The things that you’re liable to read in the Bible …

… that ain’t necessarily so.

Here is a list of 76 things that the book of Leviticus bans, many of which are punishable by death. It is nice to have all in one place to use as rejoinders to those who obsess about just one on the list (#39) and ignore all the others.

Reading the list, you realize immediately how Leviticus, like the rest of the Bible and other holy books, were written by humans who reflected the thinking of their times, which are pretty silly when viewed in a modern light. It beats me how anyone can think that this rubbish was divinely inspired work that represent timeless truths.

If you leave aside all those whom you should not have sex with (and there are a lot) there are only a handful (5, 6, 9, 10, 38, 44, 45, 47-53, 63, 66, 67, 74, 76) that would be even debatable as moral issues these days.


  1. raven says

    rest of the Bible and other holy books, were written by humans who reflected the thinking of their times, ..

    Probably not even humans who “reflected the thinking of their times.”

    The OT bible looks more like it was written by the Jerry Falwells or Tony Perkins of ancient Judea. I doubt if too many people even back then paid much attention to it.

    1. The OT bible demands death for routine human behaviors, nonvirgin brides, false prophets, adulterers, gays, atheists, sabbath breakers, disobedient children and so on.

    2. It’s estimated that under biblical law, 297 million Americans would end up stoned to death.

    3. Any ancient society that spent it’s time slaughtering each other for no good reasons wouldn’t last. The neighboring tribes would just walk in and take them over.

    4. Which some people have pointed out, is what happened anyway. Still there is no evidence that biblical law ever actually existed except as some figment of an ancient Televangelist equivalent’s mind.

  2. unbound says

    The things that you’re liable to read in the Bible…

    Let’s be honest, the vast majority of Christians don’t actually read the bible…just the passages that cherry-picked for them.

  3. thascius says

    Another fun one is Leviticus 11:35-it the body of an unclean animal (which would include a fly or a cockroach) falls on your oven you are REQUIRED to smash the oven to pieces. How often do fundamentalists buy new stoves?

  4. Trebuchet says

    In honor of number 2, I shall in future be sure to include salt every time I send a check to a church. Of course, I expect that’ll be a long, long, time.

  5. voidhawk says

    “70. Entering a place where there’s a dead body as a priest (21:11)”

    I’ve been in a few deadly dull church services in my time…

  6. voidhawk says

    Actually having looked up the passage, the actual rule is to not enter any room where there’s a dead body, even if it’s yourMother or Father.

  7. says

    Thanks for putting that lovely song in my head, Prof. 🙂 I’ve got the Jimmy Somerville version as an earworm now!

    Still, I suppose an atheist song about how unreliable the Yahweh holy books are is better than “California Girls”, and I don’t mean the Beach Boys. 🙁

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