Denise Day Spencer

June 29, 2006

The Bible’s bad raps (just to name a few)

Filed under: Random ramblings — denisedayspencer @ 3:06 am

Well, though I’ve not read it cover-to-cover, Jason Boyett’s Pocket Guide To The Bible has inspired me nontheless. So I’ve decided to share a few examples of my own regarding what I think are some things and people that have gotten bad raps in the Word of God.

Mary Magdalene: Let’s take this one on first, in light of Mary’s recent upswing in popularity due to The DaVinci Code. Luke 8:2 says Mary M. was exorcised of seven demons. And Michael has explained that “seven demons” was a term that possibly referred to prostitution, though experts disagree. Since he knows way more about the Bible than I do, I can’t argue that point. But people try to say that she’s the sinful woman who anointed Jesus or that she and Jesus had some kind of secret passion for each other. All we know about Mary M. from scripture is that she had been healed of demon possession, that she was one of several women who followed Jesus and took care of his financial needs, that she was present at Christ’s crucifixion and burial, and that she was the first to witness His resurrection. I don’t see anything sleazy about that.

Yeast: Ever since Exodus 12:15, yeast has gotten a bad rap. Jesus said, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Paul said “Purge out the old leaven…” As someone who loves to bake homemade bread, I’m a big fan of yeast. Thank goodness for Matthew 13:33!

Hagar: O.K., O.K. I know it says that she despised Sarah when she conceived. But take a minute and look at this poor woman! She was given to Abraham by Sarah, who decided to take matters into her own hands. Abe went along with the plan, though God had already promised him an heir. Hagar –maidservant that she was–really had no say-so in the matter. So Sarah puts pressure on hubby and he bails out by saying, “Do whatever you want to her.” (Way to be the leader in the home, Abraham!) Sarah abuses her and Hagar flees. My study Bible has a footnote that says, “The intractable Ishmael is the unruly son of a mother who chose the freedom of the wilderness over submitting to the yoke of her mistress.” Give me a break! Hagar was probably by now thinking, “Sheesh! These people are nuts! Do they want me to be pregnant or don’t they?!” God tells her to return and submit to Sarah, which she obediently does. THEN they kick her out again when Ishmael–teenager that he is–acts like a teenager! This time both she and her son nearly die of thirst. Twice God reveals Himself to Hagar as The God Who Sees, turning her bad rap into one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible.

Goats!: First, the scapegoat in Leviticus. Then Jesus’ famous parable of the sheep and the goats. Why do the sheep get to be the good guys? From what I’ve heard from a million preachers, sheep are really dumb. Goats are much smarter and way more resourceful…and so much cuter, too! Why, just this evening I was visiting with the friendly goats on the OBI farm. My dad loves to tell stories about the goat he had for a pet when he was but a lad. I don’t know about you, but I’d pick goat over a sheep any day.

You may not be any wiser after reading this, but hey–I never said I was a theologian!

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1 Comment »

  1. Pingback by Anonymous — June 29, 2006 @ 3:16 am | Reply


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