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ViewpointsBible needs a closer study.

Re the letter from Abdulla Hassan (Viewpoints, February 7) concerning Biblical punishments.

Mr Hassan wrote to enlighten another Viewpoints correspondent, Marlene Meeson, on Sharia.

The basis of his argument was that Old Testament punishments are virtually identical to those of Sharia and apparently the main difference is that Christian countries now follow secular laws and punishment.

If Mr Hassan wishes to use the Bible for any future discussions, I would suggest that he studies all of it, rather than cherry-picking parts to suit his arguments.

If he had studied it, he would understand that the Old Testament documents a covenant God made with Israel, not with Gentiles.

Christians have never been and never will be under these laws; we follow the New Covenant. So what does the New Testament say about punishment? Jesus says, 'Do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes your right cheek, turn to him the other also' (Matthew 5:39) and 'Let anyone who is without sin throw the first stone' (John 8:7).

I would assume in neglecting to acknowledge these Biblical teachings, Mr Hassan is either under-educated about the difference between the Old and New Testaments; or he is doing the very thing he accused Ms Meeson of (a deliberately negative portrayal of a religious text).

Ellen Newberry Canton, Cardiff
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 15, 2007
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