Ethics in the Law of Moses: slavery

The ethics and legislation relating to servitude and slavery

Servitude in the Ancient Near East

Servitude in the Ancient Near East operated on a spectrum of greater or lesser obligation to another person, and greater or lesser personal protections. Everyone in the Ancient Near East was considered to be the servant of someone, with the key difference being the extent to which you were independent and protected from the imposition of another’s will. Continue reading “Ethics in the Law of Moses: slavery”

Evidence for Creation

Was the universe designed by a creator?

Although it is impossible to prove the existence of God in the scientific sense, scientists and philosophers agree it is possible to investigate the evidence for a creator of the universe whose presence may be discerned from the creation. This presentation provides evidence that many scientists acknowledge as indicating the universe has been designed for our benefit.

Ethics in the Law of Moses: Animal welfare & animal sacrifice

How is animal sacrifice compatible with animal welfare?

A reader of the previous article in this series raised the issue of animal sacrifice, which was commanded by the Law of Moses and carried out on a large scale by Israel. How is animal sacrifice compatible with animal welfare? Continue reading “Ethics in the Law of Moses: Animal welfare & animal sacrifice”

Ethics in the Law of Moses: Environmental Welfare

Care for the environment enshrined in the Law

The early Hebrews maintained an unparalleled degree of ecological sustainability, since the Law of Moses regulated fruit crops, prohibited certain mixed crops, and required the non-cultivation of the land in the seventh year, enabling the land to recover from human activity. Continue reading “Ethics in the Law of Moses: Environmental Welfare”

Ethics in the Law of Moses: animal welfare

“Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast.”

Many passages in the Bible are typically understood as teaching an explicit ethic of care and concern for animals and the environment, including the commandment that young birds may be taken from their mother, but their mother must be left alone (Deuteronomy 22:6-7), an ox or sheep not to be slaughtered on the same day as their young (Leviticus 22:8), animals used commercially are not to be overburdened or exploited (Exodus 23:5, Deuteronomy 25:4), and the statement that a righteous man takes care of his animals (Proverbs 12:10).

There was no tolerance for animal cruelty or animals being killed for entertainment. Continue reading “Ethics in the Law of Moses: animal welfare”

The value of modern lexicons & dictionaries for Bible study

We always try to use the best tools for our regular day work, we should do the same in our Bible study

Today we have a wealth of modern lexical tools available to us. Yet so many people ignore all this, and use Gesenius, or Strong’s, or Young’s, or Vine’s, tools which are massively out of date, sometimes wildly inaccurate, and theologically biased.

Here’s just one example. Let’s look at the Hebrew word ‘sheol’ (grave), typically rendered ‘hell’ by the KJV (one of many reasons why it’s such a bad translation). Continue reading “The value of modern lexicons & dictionaries for Bible study”

Jonah in the Whale

Was Jonah preserved alive in the whale?

What happened to Jonah?  Commonly people believe he was swallowed by a giant fish, in which he survived for three days.  A historical “example” is often used to buttress this reading.  However there is a compelling argument for Jonah actually having died in the fish and being resurrected. Continue reading “Jonah in the Whale”