Source: (2012) Christian Reflection. Prison. pp. 11-19.

Accordingly, biblical justice is retributive justice insofar as it turns on the principles of moral culpability, measured recompense, and the rule of law. It would be a mistake to conclude, however, that biblical teaching on justice is wholly or solely controlled by some impersonal metaphysical principle of measure for measure. Instead it has a distinctively personal and relational character. Justice in ancient Israel involved doing all that was needed to create, sustain, and restore healthy relationships within the covenant community. Criminal offending was considered wrong, first, because it breaches the relational commitments that hold society together and, second, because the wrongful deeds themselves unleash a disordering power in the community that threatens to trigger a chain-reaction of ruin and disaster unless it is arrested.(excerpt)

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