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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: Is the Bible the Authoritative Word of God?

Don Stewart :: What about the Morally Repugnant Stories That Are Recorded in the Bible?

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Question 15

What about the Morally Repugnant Stories That Are Recorded in the Bible?

One objection to the divine authority of Scripture concerns the morally repugnant stories that are recorded in its pages. It is asked, “How can the Bible be the Word of God when it contains such horrific stories in its pages?” These stories are supposedly inconsistent with the idea of a “holy” Bible.

There Are Morally Repugnant Stories in the Bible

It is true that Scripture does record stories that are morally repugnant. These include: the account of Lot’s incest with his daughters, King David’s adultery and murder and the murder of babies at Bethlehem. Many more could be added to this list. Why are these stories recorded in the Holy Bible? Why did God allow them to be part of His sacred Word?

Observations on These Accounts

We can make a number of observations about the morally repugnant stories in Scripture.

  1. There Was No Cover-up of the Behavior of Biblical Characters

    The fact that these stories are recorded in Scripture only furthers the case for the authority of Scripture. These accounts are given because they touch upon the lives of the main characters in God’s plan to save humanity from their sins. Along the way, some of the people fell into gross sin; as was the case with Lot and David.

    In other instances, people did awful things to keep themselves in power; as did Herod when he ordered the slaughter of the babes in Bethlehem. These accounts are not overlooked or covered up. They are recorded to reveal the truth about what actually occurred in the history of God’s dealings with humanity. These evil deeds are part of the story.

  2. The Repugnant Stories Are Recorded, but the Behavior Was Not Approved by God

    It must also be appreciated that the behavior by the biblical characters is merely recorded, but not necessarily approved of, by God. Merely because something is recorded in Scripture does not mean that God approved of what occurred. To the contrary, many times these stories are recorded to show us the results of disobedience to the Lord’s command.

  3. These Stories Are Recorded Because They Are Important in the Overall Biblical Story

    The morally repugnant stories that are recorded in Scripture are part of the total story of God’s people. The fact that their sin is recorded does not mean it is condoned. To the contrary, they are given because they show that God can and does work in spite of gross sin.

    Therefore, the morally repugnant stories say nothing of the divine authority of Scripture. However, they do speak volumes about humanity and our fallen human nature. All of us are in desperate need of a Savior.

Conclusion: the Morally Repugnant Stories Are Part of History

The stories that are morally repugnant are part of biblical history. Since these are accounts of the unfolding story of God’s dealings with humanity throughout history, there is a reason for their inclusion in Scripture. This is why they are recorded.

Summary - Question 15
What about the Morally Repugnant Stories That Are Recorded in the Bible?

There are a number of stories recorded in Scripture that humans find repugnant or distasteful. This includes Lot’s incest, David’s adultery and murder and the murder of the babes in Bethlehem.

While there are stories contained in Scripture that are morally repugnant, this has nothing to do with the fact of the divine inspiration of Scripture. These horrible stories touch upon the lives of biblical characters. These accounts are recorded because they are important to the story of God’s work in history.

However, the fact that a story is recorded does not mean that God approves of what took place. It only informs us of some of the awful deeds that certain people did. Thus, the existence of repugnant stories has nothing to do with the authority of Holy Scripture.

What about All the Trivial Issues Which the Bible Covers? ← Prior Section
Did the Biblical Writers Always Understand That They Were Recording the Word of God? Next Section →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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