LAW 501-001 – Foundations of Law I


Law in general is a "rule of action which is prescribed by some superior, and which the inferior is bound to obey."

Common law is the unwritten principles that have attained recognition as having the status of law by custom and long usage without the sovereign.

Laws of Nature and Nature's God

God is sovereign over all and is the ultimate lawgiver

James 4:12
There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

LONANGLaws of nature and nature's God

  • From Jefferson in Declaration of Independence and before from Blackstone
  1. Laws of Nature

    Law of nature is the will of the maker revealed in nature.

    • Innate knowledge of right and wrong
    • Applies to everyone
      • Romans 1:18–20
        For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
        19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
        20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
      • Romans 2:14–15
        For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
        15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
    • Also can mean stuff like gravity and instinct
  2. Laws of Nature's God
    • Law of Nature's God is the will of the maker revealed in the Scriptures.
    • Part of the law of nature
    • Written because of man's fall
    • Example of the ten commandments

Characteristics:

  • Immutable law of good and evil
  • Superior to all other law
  • Binding on all people all over the globe at all times
  • Applies forever
    • Psalm 119
      Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
  • No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this
  • All valid human laws derive all their force from this original
Created Order

Basics of created order (from Genesis 9?):

  1. Life
  2. Family
  3. Property
  4. Relationship with God
Mosaic Law

Israel:

  1. Model Civil Nation
  2. Redemptive Nation

Basic Framework for Determining if Mosaic Law is Binding:

  1. Assume it is.
  2. What is the purpose of the law?

    • General Law?

      • Devotion to God
      • Protection of Life
      • Protection of Family
      • Protection of Property
    • Israel's Law?

      • Part of Israel's Redemptive Purpose
  3. Consider culture.
  4. Look for New Testament references.

    • 1 point for gist
    • 1 point for book & chapter
    • Extra point for first 5 verses not from class

How to analyze whether Mosaic Law applies (from Midterm Review):

  • Assume it is binding
  • Created Order
    • Worshipping of God as Creator
    • Protection of Life
    • Protection of Family
    • Protection of Property
    • Contextual Hints:
      • Unlawful before Israel existed
      • Applied to other nations
      • Applied to foreigners or strangers
      • Often repeated in the New Testament
  • Redemptive Order
    • Contextual Hints:
      • Holiness/set apart language
      • Not repeated in the NT or are expressly fulfilled in the NT
      • Example. E.g., sacrificial laws or food laws.
  • Other discontinuities between Mosaic Law and Today
    • The cross removes our need for sin sacrifices after Christ.
    • Culture: Battlement for roof not required today because guests are not entertained on roofs today.

Applying LONANG (from Midterm review):

  • Law is LON
    • Our hearts tell us
    • We usually try to hide it
  • Law is LONG
    • Prohibited in OT
    • Prohibition is part of the Mosaic Covenant
    • Created to protect created order
    • NT condemns
    • Jesus does not condone
    • Law is binding on all people
    • Their agreement is invalid
  • Conclusion
Jurisdiction

God has jurisdiction over all areas of human life, but human government only has jurisdiction over some areas.

The presumption is that civil government does not have jurisdiction.

Government can only punish evil conduct, not evil desires alone. It should also reward the good.

  • Romans 13:3–4
    For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
    4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
  • Matthew 5:22
    But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
  • Matthew 15:19
    For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:

God has absolute jurisdiction over matters of faith and the mind to the exclusion of the state.

State has no power to enforce the duty man has to worship his Creator.

  • Mark 12:17
    And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.
  • Acts 5:28–29
    Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
    29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
  • Psalm 7:9
    Oh let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end; but establish the just: for the righteous God trieth the hearts and reins.
  • 1 Samuel 16:7
    But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
  • Jeremiah 17:10
    I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

No civil enforcement in Israel indicates lack of jurisdiction.

Civil enforcement in Israel indicates potential for jurisdiction, but one must consider the discontinuities between Israel and modern civil government.

  • Is the penalty tied to the specific covenant with Israel where God is the civil magistrate in Israel? i.e. Mosaic Law
  • Were there subsequent penalty modifications or a fulfillment of that law?

Civil enforcement being condoned in other nations indicates potential for jurisdiction.

No civil enforcement being condoned in other nations indicates lack of jurisdiction.

Civil government does not have jurisdiction if enforcement given to others like God, the family, the church, or individuals.

  • Church Government
    • 1 Timothy 3:1–13
      • Gives qualifications for a ruler in the church.
    • 1 Corinthians 5:9–12
      I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
      10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
      11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
      12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
    • The church's enforcement mechanism is excommunication from fellowship with the church.
  • Family Government
    • Colossians 3:18–21
      Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
      19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
      20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
      21 Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
    • Proverbs 6:20
      My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
    • The church's enforcement mechanism is excommunication from fellowship with the church.
  • Self-Government
    • Scriptures assume we are beings that can make moral choices of our own free will.
    • E.g. Scriptures impose the duty to rescue upon the individual, not upon the government.

God commands to care for the poor, but there are no recorded instances of Israel's civil government punishing people for not doing so.

  • Leviticus 19:10
    And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God.
  • Matthew 25:41–43
    Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
    42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
    43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

Civil government has no jurisdiction to force its citizens to rescue others.

  • Luke 10:25–37
    • Story of the good Samaritan
  • Neither the Old nor New Testaments prescribes punishment for failing to rescue.
  • Duty to rescue is born out of love, which government cannot compel.
  • Slippery slope of forcing love

Three major principles:

  1. Power must be expressly granted to civil government; otherwise, it does not exist. God expressly told man what government should do when He created it in Genesis 9.
  2. A Christian view of government provides great liberty.
  3. When considering whether a law is valid, one must also consider who has been granted jurisdiction to enforce it.

God laid it out so nations only have jurisdiction over people within their territories.

  • Acts 17:26–27
    Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
    26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
Equality
Application of Equality Principle
  1. Ask whether law selects a certain group for differential treatment?
  2. If it does, the law is presumed to violate the Equality Principle.
  3. But can the law be justified on some ground consistent with the character of God?
    • Law where only justification is special privilege for favored classes violate Equality Principle.
    • Law respecting the special abilities or skills of a group of persons may be permissible. (E.g. Gov’t can hire best policemen) (Licensing laws?)
    • Law that makes racial distinctions violates Equality Principle.
    • Law that makes distinctions based on citizenship may be permissible if limited to the basic political integrity of the nation. I.e. ruling, voting.
    • Law that makes sex distinctions may be permissible if based upon inherent differences b/t men and women recognized in the Bible.
    • Laws that make distinctions based on choices are permissible. I.e. 14th Amendment protects right to vote except “for participation in rebellion or other crime.”

If a law selects a certain group for differential treatment, it is presumed to violate the equality principle.

The foundational principle of equality is found in the character of God.

  • Deuteronomy 10:17
    For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

God judges without partiality as He has only one standard of justice.

  • All are equally condemned by the law of sin and death
    • Romans 3:23
      For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
    • Romans 6:23
      For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • All are equally declared innocent by the law of the Spirit of life.
    • Galatians 3:27–28
      For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
      28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.Lord.
    • Romans 8:2
      For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
  • All are equally invited to be saved.
    • John 3:16
      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
    • 1 Timothy 2:4
      Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    • 2 Peter 3:9
      The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

We are made in His image, so, the civil government must also judge without partiality.

  • Deuteronomy 1:17
    Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
  • Deuteronomy 16:19
    Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.

Partiality violates the principle of equality when it concerns:

  • Economic status
    • Leviticus 19:15
      Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
  • Power
    • Leviticus 19:15
      Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.
    • Deuteronomy 1:17
      Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
  • Appearance
    • John 7:24
      Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
  • Family ties
    • Romans 8:32
      He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

God does respect choices.

  • Colossians 3:25
    But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.
  • Romans 6:23
    For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God does give different people different abilities.

  • 1 Corinthians 4:7
    For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
  • 1 Kings 4:29–30
    And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore.
    30 And Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt.
  • Exodus 31:1–5
    • Bezaleel was a master artisan

Equality does not mean equality of participation; rather, it means equality of opportunity for God's justice.

The antithesis of this equality principle is special privileges for favored classes.

The Declaration of Independence says "all men are created equal".

Slavery

The seminal events in both the Old Testament and the New Testament warrant against slavery.

In the Old Testament, God redeemed the Hebrew people who were slaves in Egypt.

  • Exodus 13:14
    And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:
  • Exodus 20:2
    I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

In the New Testament, Christ's death on the cross redeems sinners from slavery to sin.

  • Exodus 13:14
    And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:
  • Galatians 5:1
    Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Mosaic law punished slave trading with the death penalty.

  • Exodus 21:16
    And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

Mosaic law instructed Hebrews not return a slave to his master.

  • Deuteronomy 23:15–16
    Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:
    16 He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.

Paul includes kidnapping among the list of sins committed by the ungodly.

  • 1 Timothy 1:9–10
    Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
    10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
Race

There is only one race.

  • Acts 17:26
    And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Male and female are both fully human.

  • Genesis 5:2
    Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.

Man is made in God's image and thus has inherent value.

  • Genesis 1:26–27
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.created.

Man has no authority to rule another man.

  • Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
Citizenship

Unlike with race, God does recognize that there are different nations.

  • Genesis 10:32
    These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
  • Acts 17:26
    And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
  • Exodus 22:21
    Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.
  • Exodus 22:21
    One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.
  • Deuteronomy 17:15
    Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

Law that makes distinctions based on citizenship may be permissible if limited to preserving the basic identity/integrity of the nation.

Sex
  • Genesis 2:18
    And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
  • Colossians 3:18
    Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.
  • Genesis 3:16, 21
    Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
    21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.
  • Judges 4
    • Deborah was a wife and a judge.
  • Proverbs 31
    • Virtuous woman sells merchandise and clothing and runs her own business.
Affirmative Action
Race

There is only one race.

  • Acts 17:26
    And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Everyone should bear their own guilt. The government cannot punish the innocent.

  • Deuteronomy 24:16
    The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
  • Ezekiel 18:20
    The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
  • Jeremiah 31:27–30
    Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.
    28 And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the Lord.
    29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.
    30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
  • Romans 2:6
    Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

Official race discrimination has produced intolerable injustices in society that beg for a remedy.

Remedies must comport with the LONANG. Any proposed remedy, therefore, must not punish innocent victims, for that is unjust.

Esther 8 seems to permit state to issue race distinctive measures to counteract previous state-inflicted injuries upon a particular race

Remedy’s against the state itself would bypass concern that the sons are punished for the sins of their fathers.

For those wrongs that the civil government cannot address, we trust that God will repay each person according to what they have done. Romans 2:6.

Fault

The secular worldview on fault says that man is not responsible for his actions, man is a product of his environment, if you change the environment you will change the man, and man is perfectible.

Adam and Eve blamed others in Genesis 3. However, God's command to not eat the fruit in Genesis 2 presumes that man has the ability to choose whether to obey or not.

Man should not be determined by his environment, as God commanded man to subdue his environment as part of the dominion mandate in Genesis 1. Also in Genesis 1, God tells man that he was made in His image.

God punished Adam and Eve for violating his command not to eat the fruit of the tree. Genesis 3:24.

Israel had a tort system. Goring oxen and uncovered pits were covered in Exodus 21, grazing cattle and spreading fire in Exodus 22, and battlements in Deuteronomy 22.

  • Spreading fire and goring oxen seem to be strict liability, but with a remedy diminished by fault.

Romans 13 presupposes that the civil magistrate can punish man for his wicked acts. Otherwise, it would be unjust to impose punishment.

Main is a moral agent who is responsible for his actions.

  • Romans 2:6
    [God] will render to every man according to his deeds:
  • Galatians 6:7
    Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

All are presumed to know the law. Therefore, ignorance of the law is not a defense to a violation of criminal or civil law.

Ignorance of LONANG is not an excuse b/c the law is written on our hearts.

However, ignorance may be an excuse from a violation of “municipal law” b/c such a law is not written on man’s heart.

Defenses to Fault
Insanity

There are three tests for liability for insanity.

  1. Durham test
    • The rule . . . is simply that an accused is not criminally responsible if his unlawful act was the product of mental disease or defect.
  2. M'Naghten test
    • At the time of the committing of the act, the party accused was laboring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong.
    • The M'Naghten test most closely comports with LONANG. It assumes that man controls his own faculties and can overcome even difficult mental conditions to make right choices.
  3. Model Penal Code test
    • A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect, he lacks a substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.

In Mark 5, the Gadarene demoniac seemed to loose control of himself but still recognized Jesus for who he was.

Necessity

Most jurisdictions do not recognize necessity as a defense to a crime.

  • John 15:13
    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
  • Proverbs 6:30–31
    Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
    31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
Contract

The source of contract is God.

Contract law is not the creature of society b/c it existed before society.

The obligation/right of contract comes from LONANG.

It is an unalienable right bestowed upon us by God.

Accordingly, while the state may enforce contracts, it may not impair them.

  • Numbers 30:2
    If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
  • Matthew 5:37
    But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

God fulfills His promises, and as creatures made in His image, we should do the same.

  • Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
  • Numbers 23:19
    God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

The Bible implies that contracts should be honored even when induced by fraud.

  • Israel honored their treaty with the Gibeonites in Joshua 9.
  • Jacob married Leah when deceived into it in Genesis 29.

Leviticus 6 and Numbers 5 also say that defrauders must pay restitution plus a fifth.

The Bible does not condone contracts to accomplish unlawful purposes.

  • 1 Samuel 25:1–35
    • David repented of his oath to kill Nabal.
Bankruptcy

The Mosaic Law had a seven year release period. Deuteronomy 15.

This is, like, sort of similar to modern bankruptcy.

Psalm 37:21

The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.
Unconscionability

Unconscionability is when "in light of general commercial background . . . the clauses are so one-sided as to be unconscionable under the circumstances at the time of the making of the contract"

Some courts have said, “shocks the conscience.”

Esau sold his birthright and was not able to nullify it. Genesis 25; Hebrews 12.

The Bible commands people not to oppress the poor.

  • Proverbs 14:31
    He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
  • Proverbs 22:22
    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:

Jesus cast out the moneychangers for price gouging temple-goers.

  • Matthew 21:12–13
    And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
    13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

The Bible says not to make contracts that would be unconscionable or unfulfilled.

  • Ecclesiastes 5:5
    Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.
  • Luke 6:34–35
    And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
    35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
  • Proverbs 14:31
    He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
  • Proverbs 22:22
    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
Property

God told man to have dominion over the earth. Genesis 1.

  • God gives man title to property with respect to other people, but He gives the responsibility of stewardship with respect to God.
    • Man has delegated authority to exercise prudent dominion over property.
    • Man cannot have superior title to God.
  • Property that is not subdued remains God’s, but with the authority for one to subdue it.

God owns all things. Genesis 14; Psalm 50; Psalm 24; Colossians 1.

Commandments against stealing and coveting. Exodus 20.

Proverbs 31 woman.

Matthew 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Jesus said to give to the hungry, thirsty, naked, and poor. Matthew 25.

Jesus said to "lend, hoping for nothing again" in Luke 6.

Ananias and Sapphira were killed for lying about giving all their profit. Acts 5.

Property is given by God.

  • Job 1:21
    And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Blackstone on Property
  • Foundation of Property ownership?
    • Genesis 1, the dominion mandate.
  • Title to man?
    • God gave man title to the land “in common to all.”
  • Why personal property?
  • How does one lay claim to property?
    • First taker: 1st to occupy or possess gave the original right to permanent property ownership
  • Right to transfer personal property?
    • Right to transfer is a creature of civil or municipal laws.
    • It is not a natural right.
Kent on Property
    • Foundation of Property ownership
      • Genesis 1, the dominion mandate.
    • Title to man?
      • Disagreed with Blackstone; God did not give man title to property “in common to all.”
    • Why personal property?
      • The Law of Nature (not necessity) gave rise to personal property.
      • It is a natural right.
    • How does one lay claim to property?
      • First taker: 1st to occupy or possess gave the original right to permanent property ownership.
    • Right to transfer personal property?
      • Right to transfer is an unalienable natural right.
Locke on Property
  • Foundation of Property ownership?
    • The Bible.
  • Title to man?
    • God gave man title to the land “in common to all.”
  • Why personal property?
    • It was made for man, and it is no use to man unless he can lay some exclusive claim to it.
  • How does one lay claim to property?
    • By adding labor to it.
  • Right to transfer personal property?
    • Right to transfer is an unalienable natural right.
Bible on Property
  • Foundation of Property ownership?
    • The Bible.
  • Title to man?
    • God gave man title to property with respect to other persons.
    • God gave man stewardship to property with respect to Him.
  • Why personal property?
    • To fulfill the dominion mandate.
    • It is a natural right.
  • How does one lay claim to property?
    • By “subduing” it.
  • Right to transfer personal property?
    • Right to transfer is an unalienable natural right.
Inheritance

In Israel's system of inheritance:

  • The eldest son received double portion. (Deuteronomy 12:15-17)
  • If there were no sons, daughters were allowed to inherit the father's land. (Numbers 27:8)
  • If there were no direct heirs, then the next of kin would inherit. (Numbers 27:9-11)
  • Land could not pass to another tribe.

Blackstone believed inheritance is a creature of the state and they can regulate anything about it.

Locke, Kent, and Prof. Martins believe Inheritance is a right under LONANG as part of the right ot own private property in the first place. Therefore, the civil government should not be able to tax or take inherited property, although the owner may devise it upon his death as the right to transfer is an unalienable natural right.

Estate Tax

Estate taxes are probably not valid, as inheritance is a natural right that was presupposed in Israel.

God gave Israel the land as an inheritance. Joshua 1.

God gave the promised land to individual families. Joshua 14.

It was normal that children inherited from their parents. Numbers 27.

Property is given in the context of family in Genesis 1.

The civil magistrate in Israel was prohibited from taking the people’s inheritance. Ezekiel 46.

There was no estate tax in Israel.

The Bible gives jurisdiction to the family to care for the elderly, not to the federal government like with Medicare and Social Security.

Parents need to store up for their children. 2 Corinthians 12.

Children need to honor parents by caring for them in their older days. Mark 7.

Tax
Head Tax

Israel had a head tax.

The head tax was collected at the temple, but the temple was both the civil and the ecclesiastical center of Israel.

The throne of God was in the Holy of Holies in the Temple.

The Sanhedrin met there for civil duties.

Thus, the head tax was for the protection of the civil government.

The head tax was imposed equally—the rich and the poor paid the same. Exodus 30:15.

The head tax was a fixed amount that was small enough for the poor to pay. The civil government cannot interfere with people's responsibilities to their families or the church.

The head tax supported the civil order, not the social order.

Tithes

Israel had a 10% social tithe. Leviticus 27; Numbers 18.

Israel had a 3⅓% poor tithe. Deuteronomy 14; Deuteronomy 26.

These tithes only applied to income or increase. There was no tax on those who did not have profit that year.

All with income paid the tithes, investing themselves in the social order.

These tithes were mandatory, but the state did not control them. It was up to the individual to bring them.

The tithes supported the social order, not the civil order. This gave the people control over the social order.

King Saul imposed a tyrannical tax system. 1 Samuel 8.

The Bible is unclear on whether Israel's tax system is binding on all other nations. However, because the system was created by God, it cannot be unjust. Therefore, there are some principles about proper taxation that can be gleaned from Israel’s tax system.

Estate Tax

Estate taxes are probably not valid, as inheritance is a natural right that was presupposed in Israel.

God gave Israel the land as an inheritance. Joshua 1.

God gave the promised land to individual families. Joshua 14.

It was normal that children inherited from their parents. Numbers 27.

Property is given in the context of family in Genesis 1.

The civil magistrate in Israel was prohibited from taking the people’s inheritance. Ezekiel 46.

There was no estate tax in Israel.

The Bible gives jurisdiction to the family to care for the elderly, not to the federal government like with Medicare and Social Security.

Parents need to store up for their children. 2 Corinthians 12.

Children need to honor parents by caring for them in their older days. Mark 7.

Property Tax

Property taxes are probably not valid.

God owns all land. Psalm 24.

God alone has jurisdiction over the land.

There was no land tax in Israel.

God warned Israel that tyrants take the people's land. 1 Samuel 8.

Income Tax

Income taxes may or may not be valid.

Israel's tithes were income taxes, but were a fixed percentage and brought by the tither, not collected by the government.

Criminal Justice

There are four primary schools of thought on criminal justice:

  1. Retribution

    Retribution is when a harm is inflicted on a wrongdoer as a punishment for his crime, equal to the wrong he did, and says this is required by justice.

  2. Deterrence

    Deterrence is a theory of justification for criminal law and punishment asserting that the punishment of a person who has committed a prohibited act is justified by the effect upon others who therefore will not commit such an act.

    According to deterrence, the law should discourage people from doing harm or wrong.

  3. Rehabilitation

    Rehabilitation says punishment is justified where it is intended to improve the offender.

    Its goal is to change the behavior of the offender.

  4. Social Justice

    Social justice says punishment is justified by its goal to promote community or reconciliation of all within society.

Lex Talionis

Leviticus 24:17–21

And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.
18 And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast.
19 And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him;
20 Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.
21 And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death.

The "eye for an eye" principle demanded retribution for violent personal offense. Exodus 21. However, it was not literally applied for property damages, where the law demanded restitution be made. Leviticus 24.

The underlying principle is never revenge.

The law demanded punishment is accordance with Romans 13.

  • It also demanded restitution, purging of sin, and protecting the image of man.

The underlying principle was that the punishment must be proportional to the crime, although the remedies usually exceeded the value of the offense in property crimes.

  • Stealing an animal was to be repaid 2–5 times over. If unable to, he was to be sold for his theft. Exodus 22.

Jesus addressed this principle by name, and told Christians to be forgiving, not retributive. Matthew 5.

Zacchaeus repaid fourfold. Luke 19.

Corporal Punishment

Israel had corporal punishment. Deuteronomy 25.

Proverbs 20:30

The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.

Proverbs 13:24

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.