seeks to explain 6 Controversial Bible Passages the Skeptics Love to Hate (thank ye to brother Ed Driscoll
). As he notes, leftists are in the habit of using the more "unusual" passages or commands in scripture
to show that the Bible
is ridiculous or anti-women or anti-science or just downright immoral.
Here is just one
of his six examples that perhaps ain't as controversial as depicted:
A widow must marry her brother-in-law? (Deuteronomy 25:10)
is a passage that teaches "levirate marriage" (which was quite common
in the ancient world). "Levirate" comes from the Latin word levir, meaning
"brother-in-law." The law states that if a man has a wife, but he dies
without an heir, she must marry his brother so that they can have a
child to inherit the man's possessions. Sounds terrible to our modern
ears, doesn't it?
But in the ancient agrarian world, it was
practical and merciful. If a widow did not have any children from her
first husband, then the land could be sold off, and she would be left
destitute. By marrying her brother-in-law, she would be keeping the
property (which she may have brought into the family) within the family.
She and her family could lose the property if she married someone from
the outside. The brother-in-law could refuse to marry her, but according
to verses 7-10 she could go through a ceremony to publicly shame him
into marrying her.
In marriage the woman would be
financially secure and she would have children to take care of her in
her old age. Sounds strange to us today, I know, but that was the
"Social Security/Medicare" set-up of the ancient world.
But the InstaPundit comments section
also contains information of interest.
refers to Strong's Exhaustive Concordance to the Holy Bible
with Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries while MITM
attempts to explain "Turn the other cheek":
The key point [per one New Testament scholar] of turning the other cheek was that in order to
strike you again that way, the striker had to treat you as a social
equal, rather than as inferior. Thus Jesus, in suggesting this, was
standing up for human dignity despite not hitting back, rather than
advocating just taking whatever anyone felt like dishing out.
picks a further handful of Bible verses to shed light upon:
"An eye for an eye" is not a prescription for revenge. It is a
limitation on the fallen human propensity to up the ante. It is a
prohibition on escalation.
Caesar is your master? Caesar isn't mine. I pay taxes but that doesn't make Caesar my master.
points out what is perhaps the main problem with Western leftists who, say, after an nth Islamist attack, hold that the main problem is religion in general and not Islam per se…
According to the Instapundit comments section (which is itself informed
by the cottage industry devoted to "explaining" the "real" Islam), the
Bible is a book that contains problematic passages that must be
explained, historicized, and contextualized. The fact that most
Christians don't act on the bizarre and sociopathic messages contained
in the Bible is a sign of civilization and sophistication
Qur'an, meanwhile, is viewed a quasi-magical text whose problematic
passages utterly resist interpretation, historicization, and
contextualization, and literally compel Muslims to commit violence. The
fact that most Muslims don't act on the bizarre and sociopathic messages
contained in the Qur'an is a sign that they're not "really" Muslims, or
are secretly supporting the fanatics, or that they're engaging in
"taqiyyah" while quietly working to undermine all that is right and good
in the world.
What Does the Bible Say About Socialism?
• Six Startling Contrasts Between the Bible and the Quran
Does the Bible Teach the Same Kind of 'Holy War' as the Quran?
How to Explain the Necessity of Jesus' Death to Muslims