Edited to add: The original author of this information is Dr. Ronny West. As such, though I send out an apology to Mr. Ricardo Ferrari for calling on him, I continue to point out the error that is being spread. To view the original post, click here. We should all confirm what we hear before telling others things that of which we do not know.
I am a Christian and I believe the Bible is inspired by God. Additionally, it’s an honest historical document that doesn’t erase the harsh reality of mankind, but is discussed openly. Oftentimes, this is taken out of context to mean something other than it’s original intent. Here is some recent material that’s been brought to my attention and I wanted to clarify the context of the passages below. 🙂 If anyone sees scriptural error in my corrections, please point them out. Thank you!
You can see the post I originally read this from, entitled “what the bible says about women, I bet your priest wont tell you!” as I’ve quoted below by clicking here.
1. In the Bible’s book of Deuteronomy it says that if a man marries a woman and then decides that he hates her, he can claim she wasn’t a virgin when they married. At that point her father must prove she was a virgin. (How is not explained.) If he can’t, then the girl is to be stoned to death at her father’s doorstep.
This is true and is referenced from vv. 22:13-21. Evidence (a garment of some kind that assumed the shape that was underneath – this is explained in v. 17) was brought forth to prove her virginity. The consequence to sexual immorality back then was stoning and if she was proven to be promiscuous, she would be stoned as such.
If you read further onto the next verses from 22-30 it proceeds to give other examples of marriage violations and their consequences – fornication, adultery, rape, and incest. All but rape include stoning of both parties. Rape however is just the man.
2. If you see a pretty woman among your captives and would like her for a wife, then bring her home and “go in unto her.” Later, if you decide you don’t like her, you can simply “let her go.” (Deuteronomy)
This is word for word what the passage says:
“When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.” vv. 10-14
A man was welcome to invite a woman he was interested in who was taken captive in war, clean her up and care for her – allowing her ample time to mourn and grieve. Once this has taken place, he may take her as his wife. However, if he is not pleased with her, let her go ~wherever she wishes~ and he can’t sell her or treat her as a slave because he has ~dishonored~ her.
In context, it doesn’t sound nearly as harsh to me. 🙂
3. If a betrothed virgin is raped in the city and doesn’t cry out loud enough, then “the men of the city shall stone her to death.” (Deuteronomy)
This is in reference to the fact that the woman allowed the man to take her and did not fight it. In the following verse after this one it references a woman who was in the country who screamed but was not heard – she would not be stoned. It’s not because she didn’t “cry out loud enough” but that she didn’t cry out even though she was in the city – the scriptures indicate she would have been heard if she had in fact cried out. From Deuteronomy 22:23-27
4. In the book of Esther the king apparently decrees a sex contest among young virgin women to see who can best please him. (There is debate on how.) He eventually chooses Esther. However, since women are viewed as inherently dirty, Esther must be “purified” for twelve months before she can be made queen. (Esther)
King Xerxes in Esther 2, was not a godly man. Esther, however, was. She kept her secret hidden of the fact that she was Hebrew and would later be the one to approach her husband and save her people when he desired to kill them.
5. Paul points out in New Testament Romans that “the natural use” of women is to provide men with sex. (Romans)
Cross referencing and looking to the original Hebrew of the word “use“, we’ll find it’s referring to their sexual relationship. In the verse just before this reference, it states that the woman was exchanging “natural use” of men and going against nature as were the men. It was both men and women participating in homosexual acts and had rejected God. Verse 26-27 states that because they rejected Him, He left them to their lusts.
In no way did it state that the woman’s natural use to men or vice versa was to provide sex but that the natural use (as seen in the link provided, meaning intercourse) was being exchanged for the unnatural use (unnatural sex) with others of the same gender. It is referring to homosexuality and that men and women alike had abandoned the physical design of God for sex with each other rather than with the opposite gender.
6. Heaven is to be inhabited by 144,000 virgin men who have not been “defiled” by women. (RE 14:1-4) [One wonders how this squares with God’s command to, “Be fruitful and multiply…(Genesis )]
Revelation was referring to those who remained pure as unmarried folk who committed their lives fully to Christ. This is separate from the command to “Be fruitful and multiply” because this was a command for married men and women (where the command is also made to keep the marriage bed pure and undefiled). To remain single and to marry are both holy – this particular passage was referencing those who were not committing fornication and had no lust of the heart.
7. A group of sexual depraved men beat on the door of an old man’s house demanding that he turn over to them a male house guest. Instead, the old man offers his virgin daughter and his guest’s wife: “Behold, here are my virgin daughter and his concubine (wife); let me bring them out now. Ravish them and do with them what seems good to you; but against this man do not do so vile a thing.” The women were subsequently ravished and killed. (JG)
Judges 19 talks about worthless drunk men who wanted to rape the man who had come to the town. As were the laws of war, the men took the women captive and violated her against the law (they didn’t allow time for her to grieve, nor did they wash her, and they raped her and killed her) this was a violation of God’s law – this was a story of wicked and lustful men.
8. In Exod. we see that it is permissible to sell one’s daughter (but apparently not one’s son) into slavery.
Exodus 21:7 Is the only reference I could find that resembled this point. It states: “If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do.” This is stating that if a man sells his daughter, her job is to be in the home and is not to be sent out with commands (i.e. run errands) like the menservants. It was a declaration of jobs. Both daughters and sons were sold as servants/menservants.
9. According to St. Jerome, “Nothing is so unclean as a woman in her periods; what she touches she causes to be unclean.” In Leviticus it states, “If a woman conceives and bears a male child, she shall be ceremonially unclean seven days…if she bears a female child she shall be unclean two weeks….”
Also unclean is the man who has discharge. This is true and referenced from Leviticus 12 (while my single reference is one of many of an unclean man from chapter 15).
10. “A woman dropped a stone on his head and cracked his skull. Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, ‘Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say a woman killed me.’ So his servant ran him through, and he died.” (Judges)
Indeed… in this passage (Judges 9:53-54), Abimalech was killed in the same manner as he killed his 70 brothers as referenced in verse 5 of the same chapter and so it’s said in verse 56 “Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelech had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers.”
11. Under God’s direction, Moses’ army kills all the adult males, but they mercifully just take the women and children captive. When Moses learns that they left some women and children alive, he angrily says: “Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.” Throughout Bible history God is said to demand that thousands, if not millions, of men, women and children be slaughtered. And they are.
Anyone who’s ant-war is not going to agree with this anyway, however, Numbers 31 talks about how God instructed Moses to send out the army to kill ALL of the Midianites. He instructed them to do so because, as stated in chapter 25, the Israelites began participating in sexual immorality and idolatry with the Moabite women. In 25, God instructed the public death of the leaders of these sinful acts to end the immorality. The plague (believed by many but not written int he scriptures, to have been an STD that spread in the midst of the promiscuity) killed 24k people. All who participated, Israelite and Midianite alike, were killed.
In chapter 31 the command was to eliminate the enemy – for the Midianites were corrupt and hated God and participated in sexual immorality. When the soldiers returned, Moses was angry that they allowed the women to live, when they were the ones who had brought the immorality, idolatry, and thus the plague to the Israelites. The boys and women were killed and the virgins (who had not participated in sexual immorality) were spared. If the plague indeed was an STD, as many know nowadays, STD’s are not always apparent by sores or what have you, especially in males. Males also do not have an apparent indicator of whether they they are virgins so they too were killed to stop the spread of the plague.
12. A man has an obligation to produce a child with his brother’s widow. If he refuses, his sister-in-law is to spit in his face in front of the elders. (Deuteronomy 25:5-9)
He is not forced as you’ll see in the passage, but it is a dishonor to his family to not want to carry on the name of his deceased brother. He can choose not to, knowing full well of the consequence of dishonor.
And in case you are Jewish, you may be familiar with the Jewish prayer: “Blessed be the God who has not created me a heathen, a slave or a woman.”
I am not Jewish, and this prayer is not scriptural. If a woman overpowered a man and killed him, it said more about the man than the woman – that HE didn’t step up where he had been called. The modern view of a man being insulted by a woman doing something better than he, is not what the Bible is referencing when it talks about the shame on men for allowing a woman to “do a man’s job”. Like the story of Deborah in Judges. The King didn’t do what his job was and it was to HIS shame that a woman did, not because she wasn’t a capable woman – it simply was not her job.
Would we be wrong in assuming that even Bible literalists wouldn’t want these verses read to their children in Bible School?
Yes. It would be wrong to assume this.
Plus, what parent would want their children reading Bible verses comparing the size of men’s penises to donkey genitals and their sperm flow to that of horses? Books are commonly banned from school libraries for much less.
This is referencing Ezekiel 23. No more would we teach our children about intercourse and the details until they are mature than I teach my children the mind of a woman who commits adultery. I will allow my children to read these passages about these adulterous sisters when the time is right and they are mature. I disagree that books in school are much worse…. at least, at the VERY least, the Bible is a non-fiction historical document instead of a non-fiction fantastical idea of love, sex, and worship – which are in several of the books I read in school.
Most Old Testament law dates back centuries to Jewish tribal law and would be considered not only immoral but illegal today. At the same time, fundamentalist, Bible-carrying Christians claim they are the for-all-time, inviolable Word of God.
Old Testament laws are still for today, but God has shown us grace. God’s laws are for our safety and benefit; not to rule over us in tyranny. Jesus spoke about giving what is God’s to God, and what is Caesar’s (the government) to Caesar. As long as the government is not telling us to break God’s laws, we are to follow them.
Denouncing a scriptural tradition that sees women as both corrupt and corrupting must be the operative principle of a religious system that quotes Jesus as saying, “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) – Bishop
To denounce the scriptures for the stated reason would be a misrepresentation of what the scriptures are saying. Do we not quarantine those with disease and keep them separate from the people so as to not spread to the multitudes?? Do we not, even today, look down on a capable man for not providing for his family while his wife works 2-3 jobs?? Do we not see promiscuity in a woman as devastating and awful; those who commit adultery called terrible names? Men are often thought of to be lifted up in the Bible when they commit these same acts, but I hope the scriptures I’ve shared have brought light to the truth of the Word – which is that men and women alike are corrupt when they participate in corrupt behavior.
God loves His daughters, He values and adores His daughters, Jesus gave His life for His daughters… and He commands men to do the same for their wives!! He commands men to be loyal and loving and tender and protective… to sacrifice even to the death for her, just as Christ gave His life for the church. It is mankind who has devalued women; not God. And the Bible shows us this.
2 Corinthians 6: “And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (v.18)
Ephesians 5: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her….(v.25)” “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. (v.28-29) Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself. (v.33a)
Colossians 3: “Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.” (v.18)
1 Peter 3: “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” (v.7)