by email

in reader




Though hostiles from an aggressor nation could be made into slaves for war reparations (Lev. 25:44-46; Josh. 9:23), all Biblical slaves (indentured servants) had basic God-given rights that would rule out torture: A) Beatings could only be inflicted on slaves for clear-cut punishment for documented disobedience (Luke 12:44-48). There is no evidence that slaves could be beaten to extract information from them. Keep in mind that “a child is no different from a slave” (Gal. 4:1). This means that any corporal punishment that is ungodly for a parent to inflict upon his child would also be ungodly to inflict upon his slave. This first principle would clearly rule out waterboarding. B) Second, slaves were always to be treated with respect, and not with cruelty (Lev 25:46,53). Interrogation techniques that are cruel or harsh should not be used. C) Scripture protected slaves with the lex talionis principle just as it did any other citizen, and if permanent damage of any type was inflicted on such a captive (Ex. 21:20-27), he was to be let free (Ex. 21:26-27; Lev 24:19-22). Likewise, equivalent punishment was to be inflicted on the torturer: “as he has done, so shall it be done to him— fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him… You shall have the same law for the stranger and for one from your own country; for I am the LORD your God.’ ” (Lev. 24:19-22).
- Phillip Kayser, Torture: A Biblical Critique, p. 17-18, http://biblicalblueprints.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Torture.pdf.