As he did in Salves, Women and Homosexuals William Webb confronts those often avoided biblical passages that call for the corporal punishment of children, slaves and wrongdoers with what he calls a "redemptive-movement hermeneutic. He asks: how should we understand and apply punishment texts today? Are we obligated to replicate those injunctions and particular punishment forms in modern culture? Or does the proper interpretation of them point in a different direction?
Webb notes that most of the Christian church is at best inconsistent in its application and indeed in our understanding of these texts, but he believes we can interpret them consistently. In Corporal Punishment in the Bible Webb builds on the hermeneutical foundations of his previous work, and argues that the proper interpretation and application of these texts requires ascertaining their meaning within the ancient cultural/historical context. In recognizing the sweep of God's redemptive purposes already evident in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New, we remain truly biblical. On this basis Webb then makes his case for how corporal punishment should be applied today.
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