10 Top Bible Verses That Stir Controversy Today

Krystal Smith

There exist certain passages in the Bible that may provoke anger among some readers today because of their approval of slavery and violence, as well as their discussion of gender inequality and perceived unfairness. Here are a few examples of verses that are frequently cited as being offensive, insensitive, or even harmful.

Leviticus 25:44-46

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“Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them, you may buy male and female slaves. You may also buy them from the temporary residents living among you and their descendants born in your land. They will become your property; you can bequeath them to your children as inherited property forever. You may rule over them as enslaved people, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”

This passage is often used as evidence of the Bible’s endorsement of slavery. However, it is essential to recognize that this verse was written in a vastly different time and context, and many Christians today do not believe it should be taken literally in the modern world. 

While many people think of the Catholic Church as a Northern institution, it is worth noting that it actually established itself in the South and relied heavily on plantations and slave labor to support the livelihoods of its priests and nuns, as well as to fund its schools and religious projects.

Deuteronomy 22:20-21

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“But if the charge is true and the girl was not found to be a virgin, then she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her town shall stone her to death with stones because she did a disgraceful thing in Israel by committing fornication in her father’s house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”

This verse is often cited as an example of the Bible’s misogyny and violence against women. It is important to note that this verse is from the Old Testament and that many Christians today do not believe it should be applied literally in the modern world. 

Leviticus 18:22

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“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

Many people find this verse to be homophobic and hateful. It is important to note that this verse was written in a very different time and context and that many Christians today do not interpret it literally. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all state bans on same-sex marriage, legalized it in all fifty states, and required states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Psalm 137:9

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“Happy shall he be who seizes your little ones and dashes them against the rocks!”

This line is part of a psalm expressing the Israelites’ anger and hatred towards the Babylonians, who had conquered and exiled them from their homeland. The psalmist is calling for God to avenge the Israelites by destroying their enemies, including their children.

Joshua 6:21

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“So they devoted to the destruction by the sword everything in the city—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.”

Many people often use this verse to highlight the Bible’s violent and brutal nature. However, it is crucial to note that this verse is from the Old Testament, and many Christians today reject the idea of cruelty in the Bible. What troubles some people today is not the cruelty and violence themselves but rather the role of the biblical God in these acts.

Exodus 21:20-21

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“Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave survives for a day or two since the slave is their property.”

This verse is often cited as an example of the Bible’s condoning of violence against enslaved people. Many Christians today believe that this verse is God is addressing the handling of enslaved people, which existed in those times, either through debt or war, and that God was not condoning slavery itself,

1 Timothy 2:11-12

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“A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

This verse is often cited as an example of the Bible’s sexism and its promotion of male dominance. It is important to note that this verse was written in a very different time and context and that many Christians today do not interpret it literally. 

Leviticus 20:13

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“If a man has sexual relations with a male as he does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

Christianity has a range of beliefs when it comes to sexual orientation and homosexuality. Specific passages in the Bible describe homosexuality as sinful or immoral, and many Christian denominations have incorporated this belief into their church doctrine and various translations of the Bible. However, in contemporary times, there is a broad range of opinions within Christianity regarding homosexuality and sexual orientation. Some scholars of Christianity argue that Scripture does not explicitly condemn homosexuality as a sin against God.

One of the most enduring ethical issues within Christian traditions concerns sexual diversity. According to the Bible, individuals who engaged in sexual immorality, including adultery, incest, and any other form of sexual misconduct, were punished equally. Therefore, purity is a significant concept of holiness in Christianity.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 KJV

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“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.”

The passage could be viewed as sexist: It says that women should remain silent in churches and be subordinate to their husbands. This is a view that many people find outdated and offensive. Other Bible passages, such as Galatians 3:28, teach that men and women are equal in Christ. This contradiction makes it difficult for some people to accept the passage in 1 Corinthians.

1 Timothy 2:12

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“I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

There are differing interpretations of 1st Timothy 2:12. Some believe this verse should be taken literally, suggesting that women should not speak in church or teach men. However, others argue that this passage is specific to the historical context in which it was written and should not be applied to Christians today.

One reason some people are cautious about taking verse 12 at face value is that the following verses seem to contradict it. For example, verse 15 suggests that women are saved by bearing and raising Christian children, which goes against Paul’s other writings about salvation and marriage.

Romans 16:7 mentions Junia, a woman who is referred to as a fellow apostle to Paul. This suggests that women played a significant role in the early Christian movement.

Truths About Christianity That No One Is Ready To Hear

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Christianity has a long and complex history and many different ways to understand and practice it exist. As with any religion, some aspects of Christianity can be challenging. Here are harsh truths about Christianity that some people may not be ready to hear: Truths About Christianity That No One Is Ready To Hear

Things People Say All the Time That Are Actually Taken from the Bible

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Did you know that many commonly used (while outdated) sayings that people say all the time actually have origins in scripture, specifically the Bible? Here is a list of outdated things people say all the time that are actually taken from scripture: Things People Say All the Time That Are Actually Taken from the Bible

 

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