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Some Information About Biblical Honor Killing

By Nita McKinney
There are many people who hold divergent views on the issue of biblical honor killing. Christian apologists will say that there is no such thing while there are those who will argue that in fact the Bible contains references to the same and in fact advocates for that punishment. There is however textual evidence in the Bible that shows that this was a practice that was among the laws of the early Christians. The punishments may no longer be practiced in their faith today but it is a strong point of argument to show that the practice is not a strictly Islamic affair. In fact, there is no evidence of any text advocating for that form of punishment in the Quran.

One of the texts that advocates for the murder of those who bring shame to their families is Leviticus chapter 21verses 9. It says that a daughter of a priest who practices prostitution should be burned to death. This is because she brings shame to her father, a priest, who is of high standing in the community. This is a straightforward example of such punishments to protect a reputation.

Other instances where the same harsh death penalty is imposed are found in Leviticus chapter 20 verses 9. Here, the death penalty is imposed on those who show disrespect by insulting their fathers and mothers. The same view is repeated in Exodus chapter 21verses17.

The above examples therefore point out the existence of honor killings in the Bible. Christians and other people therefore, do not have a basis for claiming that the practice does not have Christian roots. The Bible is one of the pillars of the Christian faith and outlines how Christians may behave right in the eyes of God.

Whenever what is perceived to be a fatal punishment meted against a person to protect the name of their family is reported, there is always a flare up of this argument. The reason for the misconception stems from the fact that predominantly Islam countries such a Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Palestine and Pakistan are where the reports mostly emanate from. This does not prove anything as there are other countries such as Indonesia where there is a large Islamic population but there are no such incidents that are reported.

The argument always starts with those who identify with Christianity faulting Islam as a barbaric faith for condoning such severe punishments. There are also instances where the punishments are meted by members of other religions such as Hindus and Sikhs in India. It is important to note that in predominantly Christian states such as Italy and Brazil, there have also been cases of such punishments.

The tribal practices of people are the main determinants of whether these kinds of punishments are meted out. This can be evidenced that the incidents are only reported in some areas. Given that Islam requires strict adherence to its laws, if it advocated the practice, then it would be more widespread than it is.

The cultural practices of people will always shape how people practice their religion. People will choose to modify their religion to fit to what they believe should be done. This is why biblical honor killings must have occurred at the time of writing the holy book.

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