Of all the passages you've submitted, none is more surprising than this. "Here is a scripture that confuses me because it is unfair to the rape victim. In Deut 22:28-29, the rape victim must marry her rapist! I am a woman, and I and would loathe having to marry the man who violated me."
Agreed -- at first blush this seems grossly unfair, adding insult to injury. Your loathing is understood.
The creep has committed a sex crime. He should be put away for a long, long time.
Yet the passage is not
referring to a serial rapist. The situation envisioned in more like that of Dinah and Shechem (although this was before the Law of Moses). (If you are not familiar with this account, please take a moment to read Gen 34
.) Shechem was in love with Dinah; he wasn’t an ordinary criminal rapist. However, instead of going through the proper channels of requesting her hand in marriage, he forced himself on her. There is no indication in the account that Dinah had any objection to marrying him. Nevertheless, what Shechem did was very
Granted, Deut 22 is
disturbing. Those of us who have known rape victims, or suffered personally from this pernicious sin, may find my discussion somewhat clinical. I don't know how to avoid that if we are to strive to get behind what's going on. Thanks for following.
Christians believe the entire OT is the word of God. So if God truly
communicated his will to his people under the old covenant (testament), we must not give up too quickly. Such an attitude could easily lead to a loss of confidence in all
the difficult parts of the Bible -- like those that call us to be sacrificial, or remind us of the kinds of people we need to become as we resist the destructive currents in modern liberal society. We need to do some spadework, considering not only scripture but also ancient society. So let's read the passage in question:
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives (Deut 22:28-29).
She has lost her virginity, but then that's not such a big deal, is it? (Actually, it is.) It's the violence of rape that shocks us
. In our day, neither sex nor marriage is sacred. Fornication is so common that there's nothing remarkable about it. Back then, however, marriage was so sacred that if the virgin were betrothed (as good as married), the rapist was to be executed (Deut 22:25). How easily (and naively) we imagine the best thing for the woman would be release from the monster who'd abused her. But that would have effectively ended her chances for any future including a family and children. Unless she (and her family) were protected.
for the rest of the article. (You'll be taken to the website.)
A familiar verse that overturns a widespread -- though wrong -- idea about heaven.