Friday, February 13, 2009

Dem Bones Dialogue Series: Marriage and Domestic Violence IV

In the culminating post of this Dem Bones Dialogue Series, Kent H and Tripp respond to each other. I would like to thank both for their thoughts, participation, and civility. Great job, Kent and Tripp!

Kent H:
Obviously, the approach of Tripp and myself to the biblical text are world's apart. I would argue that both testaments argue for the high model of marriage that is demonstrated in the New Testament. Polygamy was extremely prevalent in the Old Testament, but this shows only that the text records history - without condoning sin. Actually, God's command in the garden of Eden was that a husband "cleave unto his WIFE (singular)." Actually, there are a great number of monogamous relationships recorded in Scripture: Adam and Eve, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, nearly every prophet who was married, Joseph and Mary, Zechariah and Elizabeth, etc. Deuteronomy 24 demonstrates a protection for wives who could not just be threatened with divorce and abandonment. I also have found no evidence that Jesus' Matthean condemnation of divorce was an added text, but I am still researching. Where Tripp and I find common ground is in holding a high position for marriage and both members of it. No biblical student (conservative or otherwise) can accept a situation where a wife or husband is mistreated or abused simply by clinging to one passage over another -- that is not the biblicist view.
Kent does a good job articulating a very generous response as a biblical literalist. While I am not one, his reasoning demonstrates that the regular dismissal by more secular onlookers is regrettable. In fact, I think our conclusions from different assumptions with different nuances are similar. I would agree with the sentiment and prescription of his final paragraph when he says, "the husband who has abused his wife and demanded such an unbiblical brand of "submission" that he can ignore biblical commands for his life, has forfeited his right to expect the wife to submit to his leadership... and if he refuses the needed change, she should assume that her separation is permanent." Thanks Ken and thanks Drew.


Darren Staley said...


I notice that you mention neither Abraham nor Solomon, let alone the fact that in order for Creationism to be real Cain would have had to banged his mother or sister (or at the very least a very close relative).

Kent H said...

I didn't mention Abraham or Solomon because they were polygamists. I was referring to the monogomists of the OT.
I didn't mention Cain because this was not a discussion about creationism. But since you asked, yes, in the first generation, there is no alternative. Cain's wife was also his sister (vulgarity aside). But that scenario did not have the genetic or socialogical issues that would be taboo today.

Z Williams said...

What if it was not Cain's sister? What if God popped up new people on the planet after the fall? It's just a record of this lineage because it's the lineage of Christ. But that's just a theoretical idea...

Anonymous said...

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