Originally posted by googlefudge
It is impressive and depressing the lengths people will go to to try to justify the moral abomination that is the old testament.
What is depressing to you is that you cannot accuse God of being a moral monster. You're depressed because your slanders don't come off so easily.
In Europe and the USA the Methodist, Quakers and the Mennonites would not have been able to write such effective theological treatise to fight against the Slave Trade had they no had the Bible. These writings touched the consciences of many people until Slavery became an intolerable social evil to a large portion of these societies.
You're depressed because some of us are not so easily hoodwinked by your abject ignorance of the Scriptures or of history of the forces that worked to abolish the Slave Trade in its latter incarnations.
The bible CLEARLY explains that this is definitively ownership of people without choice or in many cases a chance for freedom.
This is rather stupid.
Sure there a degree of ownership in the similar sense of the way we speak today. One football team OWNS this player and another football team OWNS another player.
I would not say that there is absolutely NO sense of ownership. But as I think most rational people should be able to see the OT laws prescribed LIMITATIONS.
Why could the fugitive slave find refuge in Israel ?
Why didn't the OWNERSHIP of the mean master the slave ran away from trump the Mosiac law's command that the slave was NOT to be returned to that master ?
Do you think the Slave Trade in 19th US would have flourished if Deut. 23:15-16
had been instituted by Congress:
You shall not deliver to his master the slave who has escaped from his master to you; He shall dwell with you, even in your midst. in the place which he chooses among your towns, wherever he pleases; you shall not oppress him. (Deut. 23:15,16)
So if the US had made such legislation imitating God's law an kidnapped African slave could escape to freedom and have no fear of being taken back to his or her master. But not only so, Jim Crow laws would have to also be struck down because Deuteronomy
said that X slave was also not to be "OPPRESSED" period.
He shall dwell with you, even in your midst. in the place which he chooses among your towns, wherever he pleases; you shall not oppress him. (Deut. 23:16)
I am a descendent of African slaves in the US. I can assure you that oppression
plenty followed X slaves long after Emancipation.
It includes the ability to beat your slave to death, as long as that slave survives a few days after the beating.
It is slavery pure and simple.
No wonder you're depressed. You're trying hard to make "pure and simple" that which clearly had many built in moral limitations to it.
You're saying the law includes the ability to beat your slave to death.
No it doesn't. The law of Moses had many prescriptive commands about what should be done SHOULD this or that was to happen.
Divorce HAPPENED. The LAW prescribed things that were to take place should divorce (which God said He hated) should happen. You're completely twisted in logic if you read those remedies to be God equipping or granting ABILITY for the Hebrews to divorce.
God said in essence "IF this tragic and unrighteous thing should take place, these are the procedures that should accompany."
If a man strikes his male servant or his female servant with a staff so that he or she dies as a result of the blow, he will surely be punished [NAQAM]. However, if the injured servant survives one or two days, the owner will not be punished [NAQAM] , for he has suffered the loss.
I would be depressed also if I twisted this in my mind to read "Thou Shalt Beat Thy Slave To Death" arguing that God was giving the ABILITY for this to be done. My conscience would depress me that I found it necessary to twist the words into such a slanderous misrepresentation of God's words.
The verb naqam
always involves the death penalty in the Old Testament according to Paul Copan, author of Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God
. So what is indicated here is judicial vengeance for the murder of a slave.
Evidence for this is reinforced in the axiom of taking "life for life"
in Exodus 21:23-24)
. He took the slaves life by murder, so capital punishment enacts the judicial vengeance against the master murderer.
I'll give more space to this latter perhaps. But far from giving the murder master ability to do his deed, the law if giving ability to the society to take life for life against a murderous slave master.
And nowhere in the bible does it expressly state "You shall Not own people".
Degrees of ownership of one person over another is a fact of life from ancient times even to today.
And employer has some ownership over the employees if not absolute.
If you don't think so, use your employer's time repeatedly to work for some other person paying you. You'll find out quickly, if caught, that a breach of OWNERSHIP has become a problem to your boss.
Husband and wives have a degree of OWNERSHIP over each other.
Parents have a sense of OWNSHIP upon their children.
Parents with CUSTODY of certain children are assigned a degree of OWNERSHIP.
A sports team boasts of OWNERSHIP of players to the tune of millions of dollars.
Military entities exert OWNERSHIP over their soldiers. In the US if you assault an member of the armed services you may get into trouble for harming property of the United States government. In ancient times it was not different.
The Bible may not say "Thou Shalt Not Own Someone" because OWNERSHIP of people in some degree is a part of human life.
The Bible DOES, however, establish the full PERSONHOOD and dignity of every human being, including the owned slave or indentured servant.
- MEN and WOMEN are all
made in the image of God. It is not just FREE and UNOWNED ones are.
- is an early record of a master's FEAR before God of despising the cause of an owned servant. Divine justice was the concern of the owner for mistreatment of the servant.
"If I have despised the cause of my servant or my maid when they contended with me, What then will I do when God rises up? And when He visits me, what will I answer Him?
Did not He who made me in the womb make them?
God is the Creator of both master and servant, therefore the divinely endowed DIGNITY of both is EQUAL even though there is some ownership of the master over his servant or maid.
Can you find me a writing in an ancient document pre-dating the book of Job
which similarly reveals a person's fear before God of oppressing his servant or maid ?
And of course Deuteronomy 15:1-18
which is too long to discuss here, affirms the full personhood of any servant. Black slaves in the US were only three fifths of a person. So the OT surpassed early US constitutional law concerning the dignity of owned persons.
That people can claim that the bible is moral shows simply that they do not know the meaning of the word.
Concerning the specific charges above, it appears that YOU don't know the Bible or appreciate the righteous limitations which God imposed upon certain societal phenomenon which have been facts of life, albeit unfortunate, since mankind has existed on the earth.
So let's consider the time BEFORE laws. This would be the space of time from Adam's fall until the time of Noah. During this span of history there was no government. This was a truly libertarian soceity. This was in the real sense of the word an ANARCHY
of human history when God allowed every person only to follow their own consceince with no human government turned out badly eventually. The DECLINE and the DOWNWARD DEGRADATION of this society led to the WORST connotations of the world anarchy
. The minds of people were continually evil every moment. And God had to bring in a righteous judgment.
There were so many murders that it would be ridiculous to speak of no OWNERSHIP of one person over another. To deprive another person of life is the furthest expression of one's ownership of another.
So in this world PRE-law of Moses and even pre-human government the WORST forms of man on man ownership ran rampant eventually. God's law prescribed limits.