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Deuteronomy 21, God authorizes rape

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  • Dave Wave
    Quote: 10 When you go out to battle against your enemies, and (E)the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive, 11and see
    Message 1 of 14 , May 21, 2007
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      Quote:
      10"When you go out to battle against your enemies, and
      (E)the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and
      you take them away captive,
      11and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and
      have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for
      yourself,
      12then you shall bring her home to your house, and she
      shall (F)shave her head and trim her nails.
      13"She shall also remove the clothes of her captivity
      and shall remain in your house, and (G)mourn her
      father and mother a full month; and after that you may
      go in to her and be her husband and she shall be your
      wife.
      14"It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then
      you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you
      shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not
      mistreat her, because you have (H)humbled her."
      (Deuteronomy 21, NASB)

      Hebrew men killed her parents.
      Hebrew men killed her baby brother.
      Hebrew men kidnapped her.
      Hebrew men totally destroyed her city or nation and
      desecrated the icons of her religion.
      Hebrew men forced her to live as a prisoner in their
      society whose religion was diametrically opposite to
      hers.

      What is the liklihood she'd have sex willingly with
      ANY of those Hebrew men?

      You modern inerrantists BETTER find a way to put her
      in the mood for sex, WITHIN those conditions,
      otherwise she isn't allowing sex willingly, and then
      the rules for marrying a captured woman in Deuteronomy
      21 boil down to either:

      a - an absurd law for marrying captive women, since no
      woman in such circumstances and having endured such a
      traumatic and drastic change forced on her by Hebrew
      men would wish to have sex with anybody, still less
      with any of those Hebrew men, or...

      b - a justification for rape...since it tells a Hebrew
      man what procedures he must go through before he can
      then have sex with this traumatized woman.

      Very simply, can you think of a scenario in which a
      female captive of the sort in Deuteronomy 21, would
      have sex WILLINGLY with a man whose army just killed
      her family, desecrated her religion and kidnapped her?

      --- Dave



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    • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
      Dave, If a woman was not pleasing to the Israelite man who took her into his home, he had to let her go wherever she wanted (Deut. 21:14). A foreign woman
      Message 2 of 14 , May 21, 2007
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        Dave,

        If a woman was not pleasing to the Israelite man who took her into his
        home, he had to let her go wherever she wanted (Deut. 21:14). A foreign
        woman under this law could simply refuse to have anything to do with
        the man and he would have no choice but to free her to go wherever she
        chose. The passage simply does not authorize rape, or even forced
        marriages.

        You asked:

        << Very simply, can you think of a scenario in which a female captive
        of the sort in Deuteronomy 21, would have sex WILLINGLY with a man
        whose army just killed her family, desecrated her religion and
        kidnapped her? >>

        Yes, I can. The female captive came from a culture in which there was a
        significant chance, had the Israelites not invaded, that any baby she
        had would have been sacrificed on altars to pagan deities, or in which
        the woman would have been forced into ritual prostitution, bestiality,
        or any number of other perversions. When her captors, instead of
        immediately raping her or pressing her into labor, took her into
        protective custody, gave her room and board, and gave her a month free
        of any work duties or other obligations so that she could come to terms
        with her personal loss, she would likely view such restraint and
        provision as evidences of benevolence. A woman might very well come to
        view the Israelites as liberators in such a scenario.

        In Christ's service,
        Rob Bowman
      • Dave Wave
        ... First, are you then agreeing with option a, which said that the law was absurd, since no female captive would have sex willingly with some guy from the
        Message 3 of 14 , May 21, 2007
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          --- "Robert M. Bowman, Jr."
          <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:

          > Dave,
          >
          > If a woman was not pleasing to the Israelite man who
          > took her into his
          > home, he had to let her go wherever she wanted
          > (Deut. 21:14). A foreign
          > woman under this law could simply refuse to have
          > anything to do with
          > the man and he would have no choice but to free her
          > to go wherever she
          > chose.

          First, are you then agreeing with option a, which said
          that the law was absurd, since no female captive would
          have sex willingly with some guy from the group of men
          who just killed her family and kidnapped her?

          Second, she is placed under several requirements
          between verse 12 and 13 and nothing is stated or
          implied about her freedom to refuse to do them.
          Indeed, she wasn't so free that she could dissuade the
          Hebrews from kidnapping her, so I seriouly doubt that
          too much freedom on her part should be read into the
          following divinely-sanctioned requirements:

          a - the man takes her home with him.
          b - she shaves her head and trims her nails
          c - she will remove her clothes of captivity
          d - she must remain in his house.
          e - mourn her father and mother for a month.

          Now, if you agree she was forced to do at least that
          much simply because some Hebrew soldier wanted her for
          a wife, that's still psychological and emotional
          trauma being inflicted on her by divine decree.

          But if you say "she didn't have to comply with any of
          that if she didn't want to", then you are making the
          entire history of captive-taking totally worthless.
          The captives would know that freedom was only a few
          protests away, and any traumatized woman in such a
          scenario would surely avail herself of that option
          before she'd come up with desire to have sex with one
          of her kidnapping murderers.

          According to you, the female captive's ticket to
          freedom was a shaved head, trimmed nails, a 30 day
          stay in some tent, and flat refusal to perform the
          duties of a wife. Can you imagine any such
          traumatized female in that situation NOT availing
          herself of this solution to get back her freedom?

          Third, the decision as to whether she was pleasing to
          the Hebrew solider, was for the Hebrew soldier to
          make:

          14 "It shall be, if you are not pleased with her, then
          you shall let her go wherever she wishes; but you
          shall certainly not sell her for money, you shall not
          mistreat her, because you have humbled her."

          According to the text, "if YOU are not pleased with
          her..."

          The Hebrew soldier is the one who must make the
          decision that she is not pleasing to him. He might
          well be a patient Hebrew, and assume that her flat
          refusal to do what he wants is just a sign that she
          needs more time to, ah, "see the light". The idea of
          how much of her "flat refusal" he should take before
          he has to let her go, is left unexpressed in the text,
          and you are eisogeting your own idea of it back into
          the text. What if he was patient, and didn't find her
          displeasing for several days or weeks worth of her
          flat refusals?

          Fourth, does it bother you that there is no marriage
          here? She is kidnapped, her family and kids killed,
          her religion and city destroyed, she is forced to go
          live with some man because he thought she was pretty,
          she has to shave her head, trim her nails, take off
          her clothes of captivity, and cry about the death of
          her father and mother for a month, and after this,
          "you may go in and be a husband to her".

          And you have a hard time with GAY marriage?
          Homosexuals at least love each other before they tie
          the knot, but the shotgun wedding of Deuteronomy 21 is
          said to be completed before the female's
          non-compliance becomes an issue.

          If God thinks marriage is so important and should be
          for life, then doesn't it bother you that the
          prescription for marriage in Deuteronomy 21 gets the
          couple successfully married BEFORE they discover they
          can't get along? If God wants marriages to last a
          lifetime, isn't a little get-to-know-you in order
          BEFORE the marriage occurs? Yes, I'm faulting most
          marriages from the ancient world which didn't give the
          participants time to see if they were compatable, the
          logic is still the same regardless...but I'm leveling
          it at God for right now, who appears to sanction this
          worst-of-all plan for successful lifetime marriage.

          > You asked:
          >
          > << Very simply, can you think of a scenario in which
          > a female captive
          > of the sort in Deuteronomy 21, would have sex
          > WILLINGLY with a man
          > whose army just killed her family, desecrated her
          > religion and
          > kidnapped her? >>
          >
          > Yes, I can. The female captive came from a culture
          > in which there was a
          > significant chance, had the Israelites not invaded,
          > that any baby she
          > had would have been sacrificed on altars to pagan
          > deities,

          First, can you support that assertion with evidence
          demonstrating that the nations around Israel were into
          regular child sacrifice ("significant chance")? I
          have also studied that culture, and I think you are
          pressing the evidence too far in your apologetic
          intention to make the immorality of Deuteronomy 21's
          shot-gun wedding pale by comparison.

          Second, so what? What does it matter whether the
          babies get killed by their own people or by the
          Hebrews? You're always arguing that the Hebrews were
          justified to kill the babies of other cultures because
          that sends them straight to heaven, right? Since God
          is sovereign, and says in Deuteronomy 32:39 that he is
          the author of life and death, then you cannot
          meaningfully distinguish between the times when god
          decrees that a Canaanite priest should kill a baby and
          when a Hebrew should.

          > or in which
          > the woman would have been forced into ritual
          > prostitution, bestiality,
          > or any number of other perversions.

          Please support your assertion with evidence. I
          realise perfectly well the general truth of what you
          are saying, but you are pushing it, and acting as if
          every non-Hebrew contemporary with ancient Israel was
          extensively corrupted, so please back up your "the
          land vomits out the iniquity of the people" position.

          > When her
          > captors, instead of
          > immediately raping her or pressing her into labor,
          > took her into
          > protective custody, gave her room and board, and
          > gave her a month free
          > of any work duties or other obligations so that she
          > could come to terms
          > with her personal loss, she would likely view such
          > restraint and
          > provision as evidences of benevolence.

          The Hebrews killed her KIDS, and you think she might
          regard her murdurous kidnappers as benevolent because
          they also gave her time to sort it out in her head?

          Your argument is about as lopsided as the argument
          that says Hitler was loving...because he was a nice
          dad to his kids. His being nice to his kids did not
          erase the atrocities he commanded/allowed against the
          Jews.

          >A woman might
          > very well come to
          > view the Israelites as liberators in such a
          > scenario.

          She MIGHT. But it's not LIKELY. And until you back
          up your pro-bible negative fundamentalist assessment
          of those other cultures, you won't have much of a
          case.

          yes, thank you for killing my children, I feel so much
          better.

          You jump back and forth now between the culture she
          lived in as being extensively corrupted, to now
          arguing that she might find relief with the
          Israelites.

          Well...if she was PART of the culture that regularly
          sacrificed children and other assorted immoralities,
          wouldn't it be more probable that she would view her
          consistent way of life as "normal"? And therefore
          she'd view the destruction of her family and way of
          life as unfair and immoral? What magic hat did you
          pull this conscientious female out of, since by the
          way you describe her, she doesn't appear to have come
          from a place where kids are sacrificed and
          prostitution beastility is forced.

          --- Dave



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        • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
          Dave, I wrote: If a woman was not pleasing to the Israelite man who took her into his home, he had to let her go wherever she wanted (Deut. 21:14). A foreign
          Message 4 of 14 , May 22, 2007
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            Dave,

            I wrote:

            "If a woman was not pleasing to the Israelite man who took her into
            his home, he had to let her go wherever she wanted (Deut. 21:14). A
            foreign woman under this law could simply refuse to have anything to
            do with the man and he would have no choice but to free her to go
            wherever she chose."

            You replied:

            << First, are you then agreeing with option a, which said that the
            law was absurd, since no female captive would have sex willingly
            with some guy from the group of men who just killed her family and
            kidnapped her? >>

            Your question is rhetorical badgering. You know I don't agree with
            your option a.

            You wrote:

            << The Hebrew soldier is the one who must make the decision that she
            is not pleasing to him. He might well be a patient Hebrew, and
            assume that her flat refusal to do what he wants is just a sign that
            she needs more time to, ah, "see the light". The idea of how much
            of her "flat refusal" he should take before he has to let her go, is
            left unexpressed in the text, and you are eisogeting your own idea
            of it back into the text. What if he was patient, and didn't find
            her displeasing for several days or weeks worth of her flat
            refusals? >>

            That would be fine. Then he would be providing her with free room
            and board without demanding "sexual favors." Furthermore, a man
            (especially in that culture) who exhibited such restraint would be
            the antithesis of the caricature you are assuming.

            You wrote:

            << Fourth, does it bother you that there is no marriage here? >>

            Er...the text plainly says that he would become her husband. That
            means marriage. No, they didn't use marriage licenses issued by the
            state in those days, but there was still a socially normalized
            recognition that the parties were husband and wife.

            Dave, you are operating with such a lack of appreciation for the
            differences in cultures that your prejudice is keeping you from
            understanding the text. Ironic, isn't it, that the conservative
            Christian in this discussion is not the one imposing his cultural
            values on the text, but the skeptic?

            I don't think I can help you more on this subject.

            In Christ's service,
            Rob Bowman
          • Dave Wave
            ... Please quit trying to avoid the point by assuming you know something that I never admitted to or implied. DO you think any kidnapped virgin would be
            Message 5 of 14 , May 25, 2007
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              --- "Robert M. Bowman, Jr."
              <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:
              > You replied:
              >
              > << First, are you then agreeing with option a, which
              > said that the
              > law was absurd, since no female captive would have
              > sex willingly
              > with some guy from the group of men who just killed
              > her family and
              > kidnapped her? >>
              >
              > Your question is rhetorical badgering. You know I
              > don't agree with
              > your option a.

              Please quit trying to avoid the point by assuming you
              know something that I never admitted to or implied.

              DO you think any kidnapped virgin would be willing to
              have sex with a man from the group that just killed
              her family, destroyed her city and way of life, and
              desecrated the icons/idols of her religious faith, yes
              or no?

              > You wrote:
              >
              > << The Hebrew soldier is the one who must make the
              > decision that she
              > is not pleasing to him. He might well be a patient
              > Hebrew, and
              > assume that her flat refusal to do what he wants is
              > just a sign that
              > she needs more time to, ah, "see the light". The
              > idea of how much
              > of her "flat refusal" he should take before he has
              > to let her go, is
              > left unexpressed in the text, and you are eisogeting
              > your own idea
              > of it back into the text. What if he was patient,
              > and didn't find
              > her displeasing for several days or weeks worth of
              > her flat
              > refusals? >>
              >
              > That would be fine. Then he would be providing her
              > with free room
              > and board without demanding "sexual favors."

              But she has been kidnapped and traumatized
              emotionally.

              By your logic, if I kidnap a virgin, kill her family,
              then ask her for sex, and she refuses, then i'm not
              doing too much wrong if I don't force myself on her,
              but continue to provide her "room and board."

              > Furthermore, a man
              > (especially in that culture) who exhibited such
              > restraint would be
              > the antithesis of the caricature you are assuming.

              Really? I would have figured that his continuing to
              keep her captive constituted kidnapping, which most
              Christians think is an absolute law of God with no
              exceptions. I guess "he wrote his law in our hearts"
              doesn't really mean what lotsa fundamentalists think
              it means after all, for apparantly, out of necessity
              to do apologetics, there WAS a time when it was
              virtuous to kidnap virgin girls and demand sex from
              them after killing their families.

              Is asking for sex from a female kidnap victim always
              wrong, absolutely, for all people in all places and
              times without exception, yes or no?

              > You wrote:
              >
              > << Fourth, does it bother you that there is no
              > marriage here? >>
              >
              > Er...the text plainly says that he would become her
              > husband. That
              > means marriage. No, they didn't use marriage
              > licenses issued by the
              > state in those days, but there was still a socially
              > normalized
              > recognition that the parties were husband and wife.

              Two problems:

              1 - if that was god's outline for marriage back then,
              what's wrong with following it's basic outline today?
              You know, if a girl comes home from the club with me,
              and wants to marry me, then she can take off her
              clothes, trim her nails, think about it for 30 days,
              and then I can "go in and be a husband to her"? What
              exactly makes this inappropriate for today? "obey the
              law of the land" is answered with "we ought to obey
              God rather than men."

              2 - how about God's decree for divorce there? Jesus
              emphasized that marriage was to last a lifetime as the
              original design of the creator, however, the creator
              now seems to be giving in to the sinfulness of men,
              and allowing them to get divorced contrary to God's
              plan for marriage. If God doesn't see a reason to
              allow exceptions to his morals simply because man is
              sinful and constantly disobeys them, why does he allow
              exception to lifelong marriage, and allow divorce?

              > Dave, you are operating with such a lack of
              > appreciation for the
              > differences in cultures that your prejudice is
              > keeping you from
              > understanding the text. Ironic, isn't it, that the
              > conservative
              > Christian in this discussion is not the one imposing
              > his cultural
              > values on the text, but the skeptic?

              But since you view the text as inerrantly inspired by
              God, differences of culture take a back seat, and what
              God thought should be done is what matters to you.

              --- Dave



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            • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
              Dave, You asked:
              Message 6 of 14 , May 25, 2007
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                Dave,

                You asked:

                << First, are you then agreeing with option a, which said that the
                law was absurd, since no female captive would have sex willingly
                with some guy from the group of men who just killed her family and
                kidnapped her? >>

                I replied:

                "Your question is rhetorical badgering. You know I don't agree with
                your option a."

                You responded:

                << Please quit trying to avoid the point by assuming you know
                something that I never admitted to or implied. >>

                I'm not at all. You know I don't think the law was absurd. You asked
                me if I agreed that the law was absurd.

                You wrote:

                << DO you think any kidnapped virgin would be willing to have sex
                with a man from the group that just killed her family, destroyed her
                city and way of life, and desecrated the icons/idols of her
                religious faith, yes or no? >>

                The question presupposes a particular interpretation of Deuteronomy
                21 with which I disagree. As you have put it, in a manner that
                essentially poisons the well, my answer would of course be no. But
                that is a tendentious interpretation of Deuteronomy 21.

                You wrote:

                << I would have figured that his continuing to keep her captive
                constituted kidnapping, which most Christians think is an absolute
                law of God with no exceptions. >>

                Saving the lives of innocent girls from an enemy nation is
                not "kidnapping." Giving them a home is not kidnapping. Again,
                you're approaching the text from an alien perspective, caricaturing
                the passage to suit your agenda.

                You wrote:

                << Is asking for sex from a female kidnap victim always wrong,
                absolutely, for all people in all places and times without
                exception, yes or no? >>

                Yes. But the passage does not talk about "asking for sex," but about
                MARRYING the girl, and she is not a "kidnap victim" but someone
                spared in a war.

                The rest of your post continues with the same sort of tendentious
                reading of the text.

                In Christ's service,
                Rob Bowman
              • Dave Wave
                ... First, under which interpretation would you have answered my question yes ? The correct one? Which one would that be? Second, when I said the female war
                Message 7 of 14 , May 25, 2007
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                  --- "Robert M. Bowman, Jr."
                  <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:

                  > You wrote:
                  >
                  > << DO you think any kidnapped virgin would be
                  > willing to have sex
                  > with a man from the group that just killed her
                  > family, destroyed her
                  > city and way of life, and desecrated the icons/idols
                  > of her
                  > religious faith, yes or no? >>
                  >
                  > The question presupposes a particular interpretation
                  > of Deuteronomy
                  > 21 with which I disagree. As you have put it, in a
                  > manner that
                  > essentially poisons the well, my answer would of
                  > course be no. But
                  > that is a tendentious interpretation of Deuteronomy
                  > 21.

                  First, under which interpretation would you have
                  answered my question "yes"? The correct one? Which
                  one would that be?

                  Second, when I said the female war captive had just
                  been through severe trauma, I was not going beyond
                  what was written; in verse 13 she bewails her father
                  and mother a full month. She obviously must have been
                  assured she will never see them again, so this is
                  trauma, whether they were actually killed or not. As
                  such, this is a woman who is undergoing severe trauma,
                  so my question to you of whether said traumatized
                  woman would have sex willingly with the soliders of
                  the religious nation that just destroyed everything
                  she knew, was valid.

                  Now if you have argument to show she should NOT be
                  viewed as traumatized at the time a Hebrew soldier
                  decides to try her out, I'd love to hear it.

                  > You wrote:
                  >
                  > << I would have figured that his continuing to keep
                  > her captive
                  > constituted kidnapping, which most Christians think
                  > is an absolute
                  > law of God with no exceptions. >>
                  >
                  > Saving the lives of innocent girls from an enemy
                  > nation is
                  > not "kidnapping."

                  First, how can you say "innocent", when you already
                  admitted in your previous comments that these nations
                  they were from, were steeped in gross perversion?
                  What makes you think the girls were any less involved
                  in those religions than the non-virgin women or the
                  men?

                  Second, I caught your presumptive error early, and
                  asked you to document your specific accusation that
                  whatever nations the Hebrews might attack, as
                  mentioned in Deuteronomy 21:10, were nations steeped
                  in such gross perversion and immorality, that the
                  attack from the Hebrews could only be seen as rescue
                  of the innocent by comparison, and you failed to do
                  this so far. In fact you already said you couldn't be
                  of further help to me. Does this mean you cannot
                  document your extremely negative viewpoint of the
                  morality-level of the nations that surrounded the
                  ancient Israelites?

                  > Giving them a home is not
                  > kidnapping.

                  Correct. Now, what do you think it is when somebody
                  takes another person by force and transports them
                  somewhere against their will, if it's NOT kidnapping?
                  Please find a word for it.

                  > You wrote:
                  >
                  > << Is asking for sex from a female kidnap victim
                  > always wrong,
                  > absolutely, for all people in all places and times
                  > without
                  > exception, yes or no? >>
                  >
                  > Yes. But the passage does not talk about "asking for
                  > sex," but about
                  > MARRYING the girl, and she is not a "kidnap victim"
                  > but someone
                  > spared in a war.

                  Oh ok, so we don't have to worry about the immorality
                  of asking for sex from a female war captive, as long
                  as we made her clip her nails, take off her clothes,
                  and cry about her mom and dad for thirty days, before
                  we then "go in unto her and be a husband"?

                  Again, everything you say is predicated on your
                  previous and undocumented assertion that whatever
                  nations the Hebrews might be told to attack in
                  Deuteronomy 21:10, they were only those nations that
                  were so steeped in perversion and gross immorality
                  that the Hebrews attacking them could only be called a
                  "rescue" of whoever they choose to spare.

                  By the way, you never answered a previous question I
                  asked of you....how do you reconcile God's order to
                  spare the Midianite virgins in Numbers 31:18, with
                  God's order to kill everybody (thus including
                  virgins), such as in 1st Samuel 15:1-3?

                  Your apologetic argument for how Moses only had the
                  best interests of the virgin girls at heart in Numbers
                  31, could then be used to argue against the bible in
                  places where virgins are ordered to be killed by God.
                  What's the essential difference between the innocent
                  virgin girls of the Midianites (steeped in horrible
                  idolotry according to you) and innocent virgin girls
                  of the Amalakites (steeped in horrible idolotry
                  according to you)? Does God just like the letter "m"
                  better than "a"?

                  I already realize that God orders total extermination
                  in 1st Samuel 15 because of something the ancestors of
                  the present Amalakites did 450 years previous (as
                  stated so in the text), but the presently living
                  virgins among the Amalakites are no more or less
                  sinful in the matter than were the virgins of the
                  Midianites!

                  What biblical criteria is there for distinguishing
                  this way between innocent virgin girls from various
                  religions?

                  And please document your assertion that the women
                  rescued from the wars of the Hebrews in Deuteronomy 21
                  can be safely assumed to come from cultures and
                  religions that would surely have forced them into
                  beastility and other perversions. I think you were
                  just letting the nuanced view of the biblical authors
                  get the best of you, because the fact of the matter is
                  that we do not have enough evidence on those ancient
                  nations the ancient Hebrews warred with, to
                  confidently assume, as your apologetic argument here
                  requires, that they were steeped in immoral practices
                  as deep as you say. Of course, you NEED to make
                  those other nations to be as bad as possible, to make
                  sure that any attack from the Hebrews and subsequent
                  carrying off of the virgins would seem like the good
                  deeds of cub scouts by comparison.

                  --- Dave



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                • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                  Dave, You wrote:
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 26, 2007
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                    Dave,

                    You wrote:

                    << DO you think any kidnapped virgin would be willing to have sex
                    with a man from the group that just killed her family, destroyed her
                    city and way of life, and desecrated the icons/idols of her
                    religious faith, yes or no? >>

                    I replied:

                    "The question presupposes a particular interpretation of Deuteronomy
                    21 with which I disagree. As you have put it, in a manner that
                    essentially poisons the well, my answer would of course be no. But
                    that is a tendentious interpretation of Deuteronomy 21."

                    You then asked:

                    << First, under which interpretation would you have answered my
                    question "yes"? The correct one? Which one would that be? >>

                    For example, you could have asked, "Do you think a young virgin
                    living in a perverse culture in which murder, mayhem, child
                    sacrifice, bestiality, and war were a normal way of life, and whose
                    life was spared by an invading army that destroyed her culture and
                    killed most of her family, who was then given food, shelter, and
                    time to mourn, and who was then offered a secure home as the wife of
                    one of the soldiers of that army, would agree to the marriage?" I
                    would have answered "Yes, she might, and indeed she probably would."

                    You wrote:

                    << Second, when I said the female war captive had just been through
                    severe trauma, I was not going beyond what was written; in verse 13
                    she bewails her father and mother a full month. She obviously must
                    have been assured she will never see them again, so this is trauma,
                    whether they were actually killed or not. >>

                    The text simply says that she must be given a month to mourn. It
                    does not describe her psychological state of mind. She might indeed
                    be traumatized, but war is no picnic. The whole point of the month
                    is to respect her need to mourn. That is the stated *minimum*
                    period, regardless of how she feels, before which any marriage is
                    permitted. Can't you see that this was a rather humanitarian
                    provision in a civilization in which soldiers routinely raped the
                    women they conquered with no regard for their lives or feelings at
                    all? Even if you think Deuteronomy falls short of your standards of
                    enlightenment, can't you see that it was way, way ahead of its time?

                    You wrote:

                    << Now if you have argument to show she should NOT be viewed as
                    traumatized at the time a Hebrew soldier decides to try her out, I'd
                    love to hear it. >>

                    Hebrew soldiers were not permitted to "try her out." They were
                    required to make a choice between marrying her and letting her go
                    free. If you can't admit this much, there's no point in going
                    further.

                    You asked:

                    << First, how can you say "innocent", when you already admitted in
                    your previous comments that these nations they were from, were
                    steeped in gross perversion? What makes you think the girls were any
                    less involved in those religions than the non-virgin women or the
                    men? >>

                    Ummm . . . do I really have to spell it out? The fact that the girls
                    were virgins means that they had not been inducted into those gross
                    perversions.

                    You wrote:

                    << Second, I caught your presumptive error early, and asked you to
                    document your specific accusation that whatever nations the Hebrews
                    might attack, as mentioned in Deuteronomy 21:10, were nations
                    steeped in such gross perversion and immorality, that the attack
                    from the Hebrews could only be seen as rescue of the innocent by
                    comparison, and you failed to do this so far. In fact you already
                    said you couldn't be of further help to me. Does this mean you
                    cannot document your extremely negative viewpoint of the morality-
                    level of the nations that surrounded the ancient Israelites? >>

                    How about you taking on the burden of proof once in a while? Must I
                    prove *everything* while you need to prove *nothing*?

                    Why would the OT contain warnings about not engaging in the perverse
                    practices of the surrounding Canaanite peoples, including
                    bestiality, child sacrifice, and so forth, if those were not in fact
                    prevalent practices?

                    Archaeologists have been able to verify that child sacrifice and
                    various other perverse behaviors were indeed prevalent in Canaan. I
                    have documented this before, but I don't seem to have the
                    information handy. I'm sure if you're truly interested, you could
                    track down some information on the subject.

                    You wrote:

                    << Oh ok, so we don't have to worry about the immorality of asking
                    for sex from a female war captive, as long as we made her clip her
                    nails, take off her clothes, and cry about her mom and dad for
                    thirty days, before we then "go in unto her and be a husband"? >>

                    Stop it. It isn't about "asking for sex." It's about asking the girl
                    to get married. Clipping her nails and shaving her head were health
                    precautions. So was requiring her to remove the clothes in which she
                    was captured in order to wear clean, appropriate garments (you
                    repeatedly cite this provision as if it meant that she was stripped
                    naked and forced to wear nothing for a month!).

                    You wrote:

                    << By the way, you never answered a previous question I asked of
                    you....how do you reconcile God's order to spare the Midianite
                    virgins in Numbers 31:18, with God's order to kill everybody (thus
                    including virgins), such as in 1st Samuel 15:1-3? >>

                    There was no standing order that in all circumstances all people
                    without exception were to be killed. There is nothing to "reconcile"
                    because there is no contradiction in saying that in some cases some
                    people were spared but not in other cases.

                    In Christ's service,
                    Rob Bowman
                  • Dave Wave
                    ... The woman in question no longer has family or roots. What is the liklihood that, knowing the daily hardships she d face as a a newly divorced pagan woman
                    Message 9 of 14 , May 27, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- "Robert M. Bowman, Jr."
                      <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:

                      > For example, you could have asked, "Do you think a
                      > young virgin
                      > living in a perverse culture in which murder,
                      > mayhem, child
                      > sacrifice, bestiality, and war were a normal way of
                      > life, and whose
                      > life was spared by an invading army that destroyed
                      > her culture and
                      > killed most of her family, who was then given food,
                      > shelter, and
                      > time to mourn, and who was then offered a secure
                      > home as the wife of
                      > one of the soldiers of that army, would agree to the
                      > marriage?" I
                      > would have answered "Yes, she might, and indeed she
                      > probably would."

                      The woman in question no longer has family or roots.
                      What is the liklihood that, knowing the daily
                      hardships she'd face as a a newly divorced pagan woman
                      in the Hebrew camp or somewhere else, she'd be
                      displeasing to her new husband? Not very likely.
                      She'd probably do almost anything he wanted in her
                      quest to make daily survival easier for herself.

                      That means she'd consent to having sex with her new
                      husband, knowing that if she refused, she'd thus be
                      "displeasing" to him, and take a chance on being
                      turned out into the world as a newly divorced single
                      woman with no family or roots.

                      If a woman feels that she can reduce the danger and
                      hardship in her life by having sex with a man, does
                      that suddenly mean she gave TRUE consent?

                      No.

                      I find then that, when we consider the realities the
                      captive wife could look forward to if she didn't
                      please her new husband, it's more likely she'd do what
                      he wanted only because getting set free, for a woman
                      in her situation back then, would be a worse fate than
                      simply being a good pleasing wife.

                      I wonder how many of those captive women who became
                      wives of Hebrew soldiers, chose to consent to sex with
                      their new husbands solely because they knew that being
                      displeasing would run the risk of being set free and
                      thus making their daily survivial much harder.

                      Having taken into consideration the realities faced by
                      single women with no family or husband, does her
                      consent to have sex sound like TRUE consent?

                      If a women chooses to do what a rapist wants so she
                      can avoid getting beaten up, does that sound like true
                      consent?

                      In both cases, NO. Internet apologist Glenn Miller,
                      in his attempt to justify the atrocity of Amalakite
                      children-slaughter, dogmatically declares that the
                      welfare options in the ANE were slim to zero, and
                      anybody in need of welfare could look forward to a
                      very hard daily life and early death:

                      begin quote:
                      ==============
                      There were no social relief, welfare, or benevolent
                      resources ANYWHERE in the ANE, even in the
                      "wealthiest" of nations. Even elderly care was a major
                      issue, but not addressed by the public sector. There
                      simply was not enough resource surplus or
                      infrastructure available to do this:

                      "In spite of the government's propaganda concern for
                      widows and orphans, there was no systematic welfare
                      system. The institution that dealt with the problem of
                      young families bereft of a father and husband is
                      called the a-r u-a, meaning 'dedicated.' Women and
                      children were 'dedicated' by relatives who could no
                      longer support them or by themselves, and they were
                      employed especially in weaving and processing wool.
                      Because we have several detailed records of such
                      persons, we know that they usually did not live long
                      after they had been dedicated, probably owing to the
                      wretched conditions in which they lived and worked.
                      ...Women weavers were exploited extensively at Lagas;
                      their children no doubt died at a high rate: one group
                      of 679 women had only 103 children, though other
                      groups had more. " [OT:LIANE:35]

                      "Ancient society has fewer elderly, it is true, but
                      they existed nonetheless, and had to be supported
                      along with many children, most of whom would not
                      survive to adulthood." [OT:CEANE:2]

                      "While it is true, as Van Driel points out, that life
                      in the ancient Near East was in general much shorter
                      and death much quicker, even the few that survived
                      into old age, or lingered on in a slow decline of
                      physical and mental powers, would have placed a huge
                      burden on an economy that knew more scarcity than
                      surplus." [OT:CEANE:241]

                      "Care of the aged does not form a separate category in
                      the law codes; indeed, there is not a single law that
                      deals with the subject directly." [OT:CEANE:241]

                      "Nonetheless, all the contributors stress that the
                      role of the public sector was limited." [OT:CEANE:244)

                      Let's be VERY clear about this. We take these for
                      granted and they simply did NOT exist in the ancient
                      world. This was NOT in any sense an option for this
                      situation.
                      =================
                      close quote
                      (from:
                      http://www.christian-thinktank.com/rbutcher1.html)

                      Glenn argues that one reason the Amalikite babies were
                      killed is because the welfare relief programs did NOT
                      exist for such purposes.

                      Well then! How do you think a pagan woman could have
                      expected to survive, if she acted displeasing toward
                      her new Hebrew husband and got herself kicked out?
                      Since Deuteronomy 21:10-14 doesn't specify that the
                      captive women were necessarily virgins, we must also
                      add further negativity; the newly "freed" woman might
                      also not be a virgin, and so her chances of being
                      married again to some other man and thus make her
                      daily survival easier are even less.

                      If Glenn Miller was telling the truth about how hard
                      life would be for a person who didn't have roots or
                      family and who thus was essentially "free", then it is
                      more than likely that any female war captive would
                      likely consent to sex with her new Hebrew husband,
                      knowing that refusal of sex constitutes being
                      "displeaxsing", which is grounds for being kicked out
                      into a harsh ancient world where women without roots
                      or virginity aren't worth a whole lot, and whose best
                      bet outside of staying in the marriage was extremely
                      degrading work in conditions sufficiently wretched
                      that her life would be unbearably hard, her future
                      kids probably wouldn't survive, and her own death
                      would probably be early.

                      I'll post evidence that even entire groups in the ANE
                      often perished due to how hard it was to survive, if
                      you are still unconvinced. If entire groups slowly
                      starved to death, it could only be worse for a single
                      woman with no family or roots.

                      As such, I think I've proven my case that the only
                      kind of consent to sex a female war captive of the
                      Hebrews would give to her new, ah, "husband" would be
                      similar to the type of consent to give your wallet to
                      somebody with a gun; in both cases, you consent in
                      order to insure your life doesn't become unbearable.

                      And THAT ain't true and free consent, so you are still
                      stuck with rape regardless. Whether she consents to
                      sex with her Hebrew husband to avoid a black eye from
                      him, or, if she consents to sex with him in order to
                      avoid being displeasing to him and thus being set free
                      into a world full of rapists that would give her a
                      black eyes, her consent to sex, given those options,
                      is not TRUE consent. Since that which is not true
                      must be false (remember your little article on how to
                      argue John 1:1 with Jehovah's Witnesses?), whatever
                      consent she gives that is not true consent must be
                      false consent, and false consent for sex equals no
                      consent for sex and so my initial thesis; that
                      Deuteronomy 21 reveals god approving of rape, still
                      stands, when historical and cultural realities,
                      admitted by Christian apologists who argue for God's
                      good morals in all situations, are taken into account.

                      > You wrote:
                      >
                      > << Second, when I said the female war captive had
                      > just been through
                      > severe trauma, I was not going beyond what was
                      > written; in verse 13
                      > she bewails her father and mother a full month. She
                      > obviously must
                      > have been assured she will never see them again, so
                      > this is trauma,
                      > whether they were actually killed or not. >>
                      >
                      > The text simply says that she must be given a month
                      > to mourn. It
                      > does not describe her psychological state of mind.
                      > She might indeed
                      > be traumatized, but war is no picnic.

                      And war could have been avoided if God would have
                      given them the divinely inspired pacifist principles
                      in the Sermon on the Mount, correct? And if the
                      Hebrews would become quickly enslaved because they
                      wish to turn the other cheek, then its a decision
                      whether winning war or aspiring to higher morals is
                      the higher calling, amen?

                      > The whole
                      > point of the month
                      > is to respect her need to mourn. That is the stated
                      > *minimum*
                      > period, regardless of how she feels, before which
                      > any marriage is
                      > permitted. Can't you see that this was a rather
                      > humanitarian
                      > provision in a civilization in which soldiers
                      > routinely raped the
                      > women they conquered with no regard for their lives
                      > or feelings at
                      > all?

                      Suppose somebody kidnaps your daughter, kills you and
                      your family, then makes her shave her head and lets
                      her cry about what happened to mom and dad for a
                      minimum of 30 days. Can't you see that this is a
                      rather humanitarian provision?

                      Maybe you'd find it more humanitarian if you found out
                      that I routinely killed all the male babies among the
                      captives I kidnap? Humanitarian?!

                      > Even if you think Deuteronomy falls short of
                      > your standards of
                      > enlightenment, can't you see that it was way, way
                      > ahead of its time?

                      First, let's not waste time on whether Deuteornomy
                      falls short of MY standards. Let's just jump right to
                      the fact that when God became man in Jesus, his sermon
                      on the mount makes him seem like the philosophical
                      enemy of the OT god of military action......sort of
                      makes you wonder whether Marcion was truly "heretical"
                      for teaching that the God of the OT is NOT the father
                      of Jesus.

                      Second, you forgot that I am controlled by the devil
                      according to your beliefs. As such, of course I'm
                      gonna subscribe to the Documentary Hypothesis, and
                      therefore believe that the only reason the morals of
                      Deuteronomy appear to be somewhat ahead of the Mosaic
                      time period, is because they were written after the
                      Mosaic time period (viz. Hilkiah "discovering" the
                      book of the Law in 2nd Kings 22:8, after it was
                      supposedly lost for so many years)

                      Sometimes when apologists debate, they forget how the
                      whole world lays in the lap of the wicked one,
                      Christians excluded of course.

                      > You wrote:
                      >
                      > << Now if you have argument to show she should NOT
                      > be viewed as
                      > traumatized at the time a Hebrew soldier decides to
                      > try her out, I'd
                      > love to hear it. >>
                      >
                      > Hebrew soldiers were not permitted to "try her out."
                      > They were
                      > required to make a choice between marrying her and
                      > letting her go
                      > free. If you can't admit this much, there's no point
                      > in going
                      > further.

                      But the text states that he has to let her go if he
                      doesn't find her pleasing to himself (Deuteronomy
                      21:14). So obviously the previous demands that needed
                      to be met for the marriage to be a marriage, were a
                      sort of "trial" time, and were not binding at all; the
                      man could simply come up with his own personal reason
                      for not finding her to be pleasing, and there's her
                      ticket to freedom, marriage dissolved, Jesus said
                      Moses gave the writing of divorcement to them for the
                      hardness of their hearts, and probably thus forgot
                      that this law for divorce was said in the text to have
                      been the "word of the Lord".

                      > You asked:
                      >
                      > << First, how can you say "innocent", when you
                      > already admitted in
                      > your previous comments that these nations they were
                      > from, were
                      > steeped in gross perversion? What makes you think
                      > the girls were any
                      > less involved in those religions than the non-virgin
                      > women or the
                      > men? >>
                      >
                      > Ummm . . . do I really have to spell it out? The
                      > fact that the girls
                      > were virgins means that they had not been inducted
                      > into those gross
                      > perversions.

                      Do you think being "inducted into those gross
                      perversions" suddenly means they are sufficiently free
                      of idolotrous practices that they can be rightfully
                      called "innocent"?

                      > You wrote:
                      >
                      > << Second, I caught your presumptive error early,
                      > and asked you to
                      > document your specific accusation that whatever
                      > nations the Hebrews
                      > might attack, as mentioned in Deuteronomy 21:10,
                      > were nations
                      > steeped in such gross perversion and immorality,
                      > that the attack
                      > from the Hebrews could only be seen as rescue of the
                      > innocent by
                      > comparison, and you failed to do this so far. In
                      > fact you already
                      > said you couldn't be of further help to me. Does
                      > this mean you
                      > cannot document your extremely negative viewpoint of
                      > the morality-
                      > level of the nations that surrounded the ancient
                      > Israelites? >>
                      >
                      > How about you taking on the burden of proof once in
                      > a while? Must I
                      > prove *everything* while you need to prove
                      > *nothing*?

                      First, I'll take that as a no.

                      Second, YOU have asserted that the nations surrounding
                      the Israelites in the ANE were steeped in gross
                      perversion, to such an extreme degree that you
                      attempted to make the invasion and kidnapping by
                      Hebrews appear to be a sign of mercy to the poor
                      virgins who would otherwise have to await their
                      treacherous sexual fate. You have NOT supported that
                      claim which is crucial to your defense.

                      Third, given that I am simply critiquing the morality
                      of an ancient religion based on their own writings,
                      and given that you already accept those writings in
                      question as inerrant, then the only burden I need to
                      shoulder is proving the immorality of that system. I
                      haven't asserted anything that you'd require proof for
                      outside the bible.

                      > Why would the OT contain warnings about not engaging
                      > in the perverse
                      > practices of the surrounding Canaanite peoples,
                      > including
                      > bestiality, child sacrifice, and so forth, if those
                      > were not in fact
                      > prevalent practices?

                      First, Deuteronomy 21:10 doesn't specify "Canaanite
                      peoples". It says "when you go to battle against your
                      enemies..." That's far more general than
                      "Canaanites".
                      The point I make is that you broadbrushed anybody and
                      everybody that the Hebrews might attack and carry away
                      captive, as people steeped in gross perversion and
                      idolotry. Canaanites? Maybe. Everybody and anybody
                      who might be called their "enemy"? That's your burden
                      to prove, and you haven't done it yet.

                      Second, the question is, how extensive is "prevalent"?
                      I can agree that they practiced these things, but you
                      went to the biblical extreme immediately, portraying
                      them as so steeped in the grosser perversions that any
                      invasion by Hebrews would be seen as relief by the
                      virgins. So naturally I asked you to document your
                      biblical presupposition that the contemporaries of the
                      ancient Israelites were 100% evil in the way you
                      describe.

                      > Archaeologists have been able to verify that child
                      > sacrifice and
                      > various other perverse behaviors were indeed
                      > prevalent in Canaan. I
                      > have documented this before, but I don't seem to
                      > have the
                      > information handy. I'm sure if you're truly
                      > interested, you could
                      > track down some information on the subject.

                      I am currently doing that. And I'll remind you again
                      that while you now specify "Canaanites", the law in
                      Deuteronomy 21:10, which talks about the virgins
                      Hebrews might capture and wish to marry, was referring
                      generally to ANY nation they might do battle with.
                      The power of your apologetic was the insistence that
                      those virgins would find the invasion of the Hebrews a
                      relief from their otherwise certain fate of becoming
                      steeped in gross and idolotrous perversion.

                      > You wrote:
                      >
                      > << Oh ok, so we don't have to worry about the
                      > immorality of asking
                      > for sex from a female war captive, as long as we
                      > made her clip her
                      > nails, take off her clothes, and cry about her mom
                      > and dad for
                      > thirty days, before we then "go in unto her and be a
                      > husband"? >>
                      >
                      > Stop it. It isn't about "asking for sex." It's about
                      > asking the girl
                      > to get married. Clipping her nails and shaving her
                      > head were health
                      > precautions. So was requiring her to remove the
                      > clothes in which she
                      > was captured in order to wear clean, appropriate
                      > garments (you
                      > repeatedly cite this provision as if it meant that
                      > she was stripped
                      > naked and forced to wear nothing for a month!).

                      Umm...where does the text state or imply that she was
                      to put any other clothes on after taking off the
                      clothes of her captivity?

                      > You wrote:
                      >
                      > << By the way, you never answered a previous
                      > question I asked of
                      > you....how do you reconcile God's order to spare the
                      > Midianite
                      > virgins in Numbers 31:18, with God's order to kill
                      > everybody (thus
                      > including virgins), such as in 1st Samuel 15:1-3? >>
                      >
                      > There was no standing order that in all
                      > circumstances all people
                      > without exception were to be killed.

                      So why were some "innocent" virgins spared in some
                      wars, and other innocent virgins slaughtered along
                      with everybody else?

                      > There is
                      > nothing to "reconcile"
                      > because there is no contradiction in saying that in
                      > some cases some
                      > people were spared but not in other cases.



                      But you yourself admitted that these poor virgins
                      would find it a relief to have the more merciful
                      Hebrews come invade their land and take them away from
                      their perverse fate.

                      If that's the case, then you are making out the
                      virgins to be non-consenting when dad decides to force
                      his daughter into beastility/prostitution, etc, for
                      the first time.

                      If you could argue that the virgins, even while living
                      within those corrupted religions, could nevertheless
                      realize they were wrong and be unwilling to
                      participate, then you're also paving the way to the
                      possibility that they remain non-consenting and
                      unwilling even during their first forced sex act and
                      thereafter.

                      This puts you at odds with the evangelical apologetic
                      Christians use in the case of Numbers 31, and why
                      Moses felt only the actual virgins should be spared.
                      When us skeptics say he only had sex on his mind, you
                      retort that by being virgins, they were not part of
                      the sexual sin at Peor God was avenging, so they were
                      kept alive not because of their virginity per se but
                      because their virginity testified that they hadn't
                      been party to the sexual corruption God was avenging.

                      The problem is that I just showed you above that, by
                      your own previous comments, the simple fact that a
                      woman lost her virginity doesn't mean she lost it
                      willingly, and as such, she doesn't necessarily
                      deserve less mercy than the Hebrews extended to the
                      virgins. However, ALL non-virgin Midianite women were
                      slaughtered in Numbers 31 without exception. NO
                      exceptions were made for the case of non-virgin women
                      who only became non-virgin unwillingly. This type of
                      women is what you argue for in previous comments, and
                      they don't deserve less mercy than actual virgins, do
                      they?

                      Unless you think a raped virgin is worth less than an
                      actual virgin, you have to admit that Moses didn't
                      make exceptions for those moral-minded women who were
                      forced against their will to lose their virginity in
                      some perverse act that you attribute broadly to just
                      anybody and everybody surrounding the ancient
                      Israelites

                      My point is that there could easily have been
                      thousands of non-virgins who were FORCED to lose their
                      virginity against their will, and therefore no more
                      morally corrupt than those who still retained their
                      virginity. Yet the text of Numbers 31 calls for the
                      slaughter of all non-virgin Midianite women. If Moses
                      knew what you know, namely, sometimes his pagan
                      neighbors force their women to lose their virginity,
                      why didn't he extend mercy to them equally as he did
                      to the lucky virgins?

                      Or...do you agree with God's word which says that the
                      worth of a woman is higher simply because she is a
                      virgin?

                      Exodus 22 --
                      16 "And if a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged,
                      and lies with her, he must pay a dowry for her to be
                      his wife.
                      17 "If her father absolutely refuses to give her to
                      him, he shall pay money equal to the dowry for
                      virgins."

                      Why does the man have to pay the dowry if the marriage
                      is forbidden by the father? The dowry was the
                      "bride-price", i.e., she has less of a chance of being
                      married, now that she lost her virginity out of
                      wed-lock...proving my point that god's word
                      unfortunately places a higher value on a woman merely
                      because her hymen is intact, and less value on her if
                      it doesn't remain intact while she is single, when in
                      fact as civilized moderns, we realize that a woman's
                      virginity or lack thereof have nothing to do with her
                      price.


                      --- Dave



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                    • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                      Dave, I don t have time to continue going back and forth with you over every aspect of this discussion. I m sorry. I ll go through it one more time, and then I
                      Message 10 of 14 , May 27, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Dave,

                        I don't have time to continue going back and forth with you over
                        every aspect of this discussion. I'm sorry. I'll go through it one
                        more time, and then I doubt I'll be able to continue answering every
                        or even most of your arguments.

                        Toward the end of your post, you mentioned that in fact you think
                        Deuteronomy was produced late in OT history, and not by Moses at
                        all. From that perspective, the law material that you claim
                        authorizes rape was actually produced many centuries after the
                        Israelites had conquered the land. In fact, you seem to think that
                        it was produced during a period in which Israel was gasping for its
                        own life and was soon to be the conquered, not the conquerors. This
                        is one of the real problems with a late date for Deuteronomy, by the
                        way--it does not reflect the political realities of the period of
                        the Divided Kingdom or of the Exilic or post-Exilic periods.

                        There's no question that a woman from a foreign, conquered people
                        might be unhappy about having to assimilate into the conquering
                        nation. I also agree that her options would be rather limited. That
                        seems to be your main premise for your argument that she could not
                        give true consent to being married to an Israelite. But her options
                        were not entirely limited. If the man who first took her in rejected
                        her, other single Israelite men might be interested in marrying her.
                        If she wanted nothing to do with the Israelites, she could travel to
                        another land--as some people undoubtedly did. Unlike the aged, a
                        virgin girl could work in fields or perform other manual labors, and
                        she could usually find a husband. In any case, at least she had some
                        options other than death. Deuteronomy allows the young virgin girls
                        of these enemy nations to be spared and given an option other than
                        death; and it regulates their treatment to prevent outright rape or
                        other obvious, overt abuses. The alternatives are all worse. This is
                        a point your argument fails to acknowledge. Of course, the law does
                        not guarantee that every Israelite man will be *kind*, but no civil
                        law can do that.

                        You argue that the OT law, in allowing the young virgins to live but
                        not other potentially innocent women from the conquered peoples, is
                        simply acceding to male lust for virgins. But there are other
                        factors you are not considering. A woman from one of those perverse
                        nations who was no longer a virgin might not have consented to her
                        loss of virginity, but she might still pose a danger to Israelite
                        society in more than one way. To mention just one, she might have
                        introduced STDs into the Israelite camp. These diseases did not
                        originate in 1960s America, you know. And no ancient society had the
                        medical resources to treat them.

                        I think when your argument is pushed it comes down to this: you
                        don't think that God would have authorized all-out war against other
                        peoples in the first place. You claim that it contradicts the ethics
                        of the Sermon on the Mount. It doesn't; Jesus states explicitly in
                        the Sermon on the Mount that he is not negating anything in the Law
                        (Matt. 5:17-18). Jesus is talking in the Sermon on the Mount about
                        the values that individuals should exhibit if they wish to be
                        morally perfect, which go beyond the civil regulations of the Law
                        but do not contradict them. Civil laws are meant to restrain evil by
                        regulating public order, not to eliminate evil. That's why the OT
                        Law could permit divorce and Jesus could warn against taking
                        advantage of that legal permission; civil laws do not enshrine the
                        highest moral values but they draw a line to prevent the breakdown
                        of the social order.

                        We still disagree on the specifics of the law in Deuteronomy 21. You
                        think that the woman was forced to go naked for her month of
                        mourning (!) and that the provision for letting her go if the man
                        found her displeasing refers to divorce after a "trial" marriage. I
                        disagree with both of these interpretations.

                        The qualification "the clothes *of her captivity*" means explicitly
                        that she was required to remove those clothes, not to simply remove
                        her clothes and remain unclothed. If I tell my child "Get out of
                        those wet clothes," it's understood that he is supposed to change
                        into some dry clothes, not that he is supposed to go around naked. I
                        really think you're being obtuse on this point.

                        I understand the provision of Deuteronomy 21:14 to mean that if,
                        after the mourning period, the soldier that took the woman into his
                        protective custody was not interested in marrying her, he was
                        required to let her go free. I can't see anything in the passage
                        that contradicts this interpretation, and since you are the one
                        finding fault with the morality of the passage, I put the burden of
                        proof on you to show that the text actually allows the man to "try
                        her out" and then discard her.

                        I don't know if it will be possible for archaeology, more than three
                        thousand years after the fact, to substantiate the *extent* of the
                        moral perversions in Canaan (which includes people other than the
                        Canaanites per se, to answer another of your criticisms). That seems
                        to me to be an unreasonably high demand for evidence. If you
                        acknowledge that the evidence backs up the claim that such practices
                        were prevalent enough that the Israelites needed to be warned not to
                        imitate them, that's about all I would expect the surviving evidence
                        to show. I doubt we'll find child sacrifice records detailing the
                        percentage of children sacrificed to Molech.

                        Finally, Exodus 22:16-17 is not talking about the "value" of a woman
                        as a person. Perhaps it is about the *economic* value of her being a
                        virgin. I'm sorry this offends you, but the statute is apparently
                        meant as a provision to meet the potential economic hardship put on
                        a family when one of its daughters becomes less marriagable. It is
                        definitely about the man who seduced the girl taking responsibility
                        for his actions, whether or not he marries her. The statute has
                        nothing to do with God thinking a woman to be less valuable as a
                        person if she is no longer a virgin.

                        That is the sort of jaundiced reading of the Old Testament that
                        characterizes your arguments. You won't get anywhere if you
                        consistently read the texts in the most unflattering way you can, if
                        you consistently try to make out the texts to say something worse
                        than they really do. Those of us with some knowledge of the Old
                        Testament and its historical and cultural context will see that your
                        reading of the texts is driven by an agenda--at least as much as, if
                        not far more than, is the case with us who are Christian apologists.

                        In Christ's service,
                        Rob Bowman
                      • Dave Wave
                        Mr. Bowman, The conservative Christian scholars at Christiananswers.net appear to know the subject of biblical archaeology very well, as their lengthy article
                        Message 11 of 14 , Sep 19, 2007
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                          Mr. Bowman,

                          The conservative Christian scholars at
                          Christiananswers.net appear to know the subject of
                          biblical archaeology very well, as their lengthy
                          article on the discovery of Sodom and Gomorrah
                          indicates at

                          http://abr.christiananswers.net/scholars/patriarchs1.html

                          Therefore I'd like to get your opinion on how such
                          well-informed conservative Christian bible scholars
                          think that sole reliance on archaeologist Garstang and
                          his work in the 1930's about Jericho constitute an
                          "objective" presentation on the subject of Jericho for
                          an article in 2007?

                          http://christiananswers.net/q-abr/jericho.html

                          Isn't it common knowledge in the apologetics community
                          that archaeologists working after Garstang (Holland,
                          Kenyon) have reached different opinions than he, on
                          when exactly Jericho was conquered?

                          Isn't it true that "Garstang proved the biblical
                          account of Jericho to be accurate" is a
                          less-than-objective way to present the "facts" on
                          Jericho?

                          Notice their opening statement on Jericho:

                          "Excavations at the ancient mound of Jericho in the
                          southern Jordan valley of Palestine have yielded
                          extraordinary finds that verify the veracity of
                          Biblical accounts. The only surviving written history
                          of Jericho is that recorded in the Bible. Archaeology
                          has demonstrated that the Biblical record is a precise
                          eyewitness account of events that transpired there
                          many thousands of years ago."

                          Would you have written that introduction a bit more
                          reservedly, knowing about Holland and Kenyon, and
                          others who disagree with Garstang's interpretations in
                          the 70 years since his work?

                          In the matter of archaeological data on Jericho, is it
                          your opinion that sole reliance on Garstang is less
                          than scholarly, given the post-Garstang work that has
                          already contested his conclusions?

                          For example, if I appealed to a 1992 Anchor Bible
                          Dictionary article on Sodom and Gomorrah, which says:

                          "Two legendary cities from prehistoric Israel in the
                          neighborhood of the Dead Sea...it is highly uncertain,
                          if not improbable, that the vanished cities of the
                          Pentapolis will ever be recovered..."
                          (1992: 99, 102)

                          ....and I cited nothing from other other authors who
                          say those cities have actually been found, that would
                          be a really sad, unobjective attempt to disprove a
                          biblical story, right?




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                        • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                          Dave, You wrote:
                          Message 12 of 14 , Sep 19, 2007
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                            Dave,

                            You wrote:

                            << Therefore I'd like to get your opinion on how such well-informed
                            conservative Christian bible scholars think that sole reliance on
                            archaeologist Garstang and his work in the 1930's about Jericho
                            constitute an "objective" presentation on the subject of Jericho for
                            an article in 2007?

                            http://christiananswers.net/q-abr/jericho.html >>

                            The web article you are criticizing does NOT rely solely on
                            Garstang. It also cites articles by Baruch Halpern and by the web
                            article's own author (Bryant Wood) that appeared in archaeology
                            periodicals as recently as 1999.

                            What is less than "objective" or "scholarly" is such a blatant
                            misrepresentation of the article as you gave in your post. Careless,
                            in fact, since it was easy enough to click the link you provided and
                            see that you were misrepresenting it.

                            In Christ's service,
                            Rob Bowman
                          • Dave Wave
                            ... such well-informed ... sole reliance on ... about Jericho ... subject of Jericho for ... solely on ... and by the web ... archaeology ... a blatant ...
                            Message 13 of 14 , Sep 20, 2007
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                              --- In biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com, "Robert M.
                              Bowman, Jr." <faithhasitsreasons@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Dave,
                              >
                              > You wrote:
                              >
                              > << Therefore I'd like to get your opinion on how
                              such well-informed
                              > conservative Christian bible scholars think that
                              sole reliance on
                              > archaeologist Garstang and his work in the 1930's
                              about Jericho
                              > constitute an "objective" presentation on the
                              subject of Jericho for
                              > an article in 2007?
                              >
                              > http://christiananswers.net/q-abr/jericho.html >>
                              >
                              > The web article you are criticizing does NOT rely
                              solely on
                              > Garstang. It also cites articles by Baruch Halpern
                              and by the web
                              > article's own author (Bryant Wood) that appeared in
                              archaeology
                              > periodicals as recently as 1999.
                              >
                              > What is less than "objective" or "scholarly" is such
                              a blatant
                              > misrepresentation of the article as you gave in your
                              post. Careless,
                              > in fact, since it was easy enough to click the link
                              you provided and
                              > see that you were misrepresenting it.
                              >
                              > In Christ's service,
                              > Rob Bowman

                              yes, I missed the references to other Jericho
                              archaeologists. So the article does NOT rely "solely"
                              on Garstang. whoops.

                              What then, you think it's more scholarly and objective
                              to avoid my other legitimate points?

                              May I conclude you have just as much of a problem
                              noticing text on a webpage as I do?

                              How scholarly is it to focus SOLELY on the other guy's
                              single error, when in fact he made other and more
                              relevant points than this?

                              Were you being "careless" by avoiding my other and
                              relevant points?

                              Or is it more scholarly to consciously choose to avoid
                              answering other relevant points I raised in that post?





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                            • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
                              Dave, You wrote: Nice
                              Message 14 of 14 , Sep 22, 2007
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                                Dave,

                                You wrote:

                                << yes, I missed the references to other Jericho archaeologists. So
                                the article does NOT rely "solely" on Garstang. whoops. >>

                                Nice retraction.

                                You wrote:

                                << What then, you think it's more scholarly and objective to avoid my
                                other legitimate points?

                                May I conclude you have just as much of a problem noticing text on a
                                webpage as I do?

                                How scholarly is it to focus SOLELY on the other guy's single error,
                                when in fact he made other and more relevant points than this?

                                Were you being "careless" by avoiding my other and relevant points?

                                Or is it more scholarly to consciously choose to avoid answering
                                other relevant points I raised in that post? >> (end of quote)

                                I just reviewed your post:

                                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/biblicalapologetics/message/1774

                                Every paragraph in one way or another was making that one point that
                                the web page supposedly relied solely on Garstang. It was the focus
                                of your entire post--not some isolated point that I picked out while
                                ignoring all your supposed good scholarship.

                                In any case, I certainly made no misstatement of fact about your
                                post, as you clearly did about the web page.

                                You had a chance here to admit humbly that you goofed and leave it at
                                that, but instead, you tried desperately to tar me with error for not
                                responding to your post line by line.

                                Sorry, Dave, but it's getting even harder to take your attacks
                                seriously.

                                In Christ's service,
                                Rob Bowman
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