Polycarp,incest, morality "liberal christianity"

Polycarp, my friend, have I just found out that I can be more liberal than you? Here is what you said :

A man marrying his sister morally dubious? To say the least? Where does this morality come from? After all the great man of faith, the patriarch of nations, revered amongst many married his own sister. Abraham and Sarah of course. And to the best of my knowledge that fact has never been criticized or questioned by God.

I share with you the “ickiness” (where have I heard that word before :slight_smile: ) of the idea of a man marrying his sister, but is this a moral issue? And if so, what is the origin of this morality ?

Well, Sarah was not Abraham’s sister. He had her claim to be his sister so that the Egyptians would not kill him, simply to despoil him of his wife.

The topic is interesting, but the initial example was flawed.

Was God upset at all with Lot for impregnating his own daughters? IIRC He didn’t even give Lot a slap on the wrist for it.

Well, he was raped (30-36)…

Nothing wrong with that example at all. Read on a bit:

OK. I had been told that that was part of the ongoing lie to cover his butt, but I’ll accept that as literal.

Never mind.

Wouldn’t incest have been necessary fo Adam and Eve to populate the Earth? Who was Cain banging to make more babies?

Bullshit! If a man is too drunk to recognize his own daughters, he’s too drunk to perform the act of sexual intercourse. If you say you could do it when you’re blind drunk, you gotta be either just bragging or you’re friggin’ Superman.


Re: Cain & Lot’s daughters:

Yes, Cain, Seth and all of Adam’s other children married their siblings. There was no one else, so it was permitted.

Ditto with Lot’s daughters. They presumed that they were the only ones left on earth, and as such, they were not punished for their deed.

As for Abraham and Sarah, she was not his sister, but a close relative. Very often the term “brother” and “sister” were used to signify a close kinship. For example, Laban called Jacob his brother (Gen 29:15), even though he was, in fact, Jacob’s uncle.

Zev Steinhardt

So God would have been OK with Pharoah murdering a man to marry his widow, but not with committing adultery? :eek:

No. But that’s what he was afraid the Egyptians would do anyway…

Zev Steinhardt

ONe interesting thing I relized with the Noah’s Ark story is that three of four generations after the animals are released, everything is so inbred that they can’t walk straight.


Sorry for the hijack, grienspace.

Regarding incest and familial morality,

In the KJV, Leviticus 18 verses 6 - 20 deal with rules to avoid “uncovering the nakedness” of various family members, including one’s sister. (The NIV translates these passages as “do not have carnal relations” rather than “do not uncover their nakedness.”)

Most of those commands are repeated in slightly different wording in Leviticus 20 verses 10 - 21 and again in
Deuteronomy 27 verses 20 - 23.

One practical aspect of Judaism is that they viewed the giving of the Law as a specific event. While theft and murder and such were always recognized as wrong, a great many actions that were laid out in the Torah were seen to have no binding on the people who lived before that time, so there may be people in Genesis or Exodus who commit acts that would later be sins against the Law who were not held accountable for them because the Law had not yet been given.

The NIV versions of the chapters linked, above, are Leviticus 18 (NIV), Leviticus 20 (NIV), and Deuteronomy 27 (NIV).

Not that you need me to back you up, tomndebb, but you’re absolutely right.

There are several examples of this, including

[li]Amram (Moses’ father) marrying his aunt, which was forbidden post-Sinai[/li][li]Judah having relations with his widowed daughter-in-law, another post-Sinai prohibition[/li][li]Jacob married two sisters, another post-Sinai no-no[/li][/ul]

However, we also believe that the seven Noahide laws were in force even before Sinai. Thus, one could not marry his full sister, mother, etc.

The cases of Lot and Cain have already been explained why these were permitted despite the prohibition.

Zev Steinhardt

I did say “dubious,” grienspace, not “condemned” – and I refuse to try to debate with you on what grounds God may approve of incest and on what grounds He may condemn it! :wink:

As for the Abraham/Sarah story (and, of course, the Isaac/Rebekah doublets of it), something that may be quite àpropos of the issue was uncovered a few years ago at either Ugarit or Ebla (my copies of BAR from that time frame have long since disappeared).

Bottom line of a rather extensive line of analysis was that, to preserve the “purity of a family line,” when a woman married into a family, she underwent a formal adoption by the father of her husband-to-be, who would then marry his new “sister” as planned – but since both halves of the marriage were part of the family lineage, the property of that marriage remained in the family line, instead of passing to the (original) family of the new “sister.”

It was an almost instantaneous flash in the minds of the archaeologists discovering the tablets describing such marital adoptions that this was exactly what Nahor had done as regards Sarah to enable Abraham to marry her without losing claim to his property, and what he in turn had done as regards Rebekah for Isaac.

Actually you are right on point ** tomndebb ** having provided a biblical basis for the negative morality regarding incest. I’m afraid I have little patience for reading Leviticus or Deuteronomy.

I also find very interesting the clarification regarding marriage and sisterhood of the region in pre-Moses times. Its now clear that my example doesn’t fly.

Which still leaves me with the question for those who do not accept the Torah as wholly applicable to our lives today, (which is most of us), and believe in the separation of church and state. Should laws against incest between consenting adults be removed?

And Polycarp I wasn’t intending to “debate you” But in light of your obvious God-given mission expressed on the SDMB with regard to homosexuality, I was curious as how you would handle this issue. Your words carry great weight with me.

Well, the apology was for my first post that sent the thread spinning off in a different direction.

Note-The Following Post Is DocCathode’s Unique Perspective And Should NOT Be Taken As Representative Of Any Group

You’re forgetting an ancient Jewish tale, one that explains who the human race truly descends from.

We are all the hybrid offspring of the children of Eve and the Children of Lilith.

In each generation, only a handful of people are fully human. I think you see where this is going. We all think that we’re humans. But the world continues only for the sake of those 36 who truly are.


In any event, even if the whole Lilith thing were true, you do realize, of course, that we’re all descended from Noah, whose lineage is clearly traced from Adam and Eve.

Zev Steinhardt

A :wink: should have been at the end of my post to indicate that my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek.

IIRC the book of Jubilees contains various begat lists of Adam and Eve’s children inbreeding.