Tag Archives: genocide

You do WHAT in your Bible? Part III- How the Bible is Done

III. What is the “Teaching of the Bible” with regard to sexual ethics? 

Ok.   We have, in previous posts, discussed Section I and II in Jack Crabtree’s lengthy handout.

The handout can be found here, along with a link to audio recordings of his lectures.


In Section I, Jack explained to us that Moderns won’t think his view of sexuality is cool.   He also displayed, I thought, a marked lack of familiarity with the Modern Mindset.  And he attributed an attitude he does not approve of (a ban on interracial marriage), which is clearly expressed in a text he considers authoritative (Ezra), to a source other than the authoritative text (Book of Tobit/ first century Judaism- which I don’t think are actually even the same thing).  Implying that said ban was a deviation from, rather than a feature of, Biblical Sexual Ethics.

Which it actually is.

Making his maneuver fairly dishonest.


And he explains what kind of person his view of sexuality will appeal to and says they should all form a cult together.  Sorry- ‘underculture’.  Which no one will ever, ever, ever join just because they want to be part of a club.  No siree.

In Section II, Mr. Crabtree explained about the Bible being an authority for Jesus Followers.  The closest he got to telling us what a Jesus follower is that they are people who consider the Bible the highest authority (so, presumably all non-Protestants are out). Except in the case of Science.  Science, it appears, has authority alongside the Bible.

Let’s hope they never conflict, right?

Anyway, Section IV is going to be really interesting, because that’s where he starts talking about sex.  In the meantime, in Section III, Mr. Crabtree explains how he derives his view of the sexuality from the Bible-  his method, in other words.  And that’s pretty interesting too.

A. To understand what the Bible “teaches” on sexual ethics, one must understand the entire biblical worldview and the ramifications of that worldview for sexual ethics.

If my memory serves (which it may not), in the Middle Ages, the people of Europe had the idea that the collapsed Greco-Roman civilization previous to them was more learned than they were, and that the beliefs of the Greco-Romans were pretty nearly true.  They therefore took all of the remnants and fragments of Greco-Roman literature that they still had, derived from them the entire Greco-Roman worldview, then spent a lot of time philosophizing about the Greco-Roman worldview’s ramifications.

The trouble turns out to be that, while the Greco Roman civilization had built up a higher concentration of learnedness than the  Medieval Europeans, they also had, in their learnedness, many different theories about how the universe worked- some of which were mutually exclusive.

The Medieval Europeans had created a theory of the world in which all of the fragments they had access too appeared as compatible parts of a coherent system- even the bits which had, once upon a time, been diametrically opposed.  This marvel of interpretive ingenuity (the product, if not the process) is described in CS Lewis’ book The Discarded Image.  It is probably my favorite book by that author, and is highly readably.

It was later discovered was that this synthetic monster did not match either reality or really even the views of the Greco Romans- a fact which allowed ‘Enlightenment’ thinkers to refer to the Middle Ages as ‘The Dark Age’ and preen themselves on being smarter than people who were essentially trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, but with Huns.

In the later portion of the Christian Bible, Jesus (ethical teacher extraordinaire  and deity of the Christian religion) claims that The Law and the Prophets (the then existent portion of the Christian Bible- sometimes referred to as the Jewish Bible) can be summed up in the phrase “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12) (Rabbi Hillel said more or less the same thing, shortly before Jesus’ time)

In the Law and the Prophets, at one point God is said to have commanded his followers to kill all the men in certain cities and treat the women and children as plunder to be used- and in certain other cities to simply kill everything- old or young, animal or human (Deuteronomy 20:10-18).  These cities are said to have sinned such that they deserved to be massacred and have their land given away as a present to some other group.

The trouble, for me, is the children.

They cannot in any meaningful sense have participated in whatever crimes those cities committed.

If I were guilty of some crime that deserved death, I would not want my innocent children to be executed along with me.   If I were guilty of some crime and my children were innocent, I would certainly not want them to be treated as plunder by an army that is authorized to use prisoners as slave-wives (Deut 21:10-14).

God- said to be the source of the moral order of the universe- ordered his followers to treat others in a way that no one wants to be treated.

The Law and the Prophets cannot be summed up the way Jesus says they can.

Unless, of course, the Law and the Prophets are secretly a polemic against God, but they say that they aren’t and I’m not doing conspiracy theories in this post.

The Christian Bible seem to me to be written from at least two different ethical worldviews, diametrically opposed to each other. Possibly more. Mr.  Crabtree clearly believes that the Bible is learned and (with the exception of Ezra?) more or less true.  What Mr. Crabtree has not told us is why he thinks it is permissible to derive from the Bible a single ‘entire’ worldview.

1. I will not know what the Bible “teaches” simply by discovering what I take to be a decisive verse. I know what the Bible teaches only when I understand the entire, coherent worldview of the Bible

If we had some reason to believe that the Bible presents a single coherent worldview, this, I suppose, would be fair enough.  Only the sum of the whole can explain the parts, and so forth.

So, all we have to do is come up with The Correct View of Life, the Universe and Everything from a book that has spawned two thousand years worth of arguments, heresies, failed theologies, and multiple contradictory ‘successful’ theologies.  We can then derive our sexual ethics from that!

Sounds easy, right?

Furthermore, one finds out what the sum of the parts is by examining the parts and adding them together.   If Mr. Crabtree is taking this Sexual Ethics thing seriously, I would expect at least to hear a list of relevant passages, what each one is talking about, and then hear how the whole can be derived from them.  It doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

Furthermore, once you have found out the sum of the whole (the total worldview  that has created and informed all of the  particular passages) you could at least expect that all of the relevant verses would be explicable in terms of that total worldview.  There wouldn’t be any individual verse that CONTRADICTED the total world view, right? Because then the theory you had derived from them would be proved incorrect.

None of this has to be a problem.


Given the fact that Mr. Crabtree essentially discarded a Biblical passage (Ezra) that expresses an attitude he condemns, then blame shifted, accusing another group in a different era of history of producing the idea.

And is now distancing himself from “decisive verses”.

I have a bad feeling about this.

2. To make moral judgments consistent with what the Bible teaches, my moral judgments with regard to sexual behavior must be made on the basis of the theory of human sexuality that is taught in and/or assumed by what the Bible asserts.

At first blush I thought he was just repeating what he had said in the first two points,  but he is emphasizing here that one’s specific moral judgments come from the theory, not from applying specific verses directly to specific situations.  There is an intermediary. That intermediary, the theory, is the thing we operate from.

I like to work from an understanding of things, not a list of rules, so I guess I’m down with that.  If it could be proved that the Bible has a single consistent theory of ethics, that is.

But it hasn’t.

And there is the Book of Tobit/Ezra still hanging over our heads.

I have a bad feeling about this.

a) The Bible teaches more on sexuality than what can be found in the explicit assertions of individual verses.

Oh god.  He’s not just going to discard passages that say things he doesn’t like.  He’s going to “find” things that it doesn’t say.

Why cloud your own opinion with a bunch of textual references, Mr. Crabtree?

(1) I cannot find a “verse” that teaches that adult-child sex is a sin. Yet, in the context of a biblical theory of sexuality and sexual ethics, adult-child sex would clearly be considered evil from the perspective of the Bible, even though there is no “verse” that says so.

Well.  The Bible also doesn’t have a verse (that I recall) that says when childhood ends.

Our legal definition of adulthood is 18 years old.  The physical and hormonal changes that begin in children during puberty, between 8-12 years old, don’t really level off before then. Also, before that age, young people have too little experience of the world and themselves. They haven’t had the experience necessary to learn what physical desire means and doesn’t mean, what emotional and romantic attachment is and they don’t have the life experience to know a good person from a seducer. They have no defenses.

Thus, we treat adult/child sexual contact as a crime.  Because, even if it’s consensual, one of the involved parties isn’t yet developed enough to give informed consent.

Do you like charts?  Here’s an overview of human development.


The Jewish coming-of-age ritual takes place at about age 13.  I don’t believe they currently use this as a legal age of adulthood.

Consider this.

In the the list of unlawful sexual relations given in Leviticus 18, the unlawful relations are given in terms of social roles, familial relationships and rituals.  

Don’t sleep with your father’s wife (assumption of polygamy/concubinage), don’t sleep with your half-sister, don’t sleep with the children of your children (assuming that your children are old enough to have children and are still called children suggests to me that the grandchildren here referred to as children are not necessarily young. it means they have that role in relation to you- no matter what their age). Don’t sleep with a woman during her period. Etc.

In 2 Kings 22 and 2 Chronicles 34  we learn that Josiah was eight years old when he became king in Jerusalem.

In 2 Kings 11 and 2 Chronicles 22, Joash was seven.

Why? There is no possible way that either one could have been ready to govern a nation.

Despite the fact that they were otherwise and in every other way too young, these two children were made kings because social roles, familial relationships and ritual demanded it. 

God spent practically the entire Book of Exodus instructing the Jews in detail about what kind of tassels he wanted them to put on the curtains of the Tabernacle.

And yet, he didn’t bother to address adult/child sexual relationships even once.

Why aren’t there any verses that address adult/child sexual relationships?

Interesting fact.

Most sermons I’ve ever heard on the subject hypothesize that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was about 14 when the whole pregnancy incident happened, due to this being “the right age” for her to be engaged to Joseph.





So, according to our standards of informed consent (potentially applicable to the free existential choice Mr. Crabtree is so fond of), Mary was to young to agree to sexual activity with another human, let alone consent to bear and give birth to the Son of God.

God is a pedophile.

(2) There is no “verse” that tells me it is perverse to have an erotic attachment to my automobile. That does not mean that the Bible would consider it morally acceptable.

Uh.  Actually, there is.  Given that there is no human female or animal involved, I’m guessing this would probably fall under the category of nocturnal emissions- Deuteronomy 23:9-11, Leviticus 15:16-17.  Ejaculating right out into nothing and not into a vagina/womb.  It’s not forbidden, but you aren’t allowed to participate in any ritual activities the next day.

The thing that’s weird about this fetish (and at some point in the hazy days and sleepless nights I looked this up, but I’m not going to again for a link) (DO IT YOURSELF) is not the fact that some guys do themselves on their cars, but that they describe it in romantic terms.  For that I’d say, maybe too much Thomas the Tank Engine as children?

But nowhere in all the rules did I noticed the Bible mentioning anything about romantic attachments- one way or the other.  The closest thing I can think of is  the story of Jacob and Rachel, Genesis 29. The romantic attachment in that story was more or less incidental to the dynamics of marriage  and the story itself except to explain why Laban could charge such a high price for his daughter and get away with so many shenanigans.

Oh gosh.  David and Michal! 1 Samuel 18. Same deal, although there’s are a lot more being dealt with in this passage than just marriage.  The romantic attachment is there to explain why Saul can make his prospective son-in-law David risk his life collecting so many… Philistine… foreskins… Presumably, as a willing sexual partner, Michal is more desirable and therefore Saul can make David pay for her as part of his scheme to get David killed.

And then there’s the Song of Solomon. The great erotic poem of the Bible, written by David’s son Solomon. Solomon, of the 700 wives and 300 concubines.  Solomon who collected women like some men collect. Well. Cars.

No one ever said that Rachel was in love with Jacob.  Given that her opinion didn’t count, how exactly was this different from doing a car that you have a crush on?

(3) If it were the case that no “verse” tells me it is wrong for “marriage” to occur between two human beings of the same sex, would that fact entail that the Bible would consider same-sex marriage morally unobjectionable? The answer is “no.”

He’s saying, again, that you can derive from the theory things that aren’t explicitly stated.

Sort of like how you can derive from Jesus saying ‘treat others the way you wish to be treated’ the theory that you shouldn’t commit genocide.  Then, even though God never commanded anyone NOT to commit genocide,  you can know that he would never ever ever command anyone to do something so utterly morally reprehensible!

Oh shoot!  That’s just what I wanted God to be like!

b) What the Bible asserts in individual verses must be understood in the light of
the Bible’s theory of marriage and sexuality, and in the light of its entire

You can beat a dead horse to water but you can’t make it have a single consistent theory of sexuality and marriage.

Don’t look a gift horse in the Ethics. It might be as old as the Bronze Age.

He’s saying what I said about the parts having to be explicable by the whole- the  worldview/theory you construct from them. Except he’s leaving out the part where they also have to not contradict the whole or the whole is invalid.

We’ll see why in a minute.

(1) “Love your neighbor” clearly cannot be construed to mean “have sex
with your neighbor” (as the followers of Moses David taught).

Wow.  Something we agree on. Yes, that is an obviously stupid reading of that passage.

I have no idea who Moses David was or what his followers taught.  I don’t care. I’ll assume he was some hippy Mr. Crabtree knew back in his longhair days.  Moving on.

(2) To construe the handful of relevant verses as suggesting that Jesus
taught that divorce is NEVER morally permissible is to ignore several
facets about the biblical worldview.

Remember back in A.1) when I said that you could derive a theory from a set of facts/verses, and use them as an interpretive framework, but none of the facts/verses could contradict the theory, or the theory would be wrong?

And then in A. 2) b) he said more or less the same thing, but left out the part about how, if facts/ verses contradicted the theory, the theory was wrong?

The ‘handful of relevant verses’ constitute EVERY SINGLE TIME Jesus gave instructions about divorce.

Matthew 5:30-32

Matthew 19:1-11

Mark 10:1-12

Luke 16:18

“To construe... said verses… as suggesting Jesus taught divorce is never morally permissible…” is putting rather a fine point on it.

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matt 5:32

I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery. Matt 19:9

He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.” Mark 10:11-12

Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.  Luke 16:18

Jesus explicitly stated, every time he addressed the issue, that divorce is never morally permissible except in the case of adultery.

What grounds does Mr. Crabtree have for saying that we misconstrue Jesus when we say Jesus believed what Jesus explicitly stated he believed?

Deuteronomy 24:1 If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house,and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Divorce was a normal transaction in the Old Testament.  There were certain restrictions on it, but they were nowhere as severe as Jesus’.

The ‘indecent something’ the man discovers about the woman?

Leviticus 20:10 “‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.

It wasn’t adultery.

Its as if Jesus and the writers of the Tanakh were working from two completely different views on the matter. They absolutely contradict one another.

Interestingly enough, Jesus himself knew of and dealt with this discrepancy.

Mark 10: 2 Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

“What did Moses command you?” he replied.

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

Moses permitted this in cases other than divorce.  And yet Jesus has said that he agrees with the Law of Moses- Matt 5:17-20. What’s a Jesus to do?

Mark 10:5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Jesus explains that there IS a single coherent ethic that informs both his teaching on divorce AND the Old Testament’s teaching.  However, he says, the Jews back in the day weren’t ready to drink God’s ethic straight. So God watered it down for them and allowed them to divorce for reasons other than adultery.

Divorce for reasons other than adultery- the Moses’ law- is a corruption of God’s ethic.

But according to Mr. Crabtree, Jesus cannot possibly mean what he said, because the Tanakh and the theory Mr. Crabtree has constructed, must be taken into consideration as well. Jesus’ teaching must be explained in their light.

Mr. Crabtree agrees with Jesus in saying that Jesus’ teaching  and the Tanakh’s are two parts of a single self contained systems of ethics.  Like Jesus, he MUST say that one of the two doesn’t really mean what they are saying.

And, of the two, he chose to discard Jesus.

Given the depth of incompatibility some couples display and the unnecessary suffering that divorce can prevent, I can’t say that choice is wrong.

Given his statements about the Bible and being a Jesus Follower, in his own system, he totally is.

(3) Some seek to defend the legality of “gay marriage” on the grounds that
to deny the legal possibility of marriage to gay people is to violate the
Bible’s supreme ethical principle—love for our neighbor. This argument
disregards several facets of the biblical worldview.

And now he’s accusing other people of discarding things. Oh Joy. The Ocean.

The supreme ethical principle- love for our neighbor- when stated in full is, love your neighbor as you love yourself.

It was stated by Jesus (Mark 12, Luke 10 among others), his disciples (Paul- Romans 13- and James- James 2- come to mind) and some of the Old Testament writers(Leviticus 19:18) Given that they  were also all gung-ho about killing the neighboring Canaanite tribes, possibly they meant it to be limited to the Jews.  With the more cosmopolitan streams of Judaism it was applied to all humanity, as it was in the more cosmopolitan strains of Christianity as well.  Jesus gave an example of it with his parable of the good Samaritan.

Luke 10:25-37

The parable implies that ‘your neighbor’ is anyone, of any race, even if they are of a different religion, even if their religion is a  corrupt version of your religion and they leave out all the things you have labeled as purity, truth and relationship to God.

It is the reason I feel bad about treating Mr. Crabtree’s lecture with such sarcasm.

It can also be restated in a form we have previously touched on- “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  And it is fairly easy to see how the same dynamic informs both renderings.

Pretend you are that other person. Thus, their life and experience of life are just as valuable as your own.  And then, just as you don’t like it when people do stuff that harms you, don’t do stuff that harms them. Just as you like it when people do stuff that helps you, do stuff that helps other people.

How does this apply to the controversy of gay marriage?

Well- what does Mr. Crabtree want for himself?  He’s already told us.

A subculture utilizes social and cultural pressure to effect conformity. The
follower of Jesus does so out of free, existential obedience. The Bible never
advocates cultural conformity for its own sake, where no free, existential
choice is involved.

He wants to make his own choices- freely and out of the core of his existence.  He wants to be able to follow his chosen religion and (presumably) its sexual ethics, not because society or his culture has forced him to.  Perhaps by – and who’s ever heard of such a ridiculous thing!- making the normal manifestations and sexual practices of his chosen religion illegal.

But  apparently this is too drastic for him to grant anyone else.

His life matters.  Other people’s don’t.  According to him.

(a) This argument assumes that relationship is the supreme principle in
life, as well as in sexuality. Truth, moral purity, one’s relationship to
God, and, hence, sexual purity—these must never be allowed to take
precedence over authentic, loving relationship (as a modern would
define love).

Uh.  No, it doesn’t.  It assumes that truth, moral purity,  and relationship to God are matters of intense and prolonged debate, and that people should be allowed to make up their own minds about said matters and then pursue those without having to superficially conform to the  opinions of others.

Assuming that sex is more important than truth, moral purity and God sounds like something a hippy would say.  Except I suspect that a hippy would say that sex WAS truth, moral purity and God.  So maybe is sounds like the thing a person who didn’t like hippies would say that a hippy said.

Or maybe we shouldn’t pull opinions out of our asses and randomly assign them to people. As Mr. Crabtree has done here.

(b) Does love for my neighbor require that I want my neighbor to have
and do whatever he wants to have and do? Clearly not.

What the hell.  Why doesn’t it?

I’ll assume (randomly)(out of my ass) that the argument here continues; but what if my neighbor wants to have and do things that hurt me?

Like- blowing themselves up in a crowded mall so they can die a martyr and be sure of getting into heaven? Or- making illegal all expressions of sexuality other than their own because God said butt-sex is icky? Or massacring entire nation/races because God said he likes you better and you get to have all their stuff now?

What if what one person wants involves another person, but the other person doesn’t want it?

Well. This is why, to limit the limitless freedom that ‘loving your neighbor as you love yourself’ bestows upon us all, and to resolve the conflict between having not One, but Many persons (aka moral agents) in existence, we have introduced the concept of consent.

Informed Consent, no less.

One  person can only do what they want to another person if the other person understands and wants it as well.

That is my answer.  I don’t know if that was actually Mr. Crabtree’s question, since the matter was so ‘clear’ to him that he didn’t give it a bullet point of its own.

(i) However, that is exactly what we unthinkingly assume in the
context of debates like “gay marriage.”

Actually, some of us don’t assume it but come to this conclusion by reasonable processes that you are ignoring.

(c) The above argument “begs the question.” It assumes the very point
at issue: that there is nothing morally objectionable about
homosexuality as such.

No, it doesn’t.  It assumes that different persons come to different understandings of what morality is.  It also assumes that while everyone thinks that they’re right and wants to do what they think is right, no one has agreed on the details since pretty much the beginning of time.

(d) To love my neighbor is to promote my neighbor’s well-being. Don’t
I have to know what is truly good for my neighbor in order to love
him? Isn’t the entire scope of the Bible’s teaching relevant to
answering that question?

And here I thought that conservatives don’t like the welfare-nanny state.

To love my neighbor is to promote my neighbor’s well-being.

I don’t know.  But to love your neighbor as you love yourself is to allow them to tell you what their well being looks like to them, and respect that.

No one ever said you could just love your neighbor.

To simply assume that you know what’s good for them and they don’t, especially when one has displayed as impressive an ignorance of your neighbor as Mr. Crabtree has in this lecture, is to infantilize everyone but yourself and to anoint yourself the Supreme Nanny of the Whole World.

Except even your views grow and change, so you’re not qualified.

Don’t I have to know what is truly good for my neighbor in order to love


Having done your research, knowing what their various choices they face, familiarizing yourself with the processes by which they make decisions, their history, motivations, hopes, fears, etc, make you a better resource for them as they make their decisions.  That is perhaps more loving than just letting them rot in your corner while you rot in yours.

But no.  You don’t have to know.

Isn’t the entire scope of the Bible’s teaching relevant to answering that question?

uh… in the general sense that, isn’t the history of everything  ultimately related to every question? sure it is.

But to be particularly and specifically relevant, we would have to have proven that the Bible had a single ethic that informed its entire scope.

And we haven’t.

And, in fact, what we have seen has indicated quite the opposite.

Once upon a time, the Bible was considered a guide for Astronomy.  The relevant verses and the theory derived from them were studied in detail.  They caused much consternation when a man named Galileo began to popularize a theory that went against the theory that had been derived from the Bible- and in fact explained the observable data better than Biblical  Astronomy did.

Today, Mr. Crabtree claimed the Bible is relevant to ‘theology,
philosophy, and spirituality’ but had to leave Science, Technology, Engineering, and  Mathematics to wander on their lonesome. He left out Astronomy as well.

From what I have seen of Mr. Crabtree’s arguments, I’m beginning to wonder if the Bible is eventually going to bow out of the discussion of Ethics.

After all, the Bible’s claim to fame is it’s Divine inspiration.  But the Divinity, God, the Bible tells us, is perfect and eternal- the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

And the Bible both contradicts itself and shows signs of having developed.

So ends Section III


In the next section, Section IV,  Mr. Crabtree talks about viscerally repulsive sexual practices. In detail.  For pages and pages and pages.

Tune in Next Week!





You do WHAT in your Bible? How viscerally repulsive! Part II

Sarcastic Trigger Warning: Contains some sarcasm

Conformist Trigger Warning: Contains parts where I disagree with you and am not being sarcastic 

So here we are, not even through Section I, and I already had to stomp off and calm down.  It appears that in the Bible, interracial marriages may be frowned on (i.e. noble Teachers of the Law throw themselves around and cry until all the nasty ladies go away) and using war prisoners as sex slaves is ok.  It also turns out that Jack has a curious habit of avoiding facts like this, and has tried to portray them 1) as belonging to first century Judaism and 2)as some kind of bizarre aberration from otherwise normal healthy and courageous Biblical attitudes.

So far I find his treatment of this subject intellectually dishonest.  And morally abhorrent.

Clearly.  I must be nothing more than a product of my culture, that I take exception to him thus.

Oh wait.  Except the culture I’m from and surrounded by is the one that agrees with him.

I must… uh… I must…  be objecting…. because…


So. Onward.

B. For the person who has a need to conform culturally, nothing the Bible says could
possibly convince him of its sexual ethics and neither will its values resonate with him.

That conformists need to conform and that nothing will convince them otherwise is a given. It’s like the wing being the wing of a winged thing and the winged thing being winged by a wing. A necessary relationship.  Modern conformists will conform to Modernity, Catholic conformists will conform to Catholicism, Protestant conformists will conform to Protestantism.  Reformed conformists will conform to Reformed… ism.

There are, one would assume, also persons of each belief who take their beliefs seriously and hold them, not out of conformity, but out of honest intellectual agreement.

Granting the possibility that there are some non-conformist Reformists out there in the wild somewhere, I don’t understand why he’s bringing this up.  Shouldn’t he be talking about his sincere opponents?

Well, for some reason, Mr. Crabtree doesn’t feel that’s necessary.  Given the level of intellectual integrity he displayed with the Book of Tobit stunt, maybe he feels he’s talking to people like himself.

I shouldn’t be so cruel.  Maybe he was rushed prepping this lecture and in twenty plus years of Biblical studies just never heard of the book of Ezra.

And then there’s me.  Disagreeing with him!  I must be such a conformist to my culture! The culture he signs off on and helped create. I am probably the case in point, right here!

1. Biblical sexual ethics and modern cultural attitudes and beliefs about sexuality are
mutually incompatible.

Damn straight they are.  People who do shit like that go to prison.

C. The Bible is teaching a perspective on our sexuality that will only resonate with those
few courageous, fiercely independent individuals who want to honor their creator with
their lives and have no regard for the favor of the other people around them.

There’s Radical Submission for you.  Doesn’t matter if it destroys you, doesn’t matter that it’s a social menace- just do what I say God says.  Allah Ackbar!

1. Those interested in following biblical sexual ethics today must necessarily form 

an “under-culture.”

Also know as terrorist cells.

2. Not a “subculture.”

Thanks for the correction.  I was confused.

a) A subculture utilizes social and cultural pressure to effect conformity. The
follower of Jesus does so out of free, existential obedience. The Bible never
advocates cultural conformity for its own sake, where no free, existential
choice is involved.

You get inducted into the ‘underculture’ when the underculturists kill your family, take you prisoner, start using you for sex, and then call it marriage so that if you try to run away you can be prosecuted for unfaithfulness.

Girl, stop smarting off!  The Bible would NEVER-  oh wait.

It does.

I love the smell of existential choice in the mornings!

End of Section 1.   Thank Allah.

II. With regard to a moral judgment about sexual behavior (or any other behavior), the
Jesus-follower is interested in what the Bible teaches.

So… Mr Crabtree… isn’t a Jesus Follower, then? What are we supposed to take from this?

Oh, I know,  maybe Jesus Followers are interested in everything the Bible teaches, but primarily follow the teachings of Jesus.

Like when he says in  Matthew 7:12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Actually Rabbi Hillel said that too. In the time of King Herod. The one who tried to kill baby Jesus.

“What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy fellow man: this is the whole Law; the rest is mere commentary” (Shab. 31a)


First century Judaism was so much like the Taliban!

You see, if I was guilty of a crime against God that deserved death, I would totally want people to kill my innocent children.  Wouldn’t you? Or  for them to be used as plunder by a victorious army– hey- I am totally down with that!

That’s why we can say that the whole message of the Law can be summed up in the formula “treat others the way you want to be treated”

Otherwise there would be no explanation for things like this:

Deuteronomy 20:4 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. 15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you.

Or, if by some chance, no one would want these things to happen to their children when they were dead, even if they did worship Baal instead of Yahweh, we may be forced into another line of thought.

Since the Law, as it actually stands, CAN’T be summarized as ‘treat others the way you want to be treated”-

What if the Christian Bible, as it now stands, does not actually present a coherent vision of ethics?

A. The Jesus believer conforms his beliefs to what he is convinced, by sound reason, is
true, not by what “appears” to him to be true.

Perhaps this was more clear in the lecture.  The distinction between ‘appears to him to be true’ and ‘convinced by sound reason to be true’ doesn’t make much sense to me.  I myself would use those phrases interchangeably.

I am curious about his use of the word conform.  A conformist being someone who believes a thing out of a psychological need to be like everyone else- what business does anyone who is not a conformist have conforming their beliefs to something they are convinced of by sound reason?  Shouldn’t what they are convinced of by sound reason be their belief already without having to conform to anything to anything as a middle step?

Possibly just semantics. Onward. Furthur.

1. We “walk by belief (faith), and not by sight” = we live and think in accord with
what we know, by reason, to be true, not what appears true to us because of our
ill-considered and uncritical perception.

forgive my crummy greek transliteration here.

The choice to translate pistews (“faith”) in Corinthians 5:7 as ‘belief’ rather than ‘trust’ is an interesting choice, but possible.   The jump from ‘belief’ to ‘reason’ in the paraphrase, especially when contrasted with ‘íll-considered’ and ‘uncritical’ makes a switch not easily noticeable in English- moving pisteuo away from meaning an intellectual commitment, which it may legitimately do, and towards meaning  rationality and the process of reasoning- more in the direction of logos.  Which is illegitimate, according to the usage and rules of the Greek language as I understand them.

That, when compared to some  random passage from Tobit, makes this point sort of smell to high heaven, but, if he would leave out the Bible verse, it would be a pretty fair argument.  Act and think more reasonably, not less reasonably.

But it’s something almost anyone, of any religion would agree to. Mm. Except the old school Abrahamic religions. In those religions nothing counts unless God says- and then you just have to trust that it’s right.

Maybe that’s why he feels he has to mutilate a Bible verse into making this point. So that he can have access to it too.

Too bad it actually says ‘we live by trust, not by sight’.

a) Typically, our unreflective perception will be a reflection of the culture that
has shaped me.

Again this holds of anyone- of any culture. If there were a culture that had discovered the god-damned Well at the End of the World, and knew all things as unquestionably as Urd, a child raised in that culture would unreflectively parrot Ultimate Truth.

That a belief is cultural is not a criteria for the truth or falsehood of that belief.  Just the maturity or immaturity of its believer.

b) 2 Corinthians 5:7 

uh- what? Yes.  See above.

2. Coming to grasp a worldview or paradigm rationally can be likened to a rock
climber climbing the face of a sheer rock cliff. He makes his way up to one
foothold from which he can then ascend to the next.

a) All too often, we become rationally convinced of an intellectual or
philosophical foothold, only to return to the familiar lenses of our uncritical
prejudices and perceptions in order to resume thinking about the topic.
Accordingly, we make no progress toward a rational conclusion in which we
have confidence


But sometimes we perceive our cultural prejudices AS footholds.  And we climb on them to dazzling heights of falseness and bigotry, without ever noticing that we have done so. In fact, we believe that we HAVE reached a rational conclusion and that conclusion does have our full confidence.

Because a false step in intellectual rock-climbing doesn’t necessarily lead to the death of the climber.  It leads to the death of the Gays. Or the Jews. Or the Canaanites. Or whoever else you didn’t have the integrity to take into consideration.

B. The Jesus believer grants authority to the Bible above any other authority. The Bible is his primary source of instruction with regard to matters of morality, theology,
philosophy, and spirituality.

Such a short paragraph, to spawn so many questions.

Is a Jesus follower defined as a member of one of the many Christian religions? Or some one who follows the teachings of Jesus as the key to understanding the rest of Scripture?  Or someone who believes that Jesus’ death was a magical act that will force God not to destroy the Earth in the Apocalypse?  Someone who believes Jesus was a great teacher? Someone who believes Jesus was God? Someone who believes Jesus was Prometheus in disguise? What exactly is a Jesus Follower?

Like the term “biblical sexual ethics” we have gotten all the way to the end of Section II without  Mr. Crabtree saying  what he means by this phrase.

Pretty odd, for a teacher at a school where I was taught to define my terms in order to communicate.  He knows he should be doing this.  Why isn’t he?

Is he trying to communicate? Or is he trying to do something else?


So.  The Jesus follower is someone, at least, who: grants authority to the Bible above any other authority.   


We aren’t told.  It does rule out all forms of the Orthodox Church and the Catholics, since they do not adhere to Sola Scriptura and hold their traditions and bodies of approved writings as authoritative along with the Bible.

Not a bad plan when you consider the role of Canonization councils in the Bible’s formation.


No one is above the Word of God!   Except for every group of bickering theologians ever. And Martin Luther, too, if he could get away with it!

And now that Jack Crabtree has taken on himself the authority  to damn two of the three major branches of Christianity,  he tells us, of the Jesus Follower, that

The Bible is his primary source of instruction with regard to matters of morality, theology, philosophy, and spirituality.

The Jesus Follower is also a male, BTW.

And curiously enough, Mr. Crabtree wasn’t really being honest with us about the whole ‘Bible is highest authority’ thing.

In the list of subjects for which the Bible is the primary source of instruction, do you see what’s missing?

The STEM sciences. And Psychology.

For authority on those subjects, one must look elsewhere. Interestingly enough, these disciplines demand their hypotheses have testable feature that allow their veracity to be determined.  Psychology must produce accurate enough results that people will purchase therapy, and that the police agencies investing in Criminal Psychology Training  will have improved results and want more.

The disciplines of which the Bible is an authority?

No verification is required.

He doesn’t tell us why he’s let the STEMs and Pych off the hook. Perhaps that’s all we need to know.

1. The Jesus-follower is not impressed by what is or is not acceptable to his culture;
he is interested above all else in what the Bible actually teaches.

Nor am I.  And so am I.

Now, we drink. Me, from my glass, and you, from yours.





Section III, coming soon.




Noah and the Flood

“But body counts aren’t the point in  a genocide, a crime for which, at the time of my visit to Rwanda, nobody on earth had ever been brought to trial, much less convicted.  What distinguishes genocide from murder, and even from acts of political murder that claim as many lives, is intent.

The crime is wanting to make a people extinct.  The ideas is a crime.  No wonder its difficult to picture.  To do so you must accept the  principle of the exterminator, and see not people, but a people.”

-Phiip Gourevitch, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families


I was mopping the floor.  The place was eerily quiet and my body or mind was filling the quiet with agony.   The exhaustion from not sleeping, my own depression, and the thoughts that kept swirling around and around again, all mixed into a sort of pain cocktail, and the cocktail was me.

I had had another shift, earlier that day, at the home of an elderly lady.    She was declining, had declined steadily in the past month, after a visit to the hospital.  A number of the other workers had come for one shift, seen how she was, and then asked not to be put with her again.  It wasn’t that she was unpleasant. She was, you could tell, a sweet lady. It’s just that everything had to be done for her.  She could not stand for more than a few moments, was completely incontinent, could not comprehend a lot of what was happening.

She had to be changed several times a night and would beg  you to covered her back up while you changed her- pulling her quilt weakly  over herself and the urine and diarrhea you were trying to clean off her.  No matter what you said.

In the morning she would look up with bright eyes.

“Are we going on a trip to town?” she would ask, excited and innocent as a child. “Are we going for a ride in the car?”

No, not today.  Maybe another day.

I was on a night shift, now, in a Memory Care Unit at a nursing home.  I had been assigned a list of incontinence checks to do every few hours, and some cleaning to do between times.

I have never been so close to walking out on work in my life.

But I was mopping instead of running away.  The mop scraped over the tiles under the quiet of  electric lights.

Out of nowhere, a memory of my sister broke through the  haze.

“I don’t think I’m going to like it. ” She had been talking about a soon to be released movie. “I read a review…  they made it so that Noah’s daughter got pregnant, and he tried to make her have an abortion on the ark… only the animals were supposed to survive…”  She objected to the idea of Noah as an eco terrorist.  And to abortion.

I stood in the middle of the tables and fake flowers and chairs, leaning on my mop.

So- all the other pregnant women outside the ark- drowning- with their unborn children. who were presumably innocent of any of the wrongdoing of their evil parents?

An abortion on the ark bothered her, but not the Flood?

Someone explain to me again how we are possibly to understand this God as even vaguely moral?

There is the story of the Sons of God fucking humans.   These Angels are nowhere said to be fallen angels, and God presumably knew the whole time and didn’t bother to intervene. You could say that he let it all happen in order to let free will play out or whatever, and then was so disappointed in the choice humans made, that he just HAD to PUNISH them.

Except, he’s God.  And these were Angels. The power imbalance is. Well. Infinite.

The closest analogy I can think of is if the principle of a school wandered around watching the invulnerable immortal teachers publicly fucking their students for a thousand years- then announced one morning that all the students had to be lined up on the play ground and shot for violating the school’s standards.

But you could argue that, I guess.

It still doesn’t explain the flood.  Consider the death of the firstborn in Egypt.  A whole other can of worms, there, but,  God sent out the Destroyer to kill a select group out of an entire population.  He obviously has the capability of killing only certain people.  And yet he uses a flood.  By definition- a flood kills everyone, regardless of innocence or guilt.  And the children, of whatever species or blend of species, were innocent.

You could argue that it was about the baby human-angel hybrids.  God just HAD to kill everyone because… racial purity… and stuff…?

God is a cosmic Adolf Hitler.

I suppose it makes sense.  He’s massacred at least as many Jews as Hitler did, at this point.

But I fail to see then, if the Flood was racially/biologically motivated, how we can say say anything about righteousness or guilt.   And that is the whole justification of the Flood, isn’t it?

Humans were wicked.  They hurt God’s feelings with how wicked they were.  So he had to kill them.

Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”

Except, do you know how well the Flood solved that problem? Of the wickedness of the human heart?

Romans 3:10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”[b]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”[c]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g]

  1. Romans 3:12 Psalms 14:1-3; 53:1-3; Eccles. 7:20
  2. Romans 3:13 Psalm 5:9
  3. Romans 3:13 Psalm 140:3
  4. Romans 3:14 Psalm 10:7 (see Septuagint)
  5. Romans 3:17 Isaiah 59:7,8
  6. Romans 3:18 Psalm 36:1

It didn’t.  At all. So- there literally was no point to the flood as far as ‘fixing human wickedness’ was concerned.  There was no point to the Flood as far as justice was concerned, because it destroyed the innocent (the children) as well as the guilty.

Which leaves the racial purity argument.  The angel babies possibly had a longer life span than normal humans- and ‘They were the heroes of old, men of renown.’

God essentially didn’t want to be humans to be any stronger than they are now.

Let me rephrase that.  A being who is willing to commit genocide (the genesis flood)- or to force humans, on pain of death, to commit genocide (Israel’s conquest of Canaan)- or mind control humans into disobeying him and then killing their children as punishment for disobeying him (the death of the firstborn of Egypt)-

Didn’t want humans to be any stronger than they are now.

He wouldn’t, would he?

Sometimes I think that the most incurably wicked thing we have ever done is worship Him.

On my final round of incontinence checks, just before dawn, I stuck my head into one of the rooms. I blinked a little bit- to see if I could clear up the double image I was seeing. Then I realized I wasn’t hallucinating after all.  One of the old men had wandered into the room while I was away.  The old lady, who’s room it was, was asleep, under all her blankets, and the old man had lain down on top of the blankets, next to her.  He was snuggled up against her, asleep.

I went over to wake him up.

“Who’s there?” the old lady asked, under her blankets. “Is that a man?  Get out!! Get out!”

“I think you’re in the wrong room” I told him.

“Oh! Oh!” he said.  He stood up. He started wandering around the room, looking for the door.  When I got him out to the hallway he started off in the wrong direction, checking the doors for his room number.

I walked him back to his room.

Sometimes I think our need to- to not be alone-  the need to be connected with someone- is a lot stronger than our grasp of reality.

We see, on a total stranger, the face of someone who loves us. And we love him back.

Battered… Worshiper…? Syndrome

From Wikipedia: 


Additionally, repeated cycles of violence and reconciliation can result in the following beliefs and attitudes:[7]

  • The abused thinks that the violence was his or her fault.
  • The abused has an inability to place the responsibility for the violence elsewhere.
  • The abused fears for their life and/or the lives of their children (if present).
  • The abused has an irrational belief that the abuser is omnipresent and omniscient.

There is a Being. Supposedly. Who has massacred almost the entire population of a planet, more or less on a whim.  Who has ordered humans to commit genocide and violence against other humans.  Who threatens violence if his demands are not complied with.  Who blames humans for what he does to them.  Whose followers claim that he knows everything and is everywhere.

Who has put the Jews through abuse that makes the Nazis look like pansies.

And we’ve been… worshiping him?

( Thank you, Commandments of Men, for putting this so succinctly and doing so sooner than me.

http://thecommandmentsofmen.blogspot.com/2013/07/syndromed.html#more )

I’m including passages instead of references- just to show that I’m not making this up.

Committing genocide/near genocide:

Gen 6:5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 

Wanna know what was different about humans before and after the flood?


Ordering humans to commit genocide:

Deuteronomy 20:16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. 17 Completely destroy[a] them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you.

Threatening violence/near genocide/rejection/abandonment if his demands are not complied with:

Deuteronomy 29:22 Your children who follow you in later generations and foreigners who come from distant lands will see the calamities that have fallen on the land and the diseases with which the Lord has afflicted it.23 The whole land will be a burning waste of salt and sulfur—nothing planted, nothing sprouting, no vegetation growing on it. It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord overthrew in fierce anger. 24 All the nations will ask: “Why has the Lord done this to this land? Why this fierce, burning anger?”

25 And the answer will be: “It is because this people abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, the covenant he made with them when he brought them out of Egypt. 26 They went off and worshiped other gods and bowed down to them, gods they did not know, gods he had not given them. 27 Therefore the Lord’s anger burned against this land, so that he brought on it all the curses written in this book. 28 In furious anger and in great wrath the Lord uprooted them from their land and thrust them into another land, as it is now.”

Deuteronomy 31:16 And the Lord said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. 

Blaming the victims of his rage/violence for his behavior:

Exodus 33:3 Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.”

4 When the people heard these distressing words, they began to mourn and no one put on any ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I might destroy you. Now take off your ornaments and I will decide what to do with you.’” 6 So the Israelites stripped off their ornaments at Mount Horeb.

Followers believe him to be omnipresent and omniscient:

Psalm 139:1 You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

(If you think this Psalm is comforting- consider.  In the next two sections the Psalmist states that:

5 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

And that he has this deep desire-

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
    Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,
    and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.

But God, who views on the slaughter of enemies has been seen to be remarkably consistent with the Psalmist’s, also wove together those enemies in the secret places.  He also wrote all the days ordained for them in his book.   AKA- God created a certain number of beings for the express purpose of destroying them horribly.  You can argue whether he has the right to do that till you’re blue in the face- what kind of sadist exercises such a right? )

This omniscience and omnipresence is believed, despite the fact that God is frequently reduced to sending messengers to investigate things and performing tests to verify facts that he’s not sure of.  Babel, Sodom, Abraham+Issac, Job, etc.

Reference section ends now.

So here’s my problem.  This God is basically an abuser.  He fits the profile.

If there is a God- and the Old Testament stories show just the best image of him that Bronze Age people were able to create, due to their own ignorance-

then presumably, the gods of other religions are the same deal.  The best image of God that humans of a particular time and place were able to create, due to their own ignorance.

However, the Old Testament God- YHWH- does not tolerate questions in humans well and often explicitly demands the death of anyone who listens to other gods.   If he doesn’t have any minions willing to carry out such demands on hand, he resorts to claiming that they deserve to die.  All- all- only- must be for Him. Alone.

Hence shorting out the ability of humans to compare notes on their versions of God. Hence preventing them from moving past him and towards the Infinite- whatever That may be.

If somewhere, out beyond the edge of our knowledge and perception, there is a One True God- isn’t YHWH the Devil?

Cursed be Canaan!

Today’s Bible story is from Genesis.  Genesis 9 to be exact. But before we read today’s Bible story, let’s look at some charts.   Painfully boring I know- but hey!   Life is pain.



Notice the relative positions of Canaanite and Hebrew.  Here’s another.



This one is from the Encyclopaedia Britannica.  Cool, huh?  Again, notice the positions of Hebrew and Canaanite languages.

And one more.  Just one.



This site teaches Hebrew.   Here is a quote from the article that come with this chart.

“Hebrew is defined as part of the more specific family of North-Western Semitic languages, a branch including Arabic, Aramaic, Canaanite languages and Ugaritic. Most similar to Hebrew are of course her fellow Canaanite languages (or possibly even dialects) such as Ammonite and Moabite. These languages have close vocabulary, grammatical and morphological ties. For example, in all these languages, a long ā sound found in other Semitic languages becomes a long ō sound, a clear-cut characteristic that enables us to identify whether or not a language is Canaanite.”

Now.  For today’s Bible story.  Sit back and get cosy.  Oh, and this story seems to involve primitive incest porn/ incest, so viewer discretion is advised.

The story begins after the Flood.  The God that Noah and his family worshiped had decided to wipe out their race- and they were the only survivors.   They were living, alone, in a destroyed world. 

So the story is told.

18 The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.

20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded[a] to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father nakedand told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,

“Cursed be Canaan!
The lowest of slaves
will he be to his brothers.”

26 He also said,

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s[b] territory;
may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.  Genesis 9

In the next chapter, this ‘son of’ stuff is explained a bit further.

The Hamites

6 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put and Canaan. Genesis 10

15 Canaan was the father of Sidon his firstborn,[g] and of the Hittites, 16 Jebusites, Amorites, Girgashites, 17 Hivites, Arkites, Sinites, 18 Arvadites, Zemarites and Hamathites. Genesis 10

The Semites

21 Sons were also born to Shem, whose older brother was[h] Japheth; Shem was the ancestor of all the sons of Eber. 22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether and Meshek.[i] 24 Arphaxad was the father of[j] Shelah, and Shelah the father of Eber.  Genesis 10

Eber, is the fabulous and obscure person from whom the Hebrews take their name.  Eber. Heber. Hebrew.  See?

From this story and this genealogy, people who take the Bible to be literally true (such as Young Earth Creationist) derive these *obvious* facts.

Semitic languages are associated with the descendants of Noah’s son, Shem. Shem. Shemitic.  Semitic.  See how well that works?

(As a disclaimer- some of these sites are heavily racist.  Others are less so.  I do not endorse or promote any of them, as I find them vomitous as well as being an affront to reason.  I post them here only to prove I’m not making this stuff up)


http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/nation03.htm#TABLE 3. THE LINEAGE OF SHEM

The Canaanites are descendents of Noah’s son, Ham.   For various reasons, it’s easier for Creationists and their friends to talk about Shem and Japheth, but they manage to come to a conclusion about Ham’s descendants as well.

“Next we come to the sons of Ham: Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan (Genesis 10:6). The descendants of Ham live mainly in south-west Asia and Africa. The Bible often refers to Africa as the land of Ham (Psalms 105:23,27;106:22). The name of Noah’s grandson Cush is the Hebrew word for old Ethiopia…Noah’s next grandson mentioned was Mizraim. Mizraim is the Hebrew word for Egypt… Phut, the name of Noah’s next grandson is the Hebrew name for Libya…Canaan, the name of Noah’s next grandson, is the Hebrew name for the general region later called by the Romans Palestine, i.e. modern Israel and Jordan…”  http://creation.com/the-sixteen-grandsons-of-noah

Others put it like this.

THE LINEAGE OF HAM. The peoples of Ham’s line populated parts of Asia Minor, the Arabian Peninsula, and eventually the entire continent of Africa – once known as the Land of Ham.”

http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/nation02.htm#Table 2. THE LINEAGE OF HAM.

The more reserved ICR puts it this way.

“There were three basic streams of nations (Semitic, Japhetic, and Hamitic) and although there has been much mixing and proliferation, these three basic streams of nations (not “races”!) are still roughly distinct.”


Some go further.

“The eighteenth verse in the Table of the Nations reads,…. and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad.” This terse remark may be telling us that the vast populations of Asia, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere are descended from Canaan.”

And then conclude that-

“…the descendants of Japheth are the same people as those from whom come the Indo-European languages, the Shemites those from whom come the Semitic languages, and the remainder [are] the descendants of Ham, through one line or another”


Thus- the Hebrew language (and the Hebrew nation) are descended from the Semitic language group, and the Canaanite language (and nations) are descended from the Hamitic.

Except, my brave reader, you already know part of what’s wrong with this.  Do you remember those charts at the beginning?


To illustrate this another way, (and I said only one more chart but I lied) behold the following.

family tree


Ladies and Gentlemen, Hebrew is a member of the language family spoken by “…the vast populations of Asia, [and]  Africa…”.

Semitic IS  “Hamitic”.

Now.  The ancient Hebrews spoke a Canaanite language.  They lived in the same small region as the Canaanite nations.   They were competing with these fellow Canaanite for resources and seem to have been almost continually at war with them.

According to Hebrew records, whether literally true or literally false, they once attempted the genocide of all other Canaanite groups.

Why would it be important, dear reader, to not be related to people you believe you once attempted to exterminate?

Why would it be important to believe that they were cursed?