Command: You Shall Not Lie

Is lying a sin? Yes, but oftentimes some people point out biblical characters “lying” and not getting punished for it. Or use it to personally attack people for saying something untrue without examining their motives. Some have claimed that it was lying when King Solomon threatened to cut a child in half to reveal who the real mother was. Or that God lied when he told Abraham he wanted Isaac to be sacrificed. God also threatened to kill the Israelites and start over with Moses but didn’t follow through with it, did he lie? The real questions are, what is a lie, and why is it a sin?

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Sodom and Gomorrah Hazing Ritual

Oftentimes people will use the phrase sodomy in reference to same-sex intercourse and sodomite in reference to those that engage in it. Let’s make a note that Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of far more than just that. Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned in Ezekiel 16:49 for various sins like pride and abusing the poor. In Jeremiah 23:14 they are compared to the sins of priests in pre-exile Israel who committed adultery and idolatry. In Matthew 11:24 Jesus even compares his generation of Jews to Sodom and says they are more stubborn and hard-hearted. Therefore, Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of more than just sexual sin.

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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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Slavery in the Bible

Various cultures around the world had slaves, including cultures in the ancient near east, like Egypt, Mesopotamia, Babylon, Assyria, etc. How slavery was practiced around the world varied with culture, most cultures have debt slavery where people sold themselves into slavery to pay off debts, and there were those who are made slaves by conquest. Some had chattel slavery where people were treated like animals and kidnapped, but when most people think of this kind of slavery they think of the transatlantic slave trade. The closes thing we see to ethnic-based enslavement in the bible is when the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites. The Egyptians hated Hebrews (foreigners) long before Moses was even born according to Gen 43:32 and Gen 46:31-34, and they used their nationalism as justification for their mistreatment and enslavement of the Hebrews according to Exodus 1:8-10.

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Traditions Of Men vs God’s Word

Jesus’s main critique of the Pharisees was that they were substituting God’s law with man-made traditions. The Pharisees were scapegoating laws in the old testament by reinterpreting certain verses. These reinterpretations would later end up in the Talmud. For example, they interpreted Deut 24:1 to allow for “any cause” divorce or adding “hate you enemies” to love your neighbor in Lev 19:18. Jesus of course corrected them in Matt chapter 5:31-32 & 5:43-48, as well as Matt 19 & Luke 10:25-37.

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