Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Wacky, Wackier, Wackiest

Taken in isolation or viewed from a distance of several thousand years and from a completely different cultural setting, almost any Bible instruction may initially seem a little alien.

Out there on the internet, people are generally uninterested in doing historical research or establishing cultural context before they start forming opinions. It’s a whole lot of work … and, let’s face it, it’s fun to mock things — it makes us feel intelligent or morally superior. So taking a poke at certain of the Old Testament commands that God gave through Moses to the people of Israel as — to say the least — “weird”, is becoming increasingly trendy.

Compared to what the critics say about these commands, “wacky” might actually be a compliment.

The Inspired Word

As somebody who is convinced the entire Bible is the inspired word of God, it goes without saying that from my perspective absolutely nothing in the Law of Moses can possibly be unintentional, random, insignificant, or intended for comedic effect. Everything in it has a point. Thus, from time to time I have dredged up some of the more frequently derided Old Testament regulations and tried to set them in their historical context for you.

The series is called That Wacky Old Testament, and you can find the index in the banner on our home page and links to all the individual posts in the series below. I haven’t written a new one since 2019, probably because I’ve already covered a bunch of the most hotly disputed Old Testament laws and incidents that tend to offend new readers in the first fifteen instalments, but I may add another shortly. I recently updated the index page to include the topic of each post.

The Current List

If our weekly Too Hot to Handle isn’t hot enough for you anymore, some of these topics might be:

That Wacky Old Testament (1) Rocking the reverse mohawk
That Wacky Old Testament (2) Eating old store long kept
That Wacky Old Testament (3) Israelite women worth less than Israelite men
That Wacky Old Testament (4) What’s so terrible about graven images?
That Wacky Old Testament (5) Stoning that rebellious son
That Wacky Old Testament (6) The exclusion of men with ‘disabilities’
That Wacky Old Testament (7) The Gibeonite revenge
That Wacky Old Testament (8) The exclusion of those born of forbidden unions
That Wacky Old Testament (9) The perfection of the Law
That Wacky Old Testament (10) Fire from heaven on innocent men
That Wacky Old Testament (11) The institutional crutch
That Wacky Old Testament (12) Breaking the neck of your baby donkey
That Wacky Old Testament (13) The bitter water faithfulness test
That Wacky Old Testament (14) Inequality in Israelite marriages
That Wacky Old Testament (15) A defense of public flogging

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