QUESTION: Does the Bible say that a thief’s hand is supposed to be cut off?


ANSWER: No. The idea of cutting off a thief’s hand comes from Islam, not the Bible.


According to the Old Testament, the penalty for theft is restitution. If the item has not been consumed or sold, then the thief must repay twice as much. For example, if a cow was stolen from you, then you must be repaid two cows. However, if the item was consumed or sold, then the restitution is four to five times as much as the original item. (See Exodus 22:1-5.)


There is one crime for which a hand was to be cut off. You can look this up yourself (Deuteronomy 25:11-12).


William P. Griffin, Ph.D.