This can be a potentially triggering post. I’m curious how others handle these specific passages and their implications for scripture overall.
When speaking of the Bible, with many things that seem to conflict with science, some will still just decidedly go with the scripture as the final word. When people think of the word of God being inspired it conjures up multiple images and thoughts when you force someone to keep explaining it in depth by asking question after question. Some believe that by inspired it means that the Holy Spirit sort of possessed the person and they performed some kind of automatic writing using that persons vocabulary and some believe that it was more fluid such as when I say thanksgiving meal, everyone is inspired in a since to think of their meal. Some may think of turkey, some think of ham, and some think of tofu and so on.
I essentially said all of that to get to this point about these specific passages on why I believe the Bible is just as much human as it is spiritual and why it can’t actually always be the final word.
Deuteronomy 22:13-21 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Laws on Morality
13 “If any man takes a wife and goes in to her and then turns against her, 14 and charges her with shameful deeds and publicly defames her, and says, ‘I took this woman, but when I came near her, I did not find her a virgin,’ 15 then the girl’s father and her mother shall take and bring out the evidence of the girl’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. 16 The girl’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man for a wife, but he turned against her; 17 and behold, he has charged her with shameful deeds, saying, “I did not find your daughter a virgin.” But this is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the garment before the elders of the city. 18 So the elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him, 19 and they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give it to the girl’s father, because he publicly defamed a virgin of Israel. And she shall remain his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.
20 “But if this charge is true, that the girl was not found a virgin, 21 then they shall bring out the girl to the doorway of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death because she has committed an act of folly in Israel by playing the harlot in her father’s house; thus you shall purge the evil from among you.
Essentially the story leans to this thought and possibility.
The ancient Jewish men believed that all virgins bled when they had sex. If a woman did not bleed then they were not a Virgin. If the husband felt like his non bleeding virgin wife was a adulterous woman and declared it and the father got the bed sheet and found no blood the woman could potentially be stoned to death despite not doing anything wrong.
That is what the story lines out as a possibility and we know for sure that not all women bleed on their first time. It’s simply not biologically true. For a fact, women in some countries with little access to good scientific data are often shamed, divorced, or murdered over this false idea.
So my question is was those passages inspired by God? Are they a mistake that should not have been in the Bible? Is science wrong and every girl does bleed?
I believe this weird example is still a great example to show why a literal and holding it above all interpretation of all scripture has its shortcomings.