The God Beyond the Texts: Poisoned Bible Project Episode 3
Sex Slavery, Violence Against Women, and Wrestling with Scripture
When I began the Poisoned Bible Project, I really didn’t know what I was taking on. I’d worked through a number of texts and things that used to bother me in Scripture and thought it could be good to extend that out to the community by taking survey input. Of course, I’d been working through texts that triggered me personally, like promises taken out of context from so-called comfort passages like the one in Isaiah that goes, when you walk through the waters, I will be there, they will not overwhelm you, and such things like that.
I felt like the borderline prosperity gospel I’d been raised with really overemphasized this idea that being a Christian is supposed to make your life better in ways that are really never promised to anyone. And given my personal history with trauma, chronic illness, and such, I felt personally traumatized by memories of these passages and had to work back through them without the toxic theology. As I worked through these, I realized the work God is doing in the Bible can be seen as starting points for arcs of justice and equity that extend out from scripture into our present day. Rather than trying to literally interpret and apply these texts, the task is to look for how God was moving people in the direction of justice. With this realization, I felt like I could take on just about any passage.
Well, y’all have really tested that theory to its absolute limit!
For this episode, we have parallel passages in Genesis and Judges where two different cities at two different times have gotten so bad that men roam the streets in rape gangs. Both passages have a rape gang coming to a resident’s house and demanding they be allowed to rape the male visitor or visitors staying there. Both passages have the owner of the house offer females as replacement victims.