Where is Jesus’ forgiveness in the OT?
Here are two laws from the Old Testament:
- If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads. (Leviticus 20:13)
- If a man meets a virgin who is not betrothed, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are found, 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the father of the young woman fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he has violated her. He may not divorce her all his days. (Deuteronomy 22:28–29)
Take a moment to digest those laws. If two consenting males were to be found having sex, they would be killed. No forgiveness, no way to make amends. It’s death. However if a male was to rape a virgin, no punishment for him, he only has to marry the girl. Instead she is punished by being forced to live with her rapist permanently.
I’ve read some apologists attempt to explain away the rape law – that somehow it’s a punishment for the rapist or that the girl would now be unmarriable and so best married to her rapist. (here) And they also would argue that these laws were for a barbaric time, the best that would be possible in ancient culture.
However if you believe that Jesus and the Father are one, and are infinitely good and wise, then you need to accept that these were the best laws that Jesus could come up with. Where is his forgiveness? Instead could the rapist be put to death and all his goods be given to his victim? Still barbaric, but might have been better for the girl and reduced rape in the society. Could homosexuals have been banished, rather than killed? Not nice, but certainly better than death.
Was there ever a time in history when killing two people for sleeping with each other should be punishable by death? Why do these laws seem bizarre – if they come from a loving, infinitely moral Jesus?
Would it not seem more reasonable to suggest that these laws came from ancient men. Men that hated homosexuality and treated rape victims as damaged goods?