Corporal Punishment in the Bible: A Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic for Troubling Texts

Corporal Punishment in the Bible A Redemptive Movement Hermeneutic for Troubling Texts William Webb confronts those often avoided biblical passages that call for the corporal punishment of children slaves and wrongdoers How should we understand and apply them today Are we obligated to

  • Title: Corporal Punishment in the Bible: A Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic for Troubling Texts
  • Author: William J. Webb
  • ISBN: 9780830827619
  • Page: 175
  • Format: Paperback
  • William Webb confronts those often avoided biblical passages that call for the corporal punishment of children, slaves and wrongdoers How should we understand and apply them today Are we obligated to replicate those injunctions today Or does the proper interpretation of them point in a different direction Webb notes that most of the Christian church is at best inconsisWilliam Webb confronts those often avoided biblical passages that call for the corporal punishment of children, slaves and wrongdoers How should we understand and apply them today Are we obligated to replicate those injunctions today Or does the proper interpretation of them point in a different direction Webb notes that most of the Christian church is at best inconsistent in its application of these texts But is there a legitimate basis for these lapses Building on the findings of his previous work, Slaves, Women and Homosexuals, Webb argues that the proper interpretation and application of these texts requires ascertaining their meaning within the ancient cultural historical context In recognizing the sweep of God s redemptive purposes already evident in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New, we remain truly biblical.

    One thought on “Corporal Punishment in the Bible: A Redemptive-Movement Hermeneutic for Troubling Texts”

    1. This is a book arguing against smacking (spanking) children. Webb particularly interacts with organisations such as Focus on the Family, which advocates smacking, but suggests a parent administer no more than two smacks at a time. Webb argues that such an approach is not "biblical" at all, in the sense that it has moved beyond what he calls the Bible's "concrete specific instructions". Webb points out that the Book of Proverbs encourages using a rod on the back, rather than a hand on the bottom. [...]

    2. This is one of those books I received months and months ago, but didn't read because it wasn't the right time. I read it over the last few days, apparently it was the right time, and I am intrigued. The writing is a bit clunky at times, but Webb makes some interesting observations that I think will lead to most people--even those who support corporal punishment--being a bit more open to the idea of alternative approaches to discipline.What he says: Basically, he views the Bible through a "redemp [...]

    3. Personal note. I grew up with unabusive (by my definition of abuse) corporal discipline and have no anger or bitterness about it; but I've recently ceased using it because I have not found it particularly effective and have begun to feel uncomfortable with it. If you've read "Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals" (which I recommend), you'll be able to predict where and why Webb comes down where he lands. His analysis of the Old Testament and its relation to ANE legal texts is helpful and helps put dif [...]

    4. A solid starting pointWebb makes a solid case that the "spare not the rod" passages in the Bible need to be interpreted within the wider context of the OT, which in context unquestionably supports beating both children and adults - practices that are unanimously considered abusive today. He shows that discipline can only be biblical in the literal sense of the oft quoted Proverbs passage if we essentially beat the daylights out of fools (naughty children or adults). But goes on to show that true [...]

    5. Short Review: This is a very good exploration of what hermeneutics is all about. Webb takes the idea of corporal punishment and traces what we see in scripture and compares is to how modern Christians understand their role as parents in light of scripture. What Webb is really doing is giving a good illustration of his concept of the redemptive movement hermeneutic. All hermeneutical systems have their weaknesses, but this does work well in this area and you can see how it would work in other are [...]

    6. Makes a strong biblical case against spanking children (and other forms of corporal punishment), and argues instead for creative and effective noncorporal means of discipline. The writing is a bit wooden and repetitive at times, but the arguments are very clear and convincing. I did lots of highlighting. The postscript on noncorporal discipline techniques is especially helpful.

    7. I will post more of a review later. However, I think it is great that some mainstream Christian resources are starting to point out that the use of corporal punishment, on children, does not have much of a defense in the Bible, or the church.

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