Walter C. Kaiser’s Hateful Slander of King David
Walter C. Kaiser Jr. claims in “Hard Sayings of the Bible (1997, c1996) Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity.” that since God never gave permission for polygamy then King David sinned by taking more than one wife. Here is what Mr. Kaiser states:
“No permission can be recited from the text for any such institution or practice.”
Kaiser, W. C. (1997, c1996). Hard sayings of the Bible (223). Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity.
Mr. Kaiser thinks you and I are too stupid to know that he has changed the definition of sin in order to slander King David. He has changed the definition of sin to:
That which is not expressly permitted. [false definition of sin]
Does Mr. Kaiser, a man, have the right to change the definition of sin? The real definition of sin is:
That which is expressly forbidden. [correct definition of sin]
To disobey a command of God to do something.
To disobey a command of God not to do something.
There is no other thing that can be called sin and Mr. Kaiser knows this. Let me repeat, Mr. Kaiser KNOWS the definition of sin. So for what purpose has Mr. Kaiser decided to redefine sin? He has redefined sin in order to create a “straw man.” A “straw man” is an imaginary opposition argument that has been created only for the purpose of easily knocking it down, thus the name, “straw man.”
Let’s look at how ridiculous Mr. Kaiser’s definition is. According to Mr. Kaiser’s own definition of sin, the following things are sinful because the Bible does not expressly permit them:
Marrying a woman who has hazel eyes.
Marrying a woman who has a middle name.
Marrying a woman who wears long underwear.
You can see that according to Mr. Kaiser’s own definition of sin, it is a sin to marry at all because unless your specific case is expressly permitted, it’s a sin.
Mr. Kaiser should put his tail between his legs and repent. He knows that he has played a trick to make his point. The trickery he has used is so well known that as I’ve pointed out, it has a name, “straw man.”
Walter C. Kaiser’s Hateful Slander of Jacob
Walter C. Kaiser continues his slander against the Jews in his section about Jacob. He stoops once again to straw man trickery, stating:
“Polygamy was never lawful for any of the persons in the Bible. There never existed an express biblical permission for such a deviation from the ordinance of God made at the institution of marriage in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:21�24).”
Kaiser, W. C. (1997, c1996). Hard sayings of the Bible (130). Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity.
Now remember, nothing requires “an express biblical permission.” Sin is that which is forbidden to do as well as that which is forbidden not to do.
So what is this “ordinance of God made at the institution of marriage in the Garden of Eden” that Kaiser talks about? Mr. Kaiser wants us to believe that there is some ordinance in the verses he mentions that forbids polygamy but that is not what the verses are about. If Mr. Kaiser had analyzed the Hebrew grammar he would have known that. Hebrew, or any language for that matter, is not made up merely of words to be translated although some armchair theologians would like to think so. To understand any sentence, we must analyze not only the words but the grammar, the syntax, and more. Here are the verses that Kaiser brings up.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; 22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Now let’s remember, sin is that which is forbidden [forbidden to do or forbidden not to do.]
What does Genesis 2:24 forbid?
Genesis 2:24 forbids homosexuality [leave his father] and it forbids mother son incest [leave his mother.]
What does Genesis 2:24 command?
Genesis 2:24 commands heterosexual sex.
The reason for this understanding of Genesis 2:24 is explained in the sentence structure. According to the AFPMA [Anderson-Forbes Phrase Marker Analysis,] the sentence in Genesis 2:24 is divided into two unit phrases:
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.”
“and they shall become one flesh.”
Italicizing the word they reveals the Hebrew meaning.
“and they shall become one flesh.”
In other words, they shall become one flesh as opposed to the man becoming one flesh with his father or with his mother. Look how the sentence reads with that understanding.
Paraphrase: The reason that a man shall leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife is that it is they [the man and his wife] who are to be as one flesh [and certainly the man and his father are not to be as one flesh nor are the man and his mother to be as one flesh.]
Consider this; the word translated here as “leave” is translated nearly twice as much as “forsake.” Now let’s read the sentence with forsake instead of leave.
“Therefore shall a man forsake his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.”
Does it say forsake all others? No, it doesn’t. It says forsake his father [ban on male homosexuality] and forsake his mother [ban on mother son incest.]
Our God is a righteous God. When God condemned Sodom and Gomorrah with destruction, its people had already broken many laws that were well known to them; laws which were well known to Adam and which he passed down to his descendents. One of the laws that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah broke was the law against male homosexuality which is found in Genesis 2:24 and is found nowhere else in scripture prior to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. We know that the men of Sodom and Gomorrah knew that their homosexuality was a sin precisely because of the account of Genesis 2:24. Adam kept at least an oral record of Genesis 2:24 which was eventually written by Moses. Here is a list of some other laws that the descendents of Adam would have received from Adam.
Sanctification of the Sabbath. Genesis 2:3
Ban on male homosexuality. Genesis 2:24
Ban on mother son incest. Genesis 2:24
The requirement for blood sacrifice. Genesis 3:21, Genesis 4:5
The value of repentance. Genesis 4:7 (salvation by grace)
Ban on murder. Genesis 4:8
Paul encapsulates well the lesson of Genesis 3:21, Genesis 4:5, and Genesis 4:7 when he writes in his letter to the Hebrews, chapter 9 verse 22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Mr. Kaiser is left with the fact that the Bible contains no law against polygamy. For those of you who want to use “law of the land” arguments against polygamy, remember; if you argue that polygamy is wrong because it’s against the law then you must also argue that George Washington was a traitor and should have been hanged and that the United States is in rebellion against Great Britain and must go back to being a colony.
How much hatred must Mr. Kaiser have in his heart that he feels the need to use trickery instead of God’s word to make his case. Jesus was clear that slander involves hatred.
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Walter C. Kaiser’s Hateful Slander of Righteous Abraham
Mr. Kaiser is not satisfied in having slandered the patriarch of the Jews, Jacob, nor is slandering David, the great writer of the Psalms enough, but he feels impelled to slander righteous Abraham by referring to his marriage with Hagar as cohabitation! Read for yourself:
“While the Bible does not stop to moralize on Abram’s cohabitation with Hagar, it nevertheless expects each reader to realize that what was taking place was contrary to the will and morality that God approved.”
Kaiser, W. C. (1997, c1996). Hard sayings of the Bible (122). Downers Grove, Il: InterVarsity.
Notice that Mr. Kaiser has to rely on cultural bigotry to get across his point, stating that, “The Bible … expects each reader to realize that what was taking place was contrary to the will and morality that God approved.”
Mr. Kaiser, the Lord expects us to “realize” no such thing. In fact, the Lord commands us through the Bible:
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD. Proverbs 19:3
Do you believe it, Mr. Kaiser? Is man’s heart so naturally foolish that it rebels against what the Lord teaches? If you believe Proverbs 19:3 and Proverbs 3:5 then why do you ask men to “realize” i.e., to “lean unto their own understanding?”
In closing, Mr. Kaiser, who do you think you are? How is it that you are so much greater than the Bible that you can invent new definitions of sin? Is your straw man a nifty little trick that you pull because you enjoy seeing stupid people in awe? Well, it’s not so nifty and people aren’t so stupid. Compare yourself with the men you condemn:
Jacob who God Himself gave the name Israel after having wrestled with God! Jacob raised twelve sons from which the nation of Israel and our Lord and Savior, Jesus, trace their roots.
King David wrote the Psalms!
Abraham was called the Friend of God!!!
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. James 2:23
Please pray with me for Mr. Kaiser. Pray that Mr. Kaiser will “lean not unto his own understanding” but will lean unto “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4b Pray also that he will correct his books and publicly confess that he has sinned by using the trickery of the straw man.
This article is copyright 2007 – Don Milton – All Rights Reserved