Thursday, June 19, 2014

OT rape laws


  1. Playing the video in my background (i.e. not listening too carefully), I noticed that Athas points out some things like:

    1. the laws in Deuteronomy are case laws and must be interpreted casuistically
    2. there's leeway in application
    3. consent is pivotal to the case of rape
    4. brothers may decide take guardianship of a rape victim

    I got to thinking of Deut. 22:28-29. If I understand correctly, some apologists/scholars argue that this was a case of seduction and that the woman consented. However, atheists point out that the word "seize" is used, and so suggests it was non-consensual.

    If it is non-consensual, I'm wondering if in that case (of Deut. 22:28-29) it allows for the female victim to refuse to marry her rapist in keeping with #3 (i.e. consent is pivotal) and #2 (leeway in application).

    1. I forgot to add that atheists also point out that this Biblical law is cruel because it forces a rape victim to have to marry her rapist. So, that's why I'm interested in 1. the woman having the freedom to refuse to marry her rapist (if it was non-consensual), and 2. if it can be conclusively shown that it was consensual. BTW, I do agree that regardless of whether it was consensual or not the law was meant to economically protect and provide for the victim who would have been considered "damaged goods" and so would face the difficulty of finding a husband who will care for her; and in having children through that husband who will care for her in her old age.

    2. Athas seems to suggest that a woman can refuse to marry her rapist (somewhere between 28 minutes to 33 minutes into the lecture) when he says that a brother or father may decide to take responsibility for her welfare. But Athas doesn't say so explicitly.

  2. You are missing the point. This is a situation where the two are caught in the act. The man is *accused* of rape. But an OT judge wouldn't ordinarily be in a position to determine how it began. If it was coercive or consensual.

    All an OT judge can to at this juncture is deal with the aftermath. A virgin has been deflowered. That makes her less eligible. And there's a rape *allegation*. The guilt or innocence of the man can't be established. There were no independent witnesses to how it was initiated.