Biblical laws

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The Bible contains many laws, and since they were theoretically created by an omnibenevolent being they should be perfectly just.

While it obviously contains many good laws: Do not murder, do not steal, etc. It also contains quite a few laws that would be considered absurd, unjust, unrealistic, and just plain nasty.

The Bible is also strangly silent on some topics such as pedophilia and public nudity.


Good laws

Exodus 20:12-16 Bible-icon.png " 12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 13 Thou shalt not kill. 14 Thou shalt not commit adultery. 15 Thou shalt not steal. 16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. "

Bad laws

In the Bible, God openly condones slavery, and gives various laws on how slavery should be conducted, for example in the chapter immediately following the Ten Commandments. Exodus 21:7-8 Bible-icon.png: And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do. If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

God required genocide, sometimes with the specific command to show no mercy. He also allowed the Israelites to take the virgins from the nations they conquered, and use them as sex slaves.

One law stated that if a man raped a woman, he would be killed if she was married or engaged... sounds good enough. But if she wasn't married or engaged, a virgin, she would have to marry him! Deuteronomy 22:28-29 Bible-icon.png: If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

So with such a lax law on rape, you'd think the death penalty would be all but non-existant. However another law stated that disobediant children should be stoned to death. Exodus 21:15-17 Bible-icon.png. And people who commit adultery should also be stoned. Leviticus 20:10 Bible-icon.png "And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death." So adultery and disobediance to parents is worse than the rape of a virgin.

Disobediance to parents can theoretically include anything from refusing to clean your room to becoming an atheist. Or punching your abusive father.

What the priests say is law, anyone who disagrees with the preists is stoned. Deuteronomy 17:12 Bible-icon.png

According to Exodus 21:20-21 Bible-icon.png Not only is slavery okay, but it's also okay to beat your slaves... even to death! If a man beats his slave to the point that he dies, he will be punished. But if he beats his slave and the slave survives for a day or two before dying, the owner gets off scott free. (Well not quite, he loses a slave). But not only is slavery and the beating of slaves fine, but the slaves are to show utter and true fidelity even whilst being beaten, all to show the image of God as more attractive.

Ruined laws

One law that, although it sounds good, turned out horribly would be the Sabbath: it states that every seventh day should be a day of rest and worship. But the punishment for not observing this law ruined it. It held the death penalty, so even if you did something simple like for instance: you forget to stack wood before the sabbath, so instead of letting your family freeze you decide to pick up some sticks to burn... that would deserve death according to the law. (Numbers 15:32-36 Bible-icon.png)

Later Jesus condemned the Pharisees for being so strict about the sabbath law. So some might think that god never intended for the rules to be so hard to follow. But that is not supported by the account of the man who was gathering wood, since god specifically told Moses to kill the man. Plus if God didn't want them to be so strict, why did he wait so long to inform them?

Weird laws

Exodus 20:26 Bible-icon.png says that the altar to God should not have steps; otherwise, people might look up the clothes of the person ahead of them.

In Exodus 28:42-43 Bible-icon.png, God says that priests must wear special undergarments when they approach the altar, lest they die of guilt.

Deuteronomy 23:1 Bible-icon.png, says that if you are wounded in the testicles, or your penis has been cut off you can not get into the congregation of the Lord.

Leviticus 18:7-18 Bible-icon.png commands you to not uncover the nakedness of various family members.

Leviticus 18:22 Bible-icon.png states that man shall not lay with mankind as he lays with womankind, leaving god to watch some hot lesbian action.

Leviticus 19:19 Bible-icon.png says it is not allowed to plant different crops on the same field, let different cattle graze together, or wear cloths made of more the one fabric.

Leviticus 19:27 Bible-icon.png says don't cut your hair or or shave your beard.

Leviticus 21:17-18 Bible-icon.png makes it impossible for People who have flat noses, or is blind or lame, to go to an alter of god.

Deuteronomy 13:6-10 Bible-icon.png tells you to kill anyone who suggests worshiping a different religion, even your family.

Leviticus 3:17 Bible-icon.png, you are never to eat blood or fat.

Leviticus 15:19-30 Bible-icon.png says that a woman on her period is unclean and not to be touched. The only cure for this sin of uncleanness is burning a turtle or a young pigeon.

Apologists' defence

But that's the old Bible

When confronted with the unjust laws, which are found mostly in the Hebrew scriptures, Christians will sometimes say that they only accept the Christian Greek scripture. Which contains more wholesome principles like the golden rule or 'forgiving your brother up to 77 times'. But one still has to wonder why it took god over four thousand years before he introduced the good laws. Or why he made bad laws to begin with.

Civil Law versus Moral Law

One tactic, often employed by Ray Comfort is to dismiss weird laws as "civil" pertaining to general advice as opposed to commandments. While it can seem applicable for reasonable advice at the time, it fails to address the clearly bad advice and immoral commandments.

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