A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Above: Hey, they were only doing what they thought God wanted them to do.

I like Deuteronomy, Chapter 7. There's so many things wrong with it - historically, intellectually, and ethically. There's even a little bit of prophecy in there.

Yahweh's prophecies were that 1) the Israelites will conquer seven great nations (Canaanites, Amorites, etc.), and 2) that the Israelites (and their cattle!) will NEVER become infertile. Later on, in Joshua, we find that the Yahweh was simply unable to deliver on the first prophecy. And of course, people of Hebrew descent have the same rate of being barren as any other human.

Historically, this chapter implies that there was more than 20 million people in the region at this time. The archaeological evidence does not support that at all. In fact, anyone that thinks the Bible is inerrant is just plain wrong.

Intellectually, there are a few contradictions:

1) Yahweh tells the Israelites not to intermarry with these other tribes. Moses, of course, is an exception.
2) Yahweh also instructs the Israelites to kill strangers; but a few chapters later in Deuteronomy 10, Israelites are asked to be kind to strangers "because they were strangers in Egypt."

And ethically, this chapter is just a nightmare. It advocates:

1) The killing of strangers who worship a different god.
2) Killing all of the inhabitants (including women and children) of the lands they conquer.
3) Intolerance (don't intermarry, destroy relics of the other people's religions, etc.)

So, that's Chapter 7 in a nutshell. I wonder what an apologist would say? That it's okay in that cultural context and that time period?

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