What Is Justice?

The jusTice initiative has been collaborating with Tim Stafford and a number of others on a new justice project and here are some helpful thoughts by Tim on biblical justice, a concept which is so often misunderstood or conceived of in very narrow terms by the Christian community. Instead, Tim encourages us to see the incredibly wide panorama of biblical justice and how it can affect every aspect of our lives. We’re looking forward to reading and considering future posts where he plans to explore the implications of biblical justice for our daily lives. Andy & Carol

Timstafford's Blog

If I have learned anything from working on biblical justice over the last two years, it is that the word “justice” can be confusing. The problem, I believe, is that the Bible means something different by the word than we typically do in contemporary English.

In our language, justice has two components: fairness, and just desserts. That’s the way we want it in a courtroom: everybody gets treated the same, and everybody reaps what they sow. If you are a criminal, you should pay. Whether you are rich or poor, black or white, you should be held liable for your crimes and be punished accordingly. Victims should be compensated, where possible.

Similarly, outside the courtroom, we want treatment to be equal and rules to be enforced. The teacher should grade every kid by the same standard. Cheaters should be punished. That’s justice.

Of course, that’s a pretty limited view. It…

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