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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Rose


    I do not agree with your use of the term "sex slave". A slave can include someone who is taken against their will, the same as we would call them prisoners or captives. Prisoners or captives are not necessarily slaves. The definition of slaves needs to be agreed. The definition I have does not fit the circumstances of the 32,000 virgins. The term "sex slave" is akin to "sex trafficking" and that is not what took place.
    Hello David,

    The term "sex slave" is perfectly applicable, because those virgin women were taken against their will and they were taken for the sole purpose of becoming sexual partners to the men (wives). The laws that the Biblegod gave to Moses allowed for women who were taken captive to be given to men who lusted after them, and they had no choice in the matter. It all has to do with sex and taking women against their will which is the perfect definition of sex slavery.

    It seems the only reason you don't like the term "sex slave" is because it sounds bad, and has negative connotations.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    It is a fact that the women and children were saved, and what follows next might be seen as a compromise which God permitted because it was of some benefit for His people. You have mentioned the other example where there was a shortage of wives. All I am saying is we do not know all the circumstances as God knew them and for that reason, God accepted or even directed Moses to make the compromise of keeping the virgins. Let us say, that if the instruction had been carried out as Moses expected, we would be discussing the matter of genocide in which none were saved and would not be discussing slavery of any kind.
    Does it not seem totally outrageous for the Biblegod to allow the Hebrews to massacre the whole town of Jabeshgilead, EXCEPT for the virgin women because the men needed sex partners (wives)? I find that I am at a loss for words as to the atrocious nature of that recorded event. And if that wasn't horrific enough, the Benjamites were then told to go and KIDNAP two hundred more girls from Shiloh!


    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    It is good you ask the questions and in answer to your first question, the Hebrew army was not expected to take prisoners.
    Here is that quote from Deuteronomy again with the parts highlighted in red that you are ignoring.
    Deut. 21:10-14 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife; Then thou shalt bring her home to thine house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; And she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: and after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her.
    This is not the treatment afforded to a slave. As I have said, I agree with you when you say the women were not taken captive willingly. These captives were not treated as slaves and put to work as slaves. I brought the Hebrew's slavery in Egypt to our attention by way of comparing what real slavery is.
    I am not ignoring those parts of the text. What does a woman being called a "wife" have to do with fact that she was taken against her will because a man lusted after her sexually? Do you think it really matters that she is given a month to morn over her family that was slaughtered by the men who took her captive? And what does it matter to her well being whether or not her husband gets money for her when he kicks her out because he is tired of her? The facts of the matter are that this captive woman had no say in anything that happened to her, she did not ask to be taken captive, and she did not ask to be the sex partner of the man who took her. I think it is outrageous for anyone to try and justify that kind of behavior approved of by a being they call god.

    You say the captives were not treated as slaves, but you do not know that to be the case...remember Hebrews were allowed to give their women slaves to their men slaves to marry, yet they still owned the woman slave and any children she bore by her slave husband.
    Exo.21:2-4 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.


    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post

    I am pleased on this point that you have taken into account that the 32,000 virgins were divided up and were not all given to the soldiers. This was not how it was presented in the past. You use the expression again "sex slaves" and I argue against this use of this term. It is not a good description for the events that took place and the term is misleading.
    Do you not think that in time, these 32,000 virgins would not have their own sexual desires to be fulfilled. This is another factor that has to be taken into account int order to get a correct balance to the story.
    Now you accuse me of doing the same thing as have accused you. I will let the readers (having read my responses to you in the past) judge which of us is taking in to account all the words written in these records of history. I hope others get a proper understanding of what was took place.
    The term "sex slave" is an accurate description of what is stated in the text; I have changed nothing nor have I added anything to the text. I presented Deut. 21 which states that a man can take from the captives any woman he desires, then in Judges I showed where virgin women were taken against their will for the sole purpose of wives, and in Numbers I showed where only the virgin women were kept alive and given (without their consent) to the Hebrew men...that is what it means to be a sex slave.


    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Yes, it is interesting and it is good that others must read these passages and come to their own conclusion, including which of us is giving the bigger picture of these events. My justification is pointing out what is actually recorded and emphasizing the parts of the passages you wish to ignore. All I am doing is bringing these other points to the attention of our readers. I am not giving excuses, I am giving my reasons why God is justified in taking vengeance as a way of punishment upon reprobate societies that were a bad influence on God's people. I am not saying that God's people (at that time), were any better. For example,they proved they were not any better, when left alone, they made the golden calf. Nevertheless, God chose the descendants of Abraham to fulfill his promises and so God deals with the wayward actions of His chosen people and did not spare them from punishment that resulted in the loss of many lives. We must remember that God saves the righteous. We have numerous examples where the righteous (in God's sight) were given the opportunity to escape. Once again, we have to get a proper perspective of all these things. I am not blinkered as you suggest. I am opening up our eyes to take into account all the words of scripture. Saying the captive women were "sex slaves" is not an accurate description of events.

    And you Rose

    David
    You have not presented what is actually recorded, you have embellished the account with your own justifications as to why it wasn't so bad for the women who were taken, that they would have adjusted, and they weren't slaves...you know none of those things. The text tells us that the women were taken because they were virgins and given to the men (explicitly as wives in Judges and Deuteronomy), from those two points we know that the virgins were taken after their families were slaughters for the purpose of being given to the men as wives (explicitly implying being used for sexual purposes); no more information needs to be given in order to fulfill the definition of "sex slave". I rest my case in showing that according to the Bible, its god explicitly approved of men capturing women for the sole purpose of wives (sex partners), which means the Biblegod supports sex slavery.


    Take care,
    Rose
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Good morning David,

    Thanks for acknowledging your error. It never should have come up. There are only so many words we can fit on a page. It looks like a rather obvious attempt to distract the conversation from the essential issues. Even if your criticism were true it would not have altered the substance of Rose's post and it certainly would not justify the outrageously false accusations you threw out. You said Rose and I were guilty of "blatant lying and a distortion of the facts that are recorded in the Bible" and that our comments were "an absolute lie, and a travesty of the Biblical record." You attacked our character and called us LIARS. It looks like you were using the most egregious of the "38 dishonest tricks" you have elsewhere falsely accused me of employing even as you employed them yourself (as I proved again in this post and many others). How does your behavior cohere with the teachings of the Bible? Is it not grossly sinful by Biblical standards?

    Though we've never met in person, I think of you as a good friend since we've exchanged thousands of words on many topics and have actually gotten to know each other a bit. So let's try to hold ourselves to higher standards, OK?
    OK. I agree so let's both try and quote accurately and stand corrected when we have not.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Yes, let the readers judge! I am fully confident that all rational skeptics will have no problem seeing where the truth lies. That's why these conversations are so valuable. You bring forth your attempts to justify the Bible and all rational skeptics can see that there is no justification at all. The Bible says what it says and means what it means, and there's no way to avoid this fact.

    If anyone is "conveniently ignoring" what the Bible actually states, it is you and all Biblical fundamentalists who ironically claim to believe the Bible. I say "ironically" because the one characteristic common to all Biblical fundamentalists is that they twist, ignore, pervert, and distort words to force the Bible to fit their preconceived opinions. I consider this an indisputable fact confirmed by ten thousand posts on this forum.
    I have said above and is no different to what I have said from the beginning, I will stand corrected when you can prove your point from the Bible and I acknowledge that I sometimes misquote when going from memory, and I stand corrected when the proper quote is put before me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I'm glad you ask me to do a careful exegesis of Deuteronomy 21. I will do that today if time permits. It will be a part of the foundation of my much larger exegesis that proves the 32,000 virgins in Numbers 31 were taken for "wives" just like the 400 virgins in Judges 20-21 were forcefully taken against their will to be wives. And God himself was actively involved in all these moral crimes.
    That will be appreciated. It will help us focus on all the words. It is OK to draw on principles found elsewhere in the Bible that help give explanation so long as we cite scripture for examples.
    I think when we do an exercise like this, it helps us get into the minds of the characters of the story. Even so, it is difficult to know what it must have felt like living in those times and cultures.

    All the best to you Richard

    David

  3. #13
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    Hello Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Your statement that "Hebrews were not to treat their own kind as slaves" is not entirely accurate. It applies only to male Hebrew slaves. The slavery laws instituted in the Bible are both sexist and racist. Here is the evidence I presented in my article The Art of Rationalization: A Case Study of Christian Apologist Rich Deem:
    Yes, there were times when a poor Hebrew male had to become a slave. Yes there is a degree of racism in that the people of the heathen nations could be treated differently. God regarded the Children of Israel as His servants. Hence the the nation of Israel while in the capacity as servants are also acting as God's witnesses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Your assertion that the captured virgins were "integrated into the Hebrew society as wives and treated as their own kind and not treated as non-Hebrew male slaves" has no basis in the Biblical text. You just made that up. This seems like an egregious error given that you constantly assert that Rose and I are guilty of doing what you constantly do. The text says that female Hebrew slaves could be kept forever, neither they nor their children were ever granted freedom like MALE Hebrew slaves (servants) who willingly sold themselves into temporary servitude. This is all plainly written in the text, but you "conveniently ignored" it. Again, your double standards, inconsistencies, and false accusations are exposed.
    The text tells us that the women were taken as wives and not concubines. In the context of what a wife is, then it is a reasonable assumption that the man and wife would become one (i.e. integrated). This is the problem with being unequally yoked to unbelievers and who becomes the dominant partner. The practice might not always fit the principle, but it would be expected for the wife to adopt the religious practices of the Hebrew husband. If not, then we have problems and that would prove the point that it would have been better for Israel to have killed them all instead of getting perverted by heathen religions. This was the reason for completely removing these heathen nations from the promised land.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Your question about what is meant by "neighbor" is answered in the text:
    Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
    The parallelism in context shows that "thy neighbor" refers to "the children of thy people" (fellow Israelites). I don't know of any command that Hebrews should love Gentiles anywhere in the Old Testament.
    Like you, I know of no command for the Hebrews to love Gentiles. It is usually the Gentiles' religions that are hated. Foreigners, sojourners and pilgrims etc were expected to keep certain Hebrew rituals which we read about in the Book of Leviticus. Showing courtesy, hospitality to strangers is not the same as showing love.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    And you assertion that "The Hebrews were not expected to treat slaves with the same rigor as the Egyptians treated the Hebrews" is not stated in the text. On the contrary, the text explicitly CONTRASTS the treatment of non-Hebrew slaves with the better treatment of Hebrew slaves which were not to be ruled over with "rigour" (which is the same word used in reference to Egypt):
    Leviticus 25:46 46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.
    The fact that you cannot see or will not admit these elementary facts plainly stated in the text suggests that your entire exegesis is fundamentally flawed and biased. I find it outrageously ironic that you constantly assert that Rose and I do the very thing you consistently do.
    The point you make at the end is incorrect. I do stand corrected and I accept here the point you have made here. I was wrong to say that the heathen could not be treated with rigour and I will not make that statement again. However, what I had in mind is probably the idea of abuse. This can be the subject of a different thread to what is meant by the term rigour and whether that term gives people is licence to abuse other people and remove all human rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Your assertion that "God's judgment I accept is better than human judgment" is logically incoherent. You have no knowledge of "God's judgment." Any and all opinions you hold about the Bible are the result of your own fallible human judgment. Suppose, for example, that some perverse person put the story of the 32,000 virgins in the Bible to make God look bad. How would you know?
    It is not logically incoherent when the creator can read minds and knows what is in people's hearts. You might not believe that, but that is what the Bible tells us about God. God knows a person's heart better than you can know it. God who knows more than you is able to make a better judgment based on knowing more facts. We have the story and it does not make God look bad as you would have it, but I take your point. We know that certain works like the Book of Enoch have been rejected by the translators. Other Bibles have the book of Maccabees which the KJV translators rejected. I will go with the KJV and make comparisons between different translations of the books that have been accepted. It is from these accepted works which you do not know that God's hand is not behind the selection of those books, so I am saying we will base our discussion around the books accepted into the KJV.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    There is no way. Has anything like that ever happened before? Yes! Think of the Comma Johanneum which teaches the Trinity:
    1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    How do you think that got in there? You are an adamant anti-trinitarian, so I assume you think that this verse is false. And what about all the apocryphal books accepted by the vast majority of Christians (both Catholics and Greek Orthodox)? If those books are falsely masquerading as the "Word of God" how do you know other than by using your own fallible human reasoning? Your entire presupposition is logically incoherent and so cannot be trusted.
    Jesus is a manifestation of the Word and is not the Word, so I have no problem accepting the verse from John 1.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    You say "Humans are going to be biased" - man, you've certainly proven that, in spades! But why do you think that you are less biased than others? When I read your arguments, I see them dripping with the thickest bias imaginable. You do not deal with what the Bible actually states or what logically flows from the text, but rather you use every trick in the book to justify the Bible to make it conform to your preconceived beliefs. There is a great irony here. If such manipulation is required to understand the Bible, and its plain message cannot be trusted, how then can anyone trust it as a guide to truth? The fact that you firmly believe in fringe doctrines rejected by the vast majority of Christians proves this point. If the Bible is as you say it is, it is useless because no one can agree what it even means.
    Please stick to the context in which I referred to humans being biased. I can say the same of you. You have come to an opinion and that makes you biased for the same reasons you say I am biased. If the Bible is as I say it is, it is far from useless, because God is offering salvation and eternal life. What are you offering? Nada - zilch. Why should I believe your opinion?


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I made no accusation. I informed you that your argument depends upon your presupposition that the Bible is God's Word and so it cannot convince anyone who does not already hold that presupposition. This forms a vicious circle (begs the question) - no one can rationally choose to believe the Bible if that choice must be predicated upon a prior belief in the Bible. You need to show that the Bible is not immoral without merely ASSUMING it is the "Word of God" and hence "moral" by definition.
    Now I believe the word of God to be true, it is no longer a proposition. To me the truth of the Bible is fact. If I once held that as a presupposition, it has since become a fact and is not a presupposition. It is your problem that you do not want to believe the Bible and you are looking for every reason to reject it instead of looking for reasons to accept it. Why cannot you accept all the good parts and forget the bad parts if you cannot reason them out. This is your problem. There is no point keep bringing up these same points time and time again in replies to me. I do not want to keep having to answer the same point over and over again. If I stop replying you will say that I have quit. STOP repeating. You know that I have given reasons for saying that what God did is not immoral. It is not based on a presupposition or an assumption. I have given you my answer in other posts and threads and I do not have to explain it again here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Your assertion that "It is God who has made the rules for man and God is judging by those same rules" is no more meaningful than saying "It is Allah who has made the rules for man and Allah is judging by those same rules." But it does bring up a point of central importance. If God really did inspire the Bible, then he knew that RATIONAL MORAL PEOPLE would have every reason to reject it because it is filled with gross irrationality and moral abominations attributed to God. No amount of sophistry and rhetoric will ever fix this problem because normal folks with basic intelligence can see through all that.
    It is good that the OT has been replaced by the NT. We can still learn lessons from the OT and what you reject has been done away with. We are living by a better standard as demonstrated By Jesus. Those who live a life to the same standard as Jesus are living according to how God wanted men and women to live from the beginning when Adam and Eve were created. Any imperfections you see in the world today, will be done away in the future and perfection will be restored.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    If I "do not support my case as adequately as I think I do" then you shouldn't be having such a difficult time showing me my errors.
    Whatever I show you, you reject and do not accept. I accept my errors when you adequately prove them to me as I have done so in this post and your post before this.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    You missed my point. If it was wicked for the Canaanites to kill some of their own children, how much more wicked was it for God to command the Israelites to kill them all?
    I do not accept the question; " how much more wicked was it for God to command the Israelites to kill them all"? Let's suppose God killed 5 million Canaanites at that time. If God had not killed those 5 million Canaanites, then there could be 500 million by now. The "few" children you reckon were sacrificed by the Canaanites when there was five million Canaanites would be a correspondingly higher number now. The summation of all their wickedness and child sacrifices in the intervening years (millennia) would be far greater than the wickedness that you accuse God of in a single event. The analogy with a cancer that has to be removed, is an appropriate analogy. We know (as God knew) the killing the Canaanites would not be a total or permanent solution to what is a world-wide problem.

    I hope we can move on from this and I look forward to commenting on your exegesis or the story involving the 32,000 virgins.

    All the best

    David
    Last edited by David M; 12-07-2012 at 05:00 AM.

  4. #14
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    Hello Rose

    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Hello David,

    The term "sex slave" is perfectly applicable, because those virgin women were taken against their will and they were taken for the sole purpose of becoming sexual partners to the men (wives). The laws that the Biblegod gave to Moses allowed for women who were taken captive to be given to men who lusted after them, and they had no choice in the matter. It all has to do with sex and taking women against their will which is the perfect definition of sex slavery.

    It seems the only reason you don't like the term "sex slave" is because it sounds bad, and has negative connotations.
    The only reason is that a wife is a help meet for the husband. "Help meet" does not equal "slave". That is the way it was meant to be from the beginning. The principles of God do not change. Therefore, "wife" does not equal "sex slave".


    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Does it not seem totally outrageous for the Biblegod to allow the Hebrews to massacre the whole town of Jabeshgilead, EXCEPT for the virgin women because the men needed sex partners (wives)? I find that I am at a loss for words as to the atrocious nature of that recorded event. And if that wasn't horrific enough, the Benjamites were then told to go and KIDNAP two hundred more girls from Shiloh!
    I agree it sound very bad. It would be far worse if the people God allowed to be killed had not been reprobates. I know we should treat all human life as sacred, but the reality is that there are many in this world that regard life as valueless or cheap. It is regrettable that anyone has to be described as a reprobate ( Definition: a person rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation. ) If God is not going to save them, then it makes no difference if they die or are killed. To humanists (without a belief in God), I understand this is unacceptable to them. The fact that God defines them as reprobates, God has placed no value on their lives and has given them up. Surely, that should make us consider our own position and make us not want to be classed as reprobates by God. I know you do not think murderers should be given the death penalty and that you would prefer them to suffer in prison and you think that they might be able to redeem themselves. I think that is wishful thinking that is not born out in reality. Whilst there is always the exception that proves the rule, for the sake of that one exception, I accept that people are locked up until they die so those who give the penalty are not seen to be murderers. Alas, I have to endure all the world's injustices until God's kingdom comes when all these man-made problems will go away.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    I am not ignoring those parts of the text. What does a woman being called a "wife" have to do with fact that she was taken against her will because a man lusted after her sexually? Do you think it really matters that she is given a month to morn over her family that was slaughtered by the men who took her captive? And what does it matter to her well being whether or not her husband gets money for her when he kicks her out because he is tired of her? The facts of the matter are that this captive woman had no say in anything that happened to her, she did not ask to be taken captive, and she did not ask to be the sex partner of the man who took her. I think it is outrageous for anyone to try and justify that kind of behavior approved of by a being they call god.
    I do sympathize with your point of view. It would be better if there were no wars and there were no sexual crimes and there was no evil in the world. We are not living in a perfect world and the Bible does not hide the fact. This horrible evil mess is caused by man and that is where the blame is laid. You are accusing God of not forcing man to live according to the principles laid down. God showed the way He wanted the Children of Israel to live and gave them rules to observe that would ensure they lived acceptable lives. You do not want to live by God's rules and you expect society to cure itself of all its ills which they could have avoided had God's rules been observed.

    You say the man got money for his wife if he sold her after he became tired of her. That I think is factually incorrect. The correct words are; "if thou have no delight in her". This does not have to mean what you say it means, so we could examine what else we are meant to understand by this phrase. Also, the correct words are; "thou shalt not sell her at all for money". Just as I stand corrected for my misquoting, I think you should acknowledge your own mistake and stop making the repeated mistake.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    You say the captives were not treated as slaves, but you do not know that to be the case...remember Hebrews were allowed to give their women slaves to their men slaves to marry, yet they still owned the woman slave and any children she bore by her slave husband.
    Exo.21:2-4 If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.
    The woman which was given to the Hebrew servant as a wife was already living in the master's household and from what we read the woman belonged to that household even if the Hebrew man left the master's employment and household. Is it right of the Hebrew man to abandon his wife knowing this rule? Was the woman given as a wife a foreigner or an Hebrew or does it not make any difference? When we read the word "given" are we meant to assume the woman was forced to marry or was the woman allowed to decide whether she wanted to be married to the man that was available? Did the woman have a large number of men to choose from or would any man have suited her desire to be married and have children? All these questions and more have to be answered and the circumstances of the place and time have to be taken into consideration before jumping to conclusions (which we all do).


    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    The term "sex slave" is an accurate description of what is stated in the text; I have changed nothing nor have I added anything to the text. I presented Deut. 21 which states that a man can take from the captives any woman he desires, then in Judges I showed where virgin women were taken against their will for the sole purpose of wives, and in Numbers I showed where only the virgin women were kept alive and given (without their consent) to the Hebrew men...that is what it means to be a sex slave.
    The term "sex slave" is misleading. When you got married did you become a sex slave? Did your first husband marry you only to have you as his sex slave? Did sex play major or minor part in your a small part in your marriage relationship?
    I accept the texts you quote. Women were captured and taken as wives, but in the relationship that followed, I do not see the wife as a "sex slave". She was not taken as a wife with the intent of using her just for sex and thereby using and abusing her. Men wanted to marry and have children just as much as women wanted to marry men and have children. The opportunities might not have been so readily forthcoming as they are in our society. There are many factors that have to be taken into account which God would have done and while the rules laid down were appropriate to the time and needs. It is not in keeping with the spirit of God's laws to treat a wife purely as a sex object. Now some men might have, but that is not to say all men did the same.

    Who creates the wars? Are not wars made by man? The root cause for all the difficulty issues we are arguing about, is mankind (men and women). We can all do our bit by living perfect lives, but we do not. We do not lead perfect lives and so we should not blame God for what is our fault. That is why you have to blame man instead of God.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    You have not presented what is actually recorded, you have embellished the account with your own justifications as to why it wasn't so bad for the women who were taken, that they would have adjusted, and they weren't slaves...you know none of those things. The text tells us that the women were taken because they were virgins and given to the men (explicitly as wives in Judges and Deuteronomy), from those two points we know that the virgins were taken after their families were slaughters for the purpose of being given to the men as wives (explicitly implying being used for sexual purposes); no more information needs to be given in order to fulfill the definition of "sex slave". I rest my case in showing that according to the Bible, its god explicitly approved of men capturing women for the sole purpose of wives (sex partners), which means the Biblegod supports sex slavery.
    I am applying the spirit of God's law as it applied to the Hebrews and everyone. I am not perverting the definition of "wife" to mean "sex slave". Men and women were taken as slaves, and it is apparent that they were given the right as slaves to get married. A woman or man as a slave when they became married did not become sex slaves to each other.

    I will bring the teaching and principles of other parts of scripture into my side of the discussion where appropriate. If you think this and my remarks are embellishment, so be it. Your conclusion that God supports sex slavery is based on the poor foundation that a wife is purely a sex object and a slave. That is not the function of a wife and from the perspective of a woman, a man ought not to be thought of as a sex slave.


    All the best

    David

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Richard

    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Your statement that "Hebrews were not to treat their own kind as slaves" is not entirely accurate. It applies only to male Hebrew slaves. The slavery laws instituted in the Bible are both sexist and racist. Here is the evidence I presented in my article The Art of Rationalization: A Case Study of Christian Apologist Rich Deem:
    Yes, there were times when a poor Hebrew male had to become a slave. Yes there is a degree of racism in that the people of the heathen nations could be treated differently. God regarded the Children of Israel as His servants. Hence the the nation of Israel while in the capacity as servants are also acting as God's witnesses.
    Good morning David,

    It is good to find agreement on what the Bible actually states. Without that foundation, all our discussion becomes quite tedious and ultimately meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Your assertion that the captured virgins were "integrated into the Hebrew society as wives and treated as their own kind and not treated as non-Hebrew male slaves" has no basis in the Biblical text. You just made that up. This seems like an egregious error given that you constantly assert that Rose and I are guilty of doing what you constantly do. The text says that female Hebrew slaves could be kept forever, neither they nor their children were ever granted freedom like MALE Hebrew slaves (servants) who willingly sold themselves into temporary servitude. This is all plainly written in the text, but you "conveniently ignored" it. Again, your double standards, inconsistencies, and false accusations are exposed.
    The text tells us that the women were taken as wives and not concubines. In the context of what a wife is, then it is a reasonable assumption that the man and wife would become one (i.e. integrated). This is the problem with being unequally yoked to unbelievers and who becomes the dominant partner. The practice might not always fit the principle, but it would be expected for the wife to adopt the religious practices of the Hebrew husband. If not, then we have problems and that would prove the point that it would have been better for Israel to have killed them all instead of getting perverted by heathen religions. This was the reason for completely removing these heathen nations from the promised land.
    Where does the text tell us that "the women were taken as wives and not concubines"? Here is what the text actually states:
    Numbers 31:17 "Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. 18 "But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves. ... 25 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 26 "You and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the fathers' households of the congregation, take a count of the booty that was captured, both of man and of animal; 27 and divide the booty between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation.
    The word "wife" or "wives" does not appear in Numbers 31 at all. I do not understand why you feel free to make up stuff and falsely assert that it is what the Bible says. Is this not a most egregious error?

    Furthermore, it makes absolutely no sense to say that the slaughter of all the Midianites was justified because they were "reprobates" while the Israelites incorporated 32,000 virgins into their society. You attempted to answer this point by saying:
    If the women saved were properly integrated into the Hebrew society and taught the ways of God, then they would not have led the Hebrews astray. It is a failing on the part of the Hebrews, if they did not fully integrate the women into their society
    Your explanation fails on multiple points. First, there is nothing in the text that says the Midianites were "reprobates beyond saving" (which is the reason you gave Rose). Second, if they were reprobates, then so were the virgins so your argument is logically incoherent. Third, there is no reason to think that the Hebrews could have "integrated" such reprobates "into Hebrew society" in such a way as to prevent their spreading corruption. It seems to me that you are just making up stuff to try to force the Bible to fit your preconceived notions. This is the PRIMARY ERROR that all people seeking truth must directly address or fall victim to. It does not seem that you are aware that you, like me and everyone else, must guard against self-deception. This is why our discussions are so very valuable. We can help each other see and correct self-deception that is common to all of us.

    Do you agree that all humans are prone to self-deception to greater or lesser degrees? Do you agree that any truth seeker must do everything possible to guard against it? If so, do you see that "making excuses" to force ideas to fit preconceived ideas is the greatest danger for any truth seeker? If so, what do you think is the best solution to this problem we all face?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Your question about what is meant by "neighbor" is answered in the text:
    Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
    The parallelism in context shows that "thy neighbor" refers to "the children of thy people" (fellow Israelites). I don't know of any command that Hebrews should love Gentiles anywhere in the Old Testament.
    Like you, I know of no command for the Hebrews to love Gentiles. It is usually the Gentiles' religions that are hated. Foreigners, sojourners and pilgrims etc were expected to keep certain Hebrew rituals which we read about in the Book of Leviticus. Showing courtesy, hospitality to strangers is not the same as showing love.
    Excellent! We have found another point of agreement!

    We're making some serious progress here.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    And you assertion that "The Hebrews were not expected to treat slaves with the same rigor as the Egyptians treated the Hebrews" is not stated in the text. On the contrary, the text explicitly CONTRASTS the treatment of non-Hebrew slaves with the better treatment of Hebrew slaves which were not to be ruled over with "rigour" (which is the same word used in reference to Egypt):
    Leviticus 25:46 46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.
    The fact that you cannot see or will not admit these elementary facts plainly stated in the text suggests that your entire exegesis is fundamentally flawed and biased. I find it outrageously ironic that you constantly assert that Rose and I do the very thing you consistently do.
    The point you make at the end is incorrect. I do stand corrected and I accept here the point you have made here. I was wrong to say that the heathen could not be treated with rigour and I will not make that statement again. However, what I had in mind is probably the idea of abuse. This can be the subject of a different thread to what is meant by the term rigour and whether that term gives people is licence to abuse other people and remove all human rights.
    Wow - I'm glad you proved me wrong on that final point. This is getting exciting! More points of agreement. It's like we are waking up from a fog of confusion. We are actually beginning to see and describe a common vision of reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    Your assertion that "God's judgment I accept is better than human judgment" is logically incoherent. You have no knowledge of "God's judgment." Any and all opinions you hold about the Bible are the result of your own fallible human judgment. Suppose, for example, that some perverse person put the story of the 32,000 virgins in the Bible to make God look bad. How would you know?
    It is not logically incoherent when the creator can read minds and knows what is in people's hearts. You might not believe that, but that is what the Bible tells us about God. God knows a person's heart better than you can know it. God who knows more than you is able to make a better judgment based on knowing more facts. We have the story and it does not make God look bad as you would have it, but I take your point. We know that certain works like the Book of Enoch have been rejected by the translators. Other Bibles have the book of Maccabees which the KJV translators rejected. I will go with the KJV and make comparisons between different translations of the books that have been accepted. It is from these accepted works which you do not know that God's hand is not behind the selection of those books, so I am saying we will base our discussion around the books accepted into the KJV.
    First, a point of clarification: The Book of Enoch was rejected by most, but not all, Christian congregations. It has nothing to do with the "translators."

    This brings up a problem of central importance. You speak of "the books that have been accepted." Accepted by whom? And why? By what authority? Which human authorities do you accept as sufficiently authoritative to tell you which books belong in the Bible? It appears you have never asked yourself this most fundamental of all questions. Everything you believe rests upon your acceptance of the Bible you have received from the Protestant Reformers. But you reject many of their doctrines, such as the Trinity and what happens when a person dies. Why then do you accept them as authorities when it comes to defining the Bible? Other Christians, indeed most, accept other books in the Bible. Some (the Ethiopians) even accept the Book of Enoch. So what is the FOUNDATION upon which your faith in the Protestant Bible rests?

    As for you response to my statement that it is "logically incoherent" to say that "God's judgment I accept is better than human judgment." I was not saying that God couldn't read minds (assuming he exist). That was not my point. My point was that it is logically incoherent for you to think that you can know "God's judgment better than human judgement" because the only way you think you know God's judgment is through your own fallible human judgment. This is another problem of primary importance. It is delusional to think that you know "God's judgment" when all you really know are your own judgments, because for all you know, you could be mistaking your own judgments for those of God. If you ever accidentally do this, then you will be mistaking your own FALLIBLE HUMAN JUDGMENTS for the INFALLIBLE JUDGMENTS OF GOD. This means that you will think that ERROR is ABSOLUTE TRUTH, and that's the definition of "delusion." This is why it is so important to deal with this issue. How you do protect yourself from being deluded by your presuppositions?

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    There is no way. Has anything like that ever happened before? Yes! Think of the Comma Johanneum which teaches the Trinity:
    1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.
    How do you think that got in there? You are an adamant anti-trinitarian, so I assume you think that this verse is false. And what about all the apocryphal books accepted by the vast majority of Christians (both Catholics and Greek Orthodox)? If those books are falsely masquerading as the "Word of God" how do you know other than by using your own fallible human reasoning? Your entire presupposition is logically incoherent and so cannot be trusted.
    Jesus is a manifestation of the Word and is not the Word, so I have no problem accepting the verse from John 1.
    You didn't deal with the real issue that I asked about. I was using that verse only as an example.

    But your answer is very enlightening. It shows, yet again, that the meaning of words is sufficiently fluid to destroy the possibility that the text has any single meaning. It can be made to conform to pretty much any doctrine anyone makes up. This validates the post-modern view of texts which is that they have no real meaning in and of themselves, but only various meanings depending on the interaction between the text and the reader.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    You say "Humans are going to be biased" - man, you've certainly proven that, in spades! But why do you think that you are less biased than others? When I read your arguments, I see them dripping with the thickest bias imaginable. You do not deal with what the Bible actually states or what logically flows from the text, but rather you use every trick in the book to justify the Bible to make it conform to your preconceived beliefs. There is a great irony here. If such manipulation is required to understand the Bible, and its plain message cannot be trusted, how then can anyone trust it as a guide to truth? The fact that you firmly believe in fringe doctrines rejected by the vast majority of Christians proves this point. If the Bible is as you say it is, it is useless because no one can agree what it even means.
    Please stick to the context in which I referred to humans being biased. I can say the same of you. You have come to an opinion and that makes you biased for the same reasons you say I am biased. If the Bible is as I say it is, it is far from useless, because God is offering salvation and eternal life. What are you offering? Nada - zilch. Why should I believe your opinion?
    That's not true at all. I don't have any presuppositions that force me to any particular conclusion. I am totally open to whatever the Bible says, even if it contradicts itself. You cannot admit that the Bible contradicts itself, so you are forced to make up explanations that have no foundation in the text. You and I have nothing in common on this point. You cannot legitimately "say the same thing" about me.

    Post-modern interpreters would agree that you could say the same about me, and add that this is a fundamental problem that applies to all interpretations of all texts, and that this means they have no meaning at all. I don't go so far as that. I think there are ways we can protect ourselves against delusion and the reading of our own meaning into the text. I think I have developed skills in this regard, and that you most certainly cannot "say the same thing about me." I do not torture the text to force it to fit any preconceived idea. I accept that the text may be logically incoherent. That's why I can accept everything it says. You can't do this because you begin with the presupposition that the Bible is God's Word and that it is LOGICALLY COHERENT. Thus, you are compelled to twist words until they "fit" in what you consider to be a "logically coherent" pattern. It is your presupposition that forces you to contort the text.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    I made no accusation. I informed you that your argument depends upon your presupposition that the Bible is God's Word and so it cannot convince anyone who does not already hold that presupposition. This forms a vicious circle (begs the question) - no one can rationally choose to believe the Bible if that choice must be predicated upon a prior belief in the Bible. You need to show that the Bible is not immoral without merely ASSUMING it is the "Word of God" and hence "moral" by definition.
    Now I believe the word of God to be true, it is no longer a proposition. To me the truth of the Bible is fact. If I once held that as a presupposition, it has since become a fact and is not a presupposition. It is your problem that you do not want to believe the Bible and you are looking for every reason to reject it instead of looking for reasons to accept it. Why cannot you accept all the good parts and forget the bad parts if you cannot reason them out. This is your problem. There is no point keep bringing up these same points time and time again in replies to me. I do not want to keep having to answer the same point over and over again. If I stop replying you will say that I have quit. STOP repeating. You know that I have given reasons for saying that what God did is not immoral. It is not based on a presupposition or an assumption. I have given you my answer in other posts and threads and I do not have to explain it again here.
    OK - I guess we both know that you cannot answer these points and you have accepted your faith is no different than Islam, Scientology, or Hinduism. I'll keep that in mind in future posts. I'll make this my last appeal to your reason on this point. And so I will speak plainly and be done with it. To assert "the truth of the Bible is a fact" appears to me to be delusional. There is no foundation for such a belief. It directly contradicts many facts. And most significantly, the Bible does not even define itself, so you assertion is based on nothing but baseless traditions you have uncritically accepted. Your claim that prophecy confirms the Bible is highly disputable, and even if there are some prophecies, that does nothing to discern between the different versions of the Bible with the Apocrypha, or even the Book of Enoch. It doesn't even help you know if all 66 books belong in it. Does this not imply that your faith has no foundation whatsoever? How do you deal with the facts?

    Your assertion that I "do not want to believe the Bible" is false and entirely unfounded. I LOVED believing the Bible for over a decade. Then I began to be honest and admit what it really says. Very few Bible believers are able to be honest about the Bible. I consider this one of the most pathetic ironies - those who most fervently claim to believe the Bible are the least likely to admit and accept what it actually says. (I'm speaking generally, not of you in particular).

    I wish I could agree with your assert that you "have given reasons for saying that what God did is not immoral" but the truth is I've never seen anything like a "good reason" and that's after many thousands of words exchanged between us.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by RAM
    If I "do not support my case as adequately as I think I do" then you shouldn't be having such a difficult time showing me my errors.
    Whatever I show you, you reject and do not accept. I accept my errors when you adequately prove them to me as I have done so in this post and your post before this.
    That's not true. I reject nothing that can be supported with logic and facts. The simple truth is that you do not have any good reasons for many of your beliefs. If you did, you would be able to show my errors. But you can't do that. All you can do is falsely claim that I have no reasons for rejecting your unfounded assertions. I always give good reasons based on logic and facts. If you can't refute me using logic and facts, then my points stand.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    I hope we can move on from this and I look forward to commenting on your exegesis or the story involving the 32,000 virgins.
    That's my plan! I'm working on it. You should see it posted soon. I'm hoping to finish today.

    Great chatting, my friend. I think we are making some wonderful progress.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Rose

    Quote Originally Posted by Rose
    Hello David,

    The term "sex slave" is perfectly applicable, because those virgin women were taken against their will and they were taken for the sole purpose of becoming sexual partners to the men (wives). The laws that the Biblegod gave to Moses allowed for women who were taken captive to be given to men who lusted after them, and they had no choice in the matter. It all has to do with sex and taking women against their will which is the perfect definition of sex slavery.

    It seems the only reason you don't like the term "sex slave" is because it sounds bad, and has negative connotations.
    The only reason is that a wife is a help meet for the husband. "Help meet" does not equal "slave". That is the way it was meant to be from the beginning. The principles of God do not change. Therefore, "wife" does not equal "sex slave".
    Hey there David,

    Your response did not address the point Rose raised. I think her point is valid. The women were kidnapped against their will, and made to be "wives" against their will as is obvious since it seems quite unlikely that any woman would willingly give her body to the soldiers that slaughtered every person she ever loved.

    Richard
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Rose

    The only reason is that a wife is a help meet for the husband. "Help meet" does not equal "slave". That is the way it was meant to be from the beginning. The principles of God do not change. Therefore, "wife" does not equal "sex slave".
    Hi David,

    I am not talking about a wife being a help mate as you well know. This whole conversation is about the women who were taken against their will to be sex slaves for the Hebrew men. When a person is taken against their will that is considered kidnapping and slavery. How many times do I have to point out the pertinent fact of BEING TAKEN AGAINST A PERSONS WILL!

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Originally Posted by Rose

    Does it not seem totally outrageous for the Biblegod to allow the Hebrews to massacre the whole town of Jabeshgilead, EXCEPT for the virgin women because the men needed sex partners (wives)? I find that I am at a loss for words as to the atrocious nature of that recorded event. And if that wasn't horrific enough, the Benjamites were then told to go and KIDNAP two hundred more girls from Shiloh!


    I agree it sound very bad. It would be far worse if the people God allowed to be killed had not been reprobates. I know we should treat all human life as sacred, but the reality is that there are many in this world that regard life as valueless or cheap. It is regrettable that anyone has to be described as a reprobate ( Definition: a person rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation. ) If God is not going to save them, then it makes no difference if they die or are killed. To humanists (without a belief in God), I understand this is unacceptable to them. The fact that God defines them as reprobates, God has placed no value on their lives and has given them up.
    Are you saying that all the Hebrew people of Jabesgilead (except the virgin women) were reprobates? Did god decide to save the virgin women because the men wanted them? What about the boy children, why weren't they saved? Bottom line is that people of that time period saw no wrong in killing people and taking their women, consequently the god that they believed in saw no problem with it either.


    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Originally Posted by Rose
    I am not ignoring those parts of the text. What does a woman being called a "wife" have to do with fact that she was taken against her will because a man lusted after her sexually? Do you think it really matters that she is given a month to morn over her family that was slaughtered by the men who took her captive? And what does it matter to her well being whether or not her husband gets money for her when he kicks her out because he is tired of her? The facts of the matter are that this captive woman had no say in anything that happened to her, she did not ask to be taken captive, and she did not ask to be the sex partner of the man who took her. I think it is outrageous for anyone to try and justify that kind of behavior approved of by a being they call god.
    You say the man got money for his wife if he sold her after he became tired of her. That I think is factually incorrect. The correct words are; "if thou have no delight in her". This does not have to mean what you say it means, so we could examine what else we are meant to understand by this phrase. Also, the correct words are; "thou shalt not sell her at all for money". Just as I stand corrected for my misquoting, I think you should acknowledge your own mistake and stop making the repeated mistake.
    I didn't say the man got money for her, what I said was "whether or not her husband gets money for her"...meaning that monetary value is not important to the point I was making. The point is that the man is free to get rid of his wife if he gets tired of her!



    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post

    The term "sex slave" is misleading. When you got married did you become a sex slave?
    Did your first husband marry you only to have you as his sex slave? Did sex play major or minor part in your a small part in your marriage relationship?
    I accept the texts you quote. Women were captured and taken as wives, but in the relationship that followed, I do not see the wife as a "sex slave". She was not taken as a wife with the intent of using her just for sex and thereby using and abusing her. Men wanted to marry and have children just as much as women wanted to marry men and have children. The opportunities might not have been so readily forthcoming as they are in our society. There are many factors that have to be taken into account which God would have done and while the rules laid down were appropriate to the time and needs. It is not in keeping with the spirit of God's laws to treat a wife purely as a sex object. Now some men might have, but that is not to say all men did the same.
    Again, I am not speaking of regular marriages where people get to choose who they marry. What I am addressing is what was going on in Judges 21 and Numbers 31, those women were taken after their families were slaughtered, they had no choice in the matter as I have reiterated over and over again. The Hebrew men who took the captive women did so for one reason only and that was to have a sex partner...that is called sex slavery.

    What does men wanting to marry and have children have to do with kidnapping women against their will? The relevant point here is that the Biblegod ALLOWED the Hebrew men to acquire women that they desired by simply slaughtering their families and taking them, there was no consideration whatsoever given to the woman who was kidnapped.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post

    I am applying the spirit of God's law as it applied to the Hebrews and everyone. I am not perverting the definition of "wife" to mean "sex slave". Men and women were taken as slaves, and it is apparent that they were given the right as slaves to get married. A woman or man as a slave when they became married did not become sex slaves to each other.

    I will bring the teaching and principles of other parts of scripture into my side of the discussion where appropriate. If you think this and my remarks are embellishment, so be it. Your conclusion that God supports sex slavery is based on the poor foundation that a wife is purely a sex object and a slave. That is not the function of a wife and from the perspective of a woman, a man ought not to be thought of as a sex slave.


    All the best

    David
    I am not perverting the definition of wife to mean sex slave either, that is why I was careful to define the women who were taken against their wills as sex partners, or sex slaves. To truly be a wife a woman should have the choice of entering into the relationship of her own free will...not to have her family slaughtered and then kidnapped.

    Take care,
    Rose
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Are you saying that all the Hebrew people of Jabesgilead (except the virgin women) were reprobates? Did god decide to save the virgin women because the men wanted them? What about the boy children, why weren't they saved? Bottom line is that people of that time period saw no wrong in killing people and taking their women, consequently the god that they believed in saw no problem with it either.
    Hello Rose
    I am saying that the heathen nations were nationally considered as reprobates by God for the reasons I gave; principally because of their idolatry. Show me an example where God kills righteous people. We have examples where God gave the opportunity for righteous people to escape the destruction that was coming on cities like Sodom and Gomorrah and Jericho.

    The one important point I want to comment on from your reply is the fact that Moses was angry when he found out that the women and children had been saved. We have to ask ourselves; why was Moses angry? The fact that the women would be a further snare is only part of the reason. The real reason is that Moses's expectation had not been met. This makes us think that Moses must have communicated his instructions incorrectly or that his instructions as received from God previously had been assumed. It is the same principle laid down by God when His people entered the Promised Land. That principle meant that the Land had to be cleared of all its inhabitants and none should be spared. The same should have applied here. It is the same principle by which people will not enter the kingdom of God. Reprobates will not enter the kingdom of God. God said to Moses that His people could be avenged; this was giving them permission to kill. As to the exact instructions we are not given them here so we have to draw on principles we find elsewhere in God's word, which is what I have done.

    So then, Moses is presented with a problem that Moses decides the solution. The fact that God let Moses make that decision and did not interfere is a presumption to say that God condoned it or commanded it. What we find is this; God, lets man get on with making decisions that do not interfere with His purpose. If a thing goes against the purpose of God, God will not allow it and it will not happens. As I have said elsewhere, this is why we ought always to say for anything we intend to do; "God willing". No-one person or nation will divert the purpose of God. God will work around the problems created by man. Now if man makes a decision and it is the wrong decision, then man has to live by his mistakes, the same as he must live with the consequences of sin. This is what comes out in the story of King David, who was not spared the consequences of his actions that resulted in his authority undermined by his own family and all the terrible events that ensued. The Bible has recorded all these terrible events so that we can draw lessons from them. To me, it shows that man is to blame in every case and God is not the one to blame.

    So then, Moses was presented with a problem that was probably of his own making that stemmed from poor communication. Moses decided to keep the virgins for the reasons we are not told. Therefore, we try to make and educated guess. In so doing we bring to mind all other considerations. We might not agree with Moses's decision and that is the fallibility of men. Harsh as it sounds, this problem of the 32,000 virgins would not have arisen if all the people had been killed an no women and children saved. The argument we would be having would be about genocide only. Moses's decision is the cause for the discussion we are having now and difference of opinion as to the way the virgins were treated.

    In the end, once the virgins were integrated into the Hebrew society, who are we to say that many of them did not go on to have happy lives and be content with their lot? I am not making excuses for what happened and it does not get over the fact that this period would have meant intense bitterness and sadness for those virgins. Any situation like this will have those consequences. Generally over time memories fade and do not remain dominant. Time effectively heals. One month might not seem long to be given to grieve, but in those days and in that culture, that is the time that was given. The handling of the virgins and the consideration given to them, is far from barbaric even if we consider the military methods used in times of war as barbaric. All war is barbaric if not war is not considered humane.

    Though I see where you are coming from and will agree on many points, I do not agree that God or the Bible is supporting "sex slavery".

    All the best

    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Good morning David,

    It is good to find agreement on what the Bible actually states. Without that foundation, all our discussion becomes quite tedious and ultimately meaningless.


    Where does the text tell us that "the women were taken as wives and not concubines"? Here is what the text actually states:
    Numbers 31:17 "Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. 18 "But all the girls who have not known man intimately, spare for yourselves. ... 25 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 26 "You and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the fathers' households of the congregation, take a count of the booty that was captured, both of man and of animal; 27 and divide the booty between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation.
    The word "wife" or "wives" does not appear in Numbers 31 at all. I do not understand why you feel free to make up stuff and falsely assert that it is what the Bible says. Is this not a most egregious error?
    This is the difference between us, you are blinkered to the text and forget the principles that were laid down. You are not looking within the Bible to get to to the truth. The fact that "wife" is not mentioned does not mean that the virgins were not saved to become wives. Maybe the principle that was laid down before this episode is why Moses made the decision he did and the virgins were kept to be wives.
    Deuteronomy 21;
    9 So shalt thou put away the guilt of innocent blood from among you, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD.
    10 When thou goest forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive,
    11 And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her, that thou wouldest have her to thy wife;


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Furthermore, it makes absolutely no sense to say that the slaughter of all the Midianites was justified because they were "reprobates" while the Israelites incorporated 32,000 virgins into their society. You attempted to answer this point by saying:
    If the women saved were properly integrated into the Hebrew society and taught the ways of God, then they would not have led the Hebrews astray. It is a failing on the part of the Hebrews, if they did not fully integrate the women into their society
    Your explanation fails on multiple points. First, there is nothing in the text that says the Midianites were "reprobates beyond saving" (which is the reason you gave Rose). Second, if they were reprobates, then so were the virgins so your argument is logically incoherent. Third, there is no reason to think that the Hebrews could have "integrated" such reprobates "into Hebrew society" in such a way as to prevent their spreading corruption. It seems to me that you are just making up stuff to try to force the Bible to fit your preconceived notions. This is the PRIMARY ERROR that all people seeking truth must directly address or fall victim to. It does not seem that you are aware that you, like me and everyone else, must guard against self-deception. This is why our discussions are so very valuable. We can help each other see and correct self-deception that is common to all of us.
    I know you love to debate and you do not pick up on some of the points I make and so as you would say; "you miss my point". A nation can be considered to be reprobates on a national level. This does not say that some righteous people could have lived among them. God has shown us of times when the righteous were saved and I will stick to that point of view that God saves the righteous. The fact you do not accept is; the the children of whatever gender (one would presume young girls to be virgins) those children would have grown up to accept the idolatry of their parents. That is why they would have grown up to be reprobates. If there was an exception to this, then I expect God would have saved them. The fact that God did not save them, proves my point. I have explained the problem and the decision made by Moses in my reply to Rose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Do you agree that all humans are prone to self-deception to greater or lesser degrees? Do you agree that any truth seeker must do everything possible to guard against it? If so, do you see that "making excuses" to force ideas to fit preconceived ideas is the greatest danger for any truth seeker? If so, what do you think is the best solution to this problem we all face?
    The best solution is to keep hearing all the arguments and take into consideration all the principles laid down by God. Principles that do not change (as God does not change). We draw our conclusions from all the facts that we have at the time of drawing our conclusion. If new facts come along to make us change/modify our conclusion, then that is what must happen.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    First, a point of clarification: The Book of Enoch was rejected by most, but not all, Christian congregations. It has nothing to do with the "translators."
    I agree it was not the translators but the body of people who appeared to make the decision to include the Books that made up the King James Version of the Bible. So we have another point of agreement.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    This brings up a problem of central importance. You speak of "the books that have been accepted." Accepted by whom? And why? By what authority? Which human authorities do you accept as sufficiently authoritative to tell you which books belong in the Bible? It appears you have never asked yourself this most fundamental of all questions. Everything you believe rests upon your acceptance of the Bible you have received from the Protestant Reformers. But you reject many of their doctrines, such as the Trinity and what happens when a person dies. Why then do you accept them as authorities when it comes to defining the Bible? Other Christians, indeed most, accept other books in the Bible. Some (the Ethiopians) even accept the Book of Enoch. So what is the FOUNDATION upon which your faith in the Protestant Bible rests?
    I said that I can see the hand of God in preserving His word and that is all I need to know. Who the precise body of people were makes no difference. God rules in the kingdoms of men and that is sufficient for me to know that God will work to influence any committee/church where it suits God's purpose on matters like the preserving the truth for mankind. The proof is that we have the Bible today when it could so easily have been destroyed completely by those dictators that tried to eradicate it. The proof of God's involvement is not a proof that can be documented. This is in the same the proof of miracles cannot be documented. It is a miracle the Bible has survived. It is also hard to prove by documentary evidence that a miracle has not occurred, when there is the evidence that a miracle has been done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    As for you response to my statement that it is "logically incoherent" to say that "God's judgment I accept is better than human judgment." I was not saying that God couldn't read minds (assuming he exist). That was not my point. My point was that it is logically incoherent for you to think that you can know "God's judgment better than human judgement" because the only way you think you know God's judgment is through your own fallible human judgment. This is another problem of primary importance. It is delusional to think that you know "God's judgment" when all you really know are your own judgments, because for all you know, you could be mistaking your own judgments for those of God. If you ever accidentally do this, then you will be mistaking your own FALLIBLE HUMAN JUDGMENTS for the INFALLIBLE JUDGMENTS OF GOD. This means that you will think that ERROR is ABSOLUTE TRUTH, and that's the definition of "delusion." This is why it is so important to deal with this issue. How you do protect yourself from being deluded by your presuppositions?
    I wonder if our other readers have the same problem in understanding me and the point I am making. If you want to keep tripping me up on my wording when the sense can be clearly understood, then that is the way I see you winning your argument by making me appear to say absurd things. I think that I am being logical in saying; God knows things that man does not know. God's judgment is based on things that man does not know. God's judgment when based on all the facts (including those not known by man) has to be better. Man is not just, God is just. Do you need proof. Is not the record of God prove that He is just?

    Knowing all the facts or as many of the facts that we can at the time or drawing a conclusion is the best we can do.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    You didn't deal with the real issue that I asked about. I was using that verse only as an example.

    But your answer is very enlightening. It shows, yet again, that the meaning of words is sufficiently fluid to destroy the possibility that the text has any single meaning. It can be made to conform to pretty much any doctrine anyone makes up. This validates the post-modern view of texts which is that they have no real meaning in and of themselves, but only various meanings depending on the interaction between the text and the reader.
    If I have not dealt with it as you expected, then so be it, I replied in the way that I intended and I can let this matter rest. Your refusal to accept what might be the true meaning and stick with words that you do not know what the author would have approved of when other words can be use which do, is the reason for your own error and beliefs that I regard as wrong and not true. Let's keep reasoning on these things and not just accuse the other of falsely believing.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    That's not true at all. I don't have any presuppositions that force me to any particular conclusion. I am totally open to whatever the Bible says, even if it contradicts itself. You cannot admit that the Bible contradicts itself, so you are forced to make up explanations that have no foundation in the text. You and I have nothing in common on this point. You cannot legitimately "say the same thing" about me.
    I do not remain open to your assertion the Bible contradicts itself. If verses are properly understood that explains any apparent contradiction, then there is no contradiction in that verse. This is the conclusion I have drawn based on all the facts I have. The fact is you have not and do not accept explanations that take away the apparent contradictions. Therefore, you stick to your own conclusions the same as I stick to mine. Unless new evidence come forth that we accept, neither of us will change our conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Post-modern interpreters would agree that you could say the same about me, and add that this is a fundamental problem that applies to all interpretations of all texts, and that this means they have no meaning at all. I don't go so far as that. I think there are ways we can protect ourselves against delusion and the reading of our own meaning into the text. I think I have developed skills in this regard, and that you most certainly cannot "say the same thing about me." I do not torture the text to force it to fit any preconceived idea. I accept that the text may be logically incoherent. That's why I can accept everything it says. You can't do this because you begin with the presupposition that the Bible is God's Word and that it is LOGICALLY COHERENT. Thus, you are compelled to twist words until they "fit" in what you consider to be a "logically coherent" pattern. It is your presupposition that forces you to contort the text.
    You accept logically incoherent text on which to ground your belief in logic and facts. That seems inconsistent to me and a massive mistake. The fact is, I interpret the text in a way that makes it logically coherent and is the reason I draw the conclusions I have. I do not have to "twist" words to force the meaning. If no words could be found or were totally inconsistent and could not be made to fit, then your point would be valid. Accept all possible interpretations that are legitimate and are not in error before reaching a conclusion. By rejecting explanations that are just as legitimate as yours, you exclude the facts from all possible facts by which to draw a conclusion. Your conclusion is therefore based on a limited number of facts/explanations.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    OK - I guess we both know that you cannot answer these points and you have accepted your faith is no different than Islam, Scientology, or Hinduism. I'll keep that in mind in future posts. I'll make this my last appeal to your reason on this point. And so I will speak plainly and be done with it. To assert "the truth of the Bible is a fact" appears to me to be delusional. There is no foundation for such a belief. It directly contradicts many facts. And most significantly, the Bible does not even define itself, so you assertion is based on nothing but baseless traditions you have uncritically accepted. Your claim that prophecy confirms the Bible is highly disputable, and even if there are some prophecies, that does nothing to discern between the different versions of the Bible with the Apocrypha, or even the Book of Enoch. It doesn't even help you know if all 66 books belong in it. Does this not imply that your faith has no foundation whatsoever? How do you deal with the facts?
    To accept the fact of the reality of God's word as I have come to accept it, is no more delusional as you for now rejecting it. You have reached your conclusions by accepting a limited number of explanations/facts.
    There is a verse that does partly explain itself (2 Tim 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, For you to ignore this fact and say that the writing of Paul is of itself not inspired writing is going to lead you to the conclusions you make. Now I have given you an answer that makes your claim that "the Bible does not define itself" is a false statement. To now refuse to accept this shows us why no one will ever convince you or win with you. Your type of reasoning is not going to convince me when you do not accept what Paul has written is true. That is what Paul believed and I believe Paul because he was chosen by God to spread God's word to the Gentiles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Your assertion that I "do not want to believe the Bible" is false and entirely unfounded. I LOVED believing the Bible for over a decade. Then I began to be honest and admit what it really says. Very few Bible believers are able to be honest about the Bible. I consider this one of the most pathetic ironies - those who most fervently claim to believe the Bible are the least likely to admit and accept what it actually says. (I'm speaking generally, not of you in particular).
    What I say might be untrue for the reasons you have, but from my perspective this is what you lead me to think. The way you reject what parts of the Bible say such as "all scripture is given by the inspiration of God" I think proves my point. If you argue against this, you are not accepting what the Bible says. I accept what the Bible says and I find meaning to all that it says and sometimes the meaning is not the face value of the words that the translators have used.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    I wish I could agree with your assert that you "have given reasons for saying that what God did is not immoral" but the truth is I've never seen anything like a "good reason" and that's after many thousands of words exchanged between us.
    It is better you say that you do not agree with my reason than for me to be accused of not answering or giving you a reason. I will try and do better and find a form of words that you can accept. Is it moral that we die? Maybe we should start at the beginning of when the relationship between Maker and Man began.


    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    That's not true. I reject nothing that can be supported with logic and facts. The simple truth is that you do not have any good reasons for many of your beliefs. If you did, you would be able to show my errors. But you can't do that. All you can do is falsely claim that I have no reasons for rejecting your unfounded assertions. I always give good reasons based on logic and facts. If you can't refute me using logic and facts, then my points stand.
    You have said above; "I accept that the text may be logically incoherent. That's why I can accept everything it says." I see this as a massive mistake and you accept the texts when they appear to be logically incorrect. First of all, I would try to see if they can be made to be logically correct by looking at all possible explanations by considering all possible words the translators could have used and the meaning of the words intended as best we can know what the author intended us to know. Unless this is done, errors in believing what is the truth are bound to arise. Stop accusing me of doing something you ought to be doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    That's my plan! I'm working on it. You should see it posted soon. I'm hoping to finish today.
    I am hoping that you will "read between the lines" and call other principles of scripture into account and what we learn from other parts of scripture. To us, these stories leave out a lot of finer detail, yet do we ask why has such and such that we read has been recorded?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Great chatting, my friend. I think we are making some wonderful progress.
    We do seem to have made a little progress. I must make a note of the things we agree on so I can be reminded. However, the proof of real agreement is when I deal with the same matters again that will not get you replying in disagreement

    All the best

    David
    Last edited by David M; 12-08-2012 at 06:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    Hello Rose

    The one important point I want to comment on from your reply is the fact that Moses was angry when he found out that the women and children had been saved. We have to ask ourselves; why was Moses angry? The fact that the women would be a further snare is only part of the reason. The real reason is that Moses's expectation had not been met. This makes us think that Moses must have communicated his instructions incorrectly or that his instructions as received from God previously had been assumed. It is the same principle laid down by God when His people entered the Promised Land. That principle meant that the Land had to be cleared of all its inhabitants and none should be spared. The same should have applied here. It is the same principle by which people will not enter the kingdom of God. Reprobates will not enter the kingdom of God. God said to Moses that His people could be avenged; this was giving them permission to kill. As to the exact instructions we are not given them here so we have to draw on principles we find elsewhere in God's word, which is what I have done.
    In asking ourselves "why was Moses angry?" we need to examine the text closely. First we see that the Lord commands Moses to kill all the males, then the text says that the Hebrews took ALL the women (ishshah) and children captive. After that we read that Moses is angry with the officers and captains, because they saved ALL the women (neqebah) alive...apparently some of these non-virgin women had been the cause of the Hebrew men trespassing against the Lord. So, Moses proceeds to command the soldiers to kill all the male children and non-virgin women, then he commands them to keep the virgins alive for themselves!
    Num.31:7 And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males...9) And the children of Israel took all the women(ishshah) of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods...14) And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women (neqebah) alive? Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

    This seems to pretty well explain why Moses was angry, but that really is not the point of this thread which is titled "Does the Bible support sex slavery?" It is abundantly clear from the text that the Bible most certainly does support sex slavery. Moses explicitly told the Hebrew men that they were to keep the virgins alive and take them for themselves!


    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    So then, Moses is presented with a problem that Moses decides the solution. The fact that God let Moses make that decision and did not interfere is a presumption to say that God condoned it or commanded it. What we find is this; God, lets man get on with making decisions that do not interfere with His purpose. If a thing goes against the purpose of God, God will not allow it and it will not happens.

    So then, Moses was presented with a problem that was probably of his own making that stemmed from poor communication. Moses decided to keep the virgins for the reasons we are not told. Therefore, we try to make and educated guess. In so doing we bring to mind all other considerations. We might not agree with Moses's decision and that is the fallibility of men. Harsh as it sounds, this problem of the 32,000 virgins would not have arisen if all the people had been killed an no women and children saved. The argument we would be having would be about genocide only. Moses's decision is the cause for the discussion we are having now and difference of opinion as to the way the virgins were treated.
    First you say that because god let Moses make a decision doesn't mean the he condoned it, then you say that if something goes against the purpose of god he will not allow it. It can't be both, so which is it? As it stands, if you believe that the Biblegod is the one true god then he is responsible for the contents of his book, and it seems very clear that he supports capturing women for the sole purpose getting wives as is recorded in the Jabeshgilead account.

    Quote Originally Posted by David M View Post
    In the end, once the virgins were integrated into the Hebrew society, who are we to say that many of them did not go on to have happy lives and be content with their lot? I am not making excuses for what happened and it does not get over the fact that this period would have meant intense bitterness and sadness for those virgins. Any situation like this will have those consequences. Generally over time memories fade and do not remain dominant. Time effectively heals. One month might not seem long to be given to grieve, but in those days and in that culture, that is the time that was given. The handling of the virgins and the consideration given to them, is far from barbaric even if we consider the military methods used in times of war as barbaric. All war is barbaric if not war is not considered humane.

    Though I see where you are coming from and will agree on many points, I do not agree that God or the Bible is supporting "sex slavery".

    All the best

    David
    The points I am making have nothing to do with whether or not the virgin women eventually integrated into the Hebrew society. If someone murders your family and you eventually forgive them that has no bearing on the fact that the murderer is still guilty of killing your family. I have been reiterating this point over and over again, according to the Bible, the Hebrew men were allowed to take virgin women of their choosing to become sex partners for them, with the explicit approval of their god...that is the definition of sex slavery. We have no way of knowing whether or not those women adapted to their new lives or not, so it is a mute point. Just because a person resigns themselves to their lot in life as a captive wife, does not justify the action that was taken in acquiring a wife.

    Take care,
    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

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