Love thy neighbor, may he who is without sin cast the first stone, do not judge lest ye be judged yourself - the Bible certainly has some great advice for Christians and anyone trying to be their best self. There are, however, some verses that make you say "whaaaa?" What are the most controversial and contentious verses in the Bible?
Without context, many Bible verses seem to condone awful practices. Rape? Slavery? Killing a woman for speaking out of turn? These horrific acts are allowed?
This list of startling and confusing Bible verses is meant to give guidance on what these controversial Bible passages mean and how they've been interpreted over the years. Also, like with anything, context is important, and this list includes historical context for what was going on at the time the Bible was written.With that said, some of these passages are still pretty messed up. Vote up the Bible verses and quotes you think are the most controversial. Thank God not everything in life is meant to be taken literally. Then, thank God, literally, because if there's one thing the Bible is very clear about is that God deserves all the thanks in the world.
Ephesians 6:5Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
Historical Context: Slavery was woven into the fabric of society. This was a reflection of that time.
A Conservative Reading: Love thy enemy. Even though slavery is cruel, part of endurance is to have love for your fellow man and praise the lord even in the wake of hardship.A Liberal Reading: This was used politically so that slaves wouldn't rise up against their masters. The intent was to use the bible to keep the class system intact.238105Should this be higher or lower?
Leviticus 20:9Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
A Historical Reading: In an agricultural-based society, one's parents were the heads of the household and their word was needed for survival. Discontent in the house could have drastic consequences.
A Conservative Reading: Your parents brought you into this world and can take you out of it. You are theirs.A Liberal Reading: Respect for family is important. This is not to be taken literally.17872Should this be higher or lower?
Deuteronomy 23:2Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License
Historical Context: To mutilate one's own body was common in other religions at the time (piercings, burns, etc.). The old testament is against all changing of the body - this is an extreme example.
A Conservative Reading: God made you in his own image. You are to live in the body God gave you.A Liberal Reading: Love who you are. Even if who you are is different than what people see, be true to your real self.16674Should this be higher or lower?
Deuteronomy 25:11-12Photo: Metaweb / GNU Free Documentation License
Historical Context: Adultery was very bad at the time. This is a preemptive measure.
A Conservative Reading: Keep your hands to yourself.A Liberal Reading: Violence is never the answer. Sexual violence is never to be tolerated.13368Should this be higher or lower?