R.J. Rushdoony on the importance of restitution

Criminal offenses always exact a penalty. The critical question in any society is this: who shall be penalized? Biblical law declares that restitution must prevail: if a man steals $100, he must restore the $100 plus another $100; the criminal is penalized. In certain crimes, his restitution is his own death. In modern humanistic society, the victim is penalized. There is no restitution, and there is increasingly lighter punishment of the criminal. Without restitution, crime becomes potentially profitable, and the victim is penalized by the state. The victim is penalized by the crime, by the court costs, and the prison costs as they appear in taxation.

My two cents

English: High School for Law Enforcement and C...
High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes I hear people ask “where’s the justice?” The Bible provides the source of justice, but people don’t seem to realise it. Sometimes I hear people say “crime doesn’t pay”. If Biblical law is followed, then crime won’t pay. If Biblical law is overturned, then crime can indeed pay.

The concept of punishing the victim (instead of the criminal) would strike people as unjust. But the way that our legal system treats adulterers, that’s exactly what happens. The innocent party gets punished, the courts turn a blind eye, and the adulterer gets away with it. That’s what passes for (humanistic) justice these days.

Quote source

Rushdoony, R.J. (1973). The Institutes of Biblical Law. Volume I. Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company. p. 38.


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