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Why We Don't Stone Adulterers

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The Bible is a mysterious book to many people, not least because of the peculiar (and harsh) laws and punishments one finds in the Old Testament. I can recall a discussion of religion and ethics on Larry King Live a number of years ago, when the evangelical guest was asked why he could be so adamant about enforcing the Bible's morals when the punishments assigned for breaking these rules seemed so outrageous. Obviously we don't stone people for their sexual activities, so isn't the sin just as outdated as the punishment? Sadly, the pastor was completely flummoxed as to how to interpret these sections of the Bible.

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Ryan Glomsrud (D.Phil., University of Oxford) is Executive Editor for Modern Reformation and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the History Department at Harvard University. He earned his M.A. in Historical Theology from Westminster Seminary California and B.A. from Wheaton College, Illinois.

Issue: "Interpreting Scripture" July/August 2010 Vol. 19 No. 4 Page number(s): 23

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