THE MORAL AND LEGAL IMPACT OF THE BIBLE

Major Social Concerns In The Covenant

Many of the laws we have on our books here in the United States of America mirror the legal tenets found in the bible. Let's look at how Judeo-Christian thought and practices have impacted our society.

Personhood

Everyone's person is to be secure. "You shall not murder". Exodus 20:13; 21:16-21; Leviticus 19:14; Deuteronomy 24:7

False Accusation

Everyone is to be secure against slander and false accusation. "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor". Exodus 20:16

"Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbors' life. I am the Lord". Leviticus 19:16 ; Deuteronomy 19:15-21.

Woman

No woman is to be taken advantage of within her subordinate status in society. Deuteronomy 22:13-30

Punishment

Punishment for wrongdoing shall not be excessive so that the culprit is dehumanized. "When men have a dispute, they are to take it to court and the judges will decide the case, acquiting the innocent and condemning the guilty". Deuteronomy 25:1-5.

Dignity

Every persons' dignity and right to be Gods' freedman and servant are to be honored and safeguarded.

"If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed". Deuteronomy 15:12-18

Exploitation

No one, however disabled, impoverished or powerless, is to be opressed or exploited.

"Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt". Exodus 22:21

"if you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest". Exodus 22:25

Social Order

"if cases come before your courts that are too difficult for you to judge - bloodshed, lawsuits or assaults - take them to the place the Lord your God will choose. Go to the priests, who are Levites, and to the judge who is in office at that time, inquire of them and they will give you the verdict". Deuteronomy 17:8, 9, 13.

Property

Everyones' property is to be secure. "You shall not steal". Exodus 20:15

"if a man uncovers a pit or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner of the pit must pay for the loss; he must pay it's owner, and the dead animal will be his". Exodus 21:33, 34

"Do not have two differing weights in your bag - one heavy, one light". Deuteronomy 25:13-16

Justice and Mercy

"Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit". Exodus 23:2, 3

"Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty". Exodus 23:6

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Comments 16 comments

Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 8 years ago

Judaeo-Christian tenets could stand a bit of updating.

"No woman is to be taken advantage of within her subordinate status in society." ??? Seems to me this "subordinate status" stuff is a bit out of date?

"Do not have two weights in your bag, one light and one heavy. " They haven't heard of this on Wall Street, in the big banks, in mortgage brokers or in the White House.

"...do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty." What's wrong with not putting ANYBODY to death?

"Go to the priests, who are Levites, and to the judge who is in office at that time, inquire of them and they will give you the verdict." [or the shaft]

Old Colombian proverb--"The law is a mad dog who bites only the poor."

["La ley es un perro rabioso que no muerde sino a los de ruana."

"Everyone's property is to be secure." [Especially the top one percent.]

This has been used since time immemorial to justify those "in whose hands God in his infinite wisdom has entrusted the property interests in the country."

"Do not mistreat an alien." [Unless he's an un-documented immigrant.]

"Everyone should be secure against slander and false accusations." [Exception: political campaigns where swiftboating and push polling are okay.]


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 8 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Hi Ralph, I am always grateful to hear from you. Your comments keep me sharp. The law is good, it is the people that pervert it. As far as women in society, men perverted that too. God did not make women subordinate to men. When the bible speaks of women and men in civil society it speaks to a perverted society. A society that was tainted from disobedience from the beginning. But as we read the bible we find that women are highly favored, and our understanding of them within society need to be re-examined through the lens of biblical truth. I will speak more on this in an upcoming hub devoted to women. Nevertheless, thank you for your comments.



Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you Ralph for referring the link. 'What Is Good And Why', I look forward to checking that out.


Iðunn 8 years ago

I think Wehzo and I are closer on women and what works best for society, philosophically than you and I are Ralph. Nonetheless, I continue to respect your opinions. I am with Ralph on death penalty though.

W, grand hub. The world would be a much nicer place if people even half-heartedly attempted to live by these basic codes of respect for others.

Justice and poverty - I could fill 5 hubs on that subject. However I summarize that the poor will be with us always and that being the case, the most we can hope is that we treat others justly and try to keep around us those that do the same.


Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you IAunn for that generous and candid comment. Justice and Poverty are two topics that I couldn't even scratch the surface on to give it the kind of attention it really need, but I try to raise awareness on things that we generally have gotten socially complacent on.


Iðunn 8 years ago

catechism says all other sins stem from lack of loving God and loving thy neighbor. makes sense to me. it is not loving one's neighbor to steal from them, hurt them, slander them, cheat on your mate or with someone else, get someone pregnant and dump them to fend for her family on her own etc etc.

I believe the commandments are the very basis of a viable civilization and that where truth, philosophy and social good come together, you find God. :)


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 8 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Thank you IAunn for your gracious comments. I think if we make an honest self assesment we would be a better friend, neighbor, spouse and Parent.


Iðunn 8 years ago

I think with that too, we have to forgive ourselves over and over. You know I was told that I should treat myself and allow myself to be treated the way I would for my best friend. That one is hard, because I'm more of putting myself last person and I'm actually really comfortable with that, but I'm working on it.

Yes, I agree. The more we understand ourselves and forgive ourselves and try harder, the better we treat those around us and the world becomes a better place bit by bit.


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 8 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Yes, your assessment harmonizes with my understanding. Thank you again.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

This is a good positive discussion thread building upon itself and I like it.


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 8 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Thank you Patty, I appreciate your insightful comments. Bringing different perspectives to a common topic, without diluting it's substance, is a good thing.


yarntales 8 years ago from NY

Another good hub. It is so true.


Wehzo 8 years ago

Thank you yarntales, I appreciate your comment. Thank you for visiting.


Carrie Bradshaw profile image

Carrie Bradshaw 7 years ago from Manhattan

Hi everyone ~ jus' me. I think the "putting to death" statement up there might have been mis-read. It actually doesn't go agains the death penalty for those who are guilty, it's stating "do not put an INNOCENT or HONEST person to death, for I will NOT acquit the guilty". Exodus 23:6. And as far as loving others before ourselves, God's word says to love your neighbor as you love yourself. We must love ourselves, accept God's forgiveness and all that good stuff. Hugz and Luv to all! Love this whole concept and TRUTH.


Wehzo profile image

Wehzo 7 years ago from Detroit, MI Author

Thank you again Carrie. I try to take controversial issues and shed a little more light on them based on the Word of God. With the help of God I hope it helps somebody.

God Bless

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