Jonathan D. Safren yon_saf at
Mon Jan 28 11:34:16 EST 2002

The question is not whether the Bible APPROVES it, but whether or not it
FORBIDS or CENSURES it. And in the Torah and Former Prophets, except for the
Priestly and Deutoronomic/istic strands, all the evidence is that the Bible
does NOT  forbid or censure human sacrifice in principle. It's an accepted
fact of life, when it appears.
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College

----- Original Message -----
From: "ian goldsmith" <iangoldsmith1969 at>
To: "Biblical Hebrew" <b-hebrew at>
Sent: Monday, January 28, 2002 6:03 PM
Subject: Sacrifice.

> Come on guys, for intellectuals you really do seem to
> suggest some absurd ideas.
> If I've got the wrong end of the stick entirely, then
> please bombard me with ridicule, but it certainly
> looks like some of you are suggesting that the Bible
> gives its approval to human sacrifice.
> The point isn't whether or not any individual listed
> carries out this act, it is surely something else.
> Nationally in the Jewish law it was forbidden
> expressly by God himself.  Individuals however are
> flawed and make errors of judgement. Some however, as
> in the case mentioned in Judges, took their word so
> seriously that breaking it was worse than death
> itself, and in this case even his daughter understood
> the importance of not breaking a vow made to God,
> however rash.
> This does not mean that God approved however in any
> way.
> I don't object to people pointing out the obvious
> failings in some of the characters in the OT, none of
> them were perfect. The Bible itself goes out of its
> way to point out the serious imperfection of mankind.
> It's the implication that God somehow approves of
> their actions that I find offensive.
> Guys if you've got a grammatical or syntactical etc
> question to raise, then please let us all join in and
> increase our understanding of the language. But if
> you're just going to be offensive about the characters
> in the narrative or about God himself, can you at
> least show some sensitivity. Let's try to remember
> that none of these characters are here to defend
> themselves. It's not exactly sporting to slur a
> persons character who is unable to speak for
> themselves.
> Not very well put I'm afraid, but I just long for
> people to get back to looking at the text and to stop
> drawing spurious conclusions from a personal
> philosophical perspective about it.
> End of rant.
> Ian.
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