This post is inspired by the recent article up at Telegraph UK which showed the results of a survey taken at shipoffools.com. The survey asked people to submit and vote on the passages that are their "favorite" worst Bible verses.
I heard of this from Jason Boyett's blog. I thought it was an interesting article, and felt like expanding upon it. There are many passages of the Bible that are.....difficult, at best.
So, here's their list that users submitted:
1: Paul doesn't think women should teach men:
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. (1 Timothy 2:12)
2: The prophet Samuel orders genocide against a neighboring people:
This is what the Lord Almighty says... 'Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' (1 Samuel 15:3)
3: Moses doesn't like witches:
Do not allow a sorceress to live. (Exodus 22:18)
4: The ending of Psalm 137, which equates happiness with, um, violence to babies:
Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us – he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks. (Psalm 137:9)
5: The story from the Book of Judges in which a man tries to appease a mob outside his door by offering up his concubine to them for sexual abuse:
So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight. When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, 'Get up; let's go.' But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home. (Judges 19:25-28)
6: Paul's condemnation of homosexuality:
In the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. (Romans 1:27)
7: Jephthah's horrible vow in the book of Judges, which he then actually carries out:
And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, 'If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious from the Ammonites, shall be the Lord's, to be offered up by me as a burnt-offering.' Then Jephthah came to his home at Mizpah; and there was his daughter coming out to meet him with timbrels and with dancing. She was his only child; he had no son or daughter except her. When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, 'Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low; you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I cannot take back my vow.' (Judges 11:30-1, 34-5)
8: God's command to Abraham to sacrifice his son:
Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt-offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you. (Genesis 22:2)
9: Paul's encouragement of wifely submission:
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)
10: Paul's encouragement of slavely submission, even to cruel masters:
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. (1 Peter 2:18)
And here are my additions that didn't make the cut:
11: Elisha throws a bear-curse at a few dozen punks for making fun of his dome. God is cool with it.
From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths. (2 Kings 2:23-24)
12: Don't stop a fight by grabbing a guy's junk. Seriously. We can agree on this.
If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity (Deut 25:11-12)
13: Giants, babies, heroes, sons of God knocking up women. Check! And what the crap is a Nephilite?
In those days, and for some time after, giant Nephilites lived on the earth, for whenever the sons of God had intercourse with women, they gave birth to children who became the heroes and famous warriors of ancient times. (Genesis 6:4)
14: Sorry, I'm going to have to see some proof about this whole 'you being a virgin' thing.
If a man takes a wife and, after lying with her dislikes her and slanders her and gives her a bad name saying, "I married this woman, but when I approached her, I did not find proof of her virginity.....If the charge is true and no proof of the girls virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father's house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. (Deut 22:13-14 and Deut 22:20-21)
15: I include this one because the usage of it is what I consider to be the 'worst.' It's a quick win if you can bring this up to discredit anyone who has an interpretation of a Bible passage that differs from the one you personally believe. And not only have you proven yourself right, but they are now also ignorant and unstable. The author is speaking of Paul's writings.
His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16b)
So yeah, cool stuff!
I'm sure there are other "worst" Bible passages out there, anyone have some? Anyone disagree with the entire point of this post and want to clump me into passage #15? Anyone want to scream "What about the context!?!?"
Don't be shy