Another much pointed at article when it comes to the inerrancy of the Bible: the occurrence of ritual human sacrifice. Remember, reader, that merely because it is mentioned in the Bible does not mean it is condoned by God. Frequently these are followed by judgment because of disobeying commands. The same goes for any wrongful act that Scripture in other areas condemns. This is the case with many acknowledgements of ritual human sacrifice in the Bible, mentioned here or not.
Like virtually everyone other article on evilbible.com, keep in mind that the author is arguing against something that is "unjust" in their own opinion. They are using opinions, and not even giving criteria, on what is considered unjust. Even more so, the commonly held atheist belief is that morality evolved as well along with civilization, so they cannot condemn these actions within their worldview, only express outrage! Here, however; I agree that ritual sacrifice of humans would be, in fact, unjust. Let's take a look and see how their examples stack up:
1) Isaac being offered (Genesis 22: 1-18): This, as is said in the verse, was a test of Abraham's faith. First of all, let's get some inaccuracies out of the way. Abraham never lied to Isaac, the ram was provided. Also, Abraham never put a knife to Isaac's throat. Verse 10 says "and took the knife to slay his son." When information not in the text is added, the meaning of scripture gets clouded. Now, moving on to the explanation. In early history every civilization had a god of some sort, and human sacrifice was extremely common. Abraham, having come from the pagan city of Ai, would not have thought this out of place. God used this to show that He was different from other gods; He does not accept human sacrifice. This also showed the trust that Abraham had for God, and rightly so. There is also a sort of logic to this from Abraham's perspective; God had promised "In Isaac your seed shall be called". This would show Abraham that even if he did have to sacrifice Isaac, he seed would continue. The only explanation would be God raising him from the dead, so either way he knew his son would live
2) Consecrations of children (Exodus 13:2): these talks about God's command to consecrate every man and beast out of the womb to God, for they are His. EB's commentary reads as follows: "It is clear from the context that consecrate means a burning sacrifice." WHAT!!?? The Hebrew word written here is qadash, meaning "sanctified, prepared, and dedicated". There is no burning involved. If they wanted to mean destroy or burn, the word chadam would have been used.
3) No redemption (Leviticus 27: 28-29): It is common for atheists to pull bits and pieces of different verses together in order to show a point, which is happening here. This was actually part of #2, so keep that in mind. EB says that this verse shows that those firstborns have no chance of redemption because they are being referred to as "doomed". Since ritual human sacrifice wasn't even a part of the Leviticus Law, those first born couldn't have been referred to. They weren't even sacrificed in the first place, look back at #2.
4) Jepthah Burns His Daughter (Judges 11: 29-40): Now, first of all, note that the NLT is used here. Mariano looked at 20 different translations and found not a single other that said she died, and the Hebrew (and Greek) doesn’t say that, either. Another funny thing worth noting about the NLT is when it says "I will give to the Lord the first thing that greets me when I return home in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering", it omits a very important word that appears in 18 other translations. That word is "and" (or in Robert Young's Literal Translation, "or"), and this completely changes the meaning of the verse. To offer a virgin to the Lord in the OT was to serve in the sanctuary as a nun, who was not to marry, hence, dying a virgin. This also draws a distinction between an animal and person, if a clean animal was to greet him, it would have been sacrificed, a person was to be consecrated (remember this doesn't mean burned!).
5) God commands burning humans (Joshua 7:15): Again EB makes a huge assumption. They see "burned with fire" and immediately think burnt offering. This is a verse talking about Capital Punishment, which has been a part of God's Law throughout the Old Testament. There is no sacrifice.
6) Josiah and human sacrifice (1 Kings 13:1-2 and 2 Kings 23:20-25): This was not a case of human sacrifice, but merely another case of Capital Punishment. Manasseh, the previous king, had built High Places all over Israel where pagan gods were worshipped. Josiah, full of zeal, killed all of the false priests who were worshipping these false gods. The meaning of talking to the altar in 1 Kings was that Josiah was mocking the false power of the idols by burning the dead priests on the altars, and during that time there is no way that would have been tolerated by gods. Obviously, there was nothing truly there with power.
7) Human sacrifice (Wisdom 3:5-7): The book Wisdom of Solomon is part of the Catholic Bible commonly known as 2nd Canon or Apocrypha. These books are treated by Jewish rabbis like we treat Bible commentaries, useful but not inspired by God. This stance is shared by Protestants. See more information here: www.lifeanddoctrinepurgatory.com/2005/11/apocryphageneral-commentsthe-books.html. Furthermore, does it really need to be pointed out that this is a psalm, and therefore its language uses frequent literary devices such as metaphors? This is the case here.
8) Child sacrifice (Wisdom 14:21-23): EvilBible here is quite correct about one thing; the passage does mention actual child sacrifice. EB even admits here that it was being condemned. The verse even says: "It was not enough for them to err in their knowledge of God, but they live in great strife due to ignorance." This was a case of people making massive errors by no fault of God's. That doesn't mean Scripture was by any means wrong. Also, this is also quoted from the apocrypha; see the link in #7 for an explanation of these books.
9) Humans are fuel for fire (Ezekiel 21:33-37): This is the same deal and number 6, this is a metaphor. I'm sure you have heard the expression "on fire for Christ". This means that you are excited about sharing Him and learning more about Him. This is the case here; the context does not lend any credibility to the idea of humans literally burning. The fire is spreading because of the Christian's call to share His word throughout the world, not literally.
10) Burn Nonbelievers (Deuteronomy 13:13-19): This was a messy time in Israel's history. The cycle of sin kept bringing the Israelites to turn away from God, and He would have a nation conquer them in order to get them to turn to Him again. They frequently had to attack and destroy nations that worshipped other gods and mocked the Lord in order to do His work and even to defend themselves. God put this law in place so that Israel would not continue to turn away from Him. EB assumes that it meant the town and its inhabitants, when in fact the inhabitants are mentioned earlier. The verse says "then you must pile all of the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the Lord." The inhabitants aren't mentioned. In fact, the NIV says this: "completely burn the town and its plunder as a burnt offering to the Lord". The inhabitants are not mentioned and were dealt with in an earlier verse. EB has assumed wrong.
The conclusion, more unfounded assumptions show EvilBible's neglect for the context and true meaning of Scripture. The Bible does not contain ritual human sacrifice any more than it contains rape or murder. For another look check this out:www.atheismisdead.blogspot.com/2009/06/atheism-ritual-human-sacrifice-in-bible.html Addendum: www.atheismisdead.blogspot.com/2009/07/addendum-to-atheism-ritual-human.html