Everybody Matters Ministry

Commonly asked Questions About the Bible

In the bible does God command us to kill others?

No. Jesus commanded his followers to love even their enemies, to live peaceably with all. The Old Testament civil laws that required death were only harsh as a deterrant.

Why did God command Moses to attack Canaan?

The Cannanites served a false god that required even child sacrifice, the killing of children in fire. For this evil, and other sinful practices God had them removed.

Does the bible teach rape in Deuteronomy 22:28-29?

No. Jesus taught to be sexual pure. The verses in Deuteronomy use the word take when referring to sex not the word rape. Along with other references we see God hates sexual advantage being taken.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. .. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone . .. Do not take revenge, my friends, ... On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink - Rom 12:17

Christian View of the Death Penalty Capital Punishment

Many people look to written text to understand God, and there is nothing wrong with that recording an event is important. But when it comes to the bible you have to be careful how you interprate texts, you cant just pull one verse out of the air and say see that proves God is such and such you have to study the whole of scripture to understand its meaning, because as one of the apostles said:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2Ti 3:16-17 NIV

Note an important part of that scripture it says equipped for every good work, not every judgmental or bitter work. The bible says,

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 1Jn 4:16

So if God is love, why do certain scriptures in the Old Testament Law appear very harsh, surely a good God would not do anything harsh. Well the reason is preventative, as I will show from scripture. The law is put in place in an attempt to prevent crime. Like we have jail and fines to try to deter crime. Obviously the stricter the punishment then the less likely a person is to offend. We will now move onto a case study from scripture to show the law is in fact preventative. Take the following law:

"'If a man commits adultery with another man's wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. Lev 20:10

So if you read that verse alone you might think well God is fairly judgmental and bitter, he just wants to kill people for weakness, and sin. But what we find in he rest of scripture is that God never put one adulterer to death, in fact he pardoned them. Take the following three examples:

a) David the guy who slaid Goliath had sex with another mans wife, he then even had the husband killed, to cover up his sin. Yet the prophet of God who God sent to tell David off, a man who knew God's character and had conversations with God, let him live, and did not ask any one to kill him. The prophet did not agree with his sin, in fact he said God would curse him for a time for it.

b) Jesus pardoned a woman caught in the act of adultery, saying to the angry mob about to stone her to death,

"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Joh 8:7

only saying to her when they all left

"Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."

c) Joseph was called "righteous", or good by the apostles because he refused to have his girlfriend put to death (made a public example) when it was found out she was pregnant.

And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.. Mat 1:19

So we can see clearly God never put an adulterer to death, as the apostles said

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2Co 3:6


Christian view of war and Genocide

Why did God command Moses to attack Canaan

So why did God get Moses to attack Canaan? We all know God is love so what was he doing initiating combat? To understand this situation we have to go to the source scripture. Scripture mentions God hated their customs, and I am not talking about dress standards. So what were their customs, what was so terrible about the Canaanites that they had to be destroyed? Well they believed in a God who required children to be thrown alive into burning fire, as a sacrifice to appease their god, note what Moses said of them from God's very mouth.

"‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD. " Lev 18:21

Note what he says after directly after these passages

"'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. Lev 18:24-25

See more on Molek So they were a fairly nasty people, but should God not have tried to save them from these practices rather than destroying them to clean out the bad teaching. Well he did, he parted the red sea allowing his people to escape from Egypt. But it has to be asked did the sinners know this? Well this is what a prostitute said to the spies who went into Jericho,

Before the spies lay down for the night, she went up on the roof and said to them, "I know that the LORD has given this land to you and that a great fear of you has fallen on us, so that all who live in this country are melting in fear because of you. We have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt... Jos 2:8-10

So clearly all the people knew what had happened to the Egyptians.

At other times after this God threatened to bring disaster on nations if they did evil. But as we see with Nineveh it was always with the aim to get them to do what is right and just. After proclaiming Nineveh would be destroyed for its evil ways.

When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened. Jon 3:10

Note again the two fold purpose of God from the following example where God bought the Babylonians against Israel.

They turned their backs to me and not their faces; though I taught them again and again, they would not listen or respond to discipline. They set up their abominable idols in the house that bears my Name and defiled it. They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin. Jer 32:33-35

Again the word discipline might seem harsh, why do people need discipline. But God said he had taught these people again and again not to commit abominations, and yet they sacrificed their children's own lives to please false gods. Yet despite actually being told by God, and being told a sensible thing, they still wanted to do evil. It is clear to me in this situation alone God has a right, when a nation is committing horrible abominations, and God has displayed his power, and love, that they refuse to change then unfortunately they do deserve hell. I mean seriously what sort of party involves burning your kids up.

There is another question that arises out of this topic and that is why did God in the attack on Canaan destroy, men, women, and children. Killing the men and women for their evil ways can be justified, but why the children. The reason can be found in a real life modern example, in Australia many aboriginal children were forcably removed from thier parents and given to white families. This became known as the stolen generation and many aboriginal people still feel this injustice to this day, resenting the families that took them away from their homes. God knew the same situation would arise is they took the Canaanite children away from their parents, there would be a generation of people who were fatherless, and would hate Israel. So God thought it best to just eliminate every one. He thought a quick death would be better than a life of regret and isolation.

Christ Commands his followers to love their Enemies

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. - Luk 6:27-29


But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.- Luk 6:35


"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.- Mat 5:43-45


Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." - Mar 12:30-31


Do not repay anyone evil for evil. .. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone . .. Do not take revenge, my friends, ... On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink - Rom 12:17


Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Mat 5:38 -39


So it is clear from those scriptures that we are to all ways do good to those who may hate us, I can't think of anyone I hate, but if people hate us we are to show them love and kindness. Not as a way to get back at them, because that is conflict. God wants us to be like him which is loving and kind, merciful, as he says "be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked". We are to be like God. Not repaying evil for evil, living at peace with all men. Loving our neighbor as our self, we want good for our selves so we are to be good to others. We are just to do good.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 and others the Bible does not teach Rape

The bible forbids rape, declaring capital punishment if a man rapes a woman. There are a few verses in the bible that some incorrectly say justifies the view that God wants us to rape, but when you view the bibles teaching on sexuality it is just not true.

Firstly we need to move to the New Testament to get God’s view of sexuality before we continue.

Jesus said

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee:for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell - Mathew 5:28

Jesus made it clear even looking lustfully upon a woman is sin. A sin that should be removed. The New Testament is full of calls to control sexuality, it is absolutely incorrect to say it encourages rape. No one was ever raped in the New Testament neither was it suggested as an option, The NT is God’s commands to modern day Christians, examples of this can be found below. 

Rid yourself therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness - Colossians 3:5


For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you - 1 Thessalonians 4:2-8

The above scripture is very clear any one who in uncontrolled passion wrongs his fellow man will be judged harshly by God.

The Old Testament has some instances of rape, we will discuss the main points. What you need to be aware of is the Old Testament is a mixture of History, recording historical events, and God's interaction with man, and a record of God's laws. God nowhere in the bible commanded us to rape, but there are recorded rapes in the historical record. Below are God's laws that some say justifies rape, with a detailed response.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29 Do rape victoms marry their rapist?

There is one verse in the bible that some claim justifies rape of an unmarried woman. Some bibles even translate the verse to say if an unmarried woman is raped she must marry the man who raped her. However a study of the scripture, and the original language, will show that the word rape does not even occur. The reason for this incorrect thought is the following verse, taken from the King James Bible:

If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; - Deu 22:28

The reason many people think this means rape is that the word “lay hold of” is taken to mean grabs with force, against the persons will. However the Hebrew scripture that it is translated from does not actually say that. The word translated in the King James as “Lay hold on”, just means to take something. It has not innate meaning of force. To prove this, the following scripture also uses the same word.

And his brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ. - Genisis 4:21

Note the scripture translates the same word as handle, to handle a harp, which is a musical instrument. There is no indication that the word means to forcefully take something, the very opposite is true. You handle a harp gently.

So the verse about the unmarried woman could just as easily be translated as:

If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed and take her consensually, and lie with her, and they be found.

One translator of the OT the CEV even goes as far as translating this verse as:

Suppose a woman isn't engaged to be married, and a man talks her into sleeping with him. If they are caught, they will be forced to get married. - Deuteronomy 22:28

There really is no indication of force in this verse. To farther strengthen this argument the other verses in the bible that do talk about rape use a totally different word.

The bible also else where condemns people who get others drunk so they can have sex with them. See:

"Woe to him who causes his friend to drink, joining with your bottle, and also making him drunk, so as to look upon their nakedness!” - Habakkuk 2:15

To further strengthen the argument that women who were unmarried did not have to be forced to marry their rapist can be found in the story of Tamar who was raped by Amnon. The bible verse in Deuteronomy 22:28 which some say justifies that the man must marry the woman, is proved false for Amnon was never forced to marry Tamar. Tamar remained unmarried after being raped, i.e. desolate  

“So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house” - 2 Samual 13:20

Note also the story of the rape of Tamar also shows that she though what he was going to do was a sin. 

And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee - 2 Samuel 13:11

Note Tamar said of her rape “no such thing ought to be done in Israel”, according to her own rendition of the law, rape was unlawful. She was not betrothed to any one, was a virgin, and said to Ammon the king will not withhold me from thee, meaning he could have been lawfully married to Tamar.

Deuteronomy 21:10-14 Laws on War and women

Now the following verse does allow a man to marry a woman who is a captive from war. But note the man must wait one whole month before having sex, he can’t have sex with the woman immediately he must first live with her for a month, before he is allowed to marry. In this way the man will learn if the woman can live peaceably with him. This is to see if a relationship can be formed and sustained, or to determine if the woman detests the man. Rape may have occurred in some of these situations, but the month long mourning process was designed to help protect the future union. 

When you go out to war against your enemies and the LORD, your God, delivers them into your hand, so that you take captives, if you see a comely woman among the captives and become so enamored of her that you wish to have her as wife, you may take her home to your house.  But before she may live there, she must shave her head and pare her nails and lay aside her captive's garb.  After she has mourned her father and mother for a full month, you may have relations with her, and you shall be her husband and she shall be your wife.  However, if later on you lose your liking for her, you shall give her her freedom, if she wishes it; but you shall not sell her or enslave her, since she was married to you under compulsion. - Deuteronomy 21:10-14 NAB