I am continuing to take on an article written by Michael Coogan. He writes:
“Although Jews and Christians, individually and collectively, have for the last 2,000 years accepted the Bible as authoritative in principle, in practice many of its values have been rejected. On issues such as slavery, no one today would maintain that slavery is acceptable, even though, according to the Bible, it was a divinely sanctioned institution. In the debates about slavery in the 19th century those opposed to its abolition cited the Bible in support of their position, but despite such biblical warrant, their views were renounced.
According to biblical law, a father could sell his daughter as a slave, and the last of the Ten Commandments lists as off-limits a neighbor's possessions — his house, wife, slaves, and livestock. But the majority of modern Jews and Christians no longer accept the biblical view of women as men's property and hence subordinate to them, as they have also abandoned the biblical practice of polygamy.” (To read the entire article go to: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/10/26/coogan.bible.family.values/index.html?hpt=C2)
By lumping Jews and Christians together, what Mr. Coogan calls the Bible, is only the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures). Jews do not recognize the New Testament. When problems are raised by skeptics, it is the Old Testament that comes under attack. The Old Testament is the account of the nation of Israel; how God dealt with the Hebrew people. Many times God had different restrictions on the nation of Israel than on Christians today. Knowing there are differences, skeptics attempt to show inconsistencies in the lives of believers today. This is exactly what Michael Coogan has done.
He says in effect, the Hebrew Scriptures have been an authority for 2,000 years but many of its values have been rejected. Mr. Coogan then moves to slavery as an example of inconsistency.
Was slavery divinely sanctioned by God? Are Christians hypocrites? In post 10 I will begin to answer these questions.