Tag Archives: Difficult Texts

Does the Bible Endorse Slavery? Answering Sam Harris (Part One)

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See also: The Bible and the Abolition of Slavery In a relatively popular Daily Wire YouTube video, Sam Harris has lamented that the Bible does not condemn slavery.

Unfortunately, Harris seem to present a hopelessly naïve view of what slavery meant in different regions and cultures over time.

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Difficult Text, Quick Answer: The Sacrifice of Isaac

Q: How could a good God command Abraham to sacrifice his only son? 

A: As always, it’s important to read the whole text and not to take it out of context. Any Israelite encountering this story for the first time would have been genuinely horrified when they heard  God’s command.

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Difficult Text, Good Question, Quick Answer: Sticks, Stoning and the Sabbath

Q: I can’t make much sense of this story; it seems as if God is acting in an unfair, unjust manner.

Numbers 15 v 32 One day while the people of Israel were in the wilderness, one of them was caught gathering wood on the Sabbath day.33 He was arrested and taken before Moses and Aaron and the other judges.34 They jailed him until they could find out the Lord’s mind concerning him.

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Morality and the Old Testament Law: Seven Quick Points

When Christians argue that God is the ground of morality, they are not arguing that we need the Bible to have moral knowledge. God himself, not the scriptures, is the ground of morality, right and wrong, good and evil! The apostle Paul was quite clear: a person can know deep moral truths even if they have never heard the scriptures.

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Around the Web: Weird Laws and Genocidal Tribes

The Old Testament creates a number of puzzles. For example, what should we make of the strange laws in the Torah? Christopher JH Wright gives an insightful answer in this article, explaining how we can learn to love Leviticus. Richard Hess illuminates the world of the Old Testament in these articles, which defend the historicity of the Old Testament texts and deal with the difficult issue of Israel’s war with the Canaanites.

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