I want to write this in response to an atheist who claims that the Bible is absurd because of Its teachings on the parent/child relationship. He claims that the Bible teaches that parents must kill their “rude” children (although he does not define what “rude” means). He puts no effort in to understanding a text from the Bible. Like most atheists, he is quote mining or cherry picking verses and trying to use them against the Bible. Atheists usually ask that you refrain from using the Bible as a source when defending the Bible yet they try and use the Bible against Itself day and night. They have a very obvious double standard (but that is a different topic that we can cover later). Here is the info from the atheist’s blog.
The atheist does not bother to look at the original meaning of the words used in the Hebrew language nor does he bother to do any cross referencing or to search the immediate context of the cherry picked verse. I will do the work for him since he is either to lazy to do it or does not know how to do it.
Here is the quote from the NAS (New American Standard version of the Bible, a word for word translation of the original languages as compared to a thought for thought version).
9 ‘If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death ; he has cursed his father or his mother, his bloodguiltiness is upon him. (Leviticus 20)
1) This passage does not mention the age of the child. In fact, the word “child” is not even used. This is a person who has parents. I am 30 years old and still have a parent so this could refer to someone of my age. The first mistake is assuming that the Bible says what it does not say.
2) The person curses others. We need to research the meaning of the Hebrew word that is translated “to curse” before we make a judgment on what the person was actually doing. The contemporary English word “curse” can mean several different things.
Qalal – be of little account, to be insignificant, to be lightly esteemed, to make despicable, to treat with contempt, bring contempt or dishonor.
1) Child sacrifice (the abortion of that day)3) Adultery4) Incest5) Homosexuality
18 “If any man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or his mother, and when they chastise him, he will not even listen to them, 19 then his father and mother shall seize him, and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gateway of his hometown. 20 “They shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey us, he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21 “Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death ; so you shall remove the evil from your midst, and all Israel will hear of it and fear. (Deut 21)
- Having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, esp. in spite of good arguments or reasons…
- Difficult to move, remove, or cure.
And the word rebellious . . .
- Showing a desire to resist authority, control, or convention.
- (of a person, city, or state) Engaged in opposition or armed resistance to an established government or ruler.
Those definitions give a clear understanding of what the “child” is like. He is warned by his parents and even punished by them yet he despises their authority and does not listen to them. He does not change his ways. They give him many chances to change. They do not revert to the death penalty upon first offense as the atheist would have you believe.
2) He is disobedient to God and man. He does not obey the authorities, nor his parents nor God. He is a glutton and a drunkard. He is old enough to acquire his own food to eat in excess as well as old enough to acquire wine to drink in excess. He is not some 3 year old child who does not know any better.
3) The disobedient “child” is taken to the authorities, he is accused, tried, proven guilty, and only then is he/she executed for his/her actions.
There is a very strong case against this “child”. He/she has had multiple occasions to change his/her ways and has chosen not to do it. Forgiveness was just one step away. All the person had to do was “repent” and he/she would have been forgiven by God, the authorities, and his/her parents. But because of his/her rebellious attitude and evil actions that were a detriment to himself/herself, his/her parents and society as a whole, he/she had to pay the price with his/her life. What kind of attitude do you have toward your parents, the authorities, God? Are you ready to admit where you are wrong and repent or will you continue in your stubbornness? Repentance leads to forgiveness and life while rebellion leads to shame and death. The choice is obvious for me, but which one will you choose?
- How do I know the Bible is really from God and not some tales from men? (pastormikesays.wordpress.com)
- Does the Bible talk about “unicorns”? (erikbrewer.wordpress.com)
- H. T. Aldhizer III: Interpretation of Bible all relative; context needed (tcpalm.com)
- Does the Bible teach that parents are to kill their children for being rude? (erikbrewer.wordpress.com)