Monday, July 4, 2016

Bible verse about stoning children causes a firestorm

Wow! What a firestorm!

Let's recap: I wrote an article in which I pointed out a few verses from the Koran that proved, to me, that it was not inspired by God. In response, an atheist lobbed what he thought was a sarcastic hand-grenade, implying that the Bible advocated parents stoning their children to death. I then wrote my previous column specifically to address that particular verse in the Bible.

My goodness, people, why all the vitriol? Personal attacks have no place in any Bible discussion. And when you are reduced to pointing out the spelling or grammatical errors of another commenter you have certainly run out of logical arguments.
(By the way, Mr. Mathewson, I apologize for misspelling your name; as you know, being an Examiner means not just being a writer, it means being an editor and fact-checker as well.)

Here's the thing: If you believe the Bible is God's inspired word, great! But I have a question I'd like you to ask yourself: Is my conviction based on sound research I've done myself, or just something I've been led into by someone else?

And if you don't believe the Bible is from God, I'd like you to ask yourself the same question.
Anyone can find a verse that doesn't make sense to them. I do it all the time. The real test of who you are is what you do when that happens.

What I do is get busy doing research. I examine the context. I look at what is actually said and, very importantly, what is NOT said. I use a cross-reference Bible to see what other verses may shed light on this troubling verse. I check how it is worded in other translations. (There are over 25 different English translations of the Bible available on the internet.) And I read what respected Bible scholars have written about this verse. (I particularly recommend Adam Clarke and Albert Barnes)

If you haven't done that work, you have no right to discount either the Bible or God because of that one verse.

But neither are you right to not do the work, but still take the stand that 'it's a mystery, but my faith will carry me through it.'

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