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.
Everyone's personality is to be secure. "You shall not murder". Exodus 20:13; 21:16-21; Leviticus 19:14; Deuteronomy 24:7
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' lives. I am the Lord". Leviticus 19:16 ; Deuteronomy 19:15-21.
No woman is to be taken advantage of within her subordinate status in society. Deuteronomy 22:13-30
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, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty". Deuteronomy 25:1-5.
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
No one, however disabled, impoverished, or powerless, is to be oppressed 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
"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.
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 its 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
© 2008 Nathaniel Stalling Jr