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No Longer Convinced

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  • No Longer Convinced

    For years and years, I was brought up to believe that "spare the rod and spoil the child" was some kind of a biblical mandate.

    Well its not. Its not a verse its not in the Bible. It says this:
    Proverbs 13:24 “He who spares the rod hates his son. But he who loves him is careful to discipline him.”
    .
    I looked up the word for rod, Its shebet, which is more like a walking stick that shepherds use to guide their sheep not hit them.

    the more I read verses come up like these:

    Proverbs 22:15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it from him.”

    Psalm 94:12 “Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law;”

    Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.”

    Proverbs 6:23 “For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.”

    Proverbs 13:1 “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke.”

    Proverbs 15:5 “A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.”

    Hebrews 12:9 “Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!”

    Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

    Ephesians 6:4 “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

    What it really says is guide our children, not beat them. Obviously something has sparked this. I was thinking about the horrors I have heard and read from the book "To train up a child." And its not an isolated incident. All over the U.S. People are speaking up regarding abuses within the Church body, and it seems to come from areas that misinterpret and twist scripture from either ignorance or personal gain. So I wanted to investigate what these scriptures really said. Guide. Lovingly. Shepherd our children.
    A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
    George Bernard Shaw

  • #2
    Any sort of discipline can become abuse when taken to extremes. I would argue that my stepmother's psychological manipulation did my sister far more harm than spankings administered by my father.
    Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

    Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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    I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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    • #3
      I have difficulty imagining Mary and Joseph beating Jesus or even James, but it would not surprise me all that much if Saul of Tarsus was beaten as a child.
      βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
      ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

      אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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      • #4
        Well, the question then becomes, is it the same type of rod referred to in these verses.

        Proverbs 10:13
        Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

        Proverbs 26:3
        A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Cerebrum123 View Post
          Well, the question then becomes, is it the same type of rod referred to in these verses.

          Proverbs 10:13
          Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning, but a rod is for the back of one who has no sense.

          Proverbs 26:3
          A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the backs of fools!
          I would imagine for couple of reasons, there is a difference in context. First Proverbs is a collection of sayings, which are applicable to individual situations. Secondly Hebraic words hold multiple contexts. But you can also simply say here "Correction" for rod, and it still applies equally. If a person has no sense, you correct their lack of sense. If a person is a fool, you use "Correction" on them too. It doesn't say how. Certainly if you cross reference other places in scripture on children, you shouldn't exasperate them or treat them as a you would a person who is truly a "fool" in the 1st place. I'm convinced certainly that Scripture does not require spanking as a form of shepherding.
          A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
          George Bernard Shaw

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Catholicity View Post
            I would imagine for couple of reasons, there is a difference in context. First Proverbs is a collection of sayings, which are applicable to individual situations. Secondly Hebraic words hold multiple contexts. But you can also simply say here "Correction" for rod, and it still applies equally. If a person has no sense, you correct their lack of sense. If a person is a fool, you use "Correction" on them too. It doesn't say how. Certainly if you cross reference other places in scripture on children, you shouldn't exasperate them or treat them as a you would a person who is truly a "fool" in the 1st place. I'm convinced certainly that Scripture does not require spanking as a form of shepherding.

            Um, the context of the verses I posted make it pretty clear that physical punishment is in view here. A "rod across the back" is indicative of a beating, which was common practice at the time for "correction". It also compares it to the whip being used on a horse, not really any wiggle room that I can see for what you are saying.

            Yes, context is important, but I'm not sure it really helps your case in this situation. If it is indeed the same kind of rod, then it looks like the case for physical punishment is not hard to make at all.

            Proverbs 23:13
            [ Saying 13 ] Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish them with the rod, they will not die.

            Proverbs 29:15
            A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

            The rod is apparently separate from a reprimand, so it seems to me that physical discipline is even more likely to be what is in view here.

            As for not "exasperating" a child, I would think that it's a bit different than a simple spanking. Oh, and I never said anything about requiring spanking. Certain people respond to different punishments in different ways. I know that physical pain never really did anything for me(back before the RSD of course). but I think that others are more likely to respond in a way that is more positive(well, as far as punishments go anyway).

            ETA: This source also describes these verses as corporal punishment, but also notes that misuse of something doesn't invalidate proper use of something. This is a lesson I see too many people not willing to understand. http://www.tektonics.org/af/corppun.php
            Oh, and I know that there are a few people here who don't like JPH's style, but this article doesn't have any "riposte" that I can see.
            Last edited by Cerebrum123; 05-04-2014, 06:16 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by robrecht View Post
              I have difficulty imagining Mary and Joseph beating Jesus or even James, but it would not surprise me all that much if Saul of Tarsus was beaten as a child.
              That tells us nothing except your own biases.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RBerman View Post
                That tells us nothing except your own biases.
                Of course; it was not meant to say anything else. I think Mary and Joseph were probably very good parents. We know much less about Paul's parents, but he did seem to have a bit of a violent streak as a young man, persecuting those with whom he did not agree. Do you disagree?
                βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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                • #9
                  Cerebrum you have it SPOT ON. The proverbs verses are quite obviously referring to the same kind of rod, the same one in the first verse quoted by Catholicity-- it is referring not to guidance but corporal punishment (which is not just for children but was a penal punishment for adults as well).
                  The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by robrecht View Post
                    Of course; it was not meant to say anything else. I think Mary and Joseph were probably very good parents. We know much less about Paul's parents, but he did seem to have a bit of a violent streak as a young man, persecuting those with whom he did not agree. Do you disagree?
                    And Jesus being sinless would have had no need to anything escalating to corporal punishment.

                    As far as Saul, I think it was probably pretty common then to get a spanking every once in a while, and brainy kids tend to get mouthy, so yes, I bet Saul got his backside tanned a few times.
                    The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Dee Dee Warren View Post
                      And Jesus being sinless would have had no need to anything escalating to corporal punishment.
                      That's why I included James too.
                      βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                      ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                      אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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                      • #12
                        Didn't notice that, but it wouldn't surprise me if he got spanked. He likely was fiercely jealous of Jesus.
                        The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dee Dee Warren View Post
                          Didn't notice that, but it wouldn't surprise me if he got spanked. He likely was fiercely jealous of Jesus.
                          Oh, I know, but it's still hard for Catholics to imagine the Blessed Virgin Mary hitting a child.
                          βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
                          ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

                          אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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                          • #14
                            Once again I can make the case "If you punish him with the rod"

                            The rod is well known as a tool of correction for sheep. So if a child walks away, Guide them back.
                            Now, are there cases where a quick swat may be needed? Child dependent/danger/etc.... you can certainly make that case reasonably. But in many cases, is physical discipline even necessary. Also In the Hebrew, I believe the word for "strike" may often simply mean to cause mental anguish. Often times I believe a well thought out punishment can cause more anguish and correction than any physical implementation. Spanking it seems while it can potentially be a tool, is far from a requirement.
                            A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
                            George Bernard Shaw

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                            • #15
                              You failed to deal with the verses posted by Cerebrum. It sounds like you simply want this to be the conclusion. And since it is in Proverbs, making it a requirement is foolhardy, but acting like it isn't an axiom mentioned as helpful in Proverbs is equally so.
                              The State. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

                              sigpic

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