Jump to content

Menu

S/o Stuff in the Bible that is weird


Quill
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay, I'm hoping we can keep from turning this into a Bible-is-a-fairy-tale thread. That's not what I am aiming for. It was the Read through the Bible thread that made me think of it. When I have quit my intended read-thru, it was invariably because I hit upon wierdness that made me wonder why I should spend time on this project.

 

And for those of you who read thru with your kids, has this not been an obstacle? For myself, such moments made me glad it was my own project and at least I didn't have to read the more bizarre features with my kid (nevermind the just plain disturbing thigs).

 

So - weird stuff in the Bible. If you are a Christian, does it bother you? How do you get thru weird or disturbing parts with your kids?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, what do you consider disturbing? Obviously the priests of Moloch and such are horrifying, as are some of the messed up family dynamics, and we read the bible out loud to our children we explain as much as is needed for them to understand at the age their are, and circle back around to the greater lessons in the text instead of focusing on the details in isolation of the big picture. That makes it much less problematic in terms of content, because there is a purpose to every word.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For weirdness, I am immediately thinking of Ezekiel and Revelation. In other things I wouldn't care to read, I am thinking for instance of Gomer and...is it Hosea? The prophet who marries the prostitute in an object lesson on Iseal. Or God telling Abraham to kill Isaac. Or David taking Bathsheba, plotting Uriah's death, and then having their baby die. Or Lot offering his daughters to the men at Soddem and Gomorrah, so they would not have sex with angels. (Both bizarre and disturbing to me.)

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well we are reading through II Samuel right now, and have been doing it for our Sunday lessons here for a few months, going through the details of David's life gives us a great opportunity to contrast a man who was loved by God and still a very obvious sinner, with deep flaws. We talk about character, the correct response to these temptations, mercy and forgiveness, God's judgment, and even the wisdom and folly of someone who has accrued power. There is a lot there, and none of it is senseless or without explanation or point. We go into that, and guide our children through these issues pretty plainly.

 

They don't seem to be bothered by it, probably because we have been doing this as long as they remember. The bible is full of sinners. The church is full of sinners. Our HOME is full of sinners. God has mercied a particular people for himself, all of whom are sinners. We each have our own temptations and struggles, and the bible deals with them all. Nothing new under the sun, here. We frame it this way for them and answer any questions we can, or get answers if we don't have them, ourselves, from a plain reading of the text.

 

We *study* scripture and want them to, as well. So working through the tougher sections is good practice at solid hermeneutical methodology.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the flat out bizarre, like wheeled cherubim and other such fantastic things, we point out that God is God and can create anything he likes.  Also that He is beyond our understanding.  Also, that the writers of the Bible may not have been able to even comprehend what they were seeing in the visions.  How do you describe something you have no reference for?  Imagine a man from 2000 years ago trying to describe an iPhone and the internet.  

For the more violent things and sexual content, we talk about it as part of man's sin nature, and the consequences to that. 

 

Part of it may just be our family personality, but those things have just never been hard for us to talk about.  

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, Arctic Mom, are you saying that there haven't been passages or parts that make you say (at least inwardly), "huh. Yeah, I don't know why this was handled this way, either." There are not parts that bother you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, I'm ok with not understanding everything about God.  He wouldn't be God if He wasn't beyond my ability to figure out.  I don't understand the WHY behind everything in the Bible, but I understand enough of it to believe that God has a redemptive plan in Christ.  It is enough for me.  

 

If I'm wrong, I guess I'll find out when I die.  

  • Like 24
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe this is just the difference between skeptics and believers.

 

No. There's weird stuff in there. I didn't want to get involved in this thread because I can't think of anything specific, but there's definitely a lot I cannot fully understand and some of it seems strange to me. Studing the culture has done a lot to clear things up.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There certainly are things in the Bible I find strange, but they are things rooted in traditions practiced in ancient history, which probably made sense then even though they make no sense to us now.  (and which might even seem barbaric)  I think God works in the time and place of where people are at, but with a forward moving plan across generations to an ultimate goal.

 

Incidentally, I've heard that Martin Luther himself didn't think Revelations should be part of the Holy Bible!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now I'm curious as to what you all find so weird? I could be compartmentalizing because I can't really think of any. Lot and his daughters, for example, isn't showing what a horrible father he is, but the perverseness and evil of the society God had set for destruction, and his awareness of the miraculousness of being visited by heavenly host. It's explainable and makes perfect sense to me? I see God's mercy on Lot, and Lot trying to grapple with it in an emergent situation, not anything bizarro with his conduct as a father.

 

Revelation is also explainable, even if I don't get every details. I don't think I have to for understanding of the purpose and end of the text. Details that are beyond are just beyond me and I shrug and move on :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For weirdness, I am immediately thinking of Ezekiel and Revelation. In other things I wouldn't care to read, I am thinking for instance of Gomer and...is it Hosea? The prophet who marries the prostitute in an object lesson on Iseal. Or God telling Abraham to kill Isaac. Or David taking Bathsheba, plotting Uriah's death, and then having their baby die. Or Lot offering his daughters to the men at Soddem and Gomorrah, so they would not have sex with angels. (Both bizarre and disturbing to me.)

I am what most would call a Conservative Christian, and I get what you are saying.  There are some things, like Lot and his daughters, that when I think on it I wish there was a little more explanation to help it make sense. Like, it is ok that there is not, but I see where such things can be a sticking point for skeptics.  Does that make sense?  

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But if God can save a man and change his very nature why couldn't he cause a donkey to speak and bear witness? I mean, he says the very rocks will cry out his majesty - a donkey at least has vocal cords :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe this is just the difference between skeptics and believers.

 

I remember being troubled by some parts of the Bible when I was quite young.

I am a believer, but I am still troubled by parts of the Bible that don't seem to make sense. Theologians across time have struggled with parts of the Bible. I definitely don't think we have all of the answers. And I worry when I hear people go down the organ of "What God meant was..." It is important to have the historical context, which can flesh out many of the odd parts. Definitely different time, different place.

 

I guess this is where I am with it. If it doesn't make sense to me, I look up the passage in commentaries, articles by theologians, etc. to see if someone who has more background/historical knowledge than I has any insight. Many times, that helps. If not, I resign myself to the fact that I cannot really know the mind of God in it's fullness. Not in the copout way, but in the "I choose to believe that God knows what He is doing" way.

 

As far as reading to the kids. I have never done a straight run through with them. I focus on the areas that hold the most powerful/clear pieces of scripture. I focus on the pieces that show them Jesus and what redemption really can mean. And most things fit here. The parts that are unclear are minimal in the overall scheme.

 

And as I have grown in my faith, different parts of the Bible have come to make more sense. I really wouldn't have been able to even make much sense of Isaiah until I was in my 30s. It is very rich with symbolism, and it is cerebral and historic and, I don't know, deep? For lack of a better word. So, I don't expect the kids to process all of that right now. And if they come across the odd parts in their own reading and have questions, I go through the above process with them.

 

As for Revelation, that one is just tough for anyone. I have a hard time reading Revelation. It hurts my head. I always wonder if the author felt that way too:-)

 

The funny thing is, I struggle with a lot in my faith. It is truly complicated in ways that rarely get discussed in the way they deserve. It is deeply personal. But, as much as I struggle, I also believe deeply. I sometimes think they go together, kwim? One of my favorite verses is from James, telling God he believes and in the same breath, asking God to help him in his unbelief. When I was younger, I thought that was obscure or silly. The older I get, the more I hear that prayer on my own lips.

 

Anyway, just my perspective. But, it was an excellent question.

  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, I'm hoping we can keep from turning this into a Bible-is-a-fairy-tale thread. That's not what I am aiming for. It was the Read through the Bible thread that made me think of it. When I have quit my intended read-thru, it was invariably because I hit upon wierdness that made me wonder why I should spend time on this project.

 

And for those of you who read thru with your kids, has this not been an obstacle? For myself, such moments made me glad it was my own project and at least I didn't have to read the more bizarre features with my kid (nevermind the just plain disturbing thigs).

 

So - weird stuff in the Bible. If you are a Christian, does it bother you? How do you get thru weird or disturbing parts with your kids?

As there is patristic commentary on probably everything, I know the trustable answers are there if I need them.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe this is just the difference between skeptics and believers.

 

I remember being troubled by some parts of the Bible when I was quite young.

 

I was troubled by things in the Bible.  I still am.  Yeah, it troubles me that men would offer up their daughters to a gang of men pounding on the door.   Much of Judges is troublesome.  And sure, it is hard sometimes to talk about all that with kids.  I remember my kids sitting in church during a sermon on the Judges story of the concubine who is gang-r*ped, left for dead, and then... yeah.   That was the first time I was thankful my kids didn't pay attention in church.   Later, when they were older, of course they encountered it again. So we talked it through.

 

So sure, troubling stuff.  But that doesn't make us skeptical of God.  It's the people who are the problem.

 

As for Revelation, so much of that is symbolic.  It's a vision.  I don't expect to understand it.  I don't need to understand it.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kind of an aside, but part of the reason we read the bible through and study it with the kids like we do -

 

I've been really shocked by how many people who claim to be Christians have indicated shock at some of what is in the bible. That's what we are trying to work against - I want my kids knowing every part of it. If they still reject it, fine, but I don't want it to be because they think we hoodwinked them as to the content and lessons, you know?

 

That's been something I've felt strongly about in recent years, as I hear more and more people echoing the sentiment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For weirdness, I am immediately thinking of Ezekiel and Revelation. In other things I wouldn't care to read, I am thinking for instance of Gomer and...is it Hosea? The prophet who marries the prostitute in an object lesson on Iseal. Or God telling Abraham to kill Isaac. Or David taking Bathsheba, plotting Uriah's death, and then having their baby die. Or Lot offering his daughters to the men at Soddem and Gomorrah, so they would not have sex with angels. (Both bizarre and disturbing to me.)

Lot's daughters getting him drunk and having sex with him so they can have babies is right up there as "not family friendly reading" for me. David's son raping his sisters in public as one of God's punishments for David taking Bathsheba and murdering her husband is also disturbing. One thing I found troubling about that story is that all of David's punishments for his rather extreme crime are really carried out on other people.

  • Like 20
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The one about the concubine they chopped up and sent everywhere... that's probably the story that sticks out in my head the most as the most disturbing thing. She had a violent horrible death and the man who (owned?) her just seemed to be annoyed that his "property" was destroyed rather than that a woman under his protection was abused and murdered. I don't even remember if there was a point to that story except, "Hey look, sucky things happened." Why is that story in the Bible? I don't know.

 

I will say, the Bible has never spoken to me much. I heard one time, and I don't know if this is a widely accepted belief, that God speaks to us through various things. The Bible, prayer, other people, circumstances, etc.The Bible just isn't my thing I guess. Prayer is how I connect to with God. Prayer is something very meaningful to me. The Bible on the other hand, while I do believe it is a valuable book, it gets interpreted and twisted around and used to justify all kinds of wrongs. I think some people would do well to spend a little less time with the Bible and a little more time in prayer. :) Thinking in particular of people obsessed with end time prophesies or who use the Bible to justify their own extremism (like those Westboro idiots).

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah . . . I read the gospels over and over and over. And I informally study the epistles one at a time, but I'm not very consistent with it so I haven't made much progress. I like reading about the lives of saints, too. But the OT doesn't speak to me.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the stories about David because they are so completely candid and honest.

What other ancient ruler would let that kind of thing get out?

The guy was human, with sinful as well as good impulses, sometimes not choosing the better side, with devastating results.  That's how human nature is, even of the best people.  

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, you know, the entire message about God killing his own child to get back at his adulterous lover. "It's okay baby, I killed my kid so now I can forgive you. He was actually me but a different person... so it hurt but not really, because I was able to go through with it. Come on, let's make a congregation together."

 

It doesn't hit you until you actually contemplate sacrificing your own children for your marriage. Then you can finally get how utterly, unforgivably screwed up that idea is and what kind of a horrible, selfish, evil person you'd have to be to go through with it.

 

If I was god and all that were true up to the New Testament, humanity would have been gone in a pinch. "That's it, screwballs. Game over." Not, "Oh, okay. One more chance. But only if my son dies because SOMEBODY has to die and if you die I can't be with you, so the kid gets it."

 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But if God can save a man and change his very nature why couldn't he cause a donkey to speak and bear witness? I mean, he says the very rocks will cry out his majesty - a donkey at least has vocal cords :D

I think, with the story of the donkey, my Inner A$$hole just pipes up and says, "Riiiight. The *donkey* told him to stop beating him and that there was an angel in the way. Is this happening in Narnia?" It's not that I think a donkey could never possibly speak were God involved, it's more the feeling of...what would be the point? The donkey could buck the guy off, which would be within expected donkey behaviour; he could bite the donkey-beater, he could haul off and kick him in the head. But having the donkey behave in a way that has never been observed before or since (though many writers like to fantasize about animals that use human speech) just makes the story seem childish.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, you know, the entire message about God killing his own child to get back at his adulterous lover. "It's okay baby, I killed my kid so now I can forgive you. He was actually me but a different person... so it hurt but not really, because I was able to go through with it. Come on, let's make a congregation together."

 

<snip>

 

And... I guess we're already at the point where the it becomes a "Bible-is-a-fairy-tale thread."  Man, that was quick! 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, you know, the entire message about God killing his own child to get back at his adulterous lover. "It's okay baby, I killed my kid so now I can forgive you. He was actually me but a different person... so it hurt but not really, because I was able to go through with it. Come on, let's make a congregation together."

 

It doesn't hit you until you actually contemplate sacrificing your own children for your marriage. Then you can finally get how utterly, unforgivably screwed up that idea is and what kind of a horrible, selfish, evil person you'd have to be to go through with it.

 

If I was god and all that were true up to the New Testament, humanity would have been gone in a pinch. "That's it, screwballs. Game over." Not, "Oh, okay. One more chance. But only if my son dies because SOMEBODY has to die and if you die I can't be with you, so the kid gets it."

No offense, Tsuga, but this is the kind of post I was hoping to avoid. I'm not really aiming for a thread on Why The Faith is All Wrong.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for Revelation, that one is just tough for anyone. I have a hard time reading Revelation. It hurts my head. I always wonder if the author felt that way too:-)

 

 

I've done an in depth, as in months' long, study of Revelation three times, mostly because I loved the first study so much. The second time, I spent a semester studying it with my kids. The third time, I went through with a different teacher.  I love Revelation, and I don't think it's tough at all.  It's beautiful, amazing, so encouraging, it's what everything leads up to!

 

Early on, it was pointed out that satan loves to have people think Revelation is confusing.  It isn't.  It tells right in scripture how it's laid out. Some of the imagery may seem odd, but you either have to consider prior scripture to understand it, or consider that John was describing things in the future from his own viewpoint. 

 

I'm looking at doing BSF this fall, and they are studying Revelation.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing because I like it so much, or not so good, because I'd love to look at something else.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The one about the concubine they chopped up and sent everywhere... that's probably the story that sticks out in my head the most as the most disturbing thing. She had a violent horrible death and the man who (owned?) her just seemed to be annoyed that his "property" was destroyed rather than that a woman under his protection was abused and murdered. I don't even remember if there was a point to that story except, "Hey look, sucky things happened." Why is that story in the Bible? I don't know.

 

I will say, the Bible has never spoken to me much. I heard one time, and I don't know if this is a widely accepted belief, that God speaks to us through various things. The Bible, prayer, other people, circumstances, etc.The Bible just isn't my thing I guess. Prayer is how I connect to with God. Prayer is something very meaningful to me. The Bible on the other hand, while I do believe it is a valuable book, it gets interpreted and twisted around and used to justify all kinds of wrongs. I think some people would do well to spend a little less time with the Bible and a little more time in prayer. :) Thinking in particular of people obsessed with end time prophesies or who use the Bible to justify their own extremism (like those Westboro idiots).

What is interesting is that, at one time, the Bible did seem to speak to me. All sorts of passages crystalized as if they were written just for me. It didn't stay that way, though. I don't know why.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Literature and poetry are full of nifty devices that aid in transmitting a deeper meaning behind a narrative. The scriptures are full of colloquialisms, jargon, idioms, legends, fables, parables, allegories, metaphors and many other tools that we will always have difficulty interpreting or understanding from within the cultural framework of the modern West.

 

I prefer to rely on the wisdom and credibility of the Church Father's to fill these gaps.

 

Ancient Faith Radio has a great number of podcasts regarding difficult passages and texts in the Bible.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And... I guess we're already at the point where the it becomes a "Bible-is-a-fairy-tale thread."  Man, that was quick! 

 

 

Hm. I don't think it is so much implausible in a fairy-tale way as I think it's just plain awful.

 

As a matter of fact people throw their kids under the bus all the time to keep the affection of their abusive spouses. Or silence their children, victims of abuse, to please the spouse or step-parent.

 

That actually happens. So that's not fairy-tale stuff.

 

To me, the talking donkey thing is fairy-tale-ish, or Samson with his hair. That's "this sounds like a fairy tale".

 

The weird thing is that the entire structure of the narrative is supposed to inspire us to think about morality but it's all about betraying family for the sake of a love for a creation that presumably could be made again, and indeed, will be made again, according to the narrative.

 

I just find that bizarre.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For weirdness, I am immediately thinking of Ezekiel and Revelation. In other things I wouldn't care to read, I am thinking for instance of Gomer and...is it Hosea? The prophet who marries the prostitute in an object lesson on Iseal. Or God telling Abraham to kill Isaac. Or David taking Bathsheba, plotting Uriah's death, and then having their baby die. Or Lot offering his daughters to the men at Soddem and Gomorrah, so they would not have sex with angels. (Both bizarre and disturbing to me.)

 

Okay, I haven't read everyone's responses... I've been at the hospital at my aunt's bedside all day long.  How can sitting be so exhausting??  Anyway, I digress.....

 

Quick answer:  For me, as a lover of history, and now as an Orthodox Christian, I usually say to myself "What did the ancient/early church teach about this passage?"   I'm usually not disappointed. 

yes, some of those are shocking and disturbing (David/Bathsheba and Lot).  Of course, there's certainly a lot of things in the news these days that are equally shocking and disturbing....  I don't get the angels part either.

 

Ezekiel and Revelation - well.. doesn't it depend on if you think all the Bible is literally true or not (i.e. literal 7/24 days of creation)?   If not, why can't parts of it be allegorical to teach us a point?  Can it still be true even if the story literally didn't happen?  Vision of heaven can be strange and unusual... it's not of this world.  However, if you read parts of Ez and Revelation from a  historical as well as sacramental/liturgical POV, it really does change how you see it.   For instance... one of the best series I ever heard on the book of Revelations was from an Orthodox priest.   It cleared up a lot of questions I've had over the years concerning the interpretations I'd previously learned but found incomplete and/or downright troubling

 

 

So I guess these are the ways I deal with some of these odd, disturbing, and weird stuff in the Bible.   YMMV

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Literature and poetry are full of nifty devices that aid in transmitting a deeper meaning behind a narrative. The scriptures are full of colloquialisms, jargon, idioms, legends, fables, parables, allegories, metaphors and many other tools that we will always have difficulty interpreting or understanding from within the cultural framework of the modern West.

 

I prefer to rely on the wisdom and credibility of the Church Father's to fill these gaps.

 

Ancient Faith Radio has a great number of podcasts regarding difficult passages and texts in the Bible.

 

Yeah...I don't know. I have read a lot that attempts to help with the troubling parts of the Bible, but those explanations don't ring true for me. Like, I don't recall ever reading apologist's views and feeling like, "ooooh, okay! I get it!" It ends up sounding like explain-away the issue.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, you know, the entire message about God killing his own child to get back at his adulterous lover. "It's okay baby, I killed my kid so now I can forgive you. He was actually me but a different person... so it hurt but not really, because I was able to go through with it. Come on, let's make a congregation together."

 

It doesn't hit you until you actually contemplate sacrificing your own children for your marriage. Then you can finally get how utterly, unforgivably screwed up that idea is and what kind of a horrible, selfish, evil person you'd have to be to go through with it.

 

If I was god and all that were true up to the New Testament, humanity would have been gone in a pinch. "That's it, screwballs. Game over." Not, "Oh, okay. One more chance. But only if my son dies because SOMEBODY has to die and if you die I can't be with you, so the kid gets it."

 

That may be your interpretation...but it is not the Eastern Orthodox interpretation.  I don't worship that god either.

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a lot of unfair things that happen in the bible. Like David's mistakes being paid for by others. But God did warn the people of that. They didn't want to hear from God through a priest. They insisted that they have a king like all the other nations. "But everyone has their own cell phone!"

 

So, after time, he gave them a king. And just like he told them, the king took their young men into battle and took their money. And the people paid for the sins of the king.

 

I think a lot of things that happen in the bible aren't meant to be the best way. They just show what acutally happened, good or bad. I don't know off the top of my head why Judges 19 is there (someone up thread mentioned reading further to understand it.) it isn't a story of what is supposed to happen. It just tells what did happen. Yeah, the guy was horrible to his concubine. What a jerk! It doesn't mean he was right or doing the right thing. It just means that it happened. Women get sold into sexual slavery every day today. Doesn't mean it's right.

 

So...I try to consider, "Is this supposed to have happened? Was it something God warned would happen? Is it an example of things gone wrong," and stuff like that. And then it really helps to understand the history of the area and what their daily life was like--where on the scale were they with women's rights? The bible covers many hundreds of years and different countries.

 

Someone in the future shouldn't read about the French Revolution and think that's what 2015 America is like. Each time period and place need to be studied separately.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

:) for once.

 

 

;)

 

Surely I'm not the first person you've ever known to look at the founding stories of xianity critically. 

 

Even here? No one has mentioned unflattering facts and ideas before me? 

 

Am I your first?  

 

icon_flirt.gif

 

 

In answer to your question, the interpretations of the stories aren't weird to me because they're told as religious stories, and those play by different rules. Things are either accepted as is or interpreted as a foreshadowing or allegorical. I find different aspects weird, like Lot who was so wasted he doesn't recognize he's boinking his own daughters, and yet not so drunk as to be completely impotent. That's amazing. That wine those daughters brought to the cave had to have been like a crazy strong benzodiazepine plus viagra. 

  • Like 11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Surely I'm not the first person you've ever known to look at the founding stories of xianity critically.

 

Even here? No one has mentioned unflattering facts and ideas before me?

 

Am I your first?

 

icon_flirt.gif

 

 

In answer to your question, the interpretations of the stories aren't weird to me because they're told as religious stories, and those play by different rules. Things are either accepted as is or interpreted as a foreshadowing or allegorical. I find different aspects weird, like Lot who was so wasted he doesn't recognize he's boinking his own daughters, and yet not so drunk as to be completely impotent. That's amazing. That wine those daughters brought to the cave had to have been like a crazy strong benzodiazepine plus viagra.

No the first, but you might be the funniest.

 

No, it was more that I didn't want this to be a "refute the Bible" thread. You clearly have many college-thesis-level reams of examination on the subject of Bible weirdness and/or unflattering Bible stories. I don't have time nor inclination to scrutinize such passages; it wasn't the goal of the thread. It was more a level of amazement that people here are reading through the whole Bible, with their kids, some repeatedly...I find that amazing. This activity has never succeeded with me because the Bible just doesn't make for smooth reading for me, so I'm wondering if those who are doing this activity find it troubling at times.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No the first, but you might be the funniest.

 

No, it was more that I didn't want this to be a "refute the Bible" thread. You clearly have many college-thesis-level reams of examination on the subject of Bible weirdness and/or unflattering Bible stories. I don't have time nor inclination to scrutinize such passages; it wasn't the goal of the thread. It was more a level of amazement that people here are reading through the whole Bible, with their kids, some repeatedly...I find that amazing. This activity has never succeeded with me because the Bible just doesn't make for smooth reading for me, so I'm wondering if those who are doing this activity find it troubling at times.

 

Are you surprised by any answers so far?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a lot of unfair things that happen in the bible. Like David's mistakes being paid for by others. But God did warn the people of that. They didn't want to hear from God through a priest. They insisted that they have a king like all the other nations. "But everyone has their own cell phone!"

 

So, after time, he gave them a king. And just like he told them, the king took their young men into battle and took their money. And the people paid for the sins of the king.

 

I think a lot of things that happen in the bible aren't meant to be the best way. They just show what acutally happened, good or bad. I don't know off the top of my head why Judges 19 is there (someone up thread mentioned reading further to understand it.) it isn't a story of what is supposed to happen. It just tells what did happen. Yeah, the guy was horrible to his concubine. What a jerk! It doesn't mean he was right or doing the right thing. It just means that it happened. Women get sold into sexual slavery every day today. Doesn't mean it's right.

 

So...I try to consider, "Is this supposed to have happened? Was it something God warned would happen? Is it an example of things gone wrong," and stuff like that. And then it really helps to understand the history of the area and what their daily life was like--where on the scale were they with women's rights? The bible covers many hundreds of years and different countries.

 

Someone in the future shouldn't read about the French Revolution and think that's what 2015 America is like. Each time period and place need to be studied separately.

Yes, but there are also things that are not too cool, but which God (supposedly) endorses. Like when God orders the complete destruction of all Cannanites, including dashing the heads of infants and hamstringing the horses. Something like that; I haven't looked at in a long while, but these things are presumed to be God's instructions.

 

Or, for a different view, for example, during the plagues of Egypt-- what mother can overlook the God sent the Angel of Death for the firstborns and only the sacrifical blood on the doorposts cleared one from this horrifying punishment. You can see how ancient peoples would accept a story about the death of the enemy's children, but would you now? Finding one's child dead is not an experience I wish on any person, no matter how bitter an enemy.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you surprised by any answers so far?

No, but I doubt you are doing a read-thru with your kiddoes, unless it's to give a book-by-book innoculation against future belief.

 

ETA: sorry. I read that as "are you surprised by MY answers so far..." Dur.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And...I guess not very surprised, no. It's just a perspective I can't really understand or embrace. When I was a devout evangelical, I found many things terribly troubling even then. I just tried to avoid reading/pondering/examining some of the more extreme ones. I remember I would not read the Abraham/Isaac story to my kids because I felt it was so disturbing. I was not a fan of a few other stories, too, that are considered staples of Children's Church; Noah's Flood, for example, or the Tower of Babble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, but I doubt you are doing a read-thru with your kiddoes, unless it's to give a book-by-book innoculation against future belief.

 

ETA: sorry. I read that as "are you surprised by MY answers so far..." Dur.

 

By any answers, not my answers. When you were a believer, did you find stuff in the bible to be weird, and if so, did you really wonder about it or attribute your confusion to something else? I would imagine most believers attribute any confusion to something else (lack of understanding the history/depth/meaning, or chalk it up to mystery/unknowable), I know I did. But I was curious what you expected to hear, if these answers surprised you in any way. 

 

 

ETA: You answered as I was expanding my question.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We use the Family Bible Library.  It's a set of several volumes that has children's Bible stories, but it goes more in-depth than most.  It also has a much broader range than most children's Bibles.  The only story in the whole set that we skip is about Hosea and Gomer.

 

We typically read one story every night while the kids (and sometimes the parents) eat a bedtime snack.  Dd12 and Ds14 are getting a little old for the set, and dd4 is a little on the young side, but it works pretty well.

 

We do read about some of the "disturbing" things that happened, but the littlest ones are usually too busy tearing apart Oreos to really notice.  During some of the stories I do watch their faces to see if they are bothered by what is being read.  The vocabulary seems to go right over their heads.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No the first, but you might be the funniest.

 

No, it was more that I didn't want this to be a "refute the Bible" thread. You clearly have many college-thesis-level reams of examination on the subject of Bible weirdness and/or unflattering Bible stories. I don't have time nor inclination to scrutinize such passages; it wasn't the goal of the thread. It was more a level of amazement that people here are reading through the whole Bible, with their kids, some repeatedly...I find that amazing. This activity has never succeeded with me because the Bible just doesn't make for smooth reading for me, so I'm wondering if those who are doing this activity find it troubling at times.

 

I don't think it is supposed to be smooth reading.  I believe it is meant to be pondered, questioned, struggled with. 

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...