Capital punishment for blasphemy (Lev. 24: 15–16) or idolatry (Deut. 17: 2–7) and other crimes. It took place outside a city and the victim was pelted with stones by the whole community (Deut. 13: 10). The death of Stephen was organized in this way (Acts 7: 58), the Jews possibly taking the law into their own hands during the temporary absence of the Roman governor. Paul was stoned and left for dead at Lystra (Acts 14: 19). It is recorded by Josephus and Eusebius the Church historian that shortly before the fall of Jerusalem in 70 ce*scribes and Pharisees hurled James the Lord's brother from a pinnacle of the Temple and dropped heavy stones on him. It is disputed whether these stonings were a form of lynch law or whether the Roman authorities tolerated the killing of those who had broken the religious laws of Judaism.
Subjects: Biblical Studies.