Posted by: CeCe | February 26, 2012

Explicit content in the Bible?

For those who don’t know, I often engage in religious debate online.  It’s just my thing.  I enjoy it, and some might even say that I thrive on it.  I love the feeling I get when someone gets my mind working, and forces me to research a position to defend it, or to abandon it.  I have learned so much through debate, both with theists and atheists.  It’s caused me to look beyond my own worldview, and see things from other perspectives.  I just love it!

But there’s something that often comes up in religious debates, and that is the explicit content in the Bible.  Yes, there is explicit content in the Bible.  It’s not all about God’s love for people, or forgiveness, or righteousness.  There are parts that talk about things that aren’t exactly appropriate for all age groups, which I’ll get to in a moment.

Allow me to digress for a moment (though it is related to the subject at hand), and share a short story.  When I was a child, I actually did read the whole Bible.  Not a children’s paraphrased Bible, the entire Bible.  And I ran across some passages that made me go, “WHOA!  What’s this doing in here?!”  I did take them to some Christians, and most of them dismissed these passages, saying, “Oh they’re not literal” or “oh they’re out of context”, but they would never explain to me how they knew that.  That frustrated me to no end!  Or even worse, they didn’t know the passage existed, and would say that there’s no way such a thing could possibly be in the Bible!

Fast forward more years than I’d like to admit, and I find the same passages being brought up in debate, only this time, I’m on the side trying to explain them.  So, this is probably going to be a series in which I address explicit or difficult passages in the Bible, of which there are many.

So, the first verse I’d like to address is Ezekiel 23:20.  I would say this is mature content only, but I think that there are few kids under the age of 13 who would see this, and although it might get a giggle out of teenagers, it’s no worse than anything taught in sex ed.  Without further ado, I give to you, Ezekiel 23:20 (NIV):
There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses.

WHOA, some of you may be thinking.  That’s in the Bible?  Yes, it sure is.  Now granted, the passage itself is not actually about sex at all, but idolatry, which is likened in this case to prostitution and adultery.  How do I know?  The “she” in this case is revealed in verse 22 as being Oholibah.  Who is Oholibah, other than a person with a very weird name?  The answer is in verse 4, which reads:
The older was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They were mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.

Oh.  So Oholibah isn’t a person at all, but a city.  Since Jerusalem was the location of the Temple, it can be ascertained that in this case, Jerusalem could actually refer to all of Israel (which was a country, a single person, and a people; figure that one out!).  So what is Ezekiel 23 really saying?  It’s saying that all of Israel was engaging in idolatry, and the act was absolutely filthy to God.  It was so filthy, in fact, that Ezekiel was inspired to describe it in the most disgusting terms he could find.  And it is disgusting, isn’t it?

The point of this post is not to prove Christianity or Judaism wrong by any stretch of the imagination, but to call attention to these verses.  They need to be taught in adult Bible studies, so that people aren’t shocked when confronted with them.  The fact of the matter is, not every verse in the Bible is nicey-nice and puppy dogs and rainbows.  Some of it clearly demonstrates the depravities of man.  Ezekiel 23:20 is one such verse, but there are many, many others.

Have any verses you think I should address next?  Please tell me about it in a comment, and I’ll get to it as soon as I can!



  1. […] 23:20 and how it is not about an actual prostitute engaging in whoredoms.  It can be found here:  In this post, I wanted to address one of the most heart-wrenching (and disgusting) parts of the […]

  2. […] I’ve already addressed two difficult passages in the Bible here: and here:, […]

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