When Is Rape OK? Part II-What Does The Bible Say?

For more info on Jacqueline Goodchilds, this study and its validity with regard to this picture, please refer to www.fearus.org
For more info on Jacqueline Goodchilds, this study and its validity with regard to this picture, please refer to www.fearus.org

This article is a continuation of the initial study or poll given by a teacher from 1978, to high school students, in efforts of discovering their view points of the act of rape and the validity thereof-if one even exists. The poll sheds light to the minds of adolescents and their thoughts of 'forcefully engaging in sexual activity with the fairer sex'. Here we will look upon the Biblical aspect of such an act to gain further perspective.

Read Part I here: When Is Rape OK??? Viral Facebook Post

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of rape is:


Source

The Bible has many instances where the talk of 'rape' is suggested, inferenced and/or interpreted. Some verses are perhaps more explicit than others, leaving little to room for other derived meanings. Some verses are simply black and white. Keep in mind, however, that these non-shaded verses are comprehended in the English language, not the original language of the time, which means that translation was in order. With translation however, room is often left for interpretation and interpretation can sometimes be misleading. It may be best that in efforts of getting the best and most efficient understanding of religious texts, one should invest in learning, studying and reading such texts in the original languages in which they were written.

Source

What Does The Bible Say About Rape?

So, just what does the Bible say about rape? Let's point out some of the biblical verses that contain such speech on the subject.

  • Judges 21:20-23
  • 2 Samuel 12:11-12
  • Deuteronomy 21:10-14
  • Deuteronomy 22:28-29
  • Deuteronomy 20:10-14

All of these verses are from the NIV(New International Version) Bible via biblegateway.com. Some words differ in the verses of this version compared to other Biblical versions, such as the King James version. However, for the sake of staying a-course topic, we will focus on this version as it is the newer of the two versions and many others.

So just what do we have here? Implicitly, verses like Deuteronomy 21:10-14 state that:

10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives,11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her,you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.

Here, we see that it has been so ordained that a man has the permission to take unto him captives as spoils of war. If among those captives lay a women of interest, then that man is free to wisk her away and marry her for himself, provided certain stipulations such as mourning of the loss of her parents take place. Furthermore, if this man is not pleased with her then he must let her go.

Nothing here in this verse points to the opinion of the women. The verse doesn't state to let her go if she isn't in compliance, but instead only if the man does not want her.

Some scholars and/or critics will argue that the implicit statement still doesn't condone rape. Even as the man may have his way with her 'in essence', he must still make her an honest women through marriage, or set her free otherwise. Some may say that rape can very well exist, and in fact does exist in marriage as well. Therefore, simply engaging a captive into marriage does not condone the act of forced sex. However, sex nor rape are actual terms used here. Can the notion then be 'inferred' as consummation goes hand-in-hand with marriage? So if consummation goes hand-in-hand, then it may be safe to say that the discovered captive women that has been enjoined in marriage will most likely engage in the act consummating that union with her 'found' husband. It doesn't specify however, if this sexual act is done under her full compliance. The verse may infer however, that the man has rights under the law of marriage, including sex, at no account of the feelings of the women on the matter.


With much to be determined in the above verse, let us move to perhaps, a more explicitly documented verse. Deuteronomy 22:28-29

28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

The verse here seems more explicit in that the actual words 'rape' and 'violated' are used. Again, since we are using the English language to understand the bible, we must rely on English meanings. As in the above definition of the word rape, one of the synonyms used is violate.

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of violate is:

  1. break, disregard
  2. to do harm to the person or especially the chastity of

This shows us that rape is a thing that causes harm to another via some form of violation, which means committing some act upon another with disregard to the unwillingness, opinion, and/or feelings of that other person with regard to said act.

As we look at this particular verse, we can see that there are stipulations for the rape and violation of a women, a virgin women in particular. However, are these stipulations proved to be fitting. In our society today, the stipulation for rape would result in jail time in the least bit. However, this verse states that the stipulation for rape is to only pay the father of the victim a fee of fifty shekels, in addition to marrying the virgin. What if this women does not want to marry however? Today, a rape victim cannot imagine engaging in marriage with her assailant. She would be devastated from such a gesture.


Does The Bible Condone Rape?

Do You Think That The Bible Condones Rape?

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We could go on and on dissecting these and various other verses via the bible including ones not mentioned here in the article. For instance, 2 Samuel 12:11-12 discusses how the Lord was going to punish the people of David by removing their wives from them and giving them unto other men to sleep with during the day.It doesn't point out any disagreement from the wives themselves for such an action, and one must wonder if these women would be in total compliance of such a decree, or perhaps they would go along with said decree despite their condemning it, making for a violation unto them.The basis is; How do we distinguish between the violation of rape as it relates to the Bible, and does some of these verses contradict our current beliefs and laws on the matter?

The definition of rape, as stated above, points out the fact that an unlawful act occurs(by force and unwillingness) of another, usually a female. This isn't always the case though, as with Lot and his two daughters. Can we say that Lot was a victim of rape, as his two daughters seduced him with wine and thereafter forced themselves upon him? Surely in his sober mind, Lot would have never agreed upon such an abominating act, which is why it took the clever and sinful act of seduction through intoxication to carry out this deed. In any event, can we say that rape was the result here? In today's society, one that uses alcohol, which is quite often, to influence the fairer sex in engaging in sexual activity will still be considered a perpetrator of rape if that influenced person decided to press charges.

In an explanation of this particular event in the Bible regarding Lot, one explanation given in a Q&A session via gotquestions.org, the responding party to the question of Lot's indiscretion is that "GOD gives us the whole truth about Biblical characters...". This person goes on to explain that we must realize that bad things happened amongst favored people just as they did with those unrighteous. The bigger lesson however, is to understand and recognize these faults, that we may then learn from them in turn, and not be doomed ourselves in repeating them. Does such a notion still condone what was done back then? Does it perhaps mean that our evolvement into what is law today, as it corresponds with such pardoned actions of old, is an example of how we have learned from those mistakes? Read Full Explanation of above Q&A session here

Do You Think The Bible Has Contradicting Stories About Rape?

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Comments 3 comments

sallybea profile image

sallybea 3 years ago from Norfolk

One does not even need to read the Bible to know that it is never right.


Breatheeasy3 profile image

Breatheeasy3 3 years ago from USA Author

Well, you'd think so Sally! The crazy thing is however, that during my research, I've found that many people have been pointing to the Bible with regard to this particular case, so I thought I'd give perspective on the matter in this portion of the article. It's interesting and perhaps sad to some extent that some outlooks on this aren't immediately seen as troubling.


Gary Barrett profile image

Gary Barrett 2 years ago

Your take on this is all wrong. The Bible, all of it, after creation, is a story of man's struggle to find salvation through God's ever changing requirements. (More on this at the end)

The Bible isn't one book or story, but many. They are intertwined, but for the sake of expedience and the subject of the article, lets break it in half.

The first one is the fact that the Old Testament is a story of rule by "Law", (this is where you have taken your passages from, you won't find this in the New Testament.)

The New Testament is a story of life under "Grace" which "FREED" us from the rule of "Law" ie. the "Ten Commandments". While people either like them or don't, the fact remains they are irrelevant to today's requirements of eternal salvation. Jesus is the ONLY requirement for salvation under grace. "Not by works, lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:9 KJV New Testament.

I'm not taking all day on this, I'll deal with one reference only, but the first rule of understanding the bible is not to take it out of context. Read the first 20 chapters of Deuteronomy in order to understand the other three chapters. The soldiers were required to kill ALL the men in battle. That left livestock, land, children and women. Now, with ALL the men dead in their area, what else would be expected. In the earlier chapters they killed EVERYBODY in battle, including women and children. It would have been more cruel to leave them. At least if a soldier was attracted to a woman in that situation there's half a start to a relationship. People in other cultures have arranged marriages and they often don't like it. But it seems to have worked for them for thousands of years. Giving the woman time to grieve and come to grips with her situation seems like a decent thing to do, under the circumstances. Could it have been better? Sure, but mankind as a race hasn't gotten very much right, still doesn't.

In conclusion, the old testament is a history of god's anger at his failure to get man to OBEY. After that mistake he sent his son to die because man was too evil to ever be good. So, god gave man an easier choice; accept Jesus and have eternal life or don't and face judgment day.

Jesus, never, ever, ever, ever, condoned the mistreatment of women or anyone. He proved that with the woman (whore) at the well when he said, "... who is without sin, cast the first stone. John 8:7 KJV

People STOP listening to what others say, they will lead you astray. Has no one heard the old and reliable saying, "Don't believe anything you hear (read) and only half of what you see."

Always check for yourself, NEVER, I repeat NEVER, EVER, take information you hear or read in an article as "Gospel." (Haha, I tickle myself sometimes.)

This is the danger of the internet, ANYONE can put "it" "out there" and there are going to be thousands or even millions that will believe it. If YOU believe in God I have some advice for you. Don't stand before him and when asked WHY you did wrong, tell God it was because so and so told me. He won't buy it and neither would I. YOU are responsible for you and spreading his message of salvation, especially to your own family, but fair warning, you BETTER know what you are talking about.

Finally, I didn't do this because I'm trying to preach to anyone. I've extensive exposure, study and training in the KJV of the Bible, which by the way is the closest to the original Greek and Hebrew. The reference bible used by the author is inadequate and dangerous because it holds inaccuracies, of which I'm not going to address at this time.

In the end, the Bible is neither contradicting stories about rape or condoning rape.

I don't want you to believe me, I'm no one. God is the one wanting you to believe and the only way that can happen is if you participate, by Bible study and discerning of the WORD through the Holy Spirit. He will reveal it's mysteries, but you can believe it won't be through an article or a biased study taken 36 years ago.

The Bible is only one of my spiritual guides, but I do know what it says and means. I have other spiritual interests, but I couldn't stand by and allow false or misleading information without giving the facts concerning Biblical references and meaning or intent.

Good day.

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