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6 Bumps

Is It OK for Christians to Censor the Bible?


When Christian author Rachel Held Evans heard about the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn controversy, she was upset because she loves the book so much. How dare people change the book by revising parts they don’t like?!

And what about the House Republicans’ desire to read the Constitution aloud… but only after omitting that whole Three-Fifths Compromise? How dare people change the Constitution by getting rid of the parts that don’t sit well with the public?

That’s when she realized she had been doing the same thing with the Bible:

I was putting together the liturgy for The Mission and decided I wanted to include Psalm 9 in our reading.

Verses 4-6 didn’t sound very Christlike to me, so I whipped out that most venerated weapon in the Bible-reader’s arsenal — the ellipses — and with the precision of an expert, surgically removed them. Our liturgy was tidy and consistent and comfortable again. No one would even notice those three little dots.

It took about 17 seconds for the irony of the situation to settle in.

It raises a lot of questions:

Why is it ok for Christians to effectively ignore books like Leviticus in their Bible studies?

Why don’t pastors ever seem to talk about the rape and murder in the Old Testament?

Why is it ok for Christians to clip out Bible verses they don’t think represent their faith well when preparing a reading?

It’s not like they “sanitize” the Bible for children and then give them the real, full version as adults — the adults ignore the embarrassing parts, too.

If you’re going to be a Christian, you can’t pretend like those verses aren’t there.


Asked by MamaK88 at 12:17 AM on Feb. 1, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 33 (62,090 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (35)
  • Are there no violent pagan stories?

    So what if there are? Pagans typically don't go around deleting their history. Christians did enough of that already when they'd invade and burn all reference to any deity that wasn't related to Jesus. Most of South American religions was completely lost to history thanks to priests who ordered the soldiers with them to destroy entire buildings and their contents as "Satan's works".

    Answer by NotPanicking at 9:38 AM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • I knew all about that stuff growing up in my church! Clean, unclean, cloven hoofed animals, etc etc. Daughters seducing their father. Brother killing brother, King David throwing a womans husband in the front row of battle to be killed just so he could have his widow as one of his many wives. I learned it all in school, at a very young age. So I really can't say that Christians do that. That would be a harsh generalization. In Revelation it says there will be no adding to or taking away from this book.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 12:29 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • NP- I will do my best to answer your question. The books that were "left out" had good cause not to be included as scripture. The OT books that are not used were those that had been first written in Greek rather than Hebrew and had first been rejected by the Jews at the time they were written. The books not included in the NT can either not be authenticated or have been proven to be written long after the content of the writings claim. The books referred to as the Apocrypha were not included in any "official" form of the Bible until 1546 (Council of Trent).

    That is not to say that those books are useless.There is some historical value to them, at the very least to learn more on the religious tensions/disagreements at the time the books were written, but they do not have spiritual significance.


    Answer by asmcbride at 1:00 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I've heard teaching on the rape and murder in the Old Testament, my pastor has occasionally even preached on things that were so awful he asked all of the children to leave the room. The Bible is very honest about the things people did, sometimes people mistakenly think things were acceptable to God just because it isn't immediately challenged, but that isn't the case. There was a lot of sin in the old testament and a lot of consequences to that sin. There are parts that are hard to understand, like when God would tell his people to go to war and destroy entire cities, but that was God's punishment on those people for their sin. Just as God wiped out almost the entire world with the flood. The book of Leviticus isn't taught because those laws were for the Jewish people and are not applicable to Christians.

    Answer by mybella81 at 12:24 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • It is definitely not ok for anyone to add to or take away from Scripture. Rev.22:18,19--I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from the book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

    Answer by popzaroo at 12:39 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Now to the original question, OP I am not familiar with this type of censoring. The Bible in its entirety is important and has always been preached on at all the churches I have attended. The only "censoring" I have ever noticed is most Christians tendency to ignore the book Song of Solomon, and that is because it is rather sexually graphic and is not a subject most Christians are comfortable with discussing in public.
    I do find it odd though that a few non-Christians seem a little bent out of shape over the idea that Christians might not be using all parts of the Bible, but at the same time turn around and cry foul when a Christian professes belief in a Biblical teaching that they don't like.

    Answer by asmcbride at 1:15 PM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • i think its just certain people that do that and think that way. im christian and i dont like when that happens

    Answer by MomNbabyGirl009 at 12:20 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • ( Deep sigh) You can't generalize ALL CHRISTIANS by a few. Does that sound familiar? Substitute Athiests, Pagans, Wiccans, etc. for Christians.

    Anyway,I don't censor the Bible and neither does my pastor. He has preached about "sensitive" subjects, even with kids in the service. No need to sanitize the truth!!!

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 9:26 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • I don't approve of censorship and manipulating the historical record to try to prove a point or make an impression.

    Answer by janet116 at 12:32 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • Nope, it's not okay for Christians to censor the Bible, it goes against the Word of God as popzaroo cited.

    Answer by the_kimmers at 1:07 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

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