Not everything Biblical is Christian. Part 13 - women as household property, like farm animals

Deuteronomy is a rich source for these topics. It is such a schizophrenic book. There are progressive ideas right next to crazy, crazy stuff. I'm not sure there is any coherence to these verses and chapters, sort of like Proverbs or James, but a collection of rules for the community. Recently I read chapter 22. Half way into this chapter I read this crazy stuff on women.

Deut. 22:13 Suppose a man marries a woman, has sexual relations with her, and then rejects her, 14 accusing her of impropriety and defaming her reputation by saying, “I married this woman but when I had sexual relations with her I discovered she was not a virgin!”

This is a situation where a guy acts like a Neanderthal. Who knows if he entered the marriage as a virgin? Who cares if she wants to reject him? Not Moses. But he has a solution for her problem. Her parents can whip out her wedding night bedding to show off her blood. Like an animal without a voice. Then the Neanderthal has to pay a fine to his father-in-law and keep his wife who he rejected. Again, no voice on her part. She has to stay with someone who hates her because Moses forbids the guy from ever divorcing her. But if her parents cannot prove her virginity (and not every virgin woman bleeds during her first intercourse) she must be stoned to death. In the Mosaic law, are women fully human?

There is an escape-from-death clause for her. Her parents can produce her bloody wedding night bed sheet. Its production will result in the continued marriage to the Neanderthal, after he pays a fine.

Deut. 22:16 The young woman’s father must say to the elders, “I gave my daughter to this man and he has rejected her. 17 Moreover, he has raised accusations of impropriety by saying, ‘I discovered your daughter was not a virgin,’ but this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity!” The cloth must then be spread out before the city’s elders. 18 The elders of that city must then seize the man and punish him. 19 They will fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the young woman’s father, for the man who made the accusation ruined the reputation of an Israelite virgin. She will then become his wife and he may never divorce her as long as he lives.

For this partial human being born without a penis, her options, when accused of not marrying as a virgin are death by stoning or continued marriage to her owner who hates her. How is this anything like Jesus?

It gets worse. If she is raped while engaged, but is not heard crying out in the city, she and her rapist will be executed. But if he rapes her in the country, only he gets executed.
Deut. 22:23 If a virgin is engaged to a man and another man meets her in the city and has sexual relations with her, 24 you must bring the two of them to the gate of that city and stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry out though in the city and the man because he violated his neighbor’s fiancĂ©e; in this way you will purge evil from among you. 25 But if the man came across the engaged woman in the field and overpowered her and raped her, then only the rapist must die. 26 You must not do anything to the young woman—she has done nothing deserving of death. This case is the same as when someone attacks another person and murders him, 27 for the man met her in the field and the engaged woman cried out, but there was no one to rescue her.

Unbelievably, it gets worse - for her. If she is raped while not engaged, she has to marry her rapist.
Deut. 22:28 Suppose a man comes across a virgin who is not engaged and overpowers and rapes her and they are discovered. 29 The man who has raped her must pay her father fifty shekels of silver and she must become his wife because he has violated her; he may never divorce her as long as he lives.
Jesus changed the world of religion by fully humanizing all humans, slaves, Gentiles, oppressors, the oppressed, Samaritans, and women. Because of Jesus, I am seeking to love all my neighbors, not just the ones most like myself. This chapter of Deuteronomy is a horrific example of dehumanization in the Bible in the name of God. Who does Jesus deny full humanity to? Jesus is the Word of God in the flesh. He perfectly represents God because he is God. The living, embodied word of God contradicts these words of Moses. Why is that?

Because... Not everything Biblical is Christian.


Series review----------------------
This is part 13 of the series, Not everything Biblical is ChristianPart one points out that the words of Satan recorded in the Bible are not Christian doctrine. Part two shows the Sermon on the Mount overruling the cursing of enemies exhibited in Psalm 137. Parts three and four show Moses getting overruled by Ezekiel and Jesus. Part five merely brushes the concept of source criticism.  Part six looks at the Old Testament application in the early church: a brief summary of the book of Acts. Part seven looks at how the church has worked this out regarding slavery. Part eight, showed one example of how an unchristian part of the Bible helps tell the Christian story. Part nine asks who would Jesus hate? Part 10 discusses women as Biblically approved spoils of war. Part 11 discusses divorce. Part 12 discusses the imposition of Bronze Age social constructs onto our diverse and complex modern world.

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