Articles & Opinions of Interest

The Biblical Case for Incest

Examining the biblical cases of incest is not an easy task. For years, Christians have dealt with the conflicting standard of incest within their religious history. Today, incest is seen as a necessary evil, something that was done, only until it was no longer relevant. There seems to be a divide between Old Testament allowance of incest, and the new standard implied today within the New Testament. Still, when it comes to the importance of biblical stories, incest is always at the forefront. If one were to take away the inclusion of incestuous stories within the bible, the foundation of the faith would dissipate. In fact, the founder of the three Abrahamic Religions, was involved in an incestuous relationship, as were many surrounding family members. Interestingly enough, this means that the world’s three most influential religions all involved a standard of incestuous behavior at its foundation.

Abraham’s incestuous relationship with his sister, Sara, is actually an intricate part of the biblical story. For many faiths, Abraham is seen as the founder of the Jewish people. To put it bluntly, the people chosen by God above all others, has a blatant history of incestuous behavior. Abraham and Sara, Lot and his daughters, Nachor and Melcha, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Rachel are all incestuous relationships. Interestingly enough, when God is asked to identify himself to Moses, God identifies himself through such incestuous relationships. The Old Testament God would have been known as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, especially in the time of Moses. To cement matters further, Moses, the deliverer and precursor to the symbolism of Christ’s relationship to his people,  is also a product of incest himself.

Arguing against incest, especially from a religious vantage point, almost seems impossible. Many Christians like to discount the cases of Old Testament incest, arguing that it was a necessity. When it comes to the New Testament though, a standard for incest is actually quite lacking. The way the New Testament is written, there isn’t a similar standard of law like there is within the Old Testament. As such, the debate between different Christian groups in regards to many matters continues. While one could hope for a solid line in the sand to appear, it’s just not going to. When a moral standard depends on ones own personal interpretations, things get a little hazy to say the least. The one standard that people can all agree on for the New Testament however, is Jesus Christ himself.

If one takes any short amount of time to trace the biblical genealogy of Christ, one will find a history of incest. At the very least, one has to wonder why the savior of us all, is the product of incest. There isn’t just one incestuous occurrence in the family line, but many. Anyone would find the chances of arguing for incestuous relationships with the bible are actually quite good odds. Jesus is said to be the product of incest, God’s chosen people are the product of incest, and the founder of the faith was at the very least, involved in an incestuous relationship. Everything about the Christian faith focuses on this same standard, as the New Testament is consistently linked with the Old. There simply isn’t a way around the incestuous relationships, or the inclusion of such a high biblical standard for such permissible relationships.

When it comes to the biblical case for incest, there are many different avenues one can choose. Christians as a whole, have a difficult time with the biblical cases of incest within their holy book. As society as a whole chooses to examine the depths of our sexual morals, the religious standards can’t help but be brought up. Taking a step back, we can start to examine where our ethical values started. If they happened to start with a nomadic tribe that practiced incest, we may need to take that into our consideration. While we may not often like to think of Christ as the product of incest, we cannot argue the fact isn’t true. The implications of such a fact though, are often up to the individual.

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