Friday, 10 July 2009
The following is a comment archive lifted from lynnjynh9315's xanga. He describes himself in his profile as a moderate Christian who writes "gutsy" posts. Recently he wrote a gutsy post titled, "Daughter of Jephthah: a Biblical Slasher story?" Another Christian, nyclegodesi24 made some odd comments that I thought I would respond to. Arnobius_of_Sicca is briefly in the mix there, too. Enjoy.
lynnjynh9315 posted (excerpt):
I have always found it very odd that Christians condemn the depravity of slasher-films and uber-violent video games like God of War while simultaneously praising such equally violent films like "The Passion of the Christ". It is not that I disagree with them, I also find slasher-films to be deplorable at best, but I feel that this issue deserves a fair evaluation: if Christians are to abhor such depictions of violence and avoid such works... wouldn't this also be good cause to avoid the Bible itself for the very same reasons?
I think they're appropriate to read. They, unlike slasher movies, are not written with the intent of arousing feelings of patriotism or appealing to our desire to kill people. My pastor actually spoke on Jephthah a couple months ago in bible study. I think it's important to note that nowhere in this story does God call upon Jephthah to create any such vow, nor even specifically speak to him to fulfill it. He acted purely of his own will.
Arnobius_of_Sicca responded (excerpt):
Just because one does not understand the point of the story does not mean there isn't one.
One of the key points of Judges is the way it ends: In Chapter 21:25, we see it say: "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes."
We aren't seeing Israel living according to the Law of Moses, but rather living in violation of it. Jephthah violated the Law: (Lev 18:21; 20:2–5; Deut 12:31; 18:10; Mic 6:7) forbidding Human sacrifice and is considered to be a pagan practice.
The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts
By Neil Asher Silberman, Israel Finkelstein