Source: (2001) Relational Justice Bulletin. December (12):6-7. Downloaded 14 May 2003

Bruce Winter is a scholar of early Christianity in the Greek and Roman worlds. In this article he reflects on a what a Christian vision of punishment looked like at the time of the early church, in contrast to the practice of imprisonment in the Roman world. Winter begins with a sketch of the nature and use of imprisonment in the Roman world before and at the time of the early church. This leads to a discussion of principles from the apostle Paul’s letters that provide a basis to reflect on the purpose of punishment. Winter concludes from Paul’s letters that punishment is not to be an end in itself; it is meant to achieve a purpose. Specifically, punishment within the Christian community is meant to be remedial for the offender and for the community. In this perspective, the ultimate intention or aim is to restore fractured relationships

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