Is the bible God's Word?

by WTLies 7 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • WTLies

    I posted this in "Friends" forum:

    Topic: Is the bible God's Word? Read 2 timesBe the 1st to rate this thread
    Junior Member

    United States of America
    Posts: 32
    Since: Aug 5, 2001
    Is the bible God's Word?Aug 29, 2002 09:00

    The Watchtower once believed that if a woman did not scream while being raped, then she was guilty of fornication. She was 'in on' her own rape, thus she too is just as guilty as her rapist. I don't think there is a person in this forum today, who does not find this reasoning repugnant and archaic. But from where did this belief originate? Did the Governing Body come up with this on their own, was it misapplied scripture, or was it right from God's own word the bible?

    Deuteronomy 22:23-24

    "In case there happened to be a virgin girl engaged to a man, and a man actually found her in the city and lay down with her,

    YOU must also bring them both out to the gate of that city and pelt them with stones, and they must die, the girl for the reason that she did not scream in the city, and the man for the reason that he humiliated the wife of his fellowman. So you must clear away what is evil from your midst."

    The WT went along with what was written here in God's Word and nearly everyone on this forum would disagree with that stance. However if you believe in the bible as the unerring word of God how can you blame the WT? God created woman and knows their mental physical and emotional make up. Why would HE tell us that she has to scream, or she dies along with her attacker if it were wrong? All of you who believe in the bible as Gods word yet attack the WT on this issue and many others like it (more to come in this series) are you being fair here? This was not the WT's law, it was God's, according to the bible. Thousands of years old yes, but still God's law. Where the woman at that time so different that they were all able to scream, yet woman today at times are not able to?

    I have no love for the Watchtower Society (thus my screenname) but you can't have it both ways. The WT was following what was written in the bible when they disfellowshipped hundreds, if not thousands of woman who did not call out while being raped. If you are outraged at the WT for the second rape of those women, losing their families and friends, kicked out and shunned, only because they could not scream, due to the anxiety and trauma of their rape. Then you should feel more so, for the thousands who were STONED TO DEATH along side their rapist in ancient times.

    Does this sound like the word of God to you? Even the WT realized that not every woman could scream while under such an attack. They saw the need to change their stance on this issue despite what is written in the bible. They went from saying things like this:

    Watchtower Oct 15,1980 page 7 "Avoiding the Tragedy of Rape"

    "A Christian woman is under obligation to resist, for the issue of obedience to God's law to "flee from fornication" is involved. (1 Cor. 6:18) By no means would it be proper for her willingly to submit to being raped."

    Changing to saying things like this:

    Awake March 8,1993 page 5 "The Reality of Rape"

    "Rape by definition takes place when force or the threat of force is used to gain sexual penetration, of any kind whatsoever, against a person's will. It is the rapist's use of force against an unwilling victim that makes him a rapist. Thus, a rape victim is not guilty of fornication. Like an incest victim, she may be forced to submit to an act she doesn't want because of the perceived power held over her by another person. When a woman is forced to submit to a rapist out of terror or disorientation, it does not mean that she consents to the act. Consent is based on choice without threat and is active, not passive."

    According to Gods Word, not to scream is to submit to, or be a willing party to being raped. Thus the woman is stoned along with her attacker. If this is what God said, why would it need to be changed today in light of new information about rape, and what force by intimidation does to a person under duress? That by definition rape is an act forced upon her, against her will, there is no way she is an accomplice

    . Wouldn't God know all of this before making the law? Doesn't He know the end from the beginning? If God's Organization saw fit to change God's Law, do they then, know more than God? Is God blood guilty? What about all those woman, who were pelted with stones until they died because they were too intimidated to scream, will they be brought back, since God's law was adjusted by man? Was this really the word of God?

    I was brought up to believe the bible is the unerring word of Almighty God. But things like these makes me wonder. Do you wonder as well?


    Former member of a Non-Prophet organization

  • NeonMadman

    Reading Deuteronomy 22 in context, it seems clear to me that what is being referred to as a serious offense is willful fornication, not merely submitting to a rapist in order to save one's life. Remember, the cities in ancient times were not like major cities today. They were physically small, close-knit, and patriarchial. If a girl was being raped within the city, and she screamed for help, help would come. Most likely, her screaming would scare off the attacker, since he would know that help was at hand. In such a situation, it was a reasonable assumption that if the girl did not scream, she was a willing participant, and that there was no rape at all, but consensual fornication.

    In many urban areas today, a girl could scream until her lungs were raw, and nobody would pay any attention. If the rapist was violent, she might well be killed for screaming. Clearly, this is an entirely different situation from what was envisioned under the Mosaic Law. The fact that the Watchtower is willing to endanger its people by stretching the principle to include such situations is just another evidence of its cold heartlessness and lack of concern for its members.

    Edited by - NeonMadman on 29 August 2002 10:16:56

  • WTLies

    Thank you for your reply, but I have an unanswered quesition. You say this law was for willful sinners but that does not answer the case of those who could not scream. As many realize today there are many woman, who under such duress cannot even utter one word. They would be stoned if they lived back then, as I'm sure there were woman then too who could not call out, and were accused of willful fornication and killed. After all you said:

    "it was a reasonable assumption that if the girl did not scream, she was a willing participant, and that there was no rape at all, but consensual fornication"
  • sleepy

    An explaination is that the bible is just as much mans word as the watchtower society.The bible contains many other instances of faulty wisdom and logic.

  • hillary_step


    You touch on a point of major concern to many and I have often tried to think through this whole issue myself.

    I can accept the argument that the Jews lived in barbarous and dangerous times and it is against this backdrop that the seeds of Hebrew religion were sown. The argument is, "Well, God used what materials he had at the time to build what he needed". Of course this led to injustice and cruelty, as the system did not seem to be established for the love of the individual, but to preserve the 'Organization' of the nation. Though I find this ethically distasteful, it makes historical sense to me. 'Loving thy enemies' would not have worked very well with an opposing army at battle stations. You can see why it suits the WTS to follow the Hebraic example, and why it is locked in psuedo-Judaaic thinking from whence most of its problems seem to spring. To pattern theology for the group as opposed to the individual helps maintain control, an issue high on the WTS agenda.

    Now fast forward to Christianity. Christianity as an ethic elevated the individual above the religious codes of Hebrew thinking and subsequently came into conflict with both the Jewish and the political thinking of the age.

    So here lies the problem. Religious people seem unable to accept that society changes with time, and they seek to keep their little dogmas which are just the servants of the hour, preserved at all costs rather than discard them as unnecessary for the age. For example, the issue of women wearing 'headcoverings', while understandable against the backdrop of C1st and Pauline Pharisaic history is a plainly ludicrous dogma to drag into the C21st. Yet, many religions seek to adhere to this historically anachronistic thinking. They are of course convinced that by doing so they are preserving the purity of their faith. In reality they put their thinking, and arguably their spirituality in suspended hibernation.

    Best regards and thank you for raising this topic - HS

    Edited by - hillary_step on 29 August 2002 11:41:36

  • Liberty

    The Bible cannot be the word of God because it is illogical, untrue, and controdictory. The fact that anyone would be killed for having sex is just insane. Even if I tried to justify such harshness by bringing up protection from illness or to prevent unwanted children it doesn't make sense. Eating is a natural desire like sex and if I get unlucky and eat the wrong thing I can also become ill or even die yet eating is not punishable by death. Does the "horror" of having a baby really justify prevention to the extreem of killing any potential parents just in case someone might become pregnant? This is especially silly today when there are many methods of preventing pregnancy. Do two lives have to be sacrificed in order to prevent 1 bastard?

    Such punishments are doubly irrational considering God supposidly created us to have these hard to control desires in the first place. If sex is so bad as to warrant death why not give us an alternate reproductive method? A loving intelligent super being would never demand such harsh punishments based on hard to control instincts. Should puppies have stones thrown at them until they die because they pee on the floor? The Bible is obviously man made since only irrational men could come up with such silly stories and sadistic punishments for minor and mostly harmless laspses in control. Why is sex a "willfull sin" at all? Why not drinking water on Tuesdays or having corn in your BM too. These could be justified as harmful sins if we put our minds to it. The water might make us sick or the unchewed corn is a sign of gross laziness and glutoney. We need harsh punishments to prevent these dangerous willfull acts.

    Edited by - Liberty on 29 August 2002 11:33:41

  • Navigator

    I have always been suspicious of religions that practiced "Bibliolotry" (worship of the Bible). The WBTS is a leading, but not the only practitioner of this silly idea. They ridicule those who would ascribe divine power to a statue formed by a skilled artesan, but do the same thing to a book written by some "not so insightful men". The bible does tell us how the people of their day viewed God. It appears to be mostly through "coke bottle glass"; distorted, limited, and unreadable. Much of the rationale for the treatment of women in the WTBTS comes from Paul's letters to the Corinthians. It disregards that Paul was dealing with a special situation there that was tearing the congregation apart. Corinth was the San Diego of its day. Its main occupation was the entertainment of sailors while their boats were being hauled across the narrow part of Greece. Temple prostitution was prevalent in the predominant pagan religion in which the women took the leading parts. Many in the Corinth congregation were recent converts from that pagan religion and had brought some of those practices into the Christian congregation. It hardly seems fair to use Paul's advice in that situation to keep women out of leadership roles. God speaks to our hearts, not our heads. Because Paul's letters were collected so well, we really don't practice Christianity today but Paulianitry. It also seems doubtful that Paul wrote all of the letters attributed to him.

  • back2dafront

    Can't help but think of the woman in Africa that may be stoned for having a baby out of wedlock.

    Is the Bible the only source of these strict laws? It seems like things like this would be recorded in other publications/scripts/what-have-you....???

    In regards to the screaming, maybe the original intent was to indicate "resistance." Besides, just because nobody heard her scream didn't mean she didn't. If a man holds his hand over her mouth or gags her, her screams will not be heard outside a home unless someone is directly outside the window. (I'm *not* speaking from experience here, just a logical conclusion). Surely a loving God would not want to stone an innocent virgin girl unneccesarily, so assuming this passage is God-inspired, one would logically have to conclude that He was referring to resistance in this passsage.

    The reality of this though is really shocking. Can't help but wonder how many innocent women were put to death because of this. It must really pain the Almighty to witness injustices done to innocent people supposedly performed in His honor. Ugh. Really makes me think....

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