Author Topic: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry  (Read 7809 times)

Dicky Underpants

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #550 on: February 11, 2020, 05:27:22 PM »
Canaan would become a servant to his brothers. This has I think been misinterpreted to mean that all Ham's descendents were under this curse. Hence the Europeans enslaving Africans.

Yes, this has been interpreted by Evangelical Christians and Mormons alike as a curse on all black-skinned people of African origin (and, alas, I think such an interpretation can be found in the Talmud). But, as Christine has pointed out, the curse wasn't even on the right bloke,Ham - who in any case only inadvertently saw his drunk dad naked. (I would have thought that was curse enough for any chap.)

Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #551 on: February 11, 2020, 08:04:34 PM »
Not really.  He apparently went out of his way to explain exactly how objectionable he found practices such as getting the corners of the beard shaved off, eating pork, planting mixed crops, wearing multiple cloths, coveting asses, stealing, murdering (sometimes)... and yet not once is there a clear condemnation of the institution of slavery which was rife.  There are no verses I'm aware of which say 'If you're going to eat pork, despite it being bad, here's how you should cook it...', so the we can't even presume that the bits where he brushes over the purchasing of people is just a pragmatic caveat to the economic realities.

Slavery, surely, if you're going to be talking about moral and immoral practices, should come higher on the list of priorities than whether or not a woman is a virgin when she gets married?

What I was getting at is that God doesn't condone it in the modern sense of the word. Apparently though, he does condone it in the biblical sense, which needs another word. Eg, "And thy man-servant and thy handmaid whom thou hast are of the nations who are round about you; of them ye buy man-servant and handmaid," YLT
« Last Edit: February 11, 2020, 08:09:37 PM by Spud »

Outrider

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #552 on: February 12, 2020, 12:07:50 PM »
What I was getting at is that God doesn't condone it in the modern sense of the word.

I'd say that's exactly what he does From wiktionary - Verb
condone (third-person singular simple present condones, present participle condoning, simple past and past participle condoned)

(transitive) To forgive, excuse or overlook (something that is considered morally wrong, offensive, or generally disliked).
(transitive) To allow, accept or permit (something that is considered morally wrong, offensive, or generally disliked).
(transitive, law) To forgive (marital infidelity or other marital offense).

Certainly any moral qualms are at least overlooked.  Given that this is supposed to be a perfect being, if the work is divinely inspired that has to be considered deliberate, which is functionally an implicit approval, given how particular other sections are about trivial transgressions.

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jeremyp

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #553 on: February 12, 2020, 12:57:25 PM »
The KJV is the most accurate paper version of the Bible I have and it doesn't use the word slave in the OT, but 'bondservant'.

You need to get a better Bible. The KJV is really not a good translation.

Also, it's better to use an online Bible for these kinds of searches or you might miss some instances.

And if we are doing word lawyering, let's look at the definition of bondservant.

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noun:

1 a person who serves in bondage; slave.

2 a person bound to service without wages.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 01:01:53 PM by jeremyp »
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Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #554 on: February 12, 2020, 07:15:33 PM »
You need to get a better Bible. The KJV is really not a good translation.

It is far better than the NIV and other modern versions. Check this out: "Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?" Exodus 2.

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Also, it's better to use an online Bible for these kinds of searches or you might miss some instances.

The Revelation 18:13 instance of 'slave' is NT. What I meant was that there is no instance of 'slave' in the KJV of the OT. Re: Jeremiah 2:14, yes, that's the only instance in the KJV OT, but notice it's in italics, indicating that in the Hebrew, there is no word present. KJV added it to complete the sentence.

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And if we are doing word lawyering, let's look at the definition of bondservant.

Young's literal translation renders 'ebed' "manservant" in Lev 25:44. I just feel the word slave is inappropriate for 'ebed' because most instances of ebed mean servant. 'Slave' originated a millennium or two later from Slav (apparently).
« Last Edit: February 12, 2020, 08:26:35 PM by Spud »

Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #555 on: February 12, 2020, 08:35:36 PM »
I'd say that's exactly what he does From wiktionary - Verb

I meant "What I was getting at is that God doesn't condone slavery in the modern sense of the word slavery.

jeremyp

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #556 on: February 12, 2020, 09:37:24 PM »
It is far better than the NIV and other modern versions. Check this out: "Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?" Exodus 2.
What's that supposed to prove? The KJV is a poor translation because its writers had limited texts as source material. A modern translation like the NRSV (Why do you strike your fellow Hebrew?) is more likely to be an accurate translation as well as using more modern and more easily understood language.

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The Revelation 18:13 instance of 'slave' is NT. What I meant was that there is no instance of 'slave' in the KJV of the OT.
But this is just a language thing. As you said the KJV does use bondman in a few places. But that is pretty much a synonym for slave and, for all you know the 17th century meaning might be exactly slave.


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I just feel the word slave is inappropriate for 'ebed' because most instances of ebed mean servant. 'Slave' originated a millennium or two later from Slav (apparently).
If you are buying and selling people like cattle, they are slaves. All your whining about what an archaic translation of a Hebrew document says is just bullshit. The condition of slavery didn't suddenly spring into existence when the word "slave" entered into the English language. We just called it by a different name before then.

Look at this verse:

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Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
(Leviticus 25:6)

If that's not saying "yes you can have slaves but only from non Hebrews" what is it saying? Remember "bondman" is an archaic term for "slave".

In the modern NRSV, it is translated thus:

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As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may acquire male and female slaves.

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Outrider

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #557 on: February 13, 2020, 06:46:42 AM »
I meant "What I was getting at is that God doesn't condone slavery in the modern sense of the word slavery.

Except that as I've shown, it does - slavery still means the owning of people.  It's cobbled together into neologisms like 'modern slavery' and 'wage slave', but it retains that original meaning at its core, and explicitly and repeatedly the Biblical god condones it, both by it's absence from the lists of prohibited or allegedly immoral activities, or by imposing restrictions on the conduct of the practice as though they were sufficient controls.

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Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #558 on: February 13, 2020, 09:30:24 AM »
Except that as I've shown, it does - slavery still means the owning of people.

So, for consistency, are you and Jeremy happy to translate as follows (using Young's Literal Translation, I've replaced 'servant' with 'slave' for every instance of 'ebed'):

15Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants slaves this way? 16Your servants slaves are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants slaves are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.” - Exodus 5

"For they [are] My servants slaves, whom I have brought out from the land of Egypt" - Leviticus 25:42
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 09:34:40 AM by Spud »

Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #559 on: February 13, 2020, 09:36:35 AM »
What's that supposed to prove? The KJV is a poor translation because its writers had limited texts as source material.
I just thought it was cool.

Outrider

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #560 on: February 13, 2020, 09:53:26 AM »
So, for consistency, are you and Jeremy happy to translate as follows (using Young's Literal Translation, I've replaced 'servant' with 'slave' for every instance of 'ebed'):

15Then the Israelite overseers went and appealed to Pharaoh: “Why have you treated your servants slaves this way? 16Your servants slaves are given no straw, yet we are told, ‘Make bricks!’ Your servants slaves are being beaten, but the fault is with your own people.” - Exodus 5

"For they [are] My servants slaves, whom I have brought out from the land of Egypt" - Leviticus 25:42

I don't know, I don't know if that example was supposed to depict slavery or not - it's possible.  What comes next?


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Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #561 on: February 13, 2020, 09:58:14 AM »
I don't know, I don't know if that example was supposed to depict slavery or not - it's possible.  What comes next?


O.
Here are some instances of ebed where slavery is probably not intended:

https://biblehub.net/search.php?q=your+servant

ippy

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #562 on: February 13, 2020, 11:58:09 AM »
I meant "What I was getting at is that God doesn't condone slavery in the modern sense of the word slavery.

So if this god idea/person/entity or whatever, you're referring to doesn't condone slavery in the modern sense of the word, what is it he she or it been telling you lately? 

It'd also be interesting if you were to let us know what method he she or it uses, an email, an interruption of a radio programme, perhaps over a radio that's not switched on, just for instance or perhaps some other means of communication.

I seem to remember seeing somewhere on the forum that you've some sort of educational degree or something similar Spud, if I'm right and you have been able to reach this sort of educational standard, how come you still keep on coming out with so much of this unsupported, unsupportable, meaningless,
theobabble?

ippy.

Christine

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #563 on: February 13, 2020, 12:29:24 PM »
Here are some instances of ebed where slavery is probably not intended:

https://biblehub.net/search.php?q=your+servant

If the context is buying people, it's slavery.  The fact is that Christians used the Bible to justify slavery.  If your God had condemned the buying and selling of people clearly and unequivocally, they wouldn't have been able to do that.  You mention "misinterpretation" of the words in the Bible - how do you know you're interpreting them right?

As Paine said (and you said you'd address at some point) "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the [Old Testament] is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind..."

Any news on why Canaan got the curse rather than Ham?

ETA - sorry, you already "explained" that Ham couldn't be cursed because he'd previously been blessed, so Noah cursed an innocent party instead.  My mistake.  Perhaps you could explain how this is good, though?

Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #564 on: February 13, 2020, 01:09:10 PM »
If the context is buying people, it's slavery.  The fact is that Christians used the Bible to justify slavery.  If your God had condemned the buying and selling of people clearly and unequivocally, they wouldn't have been able to do that.
I'm reading a thesis called Slavery in Biblical Perspective, which says that Africans kidnapped Africans and sold them to non-Christian traders who transported them to America. Conditions on the ships were so bad that on arrival, those who survived, begged to be bought. Christians then bought them, presumably to save them.

That aside, your comment gives me an idea. When Canaanites attacked Israel during the period of the Judges, Israel was forced to defend itself (they did not carry out wars of aggression, except on I think seven Canaanite regions at God's command, because those regions were the worst). If the aggressors surrendered, they would become Israel's servants.

If God had condemned buying and selling of people, as you suggest, Israel would not have had this option when faced with aggressor armies, and would have had to kill them.

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You mention "misinterpretation" of the words in the Bible - how do you know you're interpreting them right?

As Paine said (and you said you'd address at some point) "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the [Old Testament] is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind..."

Any news on why Canaan got the curse rather than Ham?

ETA - sorry, you already "explained" that Ham couldn't be cursed because he'd previously been blessed, so Noah cursed an innocent party instead.  My mistake.  Perhaps you could explain how this is good, though?

Will get back to you on those questions.

Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #565 on: February 13, 2020, 01:31:02 PM »
It'd also be interesting if you were to let us know what method he she or it uses, an email, an interruption of a radio programme, perhaps over a radio that's not switched on, just for instance or perhaps some other means of communication.
This may help:
At Barak's advance, the LORD routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword
So the LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah, and the Cushites fled.

jeremyp

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #566 on: February 13, 2020, 01:38:14 PM »
I don't know, I don't know if that example was supposed to depict slavery or not - it's possible.  What comes next?


O.

The servants in this context are the Hebrews in Egypt at the time Moses first started trying to get them out. Were they slaves? Tradition says yes.
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jeremyp

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #567 on: February 13, 2020, 01:51:00 PM »
I'm reading a thesis called Slavery in Biblical Perspective, which says that Africans kidnapped Africans and sold them to non-Christian traders who transported them to America.
Most of the slave traders who shipped slaves to the Americas were Europeans - a lot of them British. It's a fair bet, given the times, that quite a few of them would have been Christian.

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Conditions on the ships were so bad that on arrival, those who survived, begged to be bought. Christians then bought them, presumably to save them.
Yeah, right. These slaves the Christians bought to "save them": did they set them free? Or did they put them to work on their plantations?

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That aside, your comment gives me an idea. When Canaanites attacked Israel during the period of the Judges, Israel was forced to defend itself (they did not carry out wars of aggression, except on I think seven Canaanite regions at God's command, because those regions were the worst). If the aggressors surrendered, they would become Israel's servants.
According to the Bible, the Israelites took the whole promised land in a war of aggression.

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If God had condemned buying and selling of people, as you suggest, Israel would not have had this option when faced with aggressor armies, and would have had to kill them.
They could have sent the losers home. When we won the Falklands War, did we enslave the vanquished enemies? Or did we send them back to Argentina?


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Outrider

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #568 on: February 13, 2020, 03:40:32 PM »
Here are some instances of ebed where slavery is probably not intended:

https://biblehub.net/search.php?q=your+servant

OK, so let's presume that is talking about slavery, yes...

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Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #569 on: February 13, 2020, 08:20:35 PM »
If the context is buying people, it's slavery.  The fact is that Christians used the Bible to justify slavery.  If your God had condemned the buying and selling of people clearly and unequivocally, they wouldn't have been able to do that.  You mention "misinterpretation" of the words in the Bible - how do you know you're interpreting them right?

As Paine said (and you said you'd address at some point) "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the [Old Testament] is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind..."

"If the context is buying people, it's slavery."

From the reading I have been doing, it is becoming more clear that the Bible does allow foreign servants to be treated more harshly by Hebrews than Hebrew ones. So I will probably do a U-Turn here and go from denying "the bible condones slavery" to affirming it.

"It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind..."

It occurs to me that life is brutal, in that most of us eat animals. We easily forget that they were once alive, whereas back in the OT times, families presumably killed their own animals when needed, so they were less squeamish. Possibly this is a reason why we read so much about killing and the death penalty in the OT.

Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #570 on: February 13, 2020, 08:25:07 PM »
The servants in this context are the Hebrews in Egypt at the time Moses first started trying to get them out. Were they slaves? Tradition says yes.
Indeed - Exodus 1:13-14 says yes. but is the treatment of the Israelites by the Egyptians the same as the treatment allowed of foreign slaves in the Law? Possibly, minus the killing of the male children and making them work without supplying straw for bricks.

Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #571 on: February 13, 2020, 11:35:54 PM »
I'm reading a thesis called Slavery in Biblical Perspective, which says that Africans kidnapped Africans and sold them to non-Christian traders who transported them to America. Conditions on the ships were so bad that on arrival, those who survived, begged to be bought. Christians then bought them, presumably to save them.
Come the fuck off it! Are we supposed to take that seriously?
Un petit d'un petit s'étonne aux Halles
Un petit d'un petit ah! degrés te fallent
Indolent qui ne sort cesse indolent qui ne se mène
Qu'importe un petit tout gai de Reguennes.

Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #572 on: February 14, 2020, 12:09:58 PM »
According to the Bible, the Israelites took the whole promised land in a war of aggression.

They were given a territory, part of which had been inhabited by the 7-ish Canaanite nations that had to be driven out or destroyed. The rest of the people from the territory were conquered and either enslaved (if they surrendered), driven out or destroyed.

James Jordan writes that the kingdom of God at that time was tied to the social order in Israel, and that the nations had to come to Jerusalem to receive the Law. Enslavement was part of the method of evangelization. Now however, the gospel is going out to the nations, having started in Jerusalem.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 12:22:40 PM by Spud »

Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #573 on: February 14, 2020, 12:18:45 PM »
Yeah, right. These slaves the Christians bought to "save them": did they set them free? Or did they put them to work on their plantations?

How would they have been able to free them? Returning them to Africa wouldn't have been possible unless the government had made it happen. Apparently Christians attempted to get the government to close the ports to slavers, but didn't have the numbers to get the legislation through.

Spud

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Re: Using the Bible as an excuse for bigotry
« Reply #574 on: February 14, 2020, 12:20:51 PM »
They could have sent the losers home. When we won the Falklands War, did we enslave the vanquished enemies? Or did we send them back to Argentina?

Enslavement (and evangelization) in that sense would not be the right way post-resurrection.

The thing to do would have been to send missionaries to Argentina, on the agreement that they would have legal protection. Thus that country would have been taught to obey everything that Christ commanded (Mt. 28).