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Does The Bible Condone Rape?

One allegation the secular community frequently throws at Christianity is that God condones the raping of women. There are numerous websites by atheists pushing this propaganda, including An acquaintance of mine uses as his resource, so that is why I decided to respond to its arguments. Most websites use the same verses and the same basic arguments, so this response should be good enough. If anyone has another verse they would like to submit, please leave a comment below. I will not be repeating the details of every passage, so before I begin please read's article at Christians should see the flaws in this article immediately and we'll find out how to quickly and easily point them out. Remember: rape is defined as "unwanted sexual activity by use of force." The article beings by claiming rape is one of the most "heinous crimes imaginable." That's it. Just a clear, objective statement of fact with no reason or proof given. This isn't necessarily a problem, except that atheists have no ultimate standard of morality or truth - there are no absolutes to determine how we ought to live. This is Atheism 101. If a person denies this, then he's probably not an atheist, or at least not an informed one. That being said, by what criteria does the author determine that "rape is one of the most heinous crime imaginable"? He has offered no evidence to this fact. The article has already lost any value it may have had because its first premise is completely unproven. No atheist in history has shown how rape is wrong/evil. It is assumed by faith, which is inconsistent with atheistic-empiricism. Essentially, the author has contradicted himself with his very first sentence. He wants you to start out agreeing that rape is "evil" (whatever that means to an atheist), so that if he can convince you that the Bible "condones rape" you automatically agree with his conclusion. That reasoning logically follows, but it is fallacious since the premises are not proven. I agree that rape is one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, but that makes sense in Christianity because God tells us what proper sexual activity is and provides us with the most perfect law for true justice. It doesn't make sense in atheism. Judges 21 - There is no mention of rape here. On the surface, the author could have a case for "arranged/forced marriages", but a forced marriage does not automatically imply forced sex. Marriages are still arranged around the world today, but that does not mean daughters have no say in the matter or are forced to be with someone they despise. And it certainly doesn't mean the husband rapes her every time they have sex. This account simply does not give us the female's perspective, therefore making the argument one from silence and presumption. Therefore, no rape. Numbers 31:7-18 - Again, this is an argument from silence. There is no rape described or hinted here. It does not say they could do whatever they wanted to the women without limits. The law of Moses forbids sexual crimes, therefore we know this interpretation is incorrect. The author is filling in the blanks with data that is absent from the text. Deuteronomy 20:10-14 - Again, no rape mentioned here. The author is arguing from silence and presumption, both being logical fallacies. Deuteronomy 22:28-29 - This passage is not about rape - it's about premarital, consensual sex. The NIV and The Message translations are the only well-known versions of the Bible that mistakenly use the word "rape" in this passage. But this is an interpretation rather than a translation. The literal Hebrew translation is "lay hold of her", which is properly translated in all other leading English

versions of the Bible. (It is interesting that the author alternates between different translations to make each passage suit his article). Comparing this passage with the rest of the law makes it clear that rape is not in view here. Legitimate rape is documented is verses 25-27, in which we're told the crime is punishable by death and the victim is to not be punished. The criminal's death is the victim's vindication. If verses 28-29 teach that rapists only have to pay a fine and get married, then it completely contradicts the entire rest of the law-books. Instead, Deuteronomy 22:28-29 merely reiterates Exodus 22:16-17. Therefore, no rape. Deuteronomy 22:23-24 - This passage is not about rape, it's about adultery. The passage clearly explains that the woman "did not cry out". Crying out or not crying out are indicators of rape or consensual sex. In context, this is perfectly clear. Read the following verses 25-27: "But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and rapes her, only the man who has done this shall die. Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death...though the betrothed woman cried for help, there was no one to rescue her." This is God's law in regards to legitimate rape. The victim is never punished. Verses 23-24 describe consensual, adulterous sex. Therefore, no rape. 2 Samuel 12:11-14 - Again, argument from silence and presumption. No rape mentioned. Having sex with another man's wife says nothing about the consent (or lack thereof) of the woman. Deuteronomy 21:10-14 - Once again, argument from silence and presumption. See Judges 21 explanation above. Judges 5:30 - Once again, argument from silence and presumption. Exodus 21:7-11 - The female in this passage is a slave but there is no hint that she is a "sex slave" or that she is engaging in sexual relations against her will. Once again, argument from silence and presumption. Contrary to the article, this law actually provides protection, equality and freedom for the slave. Zechariah 14:1-2 - God is not condoning rape or any other crimes in this prophetic section. Israel is warned that nations will overtake the city, women will be raped, and houses will be robbed. But the very following verse (which was conveniently left out) says: "Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle." The rest of the chapter details God's defense of Jerusalem by executing justice against the thieves and rapists! Verse 12 says "their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth." Contrary to, this chapter proves God's disgust for rape, not his approval. Conclusion: The verses atheists use to prove God condones rape are either taken out of context or read with preconceived assumptions. Often times the verse actually proves the exact opposite of what the atheist claims. Will we hear retractions from atheists? Will these websites remove their flawed arguments? Unfortunately, probably not.