Emily Timbol

The 20 Most Misunderstood Verses in the Bible

Mar
10

(This is a piece I originally wrote for CuratedQuotes.com, but they ultimately decided it was too big for them to run. Since I spent quite a bit of time on it though, I wanted to go ahead and share it. Would love to hear your thoughts.)

Anyone who grew up in the church, or with friends and family who did, is familiar to some extent with the Bible. It’s the foundation of the Christian religion and the book that millions of people claim to live by. Yet even though we’ve spent over 500 years trying to fathom it, many people still get what it says wrong. You can blame this on bad interpretation, teaching, or cultural bias, but the fact is many religious people don’t know the meaning of the core verses they pass around. Here is a list of 20 of these most commonly misunderstood Bible verses.

1) Jeremiah 29:11 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Entire churches have been started on the misinterpretation of this verse, found in the Old Testament. The most popular understanding, that spurned the “prosperity gospel,” is that God wants you, yes you, to prosper. How? With money of course! And happiness. A future of prosperity is enticing enough to fill whole arenas with Christians every Sunday, eager for their share.

But mansions and Mercedes and a life free from worry is not what the Lord was declaring in this verse. As Thomas Turner, writing for Relevant Magazine, so perfectly explained,

“This verse, quoted to countless individuals who are struggling with vocation or discerning God’s will, is not written to individuals at all. This passage is written to a whole group of people—an entire [Israelite] nation…in Jeremiah 29:10, God lays down the specifics on this promise: that He will fulfill it “after seventy years are completed for Babylon.” In other words, yes, God says, I will redeem you—after 70 years in exile. This is certainly a far cry from our expectation of this verse in what God’s plans to prosper us really mean. He did have a future and a hope for them—but it would look far different than the Israelites ever expected.”

For this verse, and every verse in the Bible, context matters. And the context for Jeremiah 29:11 removes any notions that God promises you a future of riches and comfort.

2-7 on this list is devoted to the most popularly referenced verses when it comes to the issue of homosexuality. These are sometimes referred to as, “the clobber verses,” because the effect on the people they’re lobbed against is often hurtful and damaging. Here’s why the religious people using them this way have it all wrong.

2) Genesis 1:27-28

“27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

This verse is used most often to defend the argument that gay marriages, and therefore gay rights, are against God’s design because gay unions cannot be “fruitful” and produce children. This argument, from the start, makes two mistakes: 1) Wrongly assuming that the creation story was meant as a model for all humans, not just the first two (who had to populate an empty Earth,) and 2) Ignoring the fact that what God gives in this verse is a blessing, not a commandment.

Dr. James Brownson writes an entire chapter on this misinterpretation of the verse in his wonderful book, “Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Marriage.” Among his many sound observations on the true meaning is this:

“…to “be fruitful and multiply” is not given merely to the man and the woman. It is also given to the animals (Gen 1:22) and is thus not a directive given uniquely to human marriage. This in itself calls into question whether the essence of marriage is in view here…”

Furthermore, if the main purpose of marriage was to produce children, then we would see infertility as a biblical grounds for divorce. But no where in the Bible does it say this. Neither does the church refuse to marry older couples who are past the age of child-bearing.

3) Genesis 19:4-5

“4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

The source of many misconceptions about homosexuality can be traced back to this verse, taken from the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Despite the fact that “the sins of Sodom” are listed in various other verses in the Bible that recall its destruction, yet not once is “homosexuality” mentioned, many Christians maintain the belief that this story is about the fate that will come to any people who accept homosexuality as normal.

Here’s some problems with that interpretation: 1) the men who surrounded the house were threatening gang rape, not sex, 2) rape, as we know today thanks to a modern understanding of psychology, is not about sex, it’s about power and de-humanizing another person; rape is not “gay,” and 3) The point of this story was not to teach a lesson on sexual immorality, but rather, to show the importance of hospitality, and the punishment for treating visitors or guests with ill will.

4) Leviticus 18:22

“Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is an abomination.”

This is a great time to remind people of something they need to hear: the Bible was not written in English.

The word that was translated in King James, to “abomination” was written in the Hebrew Bible as “toevah.” This word is used over 100 times in the Bible, to describe a host of things that are permissible for one people group, but not another. It does not mean that gay people are an abomination, in the way we think of the word today.

5) Romans 1: 26-27

26 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

Some religious people find this to be the most damning of the “clobber” verses. It’s hard to read any interpretation other than that homosexual acts are unnatural. The verse even clarifies that these were homosexual acts of lust, not rape, which many people before have tried to claim the verses against homosexuality were really condemning. As an extra condemnation, this verse is the only one that specifically references female same-sex acts, making homosexuality seem not something isolated to pederasty and soldier rape, like other pro-gay Christians have claimed.

But once again, context is everything. It wasn’t until I dove into early church history, rabbinical texts, and again, Dr. James Brownson’s book, that I saw the true meaning of this verse. It wasn’t a warning against homosexuality, it was a warning against excessive lust, which, in biblical times, and for hundreds of years after, most people assumed homosexuality was a result of. What does that mean? It means that for hundreds of years the church, and society, assumed that homosexual acts were committed by men who were so “inflamed” with lust that they grew bored of “natural” relations with women, and moved onto “conquering” other men. The concept of sexual orientation wasn’t discovered until the 20th century. And what was “natural” for most of the earlier centuries wasn’t just heterosexual sex, it was heterosexual sex acts that resulted in procreation.

What religious people need to understand from this verse is that lust is sinful. Any acts driven by lust, gay or straight, outside of marriage, can be understood as sinful sexual acts. That is what Paul is warning against here, and that is what happened to these people when they turned their backs on God. But that has little to do with two committed, loving, monogamous adults of the same sex today.

6) I Corinthians 6:9-10

“9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Once again, the Bible was not written in English. The word used here that is roughly translated to “men who have sex with men” is the Greek word “malakoi.” This literally means, “soft.” In ancient times, the insult of “soft” was hurled at men for a variety of infractions, like wearing perfume or luxurious clothing, not wanting to work, or loving women too much. Yep – loving women too much, or wanting to have sex with a woman “too” often could get a man labeled “soft.” Sure, there were plenty of men who were “soft” who also engaged in same-sex acts, but a look into history shows that not all of them did.

Over time, “soft” became “effeminate” which the people that translated the book into English apparently took to mean, “men who have sex with men.” Of all the clobber verses, this one is probably the most grossly mistranslated and understood. How we got from “soft” to “men who have sex with men” just shows how much damage can be done by people who don’t understand context.

7) I Timothy 1:9-10

“9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine”

The condemnation of homosexuality in this verse depends on one of the most debated and little understood words in the Greek language -“Arsenokoitai.” It’s found first in the Bible and very few places other than scripture,  leading many scholars to believe that either Paul made it up, or it was so rare that all other references to its origin were lost. It translates, literally, to “male bed” or some other combination of those two words (bed referring to sex.) It is notably a different word than what was used in 1 Corinthians above. Because of the rarity of this word, and the lack of it in other texts, different interpretations of what it means exist. Some think it refers to male-male sex acts, others to male sexual expression, and others still think it refers to men who engage in sex trafficking, as the word falls into an ordered list and precedes a condemnation of slave traders.

Regardless of what the word means, what religious people tend to get wrong with this Bible verse is the meaning of what was being said – that the law was not for the righteous but the lawbreakers and rebels, which we all can count ourselves among. All of us. So to single out “Arsenokoitai” from this verse, and use it to condemn gay persons, is a horrible misinterpretation.

8) 1 Corinthians 14:34

“34 Women[a] should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.”

True story: once, before my mother left for a mission trip she was leading in Africa, she asked if she could say a prayer in front of our church’s congregation. One of the male leaders refused, and said, “in my Bible, it says women should stay silent in church.” This man later cheated on his wife and left her and their five kids, but that’s beside the point. Many men (and women) would agree with him, that women have no place speaking or teaching in church. Here is what they don’t understand.

This verse is part of a letter from Paul, written to an actual congregation. It was meant for specific people, experiencing a specific problem. As Rachel Held Evans puts it, these letters were written for us [modern Christians], but not to us. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, context matters. The context here is that this specific church that Paul was writing to had a problem with a large group of women that were becoming disruptive and distracting, and possibly hurting the reputation of the church. Paul’s instructions were for how to deal with them. But for whatever reason, unlike his other biblical instructions (like that church members greet each other with a holy kiss) this one stuck as universal and absolute for many Christians. It shouldn’t be. There’s no reason for us to take this verse, and not the whole movement of scripture towards women (more on that later), as what to reference as far as female roles in the church.

9) I Timothy 2:11-12

“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

This, like 1 Corinthians, is an epistle and letter; Paul wrote it to help his friend and colleague Timothy with his ministry in Ephesus. So most of the arguments made about context in number eight above apply. What makes this verse all the more frustrating when it’s used to oppress women, is that it only takes a cursory reading of Paul’s other letters to see that he has no problem with women who teach.

Again, to quote Rachel Held Evans,

“Obviously, Paul didn’t have a problem with women teaching in general…he honored Priscilla, a teacher to the apostle Apollos, and praised Timothy’s mother and grandmother for teaching Timothy all he knew about faith. He recognized Junia as an apostle, Phoebe as a deacon, and Euodia and Syntyche as church planters.”

If Paul truly did not permit all women to teach and to be quiet, then it would make no sense for him to honor and praise the women above. In fact, he likely would have called them out by name, and said exactly what it is he thought they were doing that dishonored God. Paul was not shy, or subtle.

10) Ephesians 5:22-24

“22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”

As a woman, I struggled with this verse for most of my faith. Why should I have to submit, just because I am a woman? Does Paul think God created women inferior? How can I call myself a feminist and a Christian, if I follow a religion that says my husband is the “head” of me?

See, like many religious people, I was misunderstanding these verses. Thank goodness for Rachel Held Evans (seriously, read her stuff.) To understand this verse, you need to understand two things: 1) Greco-Roman “household codes” and  2) the biblical culture of patriarchy.

In biblical times, women were literally property, like cattle and slaves. In fact, as Rachel points out, the verses preceding the ones above are all instructions to slaves and masters, because these fell under the same category. When reading Ephesians with this understanding then, it’s incredibly subversive because it goes on to command husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church.

It is another example of the ways the Bible, when looked at as a whole, lifts women up from their societal place of property, to one of loved and honored children of God. A person needs to look no further than Jesus repeated treatment of women to prove this theory. What people need to understand from this verse is not how women should submit to their husbands, but how we all should submit to one another, as Christ gave himself for the church.

11) Proverbs 31: 10-31

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies….She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks….She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy…She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple….She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her…Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”

Oh this verse. Imagine being a young woman growing up in the church, trying to figure out what kind of person God wants you to become, and being told to read this. Or listening to guys in your singles group talk about how, “hard it is to find a Proverbs 31 woman.” Yeah I bet it’s hard to find a woman who does all of those things (especially being able to afford servants and a vineyard while finding the time to make all those linens.) This verse has been used to make far too many young women feel bad about themselves, or strive to attain something unattainable.

Here’s the problem with trying to be a “Proverbs 31” woman: you can’t. And you shouldn’t want to be. Why? Because trying to mold your personality and life by one proverb of the Bible causes you to miss the whole point of the rest of it – your value isn’t in your works, but in Christ. I’m a wife, and I pretty much never arise before the sun. I also have no children to call me blessed. But while I agree that beauty is fleeting, I also agree with the message of the Bible that says my worth is not in the quality of the linens I make, but my commitment to Christ.

12) John 11:35

“Jesus Wept”

You would think that the shortest verse of the Bible would be the hardest to misinterpret, but then you would be wrong. This is included on the list thanks to former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, who, in response to the Supreme Courts ruling that DOMA was unconstitutional, tweeted, “My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: “Jesus wept.”

As a former pastor, you’d imagine that Huckabee would know Jesus was weeping in John not as a result of homosexuality (or any “sin”) but because of a profound feeling of compassion. He saw and felt the grief of his friends family who mourned the loss of their brother, and wept himself, even though He knew He could and would resurrect him. The point of this short verse is to show the dept of Christ’s compassion. It does not exist for pundits to throw it around whenever they disagree with a culture shift.

13) Psalm 37:4

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

I have been guilty of doing the same thing many religious people do when they read this verse: seeing only the second part, and not the first. What I mean by that is I would look at this verse and see only, “he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Here’s the thing so many people miss: if you follow the first part of the verse, and take delight in the Lord, those desires of your heart are going to change to what God desires for you. But most people don’t think that way. They go to this verse when they’re already desiring something they badly want. They think that if they just take the minimum required delight in the Lord and wait a bit, then bam! What they desire is delivered to them. That’s not what this means though. What this verse is saying is that the more you delight yourself in the Lord, the more your heart reflects His. Which means maybe that job, or husband, or fat book contract might not be given to you – but something the Lord desires for you, will.

14) Isaiah 53:2-3

“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.3 He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”

There is almost no chance that Jesus looked anything like the handsome, striking actor Jim Caviezel, who portrayed Him in 2004’s The Passion of the Christ. First of all, Jesus wasn’t white. He was a mediterranean Jew, who likely had dark skin, hair, and more pronounced (less chiseled) facial features. Many people forget this, mainly because when we think of Jesus face, we either picture the Person of Interest actor, or a painting or work of art we saw hanging in a museum. Or the YMCA. But, of course, none of those images were actually of Jesus. We don’t know what He looked like. But we do know, thanks to this verse, that there was nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him. Which means He was not as gorgeous as art has made Him out to be. He was probably very plain and average.

15) John 2: 13-16

“13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!”

Someone on Twitter said this, about the above verse: “When asked, ‘what would Jesus do’, just remember that chasing people with a whip is within the realm of possibilities.”

We often forget this side of Jesus, and fail to understand what the verse above means. He got angry. Really angry. And kind of violent. This contradicts the picture of Jesus most of us have, of a serene, gentle man holding a teeny lamb. Jesus did that too, but He also screamed at people for abusing the church. What we need to understand from this verse, but we often overlook, is that His Father’s house is not a market. Now what that means is certainly up for debate, but I think it’s fair to say Jesus is angered by the use of the church for profit.

16) 1 Corinthians 10:13

“13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Have you ever been in the midst of something horrible, like a break-up or job loss, and someone has said to you, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle?” Turns out that is found nowhere in the Bible. What is found is this verse above, which promises that God, in his faithfulness, will not tempt us more than we can bear. Of course, being tempted with sin and feeling the weight of grief or depression are two totally different things. But over time the two have gotten confused, leading people to mistakenly assume that God will not put on us more than we think or feel we can bear. All it takes is reading the book of Job, or sitting with a friend who just lost a spouse or loved one, to see that this is simply not true.

This does not mean God is cruel, or that He abandons us. It just means that life is hard, and while He will be by our side when we experience hardships, becoming a Christian does not free us from great pain.

17) Proverbs 13:24

“Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.”

One of the most dangerous books out there today was written by a Christian pastor. It’s called, “To Train Up a Child,” and it’s been cited in numerous child abuses cases as a catalyst for often fatal abuse. In the book, Michael and Debi Pearl give instructions for how to use a quarter-inch thick length of plumbing pipe to hit misbehaving children. This is what they call, the “Rod of Reproof.” The inspiration for this rod came from the Proverb similar to above, 29:15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

If parents want to take literal instructions from the Bible on how they should discipline their children, they should just drive themselves straight to jail. Among the many things parents in the Bible did, or were instructed to do, were; stone disobedient sons to death,  bash infants against rocks, sacrifice their sons to God, offer their daughters up for gang rape, or offer their daughters up as rewards. The moral of the story? The Bible is not something you can read and pick and choose what you want to take literally. That’s not the purpose of the Bible.

Almost all psychologists agree that spanking and physical punishment harms children. And a reading of the Bible as a whole, shows that the last thing Christ would want is harm to fall on any child.

18) Phillipians 4:13

“13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

If Bible verses were movie characters, this one would be Rocky, triumphantly reaching the top of the steps, arms raised and fists pumping. This verse has been plastered on everything; T-shirts, mugs, posters, football players faces – everything. But is it really telling us that, with enough faith, anything we want or need to do is possible? Will the Lord really give us superhuman strength to accomplish any feat? No.

As Ben Witherington on Patheos puts it,

“The problem is, that this translation absolutely makes no sense of the context, and is not a literal rendering of the verse in question at all. The verb ‘to do’ is nowhere to be found in this Greek verse. The verb ‘ischuo’ means ‘to be able, strong, healthy, valid, powerful’. That’s the only verb in this phrase. You have to fill in the helping verb, and the context absolutely doesn’t favor the translation— ‘to do’ as in ‘I am able to do all things….’ Not at all…What Paul is saying is that no matter what his circumstances, God has given him the strength or ability to endure and be satisfied, even when he must do without, even when he must go hungry.”

Too many religious people have taken this verse as a motto for pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, with Jesus help. When in actuality, Paul was saying not that God will give us the strength to do anything, but that God will give us the strength to do the only thing we need to focus on – following Him. Because really, isn’t that the only thing that mattered to Paul? And shouldn’t it be the only thing that matters to us?

19) John 8:10-11

“10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, [a]Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more”

This is one of the most famous stories of the Bible, of the time Jesus saved a woman caught in adultery from being stoned to death by her accusers. Ironically, many religious people today focus not on Jesus declaration that, “he without sin” should be the first to cast the stone, but on Jesus last words to the woman, “go and sin no more.” They see the moral of this verse not as one cautioning against self-righteous judgement, but that Jesus wants us to,“sin no more.” Aside from that glaring misinterpretation, another common mistake is made with this verse.

That is the confusing of it with the story of the woman at the well, told earlier in John 4. I’ve had many religious people tell me, while discussing homosexuality and the church, that, “people caught in sexual sin are loved by Jesus, but he still told them to go and sin no more, just like the woman caught in sexual sin at the well.” The problem with that, of course, is that Jesus never said that to the woman at the well, in John 4. He simply shared the gospel of eternal life with her, and treated her as a human being should be treated – with respect and not judgement.

20) Matthew 22: 36-40

“36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Appropriately, I saved the most important misunderstood verse for last. What more religious people need to understand is this: that the greatest commandment is first to love the Lord God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and the second is like it, to love their neighbors – their poor, gay, immigrant, female, male, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish neighbors as themselves. Every other law and commandment found above and in the Bible, depends on this. If more religious people asked themselves, before voting, preaching, and commenting on Facebook, “am I loving my neighbor as myself by doing this?” the world would truly be a better place.

22 Responses to The 20 Most Misunderstood Verses in the Bible

  1. JenniferLandsberger

    Used part of your Proverbs 31 as an example in a blog post I wrote. I cited you, but let me know if you would prefer a clarification or something! Located at: http://www.walkintothebible.com/blog/wisdom-books-why-read-them

  2. I commend you on your thoroughness. It is clear that you put a lot of time and research into this post and in developing your opinions. However, it seems that many times you are interpreting the Bible to fit your beliefs or the beliefs of others around you. I encourage you to be interpreting your beliefs to fit the Bible. This is evident in your numerous attempts at justifying homosexuality. With this method of interpretation, you are leaving too much room for your own agenda to be fit into scripture. Unfortunately, our sin is powerful and the world is all for it. It is easy to question a biblical principle when it clearly contradicts a worldly principle. But I encourage you to remember that people are all searching for the same thing – the truth of Jesus Christ; most people just don’t know it. Your explanation of Proverbs 31 is encouraging people to disobey the Bible (assuming your interpretation of the text is accurate, which it is not.) Proverbs 31 is personifying wisdom. It has nothing to do with the role of an actual woman. Think about it: why would the entire book of Proverbs be about wisdom, but there be one random chapter at the end which decides it needs to cover the role of a good wife. I find these fallacies and interpretations all over your explanations. As you said, “The Bible is not something you can read and pick and choose what you want to take literally. That’s not the purpose of the Bible.”

    Please don’t try to fit the ways of this world into the perfect, inerrant, sufficient Words of God. You are leading people away from the Lord and will be accountable to God for it.

    • She does not need to attempt to justify homosexuality because it is not wrong. She attempted to stop people using the common verses to harm others.

      Don’t say bible principles are against the world principal to cover up your limited understanding of the Bible. Her principle is spot on; to love and not to harm.

      The entire Bible is written on the basis of that purpose, not to show off your knowledge prowess to debate against someone else.

      Bottom line is: if Jesus does not mention about homosexuality in his ministry AT ALL, but condemn the teachers of the law for abusing the law, then one should be careful in commenting other works.

      • Salz.Del.Monde

        Did God not love his chosen people, the Israelis? Did that stop his final judgement, or halt his rage? (Romans 9:25-29)
        God is not just a God of love; don’t limit his Justice, or put a stopper on his anger! God made us in his image; who says God doesn’t feel like we do?
        You ever heard the expression, “love the sinner, hate the sin?” The expression is cliche and overused, but fits God’s law.

        Romans 13:8
        “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” NIV

        I get where you’re coming from; the Bible is very clear on the subject of love. But what does the Bible say about marriage?

        Jesus never mentioned homosexuality because he never needed to. Jesus was to set example for all Christians and to be the atonement for our sins (1 John 2:2). He never voiced his denial of homosexuality, but He supported the Pharisees in their description of marriage, without correcting their ‘misinterpretation’ of what marriage is by their standards.

        Mark 10:3-5
        “Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, ‘is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?’ ‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that “at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,” and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?…’ NIV

        Please also read the rest; it’s educational.
        Jesus doesn’t misinterpret the Bible; He teaches it. He didn’t mention homosexuality because it was unheard of to even think about marriage between same-sex couples, let alone a public relationship!

        Romans 12:2

        “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

        you make it sound like the world and God are thick as thieves, which couldn’t be farther from the truth! The world should hate us as it hates God!

        1 John 3:13
        “do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you.”

        John 15:19

        “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” NIV

        God never addresses gay marriage, but does He have to? Even the 10 commandments refer to a stable household of a mother and a father!

        Bottom line: the Holy Word of God is not meant just as a demonstration and proof of God’s love, but as a ‘map’ for the Christian who needs guidance in their growing faith (as in all of us). Limiting God’s word to “to just love and not to harm” is an egregious error! Please put more consideration into what you preach.

        May God’s love and knowledge be with you always.

        • Please brush up on ancient world history before you start \\\”correcting\\\” others. Not only was homosexuality understood in the time of Christ, it was honored in cultures known to Him.

      • Yes it is. God read Paul’s Epistles warning what happens to homosexuals.

    • Tiffany Monkeyy Clay

      Actually, CHRISTIANS are leading people away from your Lord – your God teaches love, tolerance, and peace — he preaches to find brotherhood in those with similar believes and it clearly states that ONLY GOD can judge. However, Christians judge, hate, and practice intolerance more than ANY other religion I have EVER experienced.

      Hypocrisy is also forbidden when it is said:
      “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own
      eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

      Christians ALWAYS interpret the Bible to the times (and that’s to be completely expected and agreeable) – but in the same passage in which Christians claim an egregious sin in homosexuality – it is also a sin to cut your hair, wear mixed fabrics AND being inhospitable (which is an abhorrent sin).

      Please don’t try to fit the ways of your God into the lives of others. You are leading people away from the Lord and will be accountable to God for it.

      • What is natural? God did not create us to have fun, He did not create us to fall in love with the same sex and live a life of pleasure, sodomy, or anal sex is a sin, male or female. Sexual immorality is inevitable with homosexuality… If you know anything at all about the Bible, you would know how God speaks of the two roles that play in a marriage, that of man and woman, as compared to Christ and the church. That is why the man is given certain leadership roles and the woman to be submissive. God knew what an efficient and properly working family looks like, He knew that man would need a “helper”, and woman would need a leader, the knowledge of this alone requires that you do the good that is obviously necessary, be a leader to a woman (as a man) or be submissive to a man (as a woman), this is for your sanctification and as we know if you know the good and do not do it you are sinning. Obviously some people on this page are seriously trying to manipulate the scriptures to fit their liberal ideology, I would say “beliefs” but I cannot judge your heart, what is clear is your inability to “hear”, and to “see”, because you are blinded by momentary pleasures of lust and sexuality. Even if Jesus came down from heaven and spoke to you in person would you believe Him then? Unlikely. It’s not up to me to make you believe either, but I will tell you, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Go ahead and risk that on a possible misinterpretation. May the Lord of all reveal Himself to you in a true way.

        • Oh you are a psychic are you now? You don’t know what the I AM thought about all of this. The work wasn’t dictated. It was only inspired to those who thought it best to write things down. The first writings were destroyed by the Egyptians and it was written over. What you are trying to talk about is Judaism and if you are a Christian you don’t have a clue. You teach differently than the Rabbis and its their writings. You are making judgments. We don’t live in the past when everything was taboo…that’s cultural ideas and not Biblical. You and no other living person has the right to say these things and use the Bible as the reference because it’s not there. Everything you wrote is total drivel.

        • “woman would need a leader (ie men)” – lol dude you are on the wrrrooonnng blog if you think that. Also, you are following the wrong Messiah?

    • Aaaaaaaamen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! very WELL said!

    • The Bible is the word of man and not God. People call it inspired and say nothing about automatic writing. It was written by numerous people. If you read the KJV it is the most inaccurate from original writings and most don’t understand it and interpret it wrongly. She isn’t trying to make a case for homosexuality but clarify that the verses people say backs that it is not proper have been taken out of context or extrapolated upon. If you are not a Biblical scholar or looked to someone’s work like Michael Heiser all you are doing is stating an opinion. I don’t trust anyone who says the Bible says this or that who cannot read the original languages. Now I’m not saying this person is wrong but probably more correct than you. The KJV is written with many colloquial words that meant something different than they do now. There are pages of it. For instances in one place they are talking about a shambles and nowadays that would mean a mess but then it meant the meat market. Many Christians and their ministers, pastors, etc. teach wrongly from the Bible. You can’t just sit down and read it and understand what it means. Many things from the Old Testament is interpreted incorrectly and its context especially in Isaiah. Ask a Rabbi but all and I mean ALL of the New Testament is Judaism and not Christians they used it and over time subverted its meaning. Then they put together a bunch of letters and highly suspect writings from many years after the fact as a New Testament. The Protestants took the Bible and redid it. I’m do not follow Judaism or mainstream 20th Century philosophies on the Bible but I do study what the actual scholars say that set themselves apart from propaganda spewed by radical evangelistic people. God is not a name and using that word is misleading. It gives a name in the Bible and you might think of using it because it makes people who follow this religion sound egotistical and prideful. Jesus said pray in a private place and do any of you follow that. NOPE. Do you follow the 4th commandment…NOPE and make excuses up for it. He plainly said he wasn’t here to change the LAW, the first five books of the Old Testament but Christians do because they pick and choose what they want to follow and say things are obsolete. You have a direct line? There is no new dispensation it is a fallacy of man. I’m done because I don’t like the way the Bible has been subverted by people like YOU. Yes I’m judging but I know in my heart that the amount I have done this doesn’t hold a candle to most Christians as I can see by your inane post. Also the fact they can’t find many references to back up that Jesus existed might be because those who became teachers, Rabbis changed their names to something else. It was the practice of the culture so people are trying to track down the wrong name. He would no longer go by his birth name. If you don’t know this you should study the culture of the time, I have for YEARS.

  3. Emily,
    You keep referencing those who are religious. You do know the definition of this word “religion” don’t you? It means–one who reverences God or one who believes in God. Since you separate yourself from those who believe in Him, I question how you can interpret His Word without revering Him or believing in Him.
    You surely have read that only God’s Spirit can give wisdom and understanding of what He has said to us. You surely also know it says you must be born again of God’s Spirit to have “new life” in Christ.
    I’ve heard it said–no one would ask a dead man which way to go. Without Christ’s Spirit living in us; we are dead in our sin and devoid of life. I would not rely on someone who has not received this new life in Christ to interpret the life-giving Word of God correctly.
    The problem here is not proper interpretation. The problem is sin. I pray God reveals Himself to you for you obviously lack any wisdom or understanding. You have great knowledge, but lack Christ. Knowledge without truth is a very dangerous thing. If you want to rightly understand God’s Word; I pray that you will seek Him, seek to know Him, and not just try to understand what He has said. You cannot understand until you He lives inside of you and has made His home in you.
    This is my prayer for you. I also pray few will be moved by the grievous errors you have made with the truth that gives eternal life. You are not doing anyone a great favor by trying to understand that which is beyond your grasp without knowing the One who wrote what you try to interpret. Love in Christ, ron k.,

    • I’ve known Christ since I was four years old, but thanks for the prayers dude. Disagreeing with my theology doesn’t give you the right to try and publicly mansplain me into submission. But I appreciate the effort. You’re not the first (by far) who’s tried.

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  6. Here’s a contradiction:

    Passage is the ninth example,

    9) John 8:10-11

    “10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, [a]Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go.

    From now on sin no more”

    Commentary:

    The problem with that, of course, is that Jesus never said that to the woman at the well, in John 4. He simply shared the gospel of eternal life with her, and treated her as a human being should be treated – with respect and not judgement.

    Jesus never said that to her? That’s exactly what He said, which the commentary quoted Him as doing.

    The Bible teaches us to be at peace with all men as much as is possible.

    The Bible does not teach us to be tolerant of sin.

    The Bible teaches to be patient with sinners, because we once walked in the lifestyles of sin that God condemns.

    Jesus did speak regarding homosexuality in His ministry in Matthew 19:4-5

    And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
    5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

    Did he say this in answer to divorce? Yes, and it covers homosexuality along with polygamy. There were no perversions of marriage in the beginning.

    In the story of Lot from the Old Testament, the forced act of homosexuality was an abomination, so was willful male and female homosexuality as also referenced.

    The creation story confirms that it is God’s order for marriage to be between a man and a woman.

    Genesis 1:26-27

    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created them.

    Male and female marriage is the only one that is complementary. Any other type of marriage is not Biblical as it is not harmonious and goes against God’s creation order.

    Women can be Proverbs 31 women. Verse 11 describes a woman her husband can trust. Verse 12 states her doing good and not evil. Verse 13 states she is not above working with her hands, taking care of responsibilities given to her in order to provide a family with necessities. The modern version would be a woman who is willing to help with laundry, groceries and work around the house. Women who actually accept a man who’s a man will be content with him taking care of fixing appliances and cutting the grass, cleaning the gutters, among other things, while she takes care of the household on the inside, with the willingness of both parties to pitch in to either set of tasks when asked. Having maidens isn’t a modern requirement, but if you have a housekeeper, a Godly wife is to make sure the housekeeper is not ignored either. They may not be vineyards, but women still garden, and usually with a garden enough in size to dabble in creating home made wine or vegetable or fruit juice. A Godly wife won’t scoff at the poor. As Christians, we can’t refuse when asked if we are able to meet the need. If someone asks for money as a hustle and doesn’t actually need anything, the judgement falls to them for the deceptive deed, but if we can meet the need we are to do so and if we gave to someone who turned out not to be in need, we still gave and fulfilled something Jesus commanded. A Godly wife has her household prepared. She dresses in an appropriate manner. All of this speaks volumes to the point that when her husband is seen, others in the congregation speak well of him, not only because of him, but because of her. She supports the household with her skill. She won’t give in to criticism of her Godly life and for this she will be rewarded. She is wise and kind. She does not sit still without good reason, she is not lazy. She has the respect of her children and her husband who praises her for being who she is. Woman are to be thankful to their husbands and responsible in all their endeavors as well, in the same manner, both being submitted to Christ, though the behavior of a true believing spouse will compel the partner. The context of that when Paul mentions unequal yoking means not to marry an unbeliever but if marriage happened before belief, then the believing spouse is to compel the other via their Christ-like behavior. This is the Godly marriage. Many women have done well, but a woman such as this is a standout. She fears the Lord as the loving Father which He is and for this she will be praised. A woman like this with a beautiful home and children likely has a Christ-loving, God-fearing husband. Either way, if she does everything from Proverbs 31, her blessing is a rightful reward from God.

    The Bible makes wise the simple. Modern psychology can help in some instances, but it makes excuses in others that skew and misrepresent God’s will. No one needs a doctoral degree in order to read the Bible. The Bible is plain. It does state within itself that it is spiritually discerned, however. This is why the atheists annotated bible fails to see that all peoples punished with death from God Himself were completely deserving of it. When peoples would immolate their own children, cooking them and eating them, feeding them to each other, God said their evil has come full, wipe them from the face of the earth.

    Jesus Christ is the atonement for all sin, all anyone has to do is accept the payment. We are also to count the cost of discipleship. We cannot be true if our faith contradicts what He said it is.

    Repentance is the acceptance of our guilt as sinners, which by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit after accepting who Jesus is and what He did will lead us to being more like Him and less like our sinful, selfish selves. We are not our own and our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit at that point. We are to treat them as such. A church that performs gay marriage ceremonies is no church at all, as the Church is the collection of true believers. A church is a local assembly of believers, not a building and certainly not a place to pretend that God is willing to meet us halfway and allow us to boastfully continue in sin, which is exactly what a church performing gay marriages is doing.

    You are correct that if we ask ourselves if we’re being loving in everything the world will be a better place.

    It is not loving to distort the Word of God into saying anything He does not or denying He and God’s righteousness along with It.

  7. I pray that the above message will edify the Body of Christ, the Church and lead any sinners viewing this thread to repentance and understanding. I pray this to Father God, through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns forever. Amen.

  8. I found this while doing a survey of top google results for Bible misconceptions, and noticed many errors. In case others find it the same way I did:

    1) Plans to prosper you — no objections.

    2) You\’re misrepresenting the argument here as focused solely on reproduction (actually it\’s primarily that psychological differences make males and females ideal for each other cooperatively), and Jesus makes it clear that the Genesis system of marriage was indeed meant to serve as an example for Christians to follow. You would be right to say that God can allow things that are wrong that do not conform to this, but he does not endorse them. For example, he tolerated polygamy, but it was a corruption, and Christianity helped reform it.

    3) So much is wrong here it\’s hard to pick where to start.

    Probably most important is this — the argument is that homosexuality is often a \”gateway sin\”, and this passage clearly indicates this. Lot is basically saying that they\’re obviously so obsessed with the big sin here, social-dominance rape, that their only hope is to reduce the total weight of their sin by taking the smallest one off the list. That they refused indicated their sinful obsession with homosexuality too, and his saying that indicated that that is a sin too.

    He was NOT literally offering his daughters for rape. He knew they would refuse because he knew their homosexual sin had led to this worse sin, just as Romans describes. The only outcome he would have accepted would have been for them to be so ashamed they left them ALL alone. Your error here is wooden literalism, basically.

    It is not a coincidence that such extreme social-dominance rape AND extremely pervasive homosexuality happened in the same place and not in others and this was the place condemned. But the argument was never that the homosexuality was the \”worst\” sin here — that is a gross strawman. Rather, the argument is that it is perhaps the smallest of the sins, yet one that tends to lead to further temptations rapidly that tends to end up in a total social collapse, which has borne out in other historical periods, and we are seeing it lead to rapid persecution of Christians today even in America.

    By the way, that line about \”we know thanks to being modern\” was absolutely bizarre. Social dominance WAS the purpose of this sort of rape historically. We didn\’t only find this out today. It was well-known at the time the doctrine you are bashing was formed, so cannot logically argue against it.

    Your other big error here comes up next, so moving on.

    4) The word translated \”abomination\” also has the sense of direct ethical/moral abominations, and worse, it is listed as one of the reasons that Sodom was destroyed. In context, readers at the time would understand from the earlier account which \”abomination\” was in mind. So it IS listed. It is just not in and of itself a reason for the judgment. Romans clears this up by showing that its reason for being mentioned was its \”gateway\” feature. The sin is small, but dangerous for the future of a population that falls prey to it.

    Worse, you try to write this off as a Mosaic ritual sense of the word, but this event happens long before Moses was even born, and in a foreign culture! The only meaning possible in this context is the moral abomination sense. Further, the ritual abominations were not in and of themselves abominable, but they were disgusting because they were made after willingly entering into a contract promising to do them as a symbol of your loyalty to God, and the alternative was to proclaim through your actions loyalty to pagan gods (basically). This is seen here:

    \’For all who do such things, all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the LORD your God.\’

    So, due to that contractual context, violating them became morally abominable too. This is the reason the death penalty is assigned to many of those things, by the way. This is often misunderstood today as implying that those things are inherently evil. Rather, because they were outward, public signs of loyalty, violating them was an outward sign of choosing evil, something like displaying a swastika today.

    This would not apply to sexual activity, which was done in private, and would not inherently be a ritual matter anyway. Clearly the primary sense of moral abomination is in view.

    4) I would agree that this alone does not clearly condemn it for the new covenant or prove that it is wrong for everybody, but the New Testament and the historical treatments of it prior to that do clear that up. At the very least, it should warn you that it being inherently morally wrong is one of two major possibilities.

    And since it was delivered AFTER the events of Sodom and Gomorrah, it really did not need to be clarified there which was intended. Everybody hearing it in that culture would understand Moses meant a moral abomination. If instead it was okay as you want to believe, he would probably have clarified it to avoid confusion from that passage, as he did in some other cases.

    5) Your desperate attempt to avoid what the text explicitly teaches is most pointed here. It clearly does not condemn only lust but also \”shameful acts\” which are clearly defined as \”men with men\” and this is in the context of \”natural relations\”, which hardly stop at sight!

    Also, \”received in themselves the due penalty\” has been argued to possibly include STDs in that culture… this is still a large problem today though it can hypothetically be solved medically. I think it more likely refers to the gateway status that the immediately following context makes clear, but it\’s possible it\’s both, and the STD sense would still be accurate since it is in the past tense. If so, this would add to the case that it is not merely lust being condemned. Either way, lust is mentioned because it leads to more.

    6-7) This gets beyond my expertise, but my understanding is that recent research has confirmed that homosexuality in general is the explicit meaning.

    The next few issues are about womens\’ roles. I skipped these in my prior read because I generally agree that this is widely misunderstood and wanted to focus on the things I found that were wrong. I\’ll look through it now, though, as it seems unlikely given your above errors that readers should trust your treatment of it, so it may help to clarify why I say this.

    But if you\’re trying to set up the argument that \”just as gender equality is actually taught, so too is homosexuality equivalent to heterosexuality\”, sorry, no. The Bible says that in Christ there is neither male nor female. It says nothing like that about sexual orientation, and says quite the opposite. That is behavioral, so it\’s different even if you buy the genetic argument (apparently that was recently debunked from a survey study of all scientific reports on it, but that\’s beyond my expertise, and either way, genetics do not justify sin; we may have genetic predispositions to certain sins but we still have a responsibility to be righteous).

    You could maybe try to get a case from \”slave nor free\”, but since slavery is forced on the slave, it\’s much more like things we\’re born with like gender, or descent.

    8) Paul referred approvingly to women speaking in churches, so this is obviously being misinterpreted.

    Also, in that culture, those asked to be silent for a time were understood as training to become teachers later (when they would obviously cease being silent). It\’s thought that he was correcting a feminist idea that women could speak over men, probably a pendulum-swing overcorrection since Christianity was freeing women from male dominance, much like what we\’re seeing repeated in modern culture.

    9) I think this was the one mainly focused on with the \”learning to be teachers\” point. Also, that \”authority\” word is complicated, but the best scholarship proves, in my opinion, that at the specific time that letter was written, the major use was of dominance.

    The \”woman submission\” types make a powerful argument from a survey of ancient uses that has it meaning mere authority, but they miss the specific by focusing on the general; that usage was NOT found at the time this was written yet. So basically it\’s saying, women don\’t get to dominate men, just like it was wrong for men to dominate women. And specifically, the feminist perversion did not justify ignoring the rule that a teacher-in-training is silent while in class. (Which applied to both genders.)

    10) There are a few passages like this. The one that\’s clearest I think is in Peter… I forget offhand where specifically, but if you read the context, it is saying \”as Christ submitted\”, and it clear connects the same thing to men, including of their wives. The \”special roles\” reading appears to be eisegetical from the invention of this teaching itself; it seizes on the different words used and assumes that different meanings are intended for the overall roles.

    While it\’s possible there are some difference in degree of some details, since science has confirmed there are some tendency differences between genders, submission is not one of them. That passage clearly teaches the men are to be submissive to their wives too. It just uses other words. In that day, the specific words used was not important. Research has shown that they were almost not aware of specific words, so the fact that both sides of it were synonymous would have been much more apparent to them.

    As for the \”headship gospel\” from the Ephesians passage, this is also a cultural misunderstanding.

    In Jewish terms, the \”head\” was seen simply as the \”source\”, not the \”authority\” or the \”brain\”. They did seem to understand that the brain directs things, but this was a poetic use, much like how we use \”heart\” today even though we know in literal terms it just pumps blood, and other things were attributed to the stomach and other body parts that have nothing to do with their literal usage. Man was the \”source\” of woman because of the order of creation, because Eve came from Adam; it did not imply anything like a heirarchy.

    The reason for the misunderstanding is obvious — this passage speaks of one thing that is clearly heirarchical; we DO submit to Christ\’s authority.

    However, wider context shows that men also are to submit to their wives\’ authority so they work together. The obvious reason for this passage was that some women felt they were exempt from this, likely because they rightly pointed out that all men were born from women, so women were in that sense the source (or \”head\”) of men! Also, Christ submits in the model of a servant to the church, though it is obviously different since he is sinless and we are not, he is God, etc.

    But it\’s a simile; it doesn\’t have to be identical in every way. In source language of the time, this actually would still imply women were more of a source of men than vice versa. Going back to Eve to get men as the source of women was a stretch on Paul\’s part and intentionally so. He\’s basically saying, \”if you buy the reasoning that source were to imply authority, it could work both ways… but maybe more often your way.\” Still, origins were important to them, so probably he would simply say they balance out if you want to think that way.

    11) Actually, the point of Proverbs 31 is simply the model of a responsible woman. The specifics included are only examples, and they are referring to real things a woman does, so yes, you can live up to it.

    Basically, you seem to be missing the didactic nature of such examples. The passage isn\’t prescriptive in its specifics — it isn\’t saying a woman becomes responsible by learning from this passage, but rather it is a poetic example of responsible things a practically-minded leader in that day would do automatically if she follows what IS prescriptive — \”be responsible\”.

    For example, getting up early if that\’s your work schedule is responsible, but for another woman in a different context, getting up later is likely the more responsible thing in modern society and WOULD fulfill this teaching (likely because you\’re also going to sleep later and the same amount of work gets done). This would apply to both genders here as well; the example of the godly woman is also didactic for men, just as the specifics of the particular woman in the example are didactic for women.

    And as much as I like the \”see Christ in everything\” idea, that actually isn\’t the primary point of the passage; it\’s more about practical matters, though obviously there\’s a connection. It could hypothetically apply to non-Christians, though obviously it\’s tragic if anybody isn\’t saved.

    12) Actually, the Bible models \”repurposing allusions\” much like what Huckabee did there, especially in the New Testament and Prophets, as long as the new purpose is consistent with biblical teaching (which it is in this case, as seen above, but even if it wasn\’t, you are wrong to condemn such repurposing in and of itself). It is simply a poetic way to do two things at once; remind informed readers of the original purpose while also making a poetic statement about current application. This is a staple of Jewish thought.

    13) You would do well to learn the very lesson you rightly teach here, when it comes to your desire to dictate to God what is and isn\’t right sexually.

    14) Your wording here disturbed me but probably accidentally, as it appears to imply that being \”white\” is attractive and being Jewish isn\’t… Perhaps a good lesson in \”think of how your words will sound before you say them\”…

    15) You may be going too far in your final statement here, but some uses of the church for profit, certainly. Probably most.

    16) No objections.

    17) Your overall point here on the literalist reading of \”rod\” is correct, though your absolute wording is probably too far, and passages like this likely imply this. But you recite a litany of errors copied from populist atheist nuts in the middle paragraph. In short:

    – The children put to death were rebellious, and not in the sense of modern teenagers; they were plotting to kill or had attempted to kill their parents. The word used basically means violent. Think gangster teens and you\’re more on the right track.

    – Well, there was one instance when mercy killing of babies from a conquered enemy nation had to be done lest they be left to starve in the desert, but what method was used I don\’t know. The \”dash babies\” line, though, is likely a poetic insult used against a nation that had literally done that to Hebrew babies.

    – Are you referring to Abraham? This wording is misleading as it implies God condoned human sacrifice. He actually told Abraham to stop; it was a test, and he condemned it elsewhere.

    – See above about Lot.

    – That one is more complicated and gets into arranged marriages. Those were often bad, but so are other marriages, and generally the parents would try to find good matches. They simply did not have resources to do anything else; they certainly didn\’t have online dating, for example. And the social expectations of the time were alien to today; women of that time would look upon your reaction to their preference as silly. However, obviously male domination sin was mixed into this, so to a large extent, this was one of the things that was tolerated, but not condoned per se.

    18) \”I can do all things\” is certainly misused, but the translation is not wrong. It\’s just taken out of context. The \”things\” that Paul says he\’s learned the secret of doing are \”living life in poverty when necessary\” and \”avoiding the temptations of wealth\” and so forth. There\’s no reason why \”do\” cannot be there in this context. This is perfectly normal in English.

    19) I\’ll pass as this section is likely noncanonical.

    20) Unclear what you think is being misunderstood here, but it may be that love is sometimes necessarily tough love.

  9. Taking things out of context on some of these be carefull

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