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The Bible Condones Rape

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by Question.Everything, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Isaiah 13: 15-16 puts it plainly:

    15Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword.
    16Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.


    Now I've tried to read into the "context" of this story to see if there's any way to disregard what's actually happening here, but I'm not seeing anything.

    Why would God command that children be dashed to pieces and women be raped? No matter what they're guilty of, how is this a demonstration of love?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2011
  2. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    God doesn't command that those things should happen. It's a kind of war poetry that describes the horror that will inevitably be the consequence for Babylon when it gets it's comeuppance via the Medes and Persians. War is horrible, and the bible doesn't pretend otherwise.
     
  3. Kind of a war poetry? What does this mean and where does God say it is "war poetry" and not commanded fact?

    And what kind of atrocious poetry is this (if it is indeed only 'poetry')? That soldiers fighting in the name of God have the right to ravish women and slay children of the cities they conquer?
     
  4. Philothei

    Philothei Love never fails

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    You are applying an Old Testament custom (?) for Christians... It just does not work like that ....

    Part of the Old Testament was the Hebrew History and human hands wrote the Bible. The revelation of God was somehow "in shadow" thus we do not weigh the old testament for telling us all the truth about God but we trust the Son of God who is Christ thus we turn to Christ and seek out the truth about God.
    An Eastern Orthodox theologian says that God was in the shadow in the Old Testament while the New Testament God speaks to us directly through His Son giving us more glimpses of God while in the age to come in the Last days we will experience God directly in all His glory and Truth.
     
  5. drich0150

    drich0150 Regular Member

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    Read the whole chapter. In Verse 1 Isaiah tells us this Not a command. Isaiah is trying to rally the troops inspire people and the soldiers of God and fear in the hearts of their enemies.

    Like after 9/11 we said we were going to bomb "those people" back to the stone age. Did we? did this country literally destroy everything except items that could be found in the stone age of man, or was that just a rally cry?
     
  6. Steven masone

    Steven masone Newbie

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    In his foreknowledge God predestines. He knows whether you will believe that he is righteous in his judgement because you have come to know him through salvation and by his Word and Spirit you love and trust him. If he sees that you will not....you may be predestined to start eternal damnation in the here and now.
     
  7. Let's get this quick factoid out of the way: the Bible is the word of God. If God doesn't want something in the Bible, he'll make it that way...it's his book. God allowed this to be a message not only to the people of that time, but to everybody that lives now.

    Trying to "rally troops" by telling them that slaying and rape awaits them is not the most peaceful and loving way of going about things. Putting it in the "good book" to all humanity is even less peaceful.

    Who said "bomb those people back to the stone age"? Who do you speak for when you say "we"? Are you literally self-deluded to the point of insanity? I never said such things and neither did any normal, rational person.

    And when was this written down in a textbook that is supposed to be the one and only guideline for living? This would be the (even still underwhelmed) equivalent of writing "Bomb those people back to the stone age" in the Constitution.
     
  8. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

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    This is a prophetic utterance by Isaiah, which, as ebia noted, is filled with the kind of hyperbole typical of war accounts of that time. I don't see anywhere in the passage, however, a specific command given by God. Instead, Isaiah is describing the misery that will befall Babylon under God's judgment. There is no command by God to rape women; there is only a hyperbolic description of what the end of Babylon will be like that includes rape. It is a fallacy to contend that because there is this description in the Bible that it follows that it ought to happen. By that I mean, the Bible records the awful practices of the Medes when they overtake Babylon, but this doesn't necessarily constitute divine approval of their actions.

    Selah.
     
  9. Steven masone

    Steven masone Newbie

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    You are treading on dangerous ground. You are accusing God of being un-loving or that his Word is untrue. He is all knowing and all powerful...His mercy endures forever and if innocent souls deserve mercy according to God's will and judgement he is able to give it his way, "his ways are higher than ours, and his thoughts are above ours...you argue from unbelief and a rebellious heart. REPENT and discover his love and mercy.
     
  10. Again, where does God tell us that this is a mere 'utterance' or 'hyperbole'?

    So God doesn't command rape, he only describes that (under his ultimate power) rape will befall the cities that oppose him. Right.

    Do you have any record that God doesn't approve of these specific actions? My evidence that he does approve is his own words (if you believe that the Bible is a document inspired by God).
     
  11. GodsDaughter1981

    GodsDaughter1981 Newbie

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    Hi QE,

    Something just struck me when reading this thread: rape is a horrific fact of life. As is murder, as is hatred, as are so many other things. The Bible doesn't shy away from facts of life, however horrific. If it's the truth (as I believe it is) then it's only right that it deals with all facets of human nature, both good and bad. God doesn't condone rape, though.

    I hope this clarifies things a bit.

    GD
     
  12. It doesn't. You didn't talk about the verses mentioned or their context.
     
  13. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    read Isaiah - the vast bulk of it is poetic.

    "commanded fact" whatever that means, is not some kind of default mode.

    who said "only". Poetry can be powerful stuff.

    it simply doesn't say that. Even if you read it woodenly it still doesn't say that should happen, only that it will.

    There is simply no justification for reading the bible the way you (and many others in the modern western world) read it - as though it's condoning everything it describes and doesn't condemn. Most of the time it simply describes.
     
  14. Borromeo

    Borromeo Guest

    Its prophecy about what was going to happen, not commandments. That's not really unclear at all unless you're looking to take stuff out of context.

    Destruction was coming to them, and that was/still is to this very day the kind of stuff that happens when it occurs. Its just what happens, just like whether we like it or not the horrific effects of a sinful life are passed on from generation to generation. Its not because God is "making" it happen, its just how things are: People with evil mentalities create evil environments and the next generation suffers. Its true even if you look at it from a completely atheistic standpoint.
     
  15. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    The bible is not a timeless abstract statement, but a narrative of God's working in the world. It is all relevant because the story-so-far is relevant to our continuing the story-now.
     
  16. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    again, you assume without basis that words have to be one particular genre unless explicitly stated otherwise in the text. Neither the bible nor mote general communication works that way.

    what gives you the right to tell people who do take scripture seriously how they have to (mis)read it?
     
  17. You make assertions that defeat your own argument, that's why "we" sound the way "we" do to you.

    Here's your major problem: "Most of the time,". What does this mean, and how does one distinguish between what is condonation and what is condemnation? What is the % where something becomes "most" of the time?

    A secondary problem is that you generalize. I've posted but a few sentences and already you have me generalized with a major audience.

    And if such a major audience has a "wrong" opinion on something, can you come in to clarify it for "us"? There are a lot of people preaching what the Bible means and they're all saying different things, why can't God step in to help "us" people see why we're wrong? I don't trust what a purely physical human being tells me about the non-physical, simple as that.
     
  18. Reasons for this statement?

    Has anybody written a New New Testament within the past...1,000 or so years? Look at world religion today; does it look like a New New Testament is going to be written anytime soon? How are we continuing the story?
     
  19. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    one has to read the bible like any other complex collections of texts - with discernment, reference to other information that can shed light on it, in dialog with others doing the same, and so forth.

    It's not a simplistic set of abstract timeless clear commands and isolated statements. If that's problematic for your thesis so be it.

    The problem I identified in your reading is clear enough from what you've said. I simply note that its a version of a very common problem in modern western readings.

    god chooses to go with the messy approach of working through people. IMO that's because that's the only effective way of putting us right. You can't fix up dysfunctional people by doing everything for them.

    that's fair enough, but you can't come in with your reading of a text and berate people for having a different approach.
     
  20. ebia

    ebia Senior Contributor

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    put aside what you think it is and go read it. It's an ongoing story of the good news of what God has done and is doing. You seem to be confusing it with the Quran.

    it's not our job to write up our part of the story in that way, but the church's job exactly is to keep improvising it's current part of the story in character with what has gone before and with the glimpses of the closing scenes in mind.
     
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