How NOT to Read the Bible

16 Jul


Let’s get the link out-of-the-way first,

A seminary professor has argued that the biblical account of King David and Bathsheba should be treated as a “Me Too story,” not as a consensual affair as it is sometimes portrayed.

Besides the fact that it took four paragrapsh to say who this seminary professor was, we were not surprised to find out it was a woman and someone who should know better. Dallas Theological Seminary had or has a better reputation than to pander to an audience that is far too sensitive for its own good.

Sandra Glahn, associate professor in Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary who teaches a gender studies course, explained that “Bathsheba is a Me Too story.”

No it is not. This is one of the dangers that comes when trying to read the Bible. This professor is reading into an ancient account a modern narrative that she has no clue was actually part of the original story. Or if it even if that thinking existed in King David’s day. She is distorting the account with her own ideas and not using it to find the message God wants us to learn.

Reading into biblical passages has always been wrong yet due to the use of interpretation, reading into the bible has gotten a foothold and has become a popular activity. Using interpretation is also wrong, as people are placing their own ideas on God’s word. Thus they are not hearing what God has to say but hearing their own words and acting accordingly

It’s often treated as an affair, where you have two consensual adults. And even it’s sometimes treated like she is going to the palace and setting out to seduce David,” said Glahn.

What we do not like about her interpretation of the account is that she is assuming that Bathsheba had no ambitions of her own, is not guilty of any wrongdoing and is just the innocent victim We do not know for sure her thoughts or motivations. We cannot rule out the possibility that Bathsheba did want the King to see her. Even if she was innocent, there is a lesson for women in the account– make sure you truly have privacy before bathing and do not be immodest in public.

And yes, the last bit is referencing this modern fashion fad to wear little in public and can be directed at both men and women.

David sent for her, he sent men for her. She is washing. That doesn’t even mean she’s bathing. She could have just been washing her hands. We are reading into that. And so what happens, instead of us seeing the argument of the book, which is David has gone from this shepherd boy, whom God has raised up, and now he’s abusing power. We should all take that as a lesson and a warning. But instead, we’re blaming the person who brought down the power.”

The person reading into the passage is obviously that professor. Really? She goes to the roof to wash her hands? While a possibility it is a very big stretch to paint the woman as an innocent victim. Then she is reading into David’s actions when he sent the men. There is no hint that Bathsheba was forced to go. David could not go himself as that would let everyone know what he was doing. He had to send men to keep the meeting discreet.

UHM… no one is blaming Bathsheba and there are several lessons to be gleaned from David’s failure as a man and Bathsheba’s inability to be faithful to her husband. They say it takes two to tangle, Totalitarianism was not part of David’s regime so Bathsheba probably had the power to reject the invitation and say that she was married.

We need to stop blaming the man when women do bad things. They make their own choices and are responsible for them. Bathsheba also knew the Mosaic law and knew she was doing something wrong. Let’s not point the finger at one person as both David and Bathsheba were punished by God for their affair. Now That professor is also mistaken about Bathsheba’s bringing down power.

She brought nothing down. King Davd remained king and did not lose his throne over this affair and murder. David was not ejected from his position without any evidence presented or based on hearsay. He was not punished without any evidence. He remained King until he died, which was long enough for he and Bathsheba to have another son, who grew up before replacing David on the throne.

a “Me Too story,”

No, this is not a metoo story. Bathsheba did not act like the modern women have done today. In fact, she was complicit in the affair, (not part of the murder, though), and went on to be David’s wife. After that she had his heir. It is a far cry from the women that participate in the modern metoo movement.  Bathsheba also did not complain to the authorities decades later. She did not use her word only to make accusations and refused to provide evidence.

There is nothing of the modern metoo movement in this account. Also, David’s advisors, authorities etc., did not gang up on David to ‘protect Bathsheba’s honor’. David was also not punished unjustly or unfairly. He was not punished to appease a woman. God saw what was done and he brought the evidence and the just punishment. Notice that God did not remove David from his position or break a promise to him over David’s actions

Now we know more about power differentials in these sort of sexual relationships, and we know that if you have a lot of power, and you’re with a powerless person, even if it’s consensual, it’s not the same thing,” continued Glahn.

First off, it is wrong to apply such thinking to people who died a long time ago. There is no evidence to support that conclusion or allow it to be applied to ancient behavior. Her words are wrongly read into the thinking of long dead people. Consensual affairs are not different and it is wrong to assume that Bathsheba had no power to say no and reject David’s advances. Power does not stop freedom of choice. People stop their own implementation of free choice.

Darrell Bock, senior research professor of New Testament at DTS and host of The Table, agreed, adding that “David is very, very responsible for what it is that he’s done, not only what he did with Bathsheba, but what he did with her husband.”

David is responsible for his decisions and actions BUT Bathsheba is also responsbile for hers. She is not innocent in this account and trying to paint her as an innocent, powerless victim is not reading the Bible correctly. There is no evidence that she was not wilfully tempting David, that she had no ambition and on it goes. Changing the Bible narratives to fit modern thinking is wrong and those professors are not following the spirit of truth to the truth. They are trying to make the Bible conform to the ideology of the lost,blind and deceived.

You read the Bible correctly by following the spirit of truth to the truth. Not to an interpretation or alternative definition of the actions of people we know little about. We cannot see their hearts or mind thus it is very wrong to say that lessons not taught by God are part of the biblical stories.The whole metoo movement is not of God thus it is wrong to import that ideology into the bible and biblical behavior.


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Posted by on July 16, 2018 in academics, Bible, church, controversial issues, faith, family, General Life, Justice, leadership, politics, theology


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