Is the Torah Still Valid?

The Torah says some things that clash with modern culture, especially on the issue of moral laws in regards to sex practices, however, Jesus believed in the Torah and even said belief in the Torah was necessary to receive his teachings. When people push it off as man-made writing, it’s because they don’t want to be accountable for it, but Jesus believed it was God’s word. According to Moses and Jesus, the Torah is God’s instructions written down. God told Moses what to write and the Israelites were expected to live by it. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says that all scripture is “God-breathed”, which means God inspires people to write about him. It was the spiritual inspiration that moved Moses, the prophets, and the apostles to write about what God was doing for Israel and with Jesus.

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Sins of the Parents and their Children

Does God punish children for the sins of their parents? What about punishing parents for their children’s sins? There seems to be conflicting scripture on this but I believe there is a simple explanation.

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Is Jesus Insulting the Phoenician Woman?

In Jesus’ conversation with the Phoenician woman in Matthew 15:21-28, and Mark 7:24-30, she asked him to exorcise the demon from her daughter and he says that the children’s (Israel’s) bread should not go to the dogs (Gentiles). Critics see this as Jesus insulting the woman’s daughter by calling her a dog. It’s true that calling someone a “dog” was a common insult in the Ancient Near East and dogs are even considered unclean in some cultures. The linguistic and the larger literary context of Jesus’s meeting with the Syro-Phoenician women in Matthew 15 and Mark 7 shows that this is not actually the case here. The greek text uses the word κυνάριον (kunarion) which is a little dog or pet dog. Some parts of the bible reference a wild dog or κύων (kuón) in the greek, which is used as an insult when not referring to a literal dog. Since he uses the former, he is calling her daughter a pet puppy (a beloved member of the family), in comparison to the children of Israel. She knows this and still believes he will help her and he does.

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Israelite Conquest: Genocide or Judgment

Many ask the question did God really command the Israelites to kill the children of Canaan? The simple answer is yes, the Israelites were told to destroy the culture of Canaan entirely. Notice they weren’t told to destroy literally all Canaanites since they clearly spared Rahab the prostitute and her family because she submitted to the God of Israel. Besides Rahab, the Gibeonites gave themselves to Israel as slaves in Joshua 9, so they were spared. Lastly, Joshua and Caleb led the charge against Canaan after Moses died. Ever notice, that Caleb’s father was a Kenizzite (Num 32:12, Joshua 14:14), which means he is a Canaanite (Gen 15:18-21), yet God used him to fight for Israel against the Canaanites. This shows that not all Canaanites were destroyed, which means God isn’t “racist” as some may say. Everyone has a choice between repentance and pride, and only a few were repentant. The Israelite’s goal was to get rid of the Canaanite’s sinful culture which was manipulated by spiritual darkness, not absolute genocide but a cleansing of the sin from the land.

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Dragons in the Bible?

Some bible skeptics critique the bible’s historicity because dinosaurs are not mentioned. The word Dinosaur is an English word invented in the 1800s so it wouldn’t be in the KJV which was written in 1611. In addition, it means terrible (deinos) lizard (sauros) in greek, and one ancient equivalent of this would be dragons. Dinosaur fossils have been referred to as ”dragon bones” by the ancient Chinese and various other cultures around the world. Likewise, Europeans linked them to being ancient creatures from the bible like the Behemoth (Job 40:15) or the Leviathan (Job 41:31). Critics have a problem with the idea that dragons are the dinosaurs of the bible and are there as dragons because they are so mythologized by various world cultures. In the west, dragons are usually depicted as having big bellies and wings, and they breathe fire, while they are more serpentine in East Asia (Shenlong) and Mesoamerica (Quetzalcoatl). On the topic of dinosaurs being related to dragons, I had a thought about the “fire breathing” aspect of dragons. I have three theories of what many myths and legends about dragons (particularly in the west) mean when they refer to “breathing fire” as a trait of dragons. I think the first one is the truth, but maybe the other two are possible.

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Did God Almost Break His Promise

Some people object to God’s anger at the Israelites in Exodus 32 and Numbers 14 because he threatened to kill them off and start over, which would violate his promise to Jacob that all of his children will inherit the promised land of Canaan because they are from Abraham’s seed (1 Chr 16:14-18, Gen 35:12, Gen 48:21-22, Gen 50:22-26), and thus making God a covenant breaker and untrustworthy.

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An Eye for an Eye vs Turn the Other Cheek

In Leviticus 24:19-20, Exodus 21:23-24, and Deuteronomy 19:21, there is a system where a person can return an injury for an equal injury from another person, often referenced as “an eye for an eye”. This seems like the opposite of what Jesus said in Matthew 5:38-48 about turning the other cheek and loving your enemy. Did Jesus break the law? 

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God’s Justice vs Mercy

According to Ezekiel 18:23-32, God doesn’t enjoy punishing the wicked but has to for the sake of justice for their victims, however, God will show mercy to those who repent. Similar ideas can be found in Isaiah 57:15-21, Jeremiah 18:1-10, Ezekiel 33:10-12, 33:17-20, Psalms 7:1-17, and Psalms 32:1-11. My best understanding of this topic is that we are born with sin nature (Rom5:12-17), so if God destroys all evil, then that would include all people (Isa 57:16) because no one is “good” according to God’s definition of good. Jesus even says this in Matt 19:17, Mark 10:18, and Luke 18:19. One problem is that extremists keep redefining God through one extreme or another. One side looks at the Flood, Sodom, and Gomorrah and says God is a destructive maniac. The other side looks at God’s love and mercy through Jesus in the New Testament, and thinks sin does not matter so we are all free to live as degenerate heathens because of his mercy. Despite the fact that sin was such a big deal Christ had to die for us because sin requires death.

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