Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Murder in the Bible

One of the articles evilbible seems most proud of is the occurrence of "murder" in the Bible. First of all, a definition of murder is absent, so we must come up with one. No doubt the definition they intend to use will be "the unlawful killing of man". They also don't define absurd in this situation. But would it truly be absurd? Every man, women, and child bears the sin and guilt of Adam's sin because of the Great Fall, so the death penalty is exacted. EB is readily willing to enact it's own judgement of the laws of the culture, and this judgement is purely emotionally driven. The entire article is designed to play off of the human emotions associated with murder, but when we look past these it lacks substance. The laws of an ancient culture cannot be subject to our scrutiny, we have no personal knowledge of acts within the culture.

Now to move on, evilbible.com says that God continuously commits unfair killing, including genocide and killings making no sense at all. They have divided these verses into 4 parts:

1, Capital Punishment
Evilbible is very quick to judge here, and EB is attempting to use its own opinions as an argument. Most everyone even today has an opinion regarding capital punishment, and some culture have it within their law system. Apparently EB is against capital punishment, but there is no room in trying to disprove the inerrancy of the Bible for anachronistic judgement of another, completely difference, civilization's laws. Capital Punishment was the law at that time, and was understood by Israel, and all EB's examples are merely people disobeying the Law with the knowledge the capital punishment was in place. It is also worth mentioning that we must not look at the crimes at face value. Some of them, such as working on the Sabbath, seem like very minute offenses, but many times it is what the represent that shows the offense. The Sabbath was a representation of what God did for the Israelites throughout history, including Creation, and to desecrate it by working for personal gain is to put oneself above God, which is ultimately idolatry, in this case worshipping money or oneself.

2, Stupid Reasons

Kill Brats: Evilbible neglected to show what "Go up baldhead" meant, or else didn't bother to find out. Before this Elijah had gone up on the mountain and ascended, which of course made others think him dead. This band of teenagers are in effect saying "Go up and die like Elijah did". God punished them for wishing death upon one of His messengers. (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)

God Kills the Curious: The treatment and transport of the Ark of the Covenant was a topic covered thoroughly within the Law, and these were men who broke it even with the knowledge of the consequences. Ignorance of the Law doesn't mean you are excluded from it, does it? This blasphemous act was also done immediately following worship, showing some hypocrisy within the city. The other citizens must have understood this as well, otherwise they most likely would not have proclaimed God's holiness following His judgement. (1Samuel 6:19-20 ASV)

Killed by a Lion: This was a punishment for questioning the Word of God. The commanded man knew that the commander was a prophet, and should have known there would be a good reason for obeying God. Actually, right after the occurrence another man in their company was commanded to do the same thing, and he followed through. After this the prophet was able to disguise himself because of his wound and pursue God's Will, so God had a purpose for this act. (1 Kings 20:35-36)

Killing the Good Samaritan: Again, within the Law the transport of the Ark of the Covenant had specific instructions. The instructions are very clear, and in no part of it are oxen involved. Men were to carry it on poles, but in this case the reverence for God's Covenant were clearly lost. It was being carried precariously on an ox cart, by oxen, with a few men guiding it instead of the appropriate arrangements. God was simply punishing the men for ignorance of His Law, He couldn't have been clearer. (2 Samuel 6:3-7)

3, Murdering Children

Every single one of these examples is a prophecy of Israel's slavery to Babylon later on. The Israelites had been disobeying, blaspheming, and ignoring God for 100's of years, and this was Him setting his children right again. It was the same with with how Canaan and other civilizations were attacked by the Israelites under Joshua, and later on in the Bible. God had given them 100's of years so that they would have a chance to set things right, such as the time before the global flood, but ultimately the cycle of sin continued.

God Kills the Firstborn of Egypt: Did EB by chance miss the 400 years of brutal slavery and not allowing Israel to even worship their God? There were 9 plagues in front of this in which Pharaoh had a chance to let the Israelites go and worship. Also, God had directed these plagues towards showing the powerlessness of the Egyptian gods. I addressed all of these in the post of "Top Ten signs you're a Christian fundamentalist". This one was directed at 3 gods, one of which being Pharaoh who was considered a god.

God Will Kill the Children of Sinners: This is a warning, not a prediction. This was designed to get the Israelites attention so that they don't turn away from God's commands. Like I've said before, turning away from God's commands is ultimately putting yourself above God in your mind, the sin the caused the Fall of Lucifer. All good parents have a great love for their children, so it astounds me that Israel would still turn away when their children are mentioned.

4, Misc. Murders

Sampson's Murders: If you were to read this book, you could easily see that Israel and Philistia were at war. It's not a murder if you are defending your country, not absurd at all.

Peter Kills Two People: This was the very first sin in the new Church. God was showing people how seriously he takes sin by killing Ananias and Saphira. They had given what they said was all they had when it wasn't. They were lying in order to obtain a good reputation in the church. It is also worth noting that, assuming they were true believers, they still ended up with their Heavenly Father. Not a bad deal.

Mass Murder: This was a command to destroy Canaan, which had been one of Israel's enemies for a long time. They had been given lots of time by God to repent of their many sins and come back, but they didn't, that's all there is to it. They were told to kill all women in children so that the civilization would not end up rising again and threatening God's people once more.

You have to kill: This chapter was God's commands concerning the nation of Moab, another civilization given plenty of time to repent but did not. This verse was saying woe to he who disobeys God by keeping his hand from bloodshed because He had commanded the attack of Moab, not random killing like EB makes it out to be.

The Danites kill the next town: EB needs to try a different translation here. God had given the tribe a Dan a certain allotment of land, and currently there were civilizations who were occupying it and refused to move, so they simply claimed what God had given them as part of the promised land.

God kills some more: This was a righteous punishment of Israel by God. Manasseh was a ruler who rebuilt many places of idol worship that his father had destroyed. He ruled as an evil ruler who sacrificed his own children to false gods and ignored warnings from god. He continually sought the council of fortune tellers and mediums, and God sent the Assyrian army in order that Manasseh would come to his senses, which he did.

God promises more killing: This was a prophecy of the destruction of Edom. Edom was the civilization founded by Jacob's brother Esau. Edom had a great dislike of Israel because of Esau's great mistake, and therefore harassed Israel throughout history before their eventual destruction.

The Angel of Death: If Israel were to enter the promised land without any military help from God, they would have been wiped out. God was protecting His people while also keeping them from fraternizing with those who would cause them to again turn to worshipping false gods.

Destruction of Ai and Jericho: Everyone should know at this point that the promised land had been delivered to Israel by God, and that all of these cities that Israel destroyed in order to claim it had been participating in all manners of sins. I'll save the time of point them out again, just look up.

God kills an extended family: This starts off with a godly child dying of sickness so that God is able to punish the rest of the people for conforming to the worship of the calf the Jeroboam had set up. Pretty standard judgement for idolatry, not murder at all.

Mass Murder: There was a clan within the tribe of Benjamin that God knew needed to be punished, but the Benjamites weren't willing to accept it, so they were punished as well for disobeying the Word of God.

The Angel of Death: Israel and Assyria were at war during this time, and Israelites were dying of starvation because of the Assyrians siege. Apparently delivering one's own people from their sinful enemies is murder? I don't think so.

Kill your neighbors: Those neighbors happened to be the Israelites who forsook God and made a golden calf and engaged in an orgy while Moses was getting the 10 commandments. Righteous judgement again.

Kill the Family of Sinners: Achan had put himself above God by refusing God's command to destroy all of Jericho and had taken some of the plunder for himself. A lengthy process of unearthing his crime followed, which at any point he could have come out into the open with it and acquired a much less severe consequence, but he didn't. Instead he ended up involving his family in the punishment as well. You cannot hide as much treasure as this man did without his family knowing about it and helping, which caused them to share in the punishment as well.

Kill Followers of Other Religions: God punished the Israelites for worship of Baal once again. They continually gave up God for Baal, violating the very first commandment. Again we see that EB has neglected to mention that they had knowingly violated the Law, and even more so by previously sleeping with Moabite women, another law! Ignorance of the Law never excuses disobedience. Furthermore, Baal worship frequently entailed things such as idol worship, another law, and human sacrifice, another law.

Murder: They killed the prophets of Baal here, who were advocating all the law breaking mentioned just above. Capital punishment, not wrongful human killing.

Kill All of Babylon: Again, apparently EB objects to war? Babylon was following more religions going directly against the laws God had set in place. They also did enslaved to Israelites for 3 generations and treated them harshly. More punishment, not murder.

Micah Kills a Whole Town: For one thing, the Lord said the journey to find a place to settle had his approval, but the violent actions that happened later on. Furthermore, Micah and his men overtook and killed the Danites because they had stolen from his household. This, again, was violation God's law.

Closing Comments:
None of these examples was able to stand up to elementary examination. When you look at it, you can see that every single one of these could have fallen under the Capital Punishment category. EB is judging the nation of Israel's Law, something they have no right to do. Arguing based on your own opinions when talking about an issue of this magnitude is unacceptable to most skeptics. God enacted the Law for Israel which was ultimately fulfilled by Jesus Christ, and you cannot accurately judge something put in place by a Supreme Being based on our limited human knowledge. EB has failed to show any wrongful killing of humans. For another perspective, check out Rhoblogy's page:
http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com/2009/04/evilbiblecom-project-part-1-murder-in.html

22 comments:

  1. Good show, keep up the good work and the God work!

    aDios,
    Mariano

    ReplyDelete
  2. If God is so just then why is it that none of his favourites ever die because of doing the wrong thing ?

    King David
    - he took a census 70000 israelites die instead.
    - he murders uriel to take his wife.
    - he commits adultery with uriel's wife

    Why the double standards ?

    Why do the Israelites only kill rich cities where they can steal their property or take their virgins ? We never hear of them destroying a poor wicked city they only label the city wicked as justification for rape and pillage.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think suffering and mental torment is a bit worse than plain, simple death.

      Delete
  3. David was an example of God showing mercy. Furthermore, God's mercy was well placed because David became a great king after learning from his mistakes. Every human being is sinful, we all deserve death, that's why God's grace is so incredible.

    The last paragraph is unfounded. When the Israelites destroyed Jericho, they were instructed not to take anything. Same with many other cities. Poor cities usually did not take much land, were receptive to change, and weren't aggressive towards the Israelites, they weren't marching around wiping out cities.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi there. My name is Frank. I would like to ask you a few questions about your view of Bible murder.

    As you have quoted a number of times, children were to be put to death along with wives and husbands. Even if we factor in that the adult inhabitants of villages and cities were guilty of sin (according to the attacking army's law) - how can this be true of babies and children?

    Can we "execute" the innocent? No, if the innocent are killed, this is murder, not justified execution. Execution must be lawfully justified.

    Definition of innocence: Having broken no stated law in the land.

    Can babies and children understand laws, let alone discern right from wrong?

    The Bible, particularly in the Old Testament, testifies to the destruction of entire cites of children and babies:

    Sodom and Gomorrah

    Various Canaanite villages and cites

    During the Noachian Flood

    In the future when the rider of the white horse brings destruction on the living generation at that time.

    Does God truly place value on human life or is he rather preoccupied with vindicating his name?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Frank, this is true with any war... innocent die! religious wars, oil wars, diamond wars, and since he is God... well, He can do whatever he wants... regardless if you believe in him or not...

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  18. Woe to those who call evil good
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  19. What a stupid analysis, consistently trying to justify your "God" and his hideous acts by saying people were given plenty of time to bow down and grovel to him, what a joke.

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  20. What is the point of any moral standard, Lets look at animals, whereas, yes there are situations that warrant cooperation, only if its "beneficial" but why should we cooperate with fellow man, when its almost always non-beneficial to us. Thus if we are just highly adapted species of animals on this earth, why the evolution of morality? Why as a species to we control our animalistic tendencies. what is the point? So lets persecute those who believe in a moral structure. Lets teach them to not kill us for our persecution. Sounds kind of stupid to me to even waste the energy to prove to a christian whose decree is love thy neighbor, that they shouldn't love thy neighbor because the book that tells them that is hypocritical. A Christians point is to defends its morality, even it was true that it comes from a fallible book. What is the point of an atheists persecution of a christian? To show off how smart he is, to boast maybe? Oh look at me how smart I am. If the goal for the world is cooperation so we aren't living like animals, what is wrong with Christianity to achieve it?

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  21. Corrected
    What is the point of any moral standard, Lets look at animals, whereas, yes there are situations that warrant cooperation, only if its "beneficial" but why should we cooperate with fellow man, when its almost always non-beneficial to us. Thus if we are just highly adapted species of animals on this earth, why the evolution of morality? Why as a species do we try control our animalistic tendencies. what is the point? So lets persecute those who believe in a moral structure. Lets teach them they are reading lies so there's no point to their morality, then once convinced they can be free to kill anyone they please, including the atheist. Sounds kind of stupid to me to even waste the energy to prove to a christian whose decree is to love thy neighbor, that they shouldn't love thy neighbor because you say the book that tells them that is hypocritical. A Christians point is to defend its morality, even "if" it was true, that it comes from a fallible book, what is the point of an atheist persecution of a christian? To show off how smart he is, to boast maybe? Oh look at me how smart I am. If the goal for the world is cooperation so we aren't living like animals, what is wrong with Christianity to achieve it?

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