In a recent special Near Eastern Archaeology issue on crime and punishment in the Bible and the Near East, Dr. Bruce Wells authored the article, “Sex Crimes in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible.” I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Wells about what constituted as a sex crime according to the Hebrew Bible all those years ago. Although biblical texts identify a range of sexual behavior as illicit, adultery is the only sexual act addressed in the law collections as a crime. Some scholars have argued that the treatment of adultery in biblical law is better and more favorable toward women than that found in the cuneiform law collections; others have argued precisely the opposite. What is more likely is that biblical law is largely in keeping with how ancient Near Eastern societies other than Israel and Judah handled adultery and should not necessarily be evaluated as either better or worse from a modern perspective.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Sex crimes law in HB
ASOR BLOG: Sex Crimes in the Laws of the Hebrew Bible [PODCAST] (Kaitlynn Anderson).