Author Topic: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.  (Read 747 times)

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Offline Turbo SS

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So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« on: January 30, 2012, 11:32:41 AM »
Here is my post

I know when you bring up the verses about slavery in the bible christians claim that slaves in the old days are treated like employees now. So then I must ask well what about this verse?

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21)


The first reply is not worth mentioning.  2nd reply someone tries to defend it.  Here is his post

The institution of slavery was very much within the nation of Israel as was every nation in the biblical times
It falls under the laws of Mishpatim ,More times than not it was referring to someone who sold themselves into employment for a lengthy period of time due to debt or some other situation, not at all like employees now because each nation looked at someone from a different tribe or nation as property, the Israeli's where no different, there were differant laws for Canaanite slaves and hebrew slaves, The Key word here in the verse you qoute is translated as Rod which is Sebet is a word that comes from a sense of authority,like a Shepard has over his sheep which is where the English word staff or rod comes into play
The laws in Torah were designed for the protection of the slave, It is mentioned with a rod meaning his authority and not weapons that are designed to kill, Every law has an opposite effect upon the violator attempting to maim his slave to establish ownership or again from a sense of authority, would achieve measure for measure, his slave would go free, against the will of the master.
A day or two does not mean leniency on the part of the Torah or Hebrew law , on the contrary, compared with the other laws pertaining to a master who struck his slave with a knife, a rock or anything else, which were tools designed to kill. He was not intending to kill the slave but show his authority, he didnt kill him so he was not put to death but either way the slave went free and the debt forgiven,not great compaired to our society but the best in the area at the time, It is for this reason that scripture mentioned with a staff or Rod, his authority because the Torah allowed him to strike only with a staff, not something that is designed to kill
But none the less slavery was very much a part of ancient Israel but not to the extreme cruelty a layman would take from the simple reading of scripture please study the laws of Mishpatim and put yourself in that timeframe of history before being to quick to come to conclusions
slavery has a Whole other meaning in hasidic Kabbalah


So how should I respond? I was thinking something like this:

So you think its ok to beat other human beings if you lived in a different cerntury? I was thinking well since God is omnipotent shouldn't he be above the culture at the time, realize the bible is for humanity past and future and declare you shouldnt beat slaves at all!!!  Didnt the confederates in the US use verses like this to show God gave them authority to keep and beat slaves?  Why would God write a verse thats only applicable to ancient people and then change his mind and say its no longer ok to beat slaves?  Or are you just guessing thats what he wants because you have a higher moral standard than God and dont want to accept that God approves of beating other people. 
 :o

Offline screwtape

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 12:03:07 PM »
So you think its ok to beat other human beings if you lived in a different cerntury?

I wouldn't say this.  first of all, century is spelled wrong.  Secondly, the person who replied was simply providing and explanation of the institution of slavery as practiced by the ancient hebrews, if I understand his post correctly.  Your proposed reply would jump to the conclusion that he or she has made moral judgments and it does not look like that is the case to me. 

Rather, you might ask why a god who is deemed perfect and absolutely moral saw fit to include commandments forbiding the mixing of certain fibers or certain foods would not see fit to forbid the ownership of other people.  It seems like a glaring omission to me.

Didnt the confederates in the US use verses like this to show God gave them authority to keep and beat slaves?

probably.

Why would God write a verse thats only applicable to ancient people and then change his mind and say its no longer ok to beat slaves?

If absolute and objective morality is true, as many xians claim, then this is a difficult point to answer.

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Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 12:05:36 PM »
I think you are replying along the right lines.

The defense of this Bible verse rests upon concepts of cultural and historical relativity, which is fine if we say the Bible is literature.

But if, as Xians and most other Abrahamic religions contend, the Bible is divinely inspired and a blueprint for a moral life in the 21st century, it doesn't make sense for this passage to be present

(...at least w/o a discussion regarding how humans ought to be striving to move from economic systems where slavery is allowed to economic systems based on fairness...)

In other words, if this Bible verse is bounded by culture and history and has only a vague metaphoric relationship to us (and IMO the guy is really reaching with his metaphoric interpretation of rod!), then the same thing potentially applies to any verse anywhere in the Bible, including the supposed statements of Jesus. 


Offline Turbo SS

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 12:35:23 PM »
Thank you guys. I will edit what I will post on there next.  Yes  I know I have a typo on "century"

I was also thinking about asking him what exact date beating your slaves no longer applied

Offline Energized

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 12:37:27 PM »
The Chosen you're debating used his Decoder Ring. I wish my version of the bible came with one.   :(

I would point out to him, though, that Jee-zus left nothing to the imagination (or someone's interpretation of a word) in Luke 12:47-48

Quote
46The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

 47And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.

 48But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."

While the NIV changes BEATEN for "SEVERELY PUNISHED", the gist is still there and the ignorant should be punished for lack of mind reading ability. If it was good enough for the god of the OT, it was good enough for god 2.0.

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Offline One Above All

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 12:37:46 PM »
I was also thinking about asking him what exact date beating your slaves no longer applied

That question seems irrelevant, IMO.
My reasoning:
If objective morality exists (which is what most theists believe), then either slavery was and always will be good, or YHWH commanded people to do something evil, and therefore is evil.
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Offline Historicity

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 01:08:32 PM »
Quote
not great compaired to our society but the best in the area at the time,

No, rights[1] for slaves existed in other legal codes in the area.  Some excerpts from the Code of Hammurabi:

First the intro:
Quote
Hammurabi, the prince, called of Bel am I, making riches and increase, enriching Nippur and Dur-ilu beyond compare, sublime patron of E-kur; who reestablished Eridu and purified the worship of E-apsu; who conquered the four quarters of the world, made great the name of Babylon, rejoiced the heart of Marduk, his lord who daily pays his devotions in Saggil; the royal scion whom Sin made; who enriched Ur; the humble, the reverent, who brings wealth to Gish-shir-gal; the white king, heard of Shamash...

[then lots of sycophantic yadda-yadda heaped on the king over and over including this however:]

...cared for its inhabitants in their need, provided a portion for them in Babylon in peace; the shepherd of the oppressed and of the slaves; whose deeds find favor before Anunit...

So the klng and his legal code in its preamble state that protection of the slaves was one of its purposes.  Here are some clauses:

Quote
116. If the prisoner die in prison from blows or maltreatment, the master of the prisoner shall convict the merchant before the judge. If he was a free-born man, the son of the merchant shall be put to death; if it was a slave, he shall pay one-third of a mina of gold, and all that the master of the prisoner gave he shall forfeit.

119. If any one fail to meet a claim for debt, and he sell the maid servant who has borne him children, for money, the money which the merchant has paid shall be repaid to him by the owner of the slave and she shall be freed.

146. If a man take a wife and she give this man a maid-servant as wife and she bear him children, and then this maid assume equality with the wife: because she has borne him children her master shall not sell her for money, but he may keep her as a slave, reckoning her among the maid-servants.

171. If, however, the father while still living did not say to the sons of the maid-servant: "My sons," and then the father dies, then the sons of the maid-servant shall not share with the sons of the wife, but the freedom of the maid and her sons shall be granted. The sons of the wife shall have no right to enslave the sons of the maid; the wife shall take her dowry (from her father), and the gift that her husband gave her and deeded to her (separate from dowry, or the purchase-money paid her father), and live in the home of her husband: so long as she lives she shall use it, it shall not be sold for money. Whatever she leaves shall belong to her children.

175. If a State slave or the slave of a freed man marry the daughter of a free man, and children are born, the master of the slave shall have no right to enslave the children of the free.


 1. VERY limited rights

Offline screwtape

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 01:57:16 PM »
I was also thinking about asking him what exact date beating your slaves no longer applied

kcrady had a good quote about that in one of his posts.  I believe it was in relation to objective morals.  do a search on "Appomattox".
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Offline 12 Monkeys

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 03:15:02 PM »
You could start by asking why it is not OK today?,why is it frowned upon,looked at with disgust? Why was it abolished,after all it is ok with God,so much so that he (God) actually endorses it to the point of how to treat and discipline your slaves.

The word of God is unbreakable and he is perfect,but Christians and Jews ignore it,,,well unless of course you count minimum wage labour as slave labour(including forgien workers in slave conditions)
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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 03:23:25 PM »
I would ask for clarification first.

If it was moral then, do today's christians agree it is not moral now?

If slavery isn't moral now, what about other issues christians are big on, based on the bible? Like homosexuality. Couldn't we rewrite the moral code there as well? Just to be nice. Because isn't that what all we non-slave owners are? Nice.
Not everyone is entitled to their own opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline screwtape

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 07:53:41 AM »
Another follow up would be, if slavery is not okay now, why has the bible not been revised?  If that conclusion was divinely inspired, then why should it not also be in the bible?

Of course, the bible was never meant to be a long term guide for humanity.  It expected the world to end centuries ago.
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Offline Energized

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 11:39:26 AM »
Another follow up would be, if slavery is not okay now, why has the bible not been revised?  If that conclusion was divinely inspired, then why should it not also be in the bible?

+1

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'O pitiful shadow lost in the darkness,
Bringing torment and pain to others.
O damned soul wallowing in your sin.
Perhaps it is time to die?'

~Enma Ai, Jigoku Shoujo

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Re: So I asked christians on another forum to explain this verse.
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 01:29:03 PM »
I think if you post a question on another forum, then, you should show every reply made, whether you find any relevance to it or not.  Even the most asinine comment can mean something to someone.

Anyway, they all have their viewpoint, just like "we" do.

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