmony is a rule of thumb, a law of nature. The Holy Spirit would not go against the Lord and His teachings. There is Harmony between all three. If killing is wrong, is the Holy Spirit doing wrong? No.

I think a Saint is under stricter rules, he would not kill if an injustice done to him, but would a Saint kill in order to defend the widow and the orphan?

I do not like calling "capital punishment" violence. Socrates said, "not speaking rightly harms the soul". (Phaedo, 115 e) By calling 'capital punishment' violence, they do a disservice and speak 'adikia'. Language needs to be used precisely and correctly at all times. Violence, in its essence, is unregulated, wild, action. That is not what capital punishment is. Capital punishment is regulated, controlled action that is authorized by some authority. It is not violence. Second, 'to kill' is a very different from 'murder'. A soldier kills but doesn't murder. Big distinction. If one looks at the iconostas, the archangels are all garbed in military gear. Even God finds it necessary to be protected by a military.

It is this though that is the rub, I have come to see that Roman Catholicism tends to think in extremes and takes very many things to the extreme. Such as the Divine Office has disappeared completely from the Cathedral Office and daily mass is now everywhere. It is their habit to take things to extremes. The Good, the Truth, Beauty, are all found in the Golden Mean and never in the extremes.

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George

Greece
615 Posts

Posted - 14 Sep 2011 :  15:55:17  

 

To the first of your points let us keep our difference, since I don't see either of us willing to concede. My position remains, that we should not compare ourselves with God or the Apostles (who, by God's grace were able not only to take but also to give life). God may kill, as He also is the only one that gives life in the beginning and always.

To your second point. Of course killing is a form of violence. Regulation in itself doesn't make killing less violent. Even the soldier, although not murdering in the same context as, let's say, a serial killer, yet he is violent. Violence is not unordered action, but an action that is being imposed. On the contrary, an action that meets the agreement and will of those who suffer it, orderly or not, is not violent.

Finally, recall what great absurdities the Catholic Church ended to by thinking that the Pope can be a second God, deciding to kill hundreds of millions as heretics. The arguments were similar to yours.

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