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  • I don't see how this problem is a "Christian" thing. Almost everyone I know draws distinctions between killing and murder. The law certainly does, at least in our country, and in most countries I know of. *shrug*
    • You're right (again!) of course, but the point is that most countries have well defined legal systems that decide whether a particular incident is murder or not. I don't see anything similar in the Bible.

      Or do you mean that when the Bible says "murder", it means "any action that would be considered murder under the legal code of the country in which you perpetrate said act". Seems strange to me that God would delegate such important decisions to "local" government. Particularly in countries like the US whe

      • by pudge (1) on 2001.10.15 8:53 (#1574) Homepage Journal
        Well, the Bible -- the New Testament, anyway -- has no well-defined legal system at all. It does, however, have different words with more-or-less clear meanings. See Matthew 5:21-22, where Christ quotes the Commandment (but in Greek). The word used there is phonos, which has a history in contemporary literature (Homer, Diodorus, Simonedes, Aelius Aristedes). It sometimes means "killing with anger as a cause" or "bloody deeds", but the emphasis is always on the fact that this kind of killing was morally wrong.

        This is to be contrasted with the much more common word, apokteino (see, e.g., Matt. 10:28), which is used to describe generally depriving someone of life. I think if it were meant that generally depriving someone of life were always wrong, they would not draw a distinction. That's the general consensus, anyway.

        I did not mean to say at all that God delegates moral authority to the government (although that is another whole discussion, and according to the NT, God does delegate authority in many cases to the government), but only that you seemed to be presenting the notion of a distinction between "kill" and "murder" as a Christian invention or peculiarity, and while it may or may not be descended from Judeo-Christian ethics, it is a common view amongst many peoples.