Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"But the Bible says ..."

There's also this little gem a little later on in Deuteronomy:
28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
Remember THAT one the next time somebody comes at you with "But the Bible says ..."


Forsythia said...

Sharia in the Bible. Who knew?

MarkBrunson said...

Sharia started with the Bible - Islam started with the Bible. Mohammed just skipped those parts he found inconvenient or inconceivable, i. e. - the whole "Jesus thing." It's really hard to get people to ride across a parched, barren desert to slaughter their enemies if you got the Incarnation of God saying "Forgive your enemies."

rick allen said...

I am always discouraged by the strategy of discounting one particular biblical passage by ridiculing others. It tends to imply that the whole revelation of scripture is, at bottom, contemptuous. Perhaps that is the point.

Rather than argue the point, I would encourage your readers to examine the cited passages, to ask whether the characterizations are really accurate--whether what is at stake is a way to protect young brides from false accusations,and whether some remedy is offered for young women who, having been raped, become not longer desired as wives. Neither scenario is very pretty, but neither represents the simple "death for fornication" or "marriage by rape" so beloved of those who hold the Torah in contempt.

As Christians we might also keep in mind that Jesus had no apparent problem with relaxing the law's pernalties while at the same time maintaining the sinfulness of sexual misconduct.

JimB said...

I have relatives who are members of churches that actually think that should be the law. We do not talk much. But I suggest we not assume that this is outside the minds of modern people. ;;sigh;;


JLacoss said...

Thank you. I just had my first run-in with a "friend" who loves me BUT "the Bible says..." I've already unfriended him, but not before blasting more scripture at him. And showing him the love in Leviticus.

uffda51 said...

And if the husband is not a virgin?

Charlie Sutton said...

An excellent insight, Rick.

There are principles of biblical interpretation, long antedating current controversies, that deal with the fact that the OT in general, and the Pentateuch in particular, were first addressed to a theocracy, when the people of God and a particular nation state were the same group. (Yes, there are few exceptions, such as Namaan in Judges) How the principles expressed in various OT passages are to be applied when the people of God - the community of those who worship Yahweh - are not a nation politically, but rather those who live in a secular state.

There is much more that could be said, such as Christ fulfilling the ceremonial law and so setting it aside for those who follow him - but while all Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is not all applied in the same way.

uffda51 said...

No one at my church holds the Torah in contempt. If we did, I don’t think we would have had a willing rabbi-in-residence for so many years. But we do have some knowledge that the writers of the Bible did not have, and we have grown at least a teeny, tiny bit less patriarchal and heterosexualist.

“ . . . when the people of God and a particular nation state were the same group.”

So during the years covered by the Pentateuch (and earlier) only the Jewish people were people of God? The humans living in other nations and on other continents were not people of God, in the same way that fundamentalists, including some current presidential candidates, regularly remind us that Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and others are not people of God? So Father Greg Boyle is wrong when he writes that there is no one outside our circle of kin?

Did the Christians from other states who directed millions of dollars toward the support of Prop. 8 in California “ask whether the characterizations (of the handful of Bible verses which they claim condemn homosexuality) are really accurate?”

“ . . . while all Scripture is inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is not all applied in the same way.”

I’ll say.

Do the people who continue to use the Bible as a club against LGBT persons really know or care about accuracy? It’s been about 24 hours since I’ve seen anyone do this, on facebook, in language I can’t repeat here, so maybe things have changed.

MarkBrunson said...

I'm always discouraged by the strategy of validating conservative cherry-picking with long, obtuse arguments about what these scriptures really meant and obfuscating the validity of liberal criticism by implying anti-Semitism.

The fact, the basic fact, is that conservatives, just like liberals, just like Muslims, just like Jews, just like everyone else make the Scriptures mean what they want it to. That's the point.

There is nothing more contemptuous of the Scriptures, which constantly direct us to the living experience of God than to make them the experience itself.

JCF said...

Whoa, MarkB FTW! Bravo!