Is Christian nationalism un-American?

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--> @RoderickSpode
Can you provide an example of a verse completely void of cross-references, and doesn't fit with the rest of the Bible?

Mark 16:8  They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

This is how our oldest and best manuscripts of the 1st gospel ends. The other gospels writers made sure to have the witnesses TELL other people and have Jesus show his resurrected self! At a later date, someone (it is supposed it might be a scribe) made an ending for Mark (Mark 16:9-20) to fix this problem. 


--> @RoderickSpode
I'm not sure what you mean.
When you are imprisoned under the government. Does the government now own you?
I didn't say you were for human property. I asked you if you agree that prisoners are human property?
No they are not. Bondservants hold slaves. You have already agree having slaves is bad. What about bondservants?
I'm guessing you're asking if I can defend Christianity. I don't think you're asking me if I can defend Hinduism, Buddhism, Mohammadism, Scientology, etc.

I honestly don't understand the question. I certainly don't feel any need to defend Christianity or the Bible. Why do you think I even need to?
Just answer my other questions. I can't help people who don't understand the question. I hope you do understand the other ones I gave. 
--> @RoderickSpode
I absolutely want believers to read the Bible (all of the Bible) 

Me too.

and not just verses ripped out of context by ignorant or dishonest defenders. 

Ah...there always seems to be a catch. I guess you're aware of the usefulness of commentaries. What would you suggest? evilbible.com?


Hmmm, I've never considered evilbibledotcom to be a commentary, but I suppose it is. I think relying on more than one commentary would be an good idea, and I certainly wouldn't exclude commentaries written by believers of any Abrahamic faith. 

An example of a verse ripped out of context would be Exodus 23:9 as a refutation to the allowance of chattel slavery in Levitucus 25:44-46. Exodus 23:9 says "do not oppress a foreigner...", but a full reading of Exodus 23 reveals this was a direction for judges in legal proceedings regarding foreigners. "Do not favor Israelites in matters of law - be impartial" is another way of saying this. This verse has absolutely nothing to do with slavery and everything to do with legal protocols. The contradiction between these verses is made up. They compliment each other. 
Oh really? There's no complimenting here. All you're doing is suggesting the Israelites were less than honest. They say one thing, and do another. Or they practice humanitarianism against all foreigners, except those who were purchased in the foreign slave market. They can't kidnap them, but as long as they purchased them, abuse is okay?
I'm not suggessting the Israelites were being dishonest. I'm pointing to the fact that chattel slavery of foreigners wasn't considered contrary to their understanding of humanitarianism.

Israelites could not be slaves, that we've discussed, but we've not ventured into why. The israelites were the "chosen people of God". As far as the Israelites were concerned, they had been claimed by Yahweh and they were his possession. Thus, they could not be anyone else's property - not even each others without consent. Lev. 25:44-46 points to individuals outside of this claim of ownership which the Israelites were not restricted from claiming for themselves. 

I'm guessing you're referring to the Barnes commentary.

No. Currently I'm using the Rashi commentary. I figured a Jewish commentary would be most appropriate and insightful.

Even if the verse focused solely on judges, what makes you think a foreign servant wouldn't be involved with judges in a court case? And the command being to judges in treating foreign servants?
I wouldn't expect an individual considered to be property to go before a judge. ...Moving on.

Rashi commentary Exodus 23:9:
"And you shall not oppress a stranger -: In many places the Torah warns about the stranger [convert] because he has a strong temptation [to return to his former bad ways]."

"Convert" makes sense. "Do not oppress the [converted] foreigner" and "take your slaves from the heathen nations" are not referring to the same people.

This goes back to what I said before - there are different kinds of slavery in the Bible: Indentured servitude for Israelites (believers) and chattel slavery for [heathen] foreigners (non-believers).


Keil and Delitzsch commentary Lev 25:42:
"Because the Israelites were servants of Jehovah, who had redeemed them out of Pharaoh's bondage and adopted them as His people, they were not to be sold "a selling of slaves," i.e., not to be sold into actual slavery, and no one of them was to rule over another with severity. "Through this principle slavery was completely abolished, so far as the people of the theocracy were concerned"' (Oehler).




--> @SkepticalOne
I figured a Jewish commentary would be most appropriate and insightful.
Good call.
--> @3RU7AL
I never suggested such a thing.

Are you still insisting that an escaped foreign slave would would be treated to free meals and a life of leisure by the ancient Hebrews?
I wouldn't be surprised if most wouldn't do that on their own accord. That is, if it wasn't for a law mandating it.

A major theme concerning these slavery related verses is the call for Israelites to remember what they went through as foreign chattel slaves. This was because normally the tendency was for anyone (human nature) to abuse foreigners.
--> @3RU7AL
100% false.  You can hire them as a NORMAL WORKER and PAY THEM.

OR, invite them to be your honored guest.  FREEING SLAVES IS NOT ABUSE
No.That's not what I'm talking about.

If a servant is poor, and his provision is withing the household of a master, it would be abuse to send him out unless they provided provision for them.
--> @3RU7AL
Oh, buying slaves was PURE CHARITY.  Why would anyone even think they might want CHEAP LABOR?

I have no idea what you're getting on about.

Are you kidding me, the BEST they offer is "treat them as the native born" which was itself APPALLING.

If you were caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath, you would be stoned to death.
What is worse in your opinion?

The Israelites were in a warring situation as they were moving towards the promised land. Therefore, just like our own army, and the war industry in general, there were strict rules just like our own army has to follow that we civilians don't.

So you have a guy who was told specifically not to do any work on the Lord's day. The man broke that law knowing full well he wasn't supposed to do that. He didn't need to do it. He could have waited until the following day. It was a very blatant act of rebellion against their law. If he couldn't follow that simple a law, then that's a huge problem because he probably wouldn't follow other instructions that could lead to devastation.

An American (and some westernerners) soldier could at one time be executed for cowardice. This was a law reserved strictly for soldiers, not for civilians. A civilian is not going to be shot for cowardice. Running from fights for a civilian is actually preferable.

Someone who is shot for cowardice during war time is not being belligerent. They may run just out of instinct. They didn't want to, but couldn't help it. But, cowardice is seen as a detriment to an army, therefore the severity of facing a firing squad. So what is worse?

You just made that up on the spot.  Citation please.

Leviticus 19:34 New International Version (NIV)
34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
I don't even know you would make such a claim.
--> @SkepticalOne
Haha! Only now, after I've made clear my acceptance of a consensual relationship between Israelites do you stray away from this being a "servanthood" and prefer to call it slavery?! Pick your terms and be consistent, Rod. I'm not playing word games.
Yeah I know. I couldn't resist the temptation of being rebuked for saying slave instead of servant.

That being said, after I wrote this I realized that this type of arrangement would not always be consensual. For instance, a father might sell his daughter into slavery without consulting her, or a young man might serve for a term with the payment being his master's daughter. These situations are not consensual or acceptable.
It wasn't an ideal situation, but it was done to alleviate poverty. This was a way to ensure the daughter would be taken care of. But again, it's the decision of the parent. It wasn't mandatory.

There is nothing that says permanent slavery of foreigners was by agreement. "Rare" means it still happens. Is "rarely" owning humans moral, Rod? I've never owned a human...not even rarely!

Well again, you probably couldn't afford one.

Are you against someone having a butler or gentleman's gentleman?

Kidnapping and forced slavery are not one in the same. There were laws against kidnapping. However, there were no laws against buying kidnapped people and/or forced slavery. One problem with your question is that it assumes facts that don't exist. The other is that it ignores what the Levitical law actually does allow.
Strangulation and shooting someone in the head are not one in the same.

So you can feel free to prove to me (the burden's on you) that forced slavery was permissible.




--> @SkepticalOne
"You may buy you slave from the heathen nations which surround you. You may bequeath them to you family and they can be permanent slaves." [Paraphrased]

Lev 25:44-46 is part of Mosaic law. Are you really trying to suggest law was not to be taken literally?
Yeah, by all means, take it literally. Not according to 21st century perception which is usually way off. This is what many atheist activists tend to do. it's disturbing if they also claim to be bible scholars.

The perfect example is the verbal attack on the prophet Elisha. I'll be the first to admit, it looks like it was a blatant revengeful curse on little children mocking a man for his hair loss. Elisha's feelings are hurt, so he commands a couple of bears to tear little children up to revenge his hurt.

And yes, I admit that at first glance it really looks like that. But, I think it would be incredibly stupid to actually think that. Further study shows that it's not even remotely the case. For all we know, Elisha may have even shaved his head out of humility. So being called bald head may have been sort of a compliment?

If you don't believe me, imagine a European monk being getting upset for being called bald head.

But, this is what these alleged atheist bible experts will claim.
--> @RoderickSpode
Leviticus 19:34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
(IFF) the foreigner was to be treated as your native-born (THEN) why are there different rules for purchasing foreign permanent slaves and voluntary native born bond-servants?

Shouldn't they be treated exactly the same?

Do you think it's fair to say that your whole argument boils down to, "the Hebrews were really really nice slave owners, so that makes slavery ok if not actually a moral good (in some cases)"?
--> @SkepticalOne
Mark 16:8  They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

This is how our oldest and best manuscripts of the 1st gospel ends. The other gospels writers made sure to have the witnesses TELL other people and have Jesus show his resurrected self! At a later date, someone (it is supposed it might be a scribe) made an ending for Mark (Mark 16:9-20) to fix this problem. 
This, like a number of other alleged contradictions in the Gospels, are not contradictions. They're simply statements by different eye-witnesses. Even in modern times, statements by eyewitnesses are going to vary. One might leave a detail out, that another witness will include. If eye-witnesses give the same identical statement, this actually causes suspicion because it becomes questionable as to whether or not the eye-witnesses are collaborating.

In the Bible for instance, was there 2 donkeys or one? This at one time (maybe still is) was considered a contradiction because Matthew mentions a donkey and colt, but Mark and Luke only mention the colt. But, I think you can understand that 2 eyewitnesses are not going to give identical statements. And details may be included by one, left out by another.

Putting your verse aside for the moment, would you agree that the eye-witness accounts of the mules (at least) aren't necessarily contradictions?

Another question. Do you think the incidences recorded in the O.T. that specifically deal with the Exodus was fact, or fiction?

--> @3RU7AL
(IFF) the foreigner was to be treated as your native-born (THEN) why are there different rules for purchasing foreign permanent slaves and voluntary native born bond-servants?

Shouldn't they be treated exactly the same?

Do you think it's fair to say that your whole argument boils down to, "the Hebrews were really really nice slave owners, so that makes slavery ok if not actually a moral good (in some cases)"?
No. It's not fair to say.

I wouldn't even suggest that they were really nice slave owners. There's even an incident in the Bible that reveals this. But, the fact that they in normal cases wouldn't be really nice, shows why the law for fair treatment of foreigners existed. If it wasn't needed, it would stand for reason it wouldn't have been implemented.
--> @RoderickSpode


I just want to make sure you've seen this. You've responded to everything else.

--> @RoderickSpode
But, I think you can understand that 2 eyewitnesses are not going to give identical statements.
Under normal circumstances I'd agree with you, but when their writings are considered the infallible inspired words of a perfect god, well, it sort of makes you wonder...
--> @3RU7AL
Did we lose, Rod? 
--> @RoderickSpode
If it wasn't needed, it would stand for reason it wouldn't have been implemented.
That's like saying, "if everyone agreed that murder is bad, then we wouldn't need to have any laws against it".
--> @SkepticalOne
Hmmm, I've never considered evilbibledotcom to be a commentary, but I suppose it is. I think relying on more than one commentary would be an good idea, and I certainly wouldn't exclude commentaries written by believers of any Abrahamic faith.
I think evilbible.com is sometimes used as a commentary. It may not officially be referred to as such. But, I think they are a good example of how different sources can go to different extremes. For instance, there's at least one person considered a scholar (or bible scholar). At least by his own profession (but he did write a book). He takes the extreme view that Jesus promoted self body mutilation (Matthew 18:8-9). I think most people, including the most biblically skeptical will readily understand that the removal of one's eye, hand, etc. is not meant literally. Apparently the text invokes a certain contemporary understanding of the usage of extreme language, or hyperbole in conveying a message for most readers whether a believer or not.. If our contemporary  culture didn't understand that concept, many people would likely think the same thing as our beloved bible scholar in question.

And I think this is a reason certain conclusions are drawn by contemporary readers about certain scriptures and what they're actually saying. If we can acknowledge that the Bible is a complex form of literature, then we all (even Christians) have to acknowledge that we're just not capable of understanding scripture like we would a modern day instruction manual that we can throw away once we understand it.


I'm not suggessting the Israelites were being dishonest. I'm pointing to the fact that chattel slavery of foreigners wasn't considered contrary to their understanding of humanitarianism.

The real question is whether or not there is a living God that employed these instructions to people who would normally treat a foreigner like a slave? Their understanding of humanitarianism most likely matched that of every other nation's which is why they needed very explicit instructions on how to treat foreigners. And the reason they needed a constant reminder of what they went through in Egypt was because more than likely without the instruction many of them probably would treat foreigners like they were treated in Egypt.

Remember, the penalty for crimes like kidnapping, which is a common theme in chattel slavery was death. So it wouldn't really stand for reason that a given amount of abuse was smiled upon, and then turned to a serious crime frowned upon once some theoretical line was crossed (like kidnapping and murder).

I wouldn't expect an individual considered to be property to go before a judge. ...Moving on.
Moving back for a moment....

Exodus 21:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 “But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ 6 then his master must take him before the judges.[a] He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

I think if judges got involved with Israelite servants, I don't see why they wouldn't with foreign servants.

No. Currently I'm using the Rashi commentary. I figured a Jewish commentary would be most appropriate and insightful.
This is not by any means a promotion for this particular site. I'm just linking it for reference.


Do you feel the same about a Jewish commentary if the author is messianic?

A messianic jew has that same advantage that Rashi has.

Rashi commentary Exodus 23:9:
"And you shall not oppress a stranger -: In many places the Torah warns about the stranger [convert] because he has a strong temptation [to return to his former bad ways]."
I probably should see this statement in it's entirety. But if the warning is aimed at the Israelite it certainly makes sense. The warning I see in scripture is to not mistreat the foreigner (convert or not) because mistreating foreigners was the natural practice in that region and time period. It would probably be natural for the Israelite to act as an Egyptian task master.

If the warning is aimed at the foreign convert to not go back to his ways, a bit more insight might be helpful. How would not oppressing a foreigner prevent them from going back to their former bad ways? What exactly was the former bad ways they were to avoid?

I might be completely misunderstanding you though. So, feel free to correct me.


"Convert" makes sense. "Do not oppress the [converted] foreigner" and "take your slaves from the heathen nations" are not referring to the same people.
Conversion wasn't mandatory for one. So your idea that only converted foreigners were not to be oppressed doesn't seem too likely. It falls into the "We can't make you do it (convert), but we can make life very unpleasant for you if you don't" theme.

Of course, if we were to assume there's no God, then the skies the limit on how the Jews would have manipulated scripture to one hand appear humanitarian, and the other allow for abuse (if someone doesn't convert). So what you claim makes sense may very well be the case, but only if we assume no God, and the Jews were simply creating laws that supports abuse for foreigners.

Does it make sense? Well, maybe if we assume the laws were written by self serving humans. If there's a living God that spoke through oracles giving warnings contrary to natural human tendencies, then it really doesn't make sense.


--> @SkepticalOne
This goes back to what I said before - there are different kinds of slavery in the Bible: Indentured servitude for Israelites (believers) and chattel slavery for [heathen] foreigners (non-believers).

Yes, there were different types of slavery. Practically everyone considered themselves a slave. Servants of a king considered themselves a slave to the king, even if they were an honored soldier living in the king's luxurious palace. Kings considered themselves slaves to their emperor. The emperor considered themselves slaves to God.

Keil and Delitzsch commentary Lev 25:42:
"Because the Israelites were servants of Jehovah, who had redeemed them out of Pharaoh's bondage and adopted them as His people, they were not to be sold "a selling of slaves," i.e., not to be sold into actual slavery, and no one of them was to rule over another with severity. "Through this principle slavery was completely abolished, so far as the people of the theocracy were concerned"' (Oehler).
But this applied to foreigners as well. It's just that the emphasis here is on fellow Israelites. They were warned not to treat fellow Israelites as foreign slaves are often treated, including their natural tendency to do the same. Keil and Delitzsch seem to understand the Israelite sentiment towards removing slavery. But they seem to assume they left the work undone to satisfy a human desire to oppress by allowing for non-converted foreigners to be oppressed.

The problem with assuming no God is that you have to look for evidences that contradict explicit laws against oppression aimed at any fellow human being, because that's what the scriptures imply.

Thanks for linking this. I actually did miss this one. Hopefully I can catch up on some of your other posts I've missed since I was away.

--> @RoderickSpode
If we can acknowledge that the Bible is a complex form of literature, then we all (even Christians) have to acknowledge that we're just not capable of understanding scripture like we would a modern day instruction manual that we can throw away once we understand it.
Like this guy, [LINK]
--> @RoderickSpode
The problem with assuming no God is that you have to look for evidences that contradict explicit laws against oppression aimed at any fellow human being, because that's what the scriptures imply.

Of course, if we were to assume there's no God, then the skies the limit on how the Jews would have manipulated scripture to one hand appear humanitarian, and the other allow for abuse (if someone doesn't convert). So what you claim makes sense may very well be the case, but only if we assume no God, and the Jews were simply creating laws that supports abuse for foreigners.

You've touched on "assuming no god" a few times now. Why is that? Are you suggesting the Jewish commentaries I've cited assume no god? It seems to me that your own assumptions are more troublesome than anything, friend.

The only assumption I am making is the men who authored the laws (whether inspired by a god or not) mean exactly what they've said. Given this, there is sufficient reason to believe these laws were directed at believers, and non-believers could be kidnapped, beaten, raped, and otherwise treated as property. Appealing to a god-concept which obviously differs from that of the Israelites (and modern Jews) provides no (rational) defense.

I am not opposed to a formal debate on this topic if you or anyone is interested

--> @SkepticalOne
You've touched on "assuming no god" a few times now. Why is that? Are you suggesting the Jewish commentaries I've cited assume no god? It seems to me that your own assumptions are more troublesome than anything, friend.
No, I actually wasn't even thinking of the Jewish commentaries when I said that. I don't know what individual Jewish commentators believe. if they're a Messianic Jew, I would assume they "assume God" I suppose.

But I can see why you thought that.

There are various sources that are fairly clear on their (lack of) belief. So I don't think myself completely out of line in suggesting some "assume no god".


The only assumption I am making is the men who authored the laws (whether inspired by a god or not) mean exactly what they've said. Given this, there is sufficient reason to believe these laws were directed at believers, and non-believers could be kidnapped, beaten, raped, and otherwise treated as property. Appealing to a god-concept which obviously differs from that of the Israelites (and modern Jews) provides no (rational) defense.
I definitely agree that the men who authored the laws meant exactly what they said. And I also believe that Jesus (and the author) meant exactly what he said when he stated "If your eye offend thee, pluck it out!" Would you agree?

And it would appear here that you don't really think they meant it.

Exodus 21:16 "And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death."

You've placed an obvious limitation to Israelite men. That the author didn't really mean men as this text suggests point blank they're referring to men in general.

And I have yet to see sufficient reason to believe these laws were directed only at believers. Are you also suggesting that foreign believers had the same rights as Israelites? Do you think all Israelites were believers? Or, should we place a further limitation to suggest the laws were directed only at Israelite believers?

The raped part would be a prime example of what I'm talking about when referring to "assuming no God". The Bible doesn't make any claim whatsoever to allowing the rape of foreign women. No where. The Bible doesn't ever promote the idea of fornication no matter what the scenario. You'd think that if the bible allowed for rape, there would also be a clause stating that it's ok to purchase foreign prostitutes (just so long of course that they're foreign). Nothing! Absolutely nothing to suggest going into a woman other than one's wife was absolutely not prohibited under any circumstance.

Someone who assumes no God could rationalize that allowing for obtaining foreign wives captured in war means allowing rape by default, because that's man's nature to do so. Like sending an 18 year old to prison. In reality, they're sending him into an environment where he probably will be sexually violated. But, it doesn't mean the prison system supports sexual violation. The laws still apply in prison that goes against sexual violation. And God, in the Bible, never condoned anything remotely close to an allowance for sex outside of marriage. .

The beaten part is interesting because I don't think you're implying that the slave had to be an Israelite to benefit from the law against beating someone to death. Or, are you? Do you think the slave beaten who's life or death determined the outcome of his master could only be a foreign servant? That the law in question was not including the Israelite servant?

The treated as property part seems to be simply a way to make the list appear a bit longer. What does that mean? Is it okay to own a human in, say, a military setting (U.S. army, navy, marines, air force) just so long as soldiers are not treated as they are (property)?

As far as the concept of God, that's not what I was talking about. You're touching on concept of God which is entirely different from assuming, or considering the involvement of an actual living God. Big difference. The irony is I agree with you to some degree. I think many, maybe most of the Israelites had a false concept of God. So their concept of God would be different than Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Simon/Peter, John the Baptist, Paul, etc. I don't think the men of faith had a different concept of any believer past, present, or future. When you immediately default to concept of God, it certainly appears to suggest that you "assume no God". If I'm wrong, I apologize. But that's how it would appear.

I am not opposed to a formal debate on this topic if you or anyone is interested

I appreciate that. I don't think it would be a good idea for myself due to my schedule. I'd hate to be in the middle of a formal debate, and then get into one of those positions to where I'm not able to post for a period of time.

That, and I may end up sounding like Sonny from The Electric Horseman when he realized the camera was running.

--> @RoderickSpode
You've touched on "assuming no god" a few times now. Why is that? Are you suggesting the Jewish commentaries I've cited assume no god? It seems to me that your own assumptions are more troublesome than anything, friend.
No, I actually wasn't even thinking of the Jewish commentaries when I said that. I don't know what individual Jewish commentators believe.

You mean other than the Jewish commentaries I've cited? Why would we talk about sources neither of us have used in this discussion? 



The only assumption I am making is the men who authored the laws (whether inspired by a god or not) mean exactly what they've said. Given this, there is sufficient reason to believe these laws were directed at believers, and non-believers could be kidnapped, beaten, raped, and otherwise treated as property. Appealing to a god-concept which obviously differs from that of the Israelites (and modern Jews) provides no (rational) defense.
I definitely agree that the men who authored the laws meant exactly what they said. And I also believe that Jesus (and the author) meant exactly what he said when he stated "If your eye offend thee, pluck it out!" Would you agree?

And it would appear here that you don't really think they meant it.

Exodus 21:16 "And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death."

You've placed an obvious limitation to Israelite men. That the author didn't really mean men as this text suggests point blank they're referring to men in general
Well, if you really want to play the hyper-literalist game, I can point out that this Exo 21:16 still allows kidnapping of men by men...so long as the victim isn't sold...and, apparently women can kidnap whoever they like! But that is taking *exactly* a bit too far. For clarification, I am merely saying the laws taken as a whole (rather than cherry picked) clearly speak to the 'children of Israel' (which would include foreigners who have come to believe in the Hebrew god).

And yes, I most certainly do think they mean what they say.  When we look at the broader context of this Exo 21:16 (the entire chapter), we see trouble being taken to specify "Hebrew slaves" because... there are different rules for foreign slaves. Also, foreigners are disallowed as an option for secondhand daughters (sold into slavery). It is clear distinctions are being made between Hebrew and foreigner wherever confusion might arise. The absence of this distinction in Exo 21:16  means this verse was directed to the nation of Israel FOR the nation of Israel.

The Bible doesn't make any claim whatsoever to allowing the rape of foreign women. No where.

Deuteronomy 21

10 “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take them away captive,11 and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and have a desire for her and would take her as a wife for yourself, 12 then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and [a]trim her nails.13 She shall also [b]remove the clothes of her captivity and shall remain in your house, and 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.

And God, in the Bible, never condoned anything remotely close to an allowance for sex outside of marriage. .

Are you unaware of well-respected Biblical figures having concubines? King David had sons with some of his 10 concubines. Concubine


The beaten part is interesting because I don't think you're implying that the slave had to be an Israelite to benefit from the law against beating someone to death. Or, are you? Do you think the slave beaten who's life or death determined the outcome of his master could only be a foreign servant? That the law in question was not including the Israelite servant?

The law (Exodus 21:20-21) would have been understood to apply to permanent (non-israelite) slaves since the Israelites believed they belonged to Yahweh: Leviticus 25:38-42 The Israelite would never be a "slave" or any Hebrew's property - there would be other applicable laws if a "brother" were to beat him. 

The treated as property part seems to be simply a way to make the list appear a bit longer. What does that mean? Is it okay to own a human in, say, a military setting (U.S. army, navy, marines, air force) just so long as soldiers are not treated as they are (property)?

Soldiers are not "property". They sign a contract of their own free will and they obligate themselves to it.  Regardless of what they sign, the US government cannot buy, sell, or rape them. 

When you immediately default to concept of God, it certainly appears to suggest that you "assume no God". If I'm wrong, I apologize. But that's how it would appear. 

It's true, I don't assume your god or the god of the Israelites can possibly be upset by my words...not even "god-concept".  ;-)

FWIW, I no longer have a god-concept of my own, but that doesn't mean I assume there is no god - I just don't believe in yours (or anyone else's).
--> @TheRealNihilist
I'm not sure what you mean.
When you are imprisoned under the government. Does the government now own you?
Someone sure does. Can a prisoner in San Quentin leave the facility to go vacationing in Cabo whenever he wants?

I didn't say you were for human property. I asked you if you agree that prisoners are human property?
No they are not. Bondservants hold slaves. You have already agree having slaves is bad. What about bondservants?

I think I already addressed this somewhere. But the simple answer is yes and no.

It's not good that a human was placed in a position to have to sell themselves to someone to pay off debt, or stolen property. It's good that they had an option to do so as opposed to going to prison (where they would still become someone's property).

It's terrible today that a human would commit a crime worthy of imprisonment. It is a good thing that some can option community service where they are servants to the public, but are not incarcerated.


--> @SkepticalOne

You've touched on "assuming no god" a few times now. Why is that? Are you suggesting the Jewish commentaries I've cited assume no god? It seems to me that your own assumptions are more troublesome than anything, friend.
No, I actually wasn't even thinking of the Jewish commentaries when I said that. I don't know what individual Jewish commentators believe.

You mean other than the Jewish commentaries I've cited? Why would we talk about sources neither of us have used in this discussion? 

I won't look back to see how I may have botched up my comments to leave you to believe I was referring to commentators (although I wasn't necessarily excluding them). I was thinking more along the lines of various atheists who post here, and other forums as well.

To try and give a bit more perspective, the question I pose is whether or not the actual existence of Yahweh (OT and NT references being one and the same) has any significance on the actual contexts and meanings in OT scripture? I myself would argue absolutely yes. So if the scriptures are viewed as if God doesn't exist, then it will inevitably affect one's view of scriptural content, including the slave/servant issues.

Earlier I posed a question on this thread asking if you thought the exodus event was real. Your answer was no of course, which eventually lead to you starting another interesting thread. The reason I was asking wasn't actually meant to get into a discussion on archeological evidences. But if the entire exodus texts are fictional, then the author(s) wouldn't have any accountability to carrying out humanitarian practices, thus would not need to create laws favoring their position. Any fictional novel depicting heroics usually don't have tendencies to hold back on presenting themselves as ultimate humanitarians. So if they had segments of their fictional story suggesting honoring brutality and rape, that would be similar to Marvel comics depicting Captain America abusing The Red Skull after defeating him in an honorable fashion.

Well, if you really want to play the hyper-literalist game, I can point out that this Exo 21:16 still allows kidnapping of men by men...so long as the victim isn't sold...and, apparently women can kidnap whoever they like! But that is taking *exactly* a bit too far. For clarification, I am merely saying the laws taken as a whole (rather than cherry picked) clearly speak to the 'children of Israel' (which would include foreigners who have come to believe in the Hebrew god).

There's a difference between believing in the Hebrew God, and converting to Judaism.

Matthew 23:15 New King James Version (NKJV)
15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of [a]hell as yourselves.

To give a more OT perspective, let me ask you:

Psalm 14 King James Version (KJV)
14 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.


Do you think this verse is meant in a general sense? Strictly foreigners? Includes or relegated to Israelites? If it includes Israelites, we might have a bit of a problem here.

And yes, I most certainly do think they mean what they say.  When we look at the broader context of this Exo 21:16 (the entire chapter), we see trouble being taken to specify "Hebrew slaves" because... there are different rules for foreign slaves. Also, foreigners are disallowed as an option for secondhand daughters (sold into slavery). It is clear distinctions are being made between Hebrew and foreigner wherever confusion might arise. The absence of this distinction in Exo 21:16  means this verse was directed to the nation of Israel FOR the nation of Israel.

We here in the States have different rules for foreigners as well. Different rules doesn't necessitate abuse.

Why do you find the passage in question abusive?
--> @RoderickSpode
Don't want to carry on this conversation.

Lets agree to disagree.