The gospel took over a Texas courtroom yesterday when Judge Tammy Kemp gave her personal Bible to Amber Guyger after pronouncing her guilty of murder.
Guyger, a former Dallas police officer, was sentenced to 10 years in jail for fatally shooting youth pastor Botham Jean in his own apartment.
A video of the event reveals Kemp walking over to Guyger with a Bible in her hand.
"You can have mine," the judge said to Guyger, according to WFAA. "I have three or four at home. This is the one I use every day before I go to bed."
The judge flipped open the Bible and pointed Guyger to a passage.
"This is your job for the next month. Look right here, John 3:16. And this is where you start: 'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so whosoever believes'—stop right there and use your name: 'Amber believes.' Start with the Gospels. You read this whole book of John. This whole book."
Fox News reports the judge as saying: "You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith. You start with this."
Kemp then hugged Guyger and said, "You haven't done so much that you can't be forgiven. You did something bad in one moment in time. What you do now matters."
Kemp's hug came after she granted permission to Botham Jean's brother, Brandt, to hug Guyger. Brandt delivered a moving statement in which he not only forgave Guyger but also exhorted her to give her life to Christ.
"I know if you go to God and ask Him, He will forgive you," he told her from the stand. "... I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want you to do. Again, I love you as a person, and I don't wish anything bad on you."
Between Brandt's forgiveness and Kemp's gospel exhortation, almost everyone was crying in the courtroom, reports The Dallas Morning News.
But not everyone was happy with the judge's actions or her sentence.
Atlantic columnist Jemele Hill took to Twitter to decry the judge's hug as inappropriate.
"How Botham Jean's brother chooses to grieve is his business," she wrote. "He's entitled to that. But this judge choosing to hug this woman is unacceptable. Keep in mind this convicted murderer is the same one who laughed about Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, and killing ppl on sight."
Protesters outside the courthouse also argued the 10-year sentence was far too light for murder.
While Kemp and Guyger hugged, the latter whispered something to the judge, according to MSN News.
The judge responded: "Ma'am, it's not because I'm good. It's because I believe in Christ."
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