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The Bible, Lawyers And God – What Is The Connection?

Mon, May. 01, 2017 Posted: 12:40 AM


Many Christians get the wrong idea when talking about what the Bible says about lawyers and their actions. What we should all understand is that in the Bible we do not find text about attorneys as they are today. Israel at the time was under strict Rome legal jurisdiction. When referring to “teachers of the law” (as in Luke 5:17), the mention is about religious leaders expert in Mosaic Law. Our modern court system that includes defense lawyers and prosecuting lawyers is far from what was present then. Modern attorneys only appeared when the Middle Ages passed.

Human accusers are mentioned in the Bible. They are those that appear in front of a magistrate to charge someone else. However, the accusers are normally witnesses. They are not lawyers. The only Bible character that that is close to the modern prosecuting attorney is the orator Tertullus. He received payment from Jews to make a presentation of initial case in front of Governor Felix against Paul.

Our legal system does reflect a biblical model. Prosecuting lawyers analyze and use the law in order to bring accusations against defendants, trying to show that they are guilty, all without reasonable doubt. Defense attorneys will argue for the client in various different circumstances. With Christians, Jesus’ sacrifice in extenuating circumstances paid lawgiver debts and made us all go free, although the guilt exists according to Law (check Romans 8:1-5).

Modern lawyers are faced with so many moral and ethical challenges. For instance, some may represent clients in deals for home auctions but the previous owner may have lost the home because of not being able to pay a mortgage. In this case the moral debate is high. Ethical debates appear in so many cases, especially when representing people that are guilty. According to law, everyone is allowed a fair trial and fair legal representation. Some though will argue that not all people should be allowed this right.

Christian attorneys that can win cases and protect clients with the use of morally questionable but legal tactics need to go through an internal thought process that asks various possible questions like:

  • Does the tactic appear to be immoral?
  • Will the client or the lawyer cheat or be unkind?
  • Does the tactic involve something that is against the commandments of God?
  • Are tactics misrepresenting truth in order for someone that is guilty to go free or will an innocent end up punished?

Ethical tactic use will appear if answers to such questions are positive. When lawyers act in an ethical way according to what God teaches us, using law for the client’s benefit, the expertise and knowledge will surely benefit client case in a way that cannot be against God’s teaches. Christian lawyers basically need to make a strong commitment towards honesty with a conviction against the “win at all costs” mentality. If courtroom tactic validity is put into question, ask for guidance and listen to what the Lord tells you. You will be surprised how much knowledge can be gained this way.

Lynn Joesph