Friday, February 22, 2013

Research on the use of the word "rights" in Bible Translations


The political/economic notion of  individual human "rights" is fairly new on the stage of  history. The presupposition that such rights exist has influenced the translation of the Bible in modern times.  The following are the results of a computer search of English translations for the term "rights" in order to find out when this term came into use for Bible Translation as well as what the implications may be for the acceptability of some modern translations.

Search done using Biblegateway, results from that database. For background Wikipedia has a fairly complete list of English Bible translations and dates of publication.

ASV 1901, KJV, KJV21, Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition, Young's Literal Translation
No Results

Darby
2 Results
  1. Exodus 21:10 If he take himself another, her food, her clothing, and her conjugal rights he shall not diminish.
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:6 not overstepping the rights of and wronging his brother in the matter, because the Lord [is] the avenger of all these things, even as we also told you before, and have fully testified.

JB Phillips NT 1962
3 Results: 2 Translated, 1 Interpretive Heading
  1. 1 Corinthians 9:7-9 [ Even a preacher of the Gospel has some rights! ] Just think for a moment. Does any soldier ever go to war at his own expense? Does any man plant a vineyard and have no share in its fruits? Does the shepherd who tends the flock never taste the milk? This is, I know, an argument from everyday life, but it is a principle endorsed by the Law. For is it not written in the Law of Moses: ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain’.
  2. 1 Corinthians 7:3-5 The husband should give his wife what is due to her as his wife, and the wife should be as fair to her husband. The wife has no longer full rights over her own person, but shares them with her husband. In the same way the husband shares his personal rights with his wife. Do not cheat each other of normal sexual intercourse, unless of course you both decide to abstain temporarily to make special opportunity for fasting and prayer. But afterwards you should resume relations as before, or you will expose yourselves to the obvious temptation of the devil.

NKJV 1982
2 Results: 1 Translated, 1 Interpretive Heading
  1. Exodus 21:10 If he takes another wife, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marriage rights.
  2. Deuteronomy 21:15 [ Firstborn Inheritance Rights ] “If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, and if the firstborn son is of her who is unloved,


NIV 1984
19 results: 18 Translated, 1 Interpretive Heading
  1. Exodus 21:9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter.
  2. Exodus 21:10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.
  3. Deuteronomy 21:16 when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love.
  4. 1 Chronicles 5:1 [ Reuben ] The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright,
  5. 1 Chronicles 5:2 and though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph)—
  6. Job 36:6 He does not keep the wicked alive but gives the afflicted their rights.
  7. Psalm 82:3 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
  8. Proverbs 31:5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
  9. Proverbs 31:8 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
  10. Proverbs 31:9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
  11. Ecclesiastes 5:8 [ Riches Are Meaningless ] If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.
  12. Isaiah 10:2 to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.
  13. Jeremiah 5:28 and have grown fat and sleek. Their evil deeds have no limit; they do not plead the case of the fatherless to win it, they do not defend the rights of the poor.
  14. Lamentations 3:35 to deny a man his rights before the Most High,
  15. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ The Rights of an Apostle ] Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?
  16. 1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me. I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of this boast.
  17. 1 Corinthians 9:18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it.
  18. Galatians 4:5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.
  19. Hebrews 12:16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.

TNIV 2005
20 Results: 19 Translated, 1 Interpretive Heading
  1. Exodus 21:9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter.
  2. Exodus 21:10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.
  3. Deuteronomy 21:16 when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love.
  4. 1 Samuel 8:9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
  5. 1 Samuel 8:11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.
  6. 1 Samuel 10:25 Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the LORD. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes.
  7. 1 Chronicles 5:1 [ Reuben ] The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright,
  8. 1 Chronicles 5:2 and though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph)—
  9. Job 36:6 He does not keep the wicked alive but gives the afflicted their rights.
  10. Proverbs 31:5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
  11. Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
  12. Proverbs 31:9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
  13. Ecclesiastes 5:8 [ Riches Are Meaningless ] If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.
  14. Isaiah 10:2 to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.
  15. Lamentations 3:35 to deny people their rights before the Most High,
  16. 1 Corinthians 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
  17. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ Paul’s Rights as an Apostle ] Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?
  18. 1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast.
  19. 1 Corinthians 9:18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not misuse my rights as a preacher of the gospel.
  20. Hebrews 12:16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.

NIV 2011
20 Results
  1. Exodus 21:9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter.
  2. Exodus 21:10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights.
  3. Deuteronomy 21:16 when he wills his property to his sons, he must not give the rights of the firstborn to the son of the wife he loves in preference to his actual firstborn, the son of the wife he does not love.
  4. 1 Samuel 8:9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”
  5. 1 Samuel 8:11 He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.
  6. 1 Samuel 10:25 Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of kingship. He wrote them down on a scroll and deposited it before the LORD. Then Samuel dismissed the people to go to their own homes.
  7. 1 Chronicles 5:1 [ Reuben ] The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright,
  8. 1 Chronicles 5:2 and though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph)—
  9. Job 36:6 He does not keep the wicked alive but gives the afflicted their rights.
  10. Proverbs 31:5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
  11. Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
  12. Proverbs 31:9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
  13. Ecclesiastes 5:8 [ Riches Are Meaningless ] If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still.
  14. Isaiah 10:2 to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.
  15. Lamentations 3:35 to deny people their rights before the Most High,ns
  16. 1 Corinthians 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
  17. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ Paul’s Rights as an Apostle ] Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?
  18. 1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast.
  19. 1 Corinthians 9:18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.
  20. Hebrews 12:16 See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.

GWN 1995
33 Results
  1. Genesis 25:31 Jacob responded, “First, sell me your rights as firstborn.”
  2. Genesis 25:33 “First, swear an oath,” Jacob said. So Esau swore an oath to him and sold him his rights as firstborn.
  3. Genesis 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau a meal of bread and lentils. He ate and drank, and then he got up and left. This is how Esau showed his contempt for his rights as firstborn.
  4. Genesis 27:36 Esau said, “Isn’t that why he’s named Jacob? He’s cheated me twice already: He took my rights as firstborn, and now he’s taken my blessing.” So he asked, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”
  5. Numbers 36:1 [ The Rights of Women to Inherit Land ] The heads of the households whose families were descended from Gilead, son of Machir and grandson of Manasseh, (families of Joseph’s descendants) came and spoke to Moses and the leaders of the other Israelite households.
  6. Deuteronomy 21:17 Instead, he must recognize the son of the wife he doesn’t love as the firstborn. He must give that son a double portion of whatever he owns. That son is the very first son he had. The rights of the firstborn son are his.
  7. Ruth 4:6 The man replied, “In that case I cannot assume responsibility for her. If I did, I would ruin my inheritance. Take all my rights to buy back the property for yourself, because I cannot assume that responsibility.”
  8. 1 Samuel 8:9 Listen to them now, but be sure to warn them and tell them about the rights of a king.”
  9. 1 Samuel 8:11 Samuel said, “These are the rights of a king: He will draft your sons, make them serve on his chariots and horses, and make them run ahead of his chariots.
  10. 1 Chronicles 5:1 [ Reuben’s Descendants ] These are the sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn. (Although he was the firstborn, his rights as firstborn were given to his nephews, Joseph’s sons, because he dishonored his father’s bed. However, Joseph couldn’t be listed in the genealogy as the firstborn son.
  11. 1 Chronicles 5:2 Even though Judah was more prominent than his brothers and the prince was to come from him, Joseph received the rights as firstborn.)
  12. Job 27:2 “I swear an oath by God, the one who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty, who has made my life bitter:
  13. Job 31:13 “If I have abused the rights of my servants, male or female, when they have disagreed with me,
  14. Job 34:5 because Job has said, ‘I’m righteous, but God has taken away my rights.
  15. Job 34:6 I’m considered a liar in spite of my rights. I’ve been wounded by a deadly arrow, though I haven’t been disobedient.’
  16. Psalm 82:3 Defend weak people and orphans. Protect the rights of the oppressed and the poor.
  17. Psalm 140:12 I know that the Lord will defend the rights of those who are oppressed and the cause of those who are needy.
  18. Proverbs 22:22 [ Living With Your Neighbor ] Do not rob the poor because they are poor or trample on the rights of an oppressed person at the city gate,
  19. Proverbs 31:8 “Speak out for the one who cannot speak, for the rights of those who are doomed.
  20. Proverbs 31:9 Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people.”
  21. Ecclesiastes 5:8 [ Corrupt Officials Have Corrupt Officials Over Them ] Don’t be surprised if you see poor people being oppressed, denied justice, or denied their rights in any district. One authority is watching over another, and they both have authorities watching over them.
  22. Isaiah 5:23 who declare the guilty innocent for a bribe, who take away the rights of righteous people.
  23. Isaiah 10:2 They deprive the poor of justice. They take away the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and rob orphans.
  24. Isaiah 40:27 Jacob, why do you complain? Israel, why do you say, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my rights are ignored by my God”?
  25. Jeremiah 5:28 They grow big and fat. Their evil deeds have no limits. They have no respect for the rights of others. They have no respect for the rights of orphans. But they still prosper. They don’t defend the rights of the poor.
  1. Jeremiah 32:8 “Then, as the Lord had said, my cousin Hanamel came to me in the courtyard of the prison. He said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is in Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. It is your responsibility to purchase it, because the rights of the closest relative belong to you. Buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that the Lord had spoken to me.
  2. Lamentations 3:35 deny people their rights in the presence of the Most High God,
  3. Malachi 3:5 “I will come to judge you. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers, lying witnesses, and those who cheat workers out of their wages and oppress widows and orphans. I will also testify against those who deprive foreigners of their rights. None of them fear me,” says the Lord of Armies.
  4. 1 Corinthians 9:6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who don’t have any rights, except to find work to support ourselves?
  5. 1 Corinthians 9:12 If others have the right to expect this from you, don’t we deserve even more? But we haven’t used our rights. Instead, we would put up with anything in order not to hinder the Good News of Christ in any way.
  6. 1 Corinthians 9:15 I haven’t used any of these rights, and I haven’t written this in order to use them now. I would rather die than have anyone turn my bragging into meaningless words.
  7. 1 Corinthians 9:18 So what is my reward? It is to spread the Good News free of charge. In that way I won’t use the rights that belong to those who spread the Good News.
  8. Hebrews 12:16 Make sure that no one commits sexual sin or is as concerned about earthly things as Esau was. He sold his rights as the firstborn son for a single meal.

CEB 2011 Common English Bible
18 Results +4Apocrypha
  1. Genesis 25:27 [ Jacob acquires the oldest son’s rights ] When the young men grew up, Esau became an outdoorsman who knew how to hunt, and Jacob became a quiet man who stayed at home.
  2. Exodus 21:9 If he assigns her to his son, he must give her the rights of a daughter.
  3. Exodus 21:10 If he takes another woman for himself, he may not reduce her food, clothing, or marital rights.
  4. Deuteronomy 21:17 Instead, he must acknowledge the unloved wife’s son as the oldest male, giving to him two-thirds of everything that he owns, because that son is the earliest produce of his physical power. The oldest male’s rights belong to that son.
  5. Deuteronomy 24:17 [ Rights of widows, orphans, and immigrants ] Don’t obstruct the legal rights of an immigrant or orphan. Don’t take a widow’s coat as pledge for a loan.
  6. Deuteronomy 27:19 “Cursed is anyone who obstructs the legal rights of immigrants, orphans, or widows.” All the people will reply: “We agree!”
  7. Proverbs 29:7 The righteous know the rights of the poor, but the wicked don’t understand.
  8. Proverbs 31:5 Otherwise, they will drink and forget the law, and violate the rights of the needy.
  9. Proverbs 31:8 Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.
  10. Isaiah 5:23 who spare the guilty for bribes, and rob the innocent of their rights.
  11. Isaiah 10:2 to deprive the needy of their rights and to rob the poor among my people of justice; to make widows their loot; to steal from orphans!
  12. Jeremiah 5:28 and have grown fat and sleek! To be sure, their evil deeds exceed all limits, and yet they prosper. They are indifferent to the plight of the orphan, reluctant to defend the rights of the poor.
  13. Jeremiah 22:16 He defended the rights of the poor and needy; then it went well. Isn’t that what it means to know me? declares the LORD.
  14. Ezekiel 22:7 In you they treat father and mother with contempt. In you they oppress immigrants and deny the rights of orphans and widows.
  15. Hosea 5:11 Ephraim is under pressure from its enemies; Ephraim’s rights aren’t protected. This is because Ephraim chose to pursue worthless things.
  16. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ Waiving rights for the gospel ] Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord? Aren’t you my work in the Lord?
  17. 1 Corinthians 9:12 If others have these rights over you, don’t we deserve them all the more? However, we haven’t made use of this right, but we put up with everything so we don’t put any obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.
  18. 1 Corinthians 9:18 What reward do I get? That when I preach, I offer the good news free of charge. That’s why I don’t use the rights to which I’m entitled through the gospel.
  19. 1 Maccabees 8:32 If they appeal now again for help against you, we will defend their rights and fight you on both sea and land.”
  20. 2 Maccabees 11:14 and persuaded them to come to a just settlement in all issues concerning civil rights. He also persuaded them that he would convince the king to become their friend.
  21. 2 Maccabees 11:35 Lysias the king’s relative has handed rights over to you, and we agree.
  22. 2 Maccabees 13:23 Meanwhile, he received news that Philip (left in charge of the government in Antioch) had rebelled. He was entirely caught off guard, and so offered reconciliation to the Jews, accepted their terms, swore to respect all their rights, and reached a settlement. He also offered a sacrifice, honored the temple, and was generous toward the place.

Complete Jewish Bible 1998
17 Results
  1. Genesis 25:31 Ya‘akov answered, “First sell me your rights as the firstborn.”
  2. Genesis 25:32 “Look, I’m about to die!” said ‘Esav. “What use to me are my rights as the firstborn?”
  3. Genesis 30:21 After this, she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah [controversy over rights].
  4. Exodus 21:10 If he marries another wife, he is not to reduce her food, clothing or marital rights.
  5. Deuteronomy 23:1 “A man is not to take his father’s wife, thus violating his father’s rights.
  6. Deuteronomy 27:20 “‘A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his father’s wife, because he has violated his father’s rights.’ All the people are to say, ‘Amen!’
  7. Isaiah 10:2 to deprive the impoverished of justice and rob my people’s poor of their rights, looting widows and preying on orphans!
  8. Isaiah 40:27 Why do you complain, Ya‘akov; why do you say, Isra’el, “My way is hidden from ADONAI, my rights are ignored by my God”?
  9. Jeremiah 3:19 “‘“I thought that I would like to put you among the sons [with inheritance rights] and give you a pleasant land, the best heritage of all the nations. I thought that you would call me ‘My father’ and never stop following me.
  10. Malachi 3:5 “Then I will approach you for judgment; and I will be quick to witness against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers; against those who take advantage of wage-earners, widows and orphans; against those who rob the foreigner of his rights and don’t fear me,” says ADONAI-Tzva’ot.
  11. Psalm 82:3 Give justice to the weak and fatherless! Uphold the rights of the wretched and poor!
  12. Psalm 140:13 I know that ADONAI gives justice to the poor and maintains the rights of the needy.
  13. Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves, for the rights of all who need an advocate.
  14. Ecclesiastes 5:7 If you see the poor oppressed, rights violated and justice perverted in the province, don’t be surprised; for a high official has one higher watching him, and there are others above them.
  15. 1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have not made use of any of these rights. Nor am I writing now to secure them for myself, for I would rather die than be deprived of my ground for boasting!
  16. 1 Corinthians 9:18 So then, what is my reward? Just this: that in proclaiming the Good News I can make it available free of charge, without making use of the rights to which it entitles me.
  17. Hebrews 12:16 and that no one is sexually immoral, or godless like Esav, who in exchange for a single meal gave up his rights as the firstborn.
Contemporary English Version 1995
12 Results
  1. Genesis 25:27 [ Esau Sells His Rights as the First-Born Son ] As Jacob and Esau grew older, Esau liked the outdoors and became a good hunter, while Jacob settled down and became a shepherd.
  2. Genesis 25:31 Jacob replied, “Sell me your rights as the first-born son.”
  3. Genesis 25:32 “I’m about to die,” Esau answered. “What good will those rights do me?”
  4. Genesis 25:34 Jacob then gave Esau some bread and some of the bean stew, and when Esau had finished eating and drinking, he just got up and left, showing how little he thought of his rights as the first-born.
  5. Genesis 27:36 Esau replied, “My brother deserves the name Jacob, because he has already cheated me twice. The first time he cheated me out of my rights as the first-born son, and now he has cheated me out of my blessing.” Then Esau asked his father, “Don’t you still have any blessing left for me?”
  6. Deuteronomy 10:18 The LORD defends the rights of orphans and widows. He cares for foreigners and gives them food and clothing.
  7. Deuteronomy 21:15-17 [ Rights of a First-Born Son ] Moses said to Israel: Suppose a man has two wives and loves one more than the other. The first son of either wife is the man’s first-born son, even if the boy’s mother is the wife the man doesn’t love. Later, when the man is near death and is dividing up his property, he must give a double share to his first-born son, simply because he was the first to be born.
  8. 1 Samuel 10:25 Samuel explained the rights and duties of a king and wrote them all in a book. He put the book in a temple building at one of the places where the LORD was worshiped. Then Samuel sent everyone home.
  9. 1 Chronicles 5:1 [ The Descendants of Reuben ] Reuben was the oldest son of Jacob, but he lost his rights as the first-born son because he slept with one of his father’s wives. The honor of the first-born son was then given to Joseph,
  10. Psalm 146:9 and looks after strangers. He defends the rights of orphans and widows, but destroys the wicked.
  11. Proverbs 29:7 The wicked don’t care about the rights of the poor, but good people do.
  12. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ The Rights of an Apostle ] I am free. I am an apostle. I have seen the Lord Jesus and have led you to have faith in him.


Good News Version with Apocrypha 1992
36 Results +2 Apocrypha
  1. Genesis 25:27 [ Esau Sells His Rights as the First-Born Son ] The boys grew up, and Esau became a skilled hunter, a man who loved the outdoors, but Jacob was a quiet man who stayed at home.
  2. Genesis 25:31 Jacob answered, I will give it to you if you give me your rights as the first-born son.
  3. Genesis 25:32 Esau said, All right! I am about to die; what good will my rights do me?
  4. Genesis 25:33 Jacob answered, First make a vow that you will give me your rights. Esau made the vow and gave his rights to Jacob.
  5. Genesis 25:34 Then Jacob gave him some bread and some of the soup. He ate and drank and then got up and left. That was all Esau cared about his rights as the first-born son.
  6. Genesis 27:36 Esau said, This is the second time that he has cheated me. No wonder his name is Jacob. He took my rights as the first-born son, and now he has taken away my blessing. Haven't you saved a blessing for me?
  7. Exodus 21:10 If a man takes a second wife, he must continue to give his first wife the same amount of food and clothing and the same rights that she had before.
  8. Deuteronomy 17:8 It may be that some cases will be too difficult for the local judges to decide, such as certain cases of property rights or of bodily injury or those cases that involve a distinction between murder and manslaughter. When this happens, go to the one place of worship chosen by the Lord your God,
  9. Deuteronomy 24:17 Do not deprive foreigners and orphans of their rights; and do not take a widow's garment as security for a loan.
  10. Deuteronomy 27:19 God's curse on anyone who deprives foreigners, orphans, and widows of their rights. And all the people will answer, Amen!
  11. 1 Samuel 10:25 Samuel explained to the people the rights and duties of a king, and then wrote them in a book, which he deposited in a holy place. Then he sent everyone home.
  12. 1 Chronicles 5:1 [ The Descendants of Reuben ] These are the descendants of Reuben, the oldest of Jacob's sons. (Because he had sex with one of his father's concubines, he lost the rights belonging to the first-born son, and those rights were given to Joseph.
  13. 2 Chronicles 28:19 Because King Ahaz of Judah had violated the rights of his people and had defied the Lord, the Lord brought troubles on Judah.
  14. 1 Maccabees 11:34 I confirm their rights to the land of Judea and the three regions of Ephraim, Lydda, and Arimathea, which are hereby annexed to Judea from Samaria with all the lands belonging to them. This will be of benefit to everyone who goes to Jerusalem to offer sacrifice, since payments of the annual tax on produce and fruit from these lands will no longer be made to the king, but to the Temple.
  15. Job 24:4 They prevent the poor from getting their rights and force the needy to run and hide.
  16. Psalm 82:3 Defend the rights of the poor and the orphans; be fair to the needy and the helpless.
  17. Psalm 103:6 The Lord judges in favor of the oppressed and gives them their rights.
  18. Psalm 140:12 Lord, I know that you defend the cause of the poor and the rights of the needy.
  19. Proverbs 29:7 A good person knows the rights of the poor, but wicked people cannot understand such things.
  20. Proverbs 29:14 If a king defends the rights of the poor, he will rule for a long time.
  21. Proverbs 31:5 When they drink, they forget the laws and ignore the rights of people in need.
  22. Proverbs 31:8 Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless.
  23. Proverbs 31:9 Speak for them and be a righteous judge. Protect the rights of the poor and needy.
  24. Ecclesiastes 5:8 [ Life Is Useless ] Don't be surprised when you see that the government oppresses the poor and denies them justice and their rights. Every official is protected by someone higher, and both are protected by still higher officials.
  25. Sirach 4:22 Do not let others have their way at your expense; do not bring on your own ruin by giving up your rights.
  1. Isaiah 1:17 and learn to do right. See that justice is done—help those who are oppressed, give orphans their rights, and defend widows.
  2. Isaiah 10:2 That is how you keep the poor from having their rights and from getting justice. That is how you take the property that belongs to widows and orphans.
  3. Isaiah 11:4 he will judge the poor fairly and defend the rights of the helpless. At his command the people will be punished, and evil persons will die.
  4. Isaiah 32:7 A stupid person is evil and does evil things; he plots to ruin the poor with lies and to keep them from getting their rights.
  5. Jeremiah 5:28 why they are fat and well fed. There is no limit to their evil deeds. They do not give orphans their rights or show justice to the oppressed.
  6. Lamentations 3:35 He knows when we are denied the rights he gave us;
  7. Amos 5:7 You are doomed, you that twist justice and cheat people out of their rights!
  8. Luke 18:3 And there was a widow in that same town who kept coming to him and pleading for her rights, saying, Help me against my opponent!
  9. Luke 18:5 yet because of all the trouble this widow is giving me, I will see to it that she gets her rights. If I don't, she will keep on coming and finally wear me out!
  10. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ Rights and Duties of an Apostle ] Am I not a free man? Am I not an apostle? Haven't I seen Jesus our Lord? And aren't you the result of my work for the Lord?
  11. 1 Corinthians 9:15 But I haven't made use of any of these rights, nor am I writing this now in order to claim such rights for myself. I would rather die first! Nobody is going to turn my rightful boast into empty words!
  12. 1 Corinthians 9:18 What pay do I get, then? It is the privilege of preaching the Good News without charging for it, without claiming my rights in my work for the gospel.
  13. Hebrews 12:16 Let no one become immoral or unspiritual like Esau, who for a single meal sold his rights as the older son.


NASB 1995
10 Results
9 Translated 1 as a an interpretive heading
  1. Exodus 21:10 If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights.
  2. Exodus 22:1 [ Property Rights ] “ If a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.
  3. Leviticus 25:31 The houses of the villages, however, which have no surrounding wall shall be considered as open fields; they have redemption rights and revert in the jubilee.
  4. Proverbs 29:7 The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern.
  5. Proverbs 31:5 For they will drink and forget what is decreed, And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
  6. Proverbs 31:8 Open your mouth for the mute, For the rights of all the unfortunate.
  7. Proverbs 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
  8. Isaiah 5:23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away the rights of the ones who are in the right!
  9. Isaiah 10:2 So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans.
  10. Jeremiah 5:28 ‘They are fat, they are sleek, They also excel in deeds of wickedness; They do not plead the cause, The cause of the orphan, that they may prosper; And they do not defend the rights of the poor.

ESV 2001
11 Results
  1. Exodus 21:10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.
  2. Deuteronomy 21:15 [ Inheritance Rights of the Firstborn ] “If a man has two wives, the one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved have borne him children, and if the firstborn son belongs to the unloved,
  3. 1 Samuel 10:25 Then Samuel told the people the rights and duties of the kingship, and he wrote them in a book and laid it up before the LORD. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each one to his home.
  4. Proverbs 29:7 A righteous man knows the rights of the poor; a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
  5. Proverbs 31:5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
  6. Proverbs 31:8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.
  7. Proverbs 31:9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
  8. Jeremiah 5:28 they have grown fat and sleek. They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.
  9. 1 Corinthians 7:3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.
  10. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ Paul Surrenders His Rights ] Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are not you my workmanship in the Lord?
  11. 1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting.

Wycliffe 2001 Terrence Noble
7 Results
  1. Genesis 25:31 And Jacob said to him, Sell to me the right(s) of the first begotten child. (And Jacob said to him, First sell me thy birthright/First sell me the rights of the first-born child.)
  2. Exodus 21:10 and if he take with this handmaid another woman, or wife, to his son, he shall purvey to the (first) damsel, or handmaid, weddings, and clothes, and he shall not deny her the price of (her) chastity, that is, the hour of yielding debt. (but if he get another wife, besides this woman, for his son, he shall still give this young woman her wedding, and her clothes, and he shall not deny her the rights of her marriage bed.)
  3. Deuteronomy 21:17 but he shall know the son of the hateful wife to be his first begotten son, and he shall give to that son all things double of those things that he hath; for this son is the beginning of his free children, and the first engendered things be due to him. (but he shall acknowledge the son of the hated wife to be his first-born son, and he shall give double to that son of all the things that he hath; for this son is the first of his children, and the rights of the first-born son be due to him.)
  4. Deuteronomy 27:19 He is cursed that perverteth the doom of a comeling, of a fatherless, either motherless child, and of a widow; and all the people shall say, Amen! (Cursed is anyone who withholdeth justice, or their rights, from the newcomer, the fatherless or the motherless child, and the widow; and all the people shall say, Amen!)
  5. Judges 11:24 Whether not those things which Chemosh, thy god, had in possession, be due to thee by right? Soothly those things which the Lord our God (the) overcomer hath gotten, shall fall into our possession; (Be not those things which Chemosh, thy god, had in possession, by rights be due to thee? And likewise, those things which the Lord our God the Overcomer hath taken, they shall be ours;)
  6. 1 Samuel 8:9 Now therefore hear thou their voice; nevertheless witness thou to them; and before-say thou to them the right of the king, that shall reign upon them (and tell thou them, the rights of the king who shall reign over them).
  7. Esther 1:13 and he asked the wise men, which by the king’s custom were ever with him, and he did all things by the counsel of them, that knew the law and the rights of greatest men; (and he asked his wise men about this, who by the king’s custom were always with him, and he did everything after their counsel, for they knew the law and the rights of the people;)
The Message 2002
21 Results
  1. Genesis 25:31 Jacob said, "Make me a trade: my stew for your rights as the firstborn."
  2. Genesis 25:33-34 Jacob said, "First, swear to me." And he did it. On oath Esau traded away his rights as the firstborn. Jacob gave him bread and the stew of lentils. He ate and drank, got up and left. That's how Esau shrugged off his rights as the firstborn.
  3. Exodus 21:7-11 "When a man sells his daughter to be a handmaid, she doesn't go free after six years like the men. If she doesn't please her master, her family must buy her back; her master doesn't have the right to sell her to foreigners since he broke his word to her. If he turns her over to his son, he has to treat her like a daughter. If he marries another woman, she retains all her full rights to meals, clothing, and marital relations. If he won't do any of these three things for her, she goes free, for nothing.
  4. Deuteronomy 21:15-17 When a man has two wives, one loved and the other hated, and they both give him sons, but the firstborn is from the hated wife, at the time he divides the inheritance with his sons he must not treat the son of the loved wife as the firstborn, cutting out the son of the hated wife, who is the actual firstborn. No, he must acknowledge the inheritance rights of the real firstborn, the son of the hated wife, by giving him a double share of the inheritance: that son is the first proof of his virility; the rights of the firstborn belong to him.
  5. Deuteronomy 22:30 A man may not marry his father's ex-wife—that would violate his father's rights.
  6. Deuteronomy 24:17-18 Make sure foreigners and orphans get their just rights. Don't take the cloak of a widow as security for a loan. Don't ever forget that you were once slaves in Egypt and God, your God, got you out of there. I command you: Do what I'm telling you.
  7. Joshua 14:3-4 Moses had given the two and a half tribes their inheritance east of the Jordan, but hadn't given an inheritance to the Levites, as he had to the others. Because the sons of Joseph had become two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, they gave no allotment to the Levites; but they did give them cities to live in with pasture rights for their flocks and herds.
  8. Ruth 3:10-13 He said, "God bless you, my dear daughter! What a splendid expression of love! And when you could have had your pick of any of the young men around. And now, my dear daughter, don't you worry about a thing; I'll do all you could want or ask. Everybody in town knows what a courageous woman you are— a real prize! You're right, I am a close relative to you, but there is one even closer than I am. So stay the rest of the night. In the morning, if he wants to exercise his customary rights and responsibilities as the closest covenant redeemer, he'll have his chance; but if he isn't interested, as God lives, I'll do it. Now go back to sleep until morning."
  9. Ruth 4:3-4 Boaz then said to his relative, "The piece of property that belonged to our relative Elimelech is being sold by his widow Naomi, who has just returned from the country of Moab. I thought you ought to know about it. Buy it back if you want it—you can make it official in the presence of those sitting here and before the town elders. You have first redeemer rights. If you don't want it, tell me so I'll know where I stand. You're first in line to do this and I'm next after you." He said, "I'll buy it."
  10. Ruth 4:6 Then the relative said, "Oh, I can't do that—I'd jeopardize my own family's inheritance. You go ahead and buy it—you can have my rights— I can't do it."
  11. 1 Chronicles 5:1-2 [ The Family of Reuben ] The family of Reuben the firstborn of Israel: Though Reuben was Israel's firstborn, after he slept with his father's concubine, a defiling act, his rights as the firstborn were passed on to the sons of Joseph son of Israel. He lost his "firstborn" place in the family tree. And even though Judah became the strongest of his brothers and King David eventually came from that family, the firstborn rights stayed with Joseph.
  12. Job 36:5-15 "It's true that God is all-powerful, but he doesn't bully innocent people. For the wicked, though, it's a different story— he doesn't give them the time of day, but champions the rights of their victims. He never takes his eyes off the righteous; he honors them lavishly, promotes them endlessly. When things go badly, when affliction and suffering descend, God tells them where they've gone wrong, shows them how their pride has caused their trouble. He forces them to heed his warning, tells them they must repent of their bad life. If they obey and serve him, they'll have a good, long life on easy street. But if they disobey, they'll be cut down in their prime and never know the first thing about life. Angry people without God pile grievance upon grievance, always blaming others for their troubles. Living it up in sexual excesses, virility wasted, they die young. But those who learn from their suffering, God delivers from their suffering.
  13. Psalm 140:12-13 I know that you, God, are on the side of victims, that you care for the rights of the poor. And I know that the righteous personally thank you, that good people are secure in your presence.
  14. Proverbs 31:8-9 "Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers. Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!"
  15. Isaiah 5:21-23 Doom to you who think you're so smart, who hold such a high opinion of yourselves! All you're good at is drinking—champion boozers who collect trophies from drinking bouts And then line your pockets with bribes from the guilty while you violate the rights of the innocent.
  16. Daniel 9:9-12 "'Compassion is our only hope, the compassion of you, the Master, our God, since in our rebellion we've forfeited our rights. We paid no attention to you when you told us how to live, the clear teaching that came through your servants the prophets. All of us in Israel ignored what you said. We defied your instructions and did what we pleased. And now we're paying for it: The solemn curse written out plainly in the revelation to God's servant Moses is now doing its work among us, the wages of our sin against you. You did to us and our rulers what you said you would do: You brought this catastrophic disaster on us, the worst disaster on record—and in Jerusalem!
  17. Matthew 5:31-32 "Remember the Scripture that says, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him do it legally, giving her divorce papers and her legal rights'? Too many of you are using that as a cover for selfishness and whim, pretending to be righteous just because you are 'legal.' Please, no more pretending. If you divorce your wife, you're responsible for making her an adulteress (unless she has already made herself that by sexual promiscuity). And if you marry such a divorced adulteress, you're automatically an adulterer yourself. You can't use legal cover to mask a moral failure.
  18. Luke 12:49-53 [ To Start a Fire ] "I've come to start a fire on this earth—how I wish it were blazing right now! I've come to change everything, turn everything rightside up—how I long for it to be finished! Do you think I came to smooth things over and make everything nice? Not so. I've come to disrupt and confront! From now on, when you find five in a house, it will be— Three against two, and two against three; Father against son, and son against father; Mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; Mother-in-law against bride, and bride against mother-in-law."
  19. Luke 18:1-3 [ The Story of the Persistent Widow ] Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, "There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: 'My rights are being violated. Protect me!'
  20. 1 Corinthians 7:2-6 Certainly—but only within a certain context. It's good for a man to have a wife, and for a woman to have a husband. Sexual drives are strong, but marriage is strong enough to contain them and provide for a balanced and fulfilling sexual life in a world of sexual disorder. The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality—the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband. Marriage is not a place to "stand up for your rights." Marriage is a decision to serve the other, whether in bed or out. Abstaining from sex is permissible for a period of time if you both agree to it, and if it's for the purposes of prayer and fasting—but only for such times. Then come back together again. Satan has an ingenious way of tempting us when we least expect it. I'm not, understand, commanding these periods of abstinence—only providing my best counsel if you should choose them.
  21. James 2:5-7 Listen, dear friends. Isn't it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world's down-and-out as the kingdom's first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn't it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren't they the ones who scorn the new name—"Christian"—used in your baptisms?

Easy-to-Read Version 2006
17 Results
  1. Genesis 25:31 But Jacob said, “You must sell me your rights as the firstborn son.”
  2. Genesis 25:32 Esau said, “I am almost dead with hunger, so what good are these rights to me now?”
  3. Genesis 25:33 But Jacob said, “First, promise me that you will give them to me.” So Esau made an oath to him and sold his rights as the firstborn son to Jacob.
  4. Genesis 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil soup. Esau ate the food, had something to drink, and then left. So Esau showed that he did not care about his rights as the firstborn son.
  5. Genesis 27:36 Esau said, “His name is Jacob. That is the right name for him. He has tricked me twice. He took away my rights as the firstborn son. And now he has taken away my blessing.” Then Esau said, “Have you saved any blessing for me?”
  6. Leviticus 25:15 If you want to buy your neighbor’s land, count the number of years since the last Jubilee, and use that number to decide the right price. You are only buying the rights for harvesting crops until the next Jubilee.
  7. Deuteronomy 21:16 When the man divides his property among his children, he cannot give the rights of the firstborn to the son of his favorite wife.
  8. Psalm 82:3 “Defend the poor and orphans. Protect the rights of the poor.
  9. Proverbs 31:5 They may drink too much and forget what the law says. Then they might take away the rights of the poor.
  10. Proverbs 31:9 Stand up for what you know is right, and judge all people fairly. Protect the rights of the poor and those who need help.
  11. Ecclesiastes 5:8 [ For Every Ruler There Is a Ruler ] In some country you will see poor people who are forced to work very hard. You will see that this is not fair to them. It is against their rights. But don’t be surprised! The ruler who forces them to work has another ruler who forces him. And there is still another ruler who forces both of these rulers.
  12. Isaiah 10:2 They are not fair to the poor. They take away the rights of the poor and allow people to steal from widows and orphans.
  13. Luke 18:3 In that same town there was a woman whose husband had died. She came many times to this judge and said, ‘There is a man who is doing bad things to me. Give me my rights!’
  14. Acts 8:33 He was shamed, and all his rights were taken away. His life on earth has ended. So there will be no story about his descendants.”
  15. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ Rights That Paul Has Not Used ] I am a free man. I am an apostle. I have seen Jesus our Lord. You people are an example of my work in the Lord.
  16. 1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have not used any of these rights, and I am not trying to get anything from you. That is not my purpose for writing this. I would rather die than to have someone take away what for me is a great source of pride.
  17. 1 Corinthians 9:18 So what do I get for doing it? My reward is that when I tell people the Good News I can offer it to them for free and not use the rights that come with doing this work.

New Living Translation 2007 Tyndale
25 Results
  1. Genesis 25:31 “All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.”
  2. Genesis 25:33 But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob.
  3. Genesis 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.
  4. Genesis 26:12 [ Conflict over Water Rights ] When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the LORD blessed him.
  5. Genesis 27:36 Esau exclaimed, “No wonder his name is Jacob, for now he has cheated me twice. First he took my rights as the firstborn, and now he has stolen my blessing. Oh, haven’t you saved even one blessing for me?”
  6. Genesis 31:15 He has reduced our rights to those of foreign women. And after he sold us, he wasted the money you paid him for us.
  7. Exodus 21:10 “If a man who has married a slave wife takes another wife for himself, he must not neglect the rights of the first wife to food, clothing, and sexual intimacy.
  8. Deuteronomy 21:15 [ Rights of the Firstborn ] “Suppose a man has two wives, but he loves one and not the other, and both have given him sons. And suppose the firstborn son is the son of the wife he does not love.
  9. Deuteronomy 21:17 He must recognize the rights of his oldest son, the son of the wife he does not love, by giving him a double portion. He is the first son of his father’s virility, and the rights of the firstborn belong to him.
  10. 1 Samuel 10:25 Then Samuel told the people what the rights and duties of a king were. He wrote them down on a scroll and placed it before the LORD. Then Samuel sent the people home again.
  11. Job 27:2 “I vow by the living God, who has taken away my rights, by the Almighty who has embittered my soul—
  12. Job 34:5 For Job also said, ‘I am innocent, but God has taken away my rights.
  13. Psalm 82:3 “Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
  14. Psalm 87:5 Regarding Jerusalem it will be said, “Everyone enjoys the rights of citizenship there.” And the Most High will personally bless this city.
  15. Proverbs 29:7 The godly care about the rights of the poor; the wicked don’t care at all.
  16. Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.
  17. Isaiah 1:23 Your leaders are rebels, the companions of thieves. All of them love bribes and demand payoffs, but they refuse to defend the cause of orphans or fight for the rights of widows.
  18. Isaiah 10:2 They deprive the poor of justice and deny the rights of the needy among my people. They prey on widows and take advantage of orphans.
  19. Isaiah 40:27 O Jacob, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles? O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
  20. Jeremiah 5:28 They are fat and sleek, and there is no limit to their wicked deeds. They refuse to provide justice to orphans and deny the rights of the poor.
  21. Lamentations 3:35 if they deprive others of their rights in defiance of the Most High,
  22. Romans 8:23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
  23. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ Paul Gives Up His Rights ] Am I not as free as anyone else? Am I not an apostle? Haven’t I seen Jesus our Lord with my own eyes? Isn’t it because of my work that you belong to the Lord?
  24. 1 Corinthians 9:15 Yet I have never used any of these rights. And I am not writing this to suggest that I want to start now. In fact, I would rather die than lose my right to boast about preaching without charge.
  25. 1 Corinthians 9:18 What then is my pay? It is the opportunity to preach the Good News without charging anyone. That’s why I never demand my rights when I preach the Good News.

Lexham English Bible Logos Software 2012
8 Results
  1. Deuteronomy 24:17 You shall not subvert the rights of an alien or an orphan, and you shall not take as pledge the garment of a widow.
  2. Esther 1:13 And the king said to the wise men, the ones who know the times —for it was the procedure of the king before all those who knew law and rights;
  3. Proverbs 31:5 Or else he will drink and forget what has been decreed, and he will pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
  4. Proverbs 31:8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the needy.
  5. Isaiah 50:8 he who obtains rights for me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand together. Who is the master of my judgment? Let him approach me.
  6. Jeremiah 11:15 What rights has my beloved in my house when she has done many wicked things? Can the flesh of holiness pass over you? For you engage in your wickedness, then you exult.
  7. 1 Corinthians 9:1 [ Paul Gives Up His Rights as an Apostle ] Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
  8. 1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have not made use of any of these rights. And I am not writing these things in order that it may be thus with me. For it would be better to me rather to die than for anyone to deprive me of my reason for boasting.



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Redeeming Holy Days: Valentine's Day


St. Valentine’s Day has become one of the major secular holidays in the United States. The day itself is one of the few saint’s days retained in the Book of Common Prayer of 1628 and following. While the day has been part of Lutheran calendars the adoption of this commemoration has not been uniform among Lutherans.

The claims surrounding Valentine’s Day are that it was originally a pagan festival (or more than one pagan festival) which the Church decided to embrace while trying to get rid of the pagan practices. In particular the notion of romance in modern times is viewed as the principle evidence that St. Valentine’s Day is thought to be in reality the old Roman festival of Lupercalia and Juno Februata or Juno the Fructifier, Roman Goddess of Women and Marriage, or Feralia, or Parentalia. Very often these Roman festivals are blended together in descriptions about the history of Valentine’s day as if they were the same. Then, several ideas from modern times are mixed into the meaning of the Roman festivals as if to prove that modern practice has historical precedence in the ancient pagan rituals.

So we look first at what can actually be known about the pagan festivals that moderns claim are the source of Valentine’s Day traditions. Then we will look at the sources about who Valentine was so we can separate the historical memory of a man who gave up his life rather than fall from faith from the stories and practices that were added to his life.

Monday, February 04, 2013

NDEs versus the Gospel

And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:19- 20)

The Popular Appeal of NDE Accounts

 The accounts of NDEs "Near Death Experiences" have become a mainstay of pop-Christian and non-Christian hope for some kind of life beyond death.

My first encounter with NDE stories came in the movie theater in 1978 with the Sunn Classic Pictures release of "Beyond and Back." It made some mystical impressions on me in my youth. But the central issue was that none of the evidence this "documentary" provided was consistent with Scripture.

Today NDE accounts are big money. Amazon, Goodreads, and many others publish lists of books they want to sell on the topic. And they do sell very well. Magazines, Tabloids, and newspapers willingly publish accounts of NDEs.

Last week an article came up on the topic at PJMedia by P. David Hornik titled What Near-Death Experiences Tell Us. The article reminded me why I so strongly reject these NDE accounts. The concluding words of the article may help the reader understand why clamoring after NDE accounts is so dangerous:
"[W]hile NDEs do not invalidate people’s religions, they do seem to invalidate harshly sectarian, exclusionary forms of religion. In today’s world, one particular religion keeps producing terrorism and systematic persecution of people of other creeds. The evidence from NDE research is clear: the road to heaven is open to all, and the deity does not exclusively favor any category of people. Perhaps, for the long term — centuries — these discoveries offer hope."
The lies of NDEs are compelling — relying upon human sympathy and compassion; after all, how dare anyone question the visions or experiences of those who have "crossed over"? The outrage against questioning these visions is especially pronounced when the person who had the NDE is small, like Colton Burpo in "Heaven is for Real!"

The books on NDE fill "Christian" bookstores because pop-Christianity sees these experiences to be of value to the Christian faith. [I know, I'll probably get in trouble for putting that in quotation marks, but the point is that most of the stuff sold in most of these bookstores is only nominally Christian and essentially Pelagian.]

And these accounts are a mainstay for pop-Christian periodicals, like Guideposts (N.V. Peale's magazine promoting the false "prosperity" gospel).

We come back to the quotation at the start of the article:
And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:19- 20)
To this day I have not been able to find, nor has anyone shown me an account of a contemporary NDE which points only to God's Grace in Jesus Christ given to us through Word and Sacrament. None of them, so far, have pointed exclusively to the Cross of Christ and His Means of Grace. This should be particularly noted of the "Christian" accounts. I'd gladly be corrected, shown such an example. But such an example would only prove the point that I'm setting out to make.

That is this: God directs us to rely only on what He has placed in His written Word: The Holy Scriptures. Any word from anywhere else must be viewed with the caution that understands that the devil, the world, and our own flesh seek to distract us from that Word of salvation through faith in Christ alone.

If the NDE is not perfectly in line with the teaching God has given us in His written Word, then the vision/experience of the NDE is not of God and has no value for our spiritual growth — except as an example of how people are deceived away from God's Word.

The basic motivation for clinging to NDE accounts is lack of faith in what God explicitly states in Scripture. And that lack of faith is common to all who are stained by original sin. Myself included.

 My Own Experience

Part 1: NDEs Supplant The Word of God

In January 2011, Shirley L., a member at one of my churches, asked me to review Todd Burpo's account of the NDE experienced by his son, Colton. The book is Heaven is for Real!


I put it off; some real reasons: 10 children, 4 congregations, 40 shut-ins at the time, driving about 30,000 miles a year just for church work.

Some of my reasons were selfish: I no longer like schmaltzy pop Christian literature: self-help, testimonies, spiritual growth, or etc... It doesn't take many books to see the patterns of the theology of glory, the minimizing of the means of grace, the focus on introspection and wrestling one's conscience into a state of peace with God through one's self-sacrificing spiritual struggle, the seductive distraction from relying only on God's grace in Christ through Word and Sacrament to rely upon miracles, visions, and works. And I have read literally hundreds of these kinds of "Christian" books.

Shirley persisted. She gave me a copy of the book. She had a real concern. The concern was that so many people were buying, reading, and praising this book. It had become something of a phenomena in our area of NW Minnesota.

So on about June 15, 2011, I started it. I finished it the next evening. It was schmaltzy, and very moving. It had all the key ingredients of the NDE accounts from around the world and in every religion. But the little boy hadn't really told his dad. He was too young. His dad kind of fished the story out of the little boy.  It was a feel-good story, but it didn't focus on the Cross or the Word alone. And it denied the Means of Grace, denied that faith in Christ alone saves.  It confused many non-Scriptural issues with what God actually says in Scripture.

Friday morning, June 17, Alan V., a neighbor and member called, "Pastor, get over here to Glenn's. It's Linda, she's... she's out in the field." 

She was.

Her car was about 100 feet out into the field, backwards, on it's side, smashed, with a hole in the back window.

It looked like it was through that window that Linda was thrown another 60 feet.

Linda and her husband Glenn shared their wedding anniversary with my wife and me. September 30th. They had become good friends.

Her body was terribly broken. I'm no expert on the physical process of death. So when I brushed the dirt off her ear and the color returned to her ear, she might still have been alive.

I went to Glenn; Alan was there with him. I told them what I had found and that I was going to go back to Linda in case she was still alive--so that she wouldn't be alone. Glenn was overwhelmed, he couldn't go.

Alan had called the ambulance, but our neighborhood is so far away from any towns, that it takes time for the volunteers to get to the ambulance and then more time to get out to an accident.

It was during this time that Colton Burpo's NDE story interfered with the truth. Because it was fresh in my mind, my thought was: "It will be alright, Linda. Colton was already there. He saw Jesus. We know it's true." Then: "Who the heck is Colton that Linda would trust his word?"

I'm not saying this was a clear logical foundational thought. It was the response of being overwhelmed by the emotions of this tragedy and having read that book just the previous day.

And I was astounded at my thoughts, shocked by this internal dialog.

And I was furious. Just a reading of this book had such an affect that in time of crisis Satan was using this NDE crap to distract me from the Cross and my duty toward Linda!

I prayed the Lord's Prayer with Linda, I sang Lutheran hymns to her. I recited some Psalms. I recited John 1, Luke 2, Matthew 26-28, and anything else I could remember. I recited the Nicene Creed, and the sections on Baptism, and the Office of the Keys.

And then her family started to arrive--before the ambulance.

The Burpo NDE story still tried to push its way to the front as I watched her grown boys see their mom so broken, so destroyed.

The ambulance did arrive. Linda was apparently still breathing. At the hospital they tried with heroic efforts to save her.

But her body was too broken.

And Colton Burpo's NDE is hollow, distracting from the Cross of Christ. His father is like the medium communicating beyond the grave. His vision/experience directs people to place their hope for salvation in the notion that this little boy in the hospital has a keener insight into the throne of God than do the Prophets and Apostles through whom God gave us His Scripture.

That day I thanked God that Shirley had insisted I read that book to know and appreciate the danger of how strong the deception of accounts like that of Colton Burpo really are. These NDEs are in direct violation of Isaiah 8:19-20
And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:19- 20)
I know that my friend and member of my parish is now in Abraham's bosom. I know this not because a Wesleyan pastor faced tragedy in almost losing his son and fished a NDE story out of him with leading questions. I know this because of the faith God gave to Linda through the Word and Sacrament. A faith which humbly confessed her own utter inability to save herself and confessed her total reliance upon Christ's life, sufferings, death, and resurrection for her. She was dressed in Christ's righteousness by God's washing of regeneration, Holy Baptism. And God is good on His promise.

Part 2: NDEs Encourage Doubt About God's Good Will

Every family and every parish has certain years that are particularly difficult. 2011 was a hard year for us.

My son, Matthew's best friend, Jake, died Monday, November 7, 2011. He was 17 years old.

When we came here in 2001 we learned about Jake's heart condition. Through the years we had seen many close calls. And we knew that if there were no really new medical technology available, Jake probably would go home to heaven by the time he out grew his 2 chambered heart.

Every day with Jake was an wonderful bonus. Given his congenital heart defect he would have passed away as a small baby in previous generations. And in His providential grace God granted that Jacob lived more than 17 years with us.

Even when we long expect the day, even while we appreciate the gift of life, death still cuts us to the core and hurts.

Given the unusual circumstances and seemingly miraculous nature of Jake's life it might seem odd to those not close to him that it hurts so much that he is gone. For those who think this way I direct you to John 11, particularly verse 35, to gain an appreciation for how much death really affects us.

The Burpo NDE book had different but very negative affect upon Jake's girlfriend and some of Jake's family. Here's the problem.

If God was willing to give little Colton Burpo back to his family then why wouldn't God be willing to do the same for Jake? There's nothing really specially important about what Colton said (or, rather, "his father wrote"). There was no new special message from God. In fact the only thing that seemed special about it was that Colton got to see dead people and sit on Jesus' lap. It didn't seem to matter what people believed about Jesus. Just that they be loving.

Jake loved God. Jake was a wonderful young Christian man. So why not him like Colton?

Now, of course this is grief of the flesh being torn.

But the point here is that this NDE account was a real threat and distraction from the Gospel of Christ. Because it is vague and there is no particular Scriptural reason given for it the NDE account implies that God is capricious. I'm not attributing this motivation to Colton or his father. I'm pointing out that the very fact of a NDE account that denies parts of Scripture undermines confidence in the good and gracious will of God.
And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. (Isaiah 8:19- 20)

NDEs Are Modern Day Mediums


There are some very important things to learn from the Biblical accounts of people who were raised from the dead.

Here's the list:
  1. Elijah brings back the son of Zarephath's widow: 1 Kings 17
    The purpose of the miracle:
    Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now by this I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is the truth.”
  2. Elisha brings back the son of the great Shunammite woman: 2 Kings 4.
    The purpose of the miracle:
    According to verses 16, and 28ff the purpose is that the Word of God be established as truth when Elisha speaks it.
  3. A dead man comes back to life when he touches Elisha's bones: 2 Kings 13:21.
    The purpose of the miracle:
    Validating that this man was a prophet who spoke God's Word. Elisha died shortly after speaking about events that would take place later for Joash. The revivification of this man served as a reminder that Elisha's word would still come true because it is God's Word.
  4. Jesus brings back the widow's son at Nain: Luke 7:13-15
    The purpose of the miracle:
    To show that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
  5. Jesus brings back Jairus' daughter from the dead: Matthew 9:25.
    The purpose of the miracle:
    To show that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
  6. Jesus brings back Lazarus from the dead: John 11
    The purpose of the miracle:
    To show that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
    41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”
  7. Many saints brought back at Jesus' death: Matthew 27
    The purpose of the miracle:
    To show that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
    50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
    51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
    54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
  8. Christ's resurrection: John 20
    The purpose of the miracle:
    To show that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.
    30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
  9. Peter brings back a female disciple named Tabitha (Dorcas) from the dead: Acts 9:36-42
    The purpose of the miracle:
    To show that Peter is speaking the Word of the Lord.
    41 
    Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive.
    42 And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.

  10. Paul brings back Eutychus from the dead: Acts 20:9-12
    The purpose of the miracle:
    To validate Paul's Preaching as the Word of the Lord.
 The first common factor of these accounts is that God's written Word does not record what (if anything) these people remembered or spoke about what they saw in heaven.

The second common factor of these accounts is that all of them were done either to demonstrate that the prophet/apostle preaching was actually preaching God's Word, or to demonstrate the person and nature of Christ as the fulfillment of God's written Word.

There is one place where we find the dead in heaven speaking. It is when Jesus relates the events of Lazarus' death and going to the bosom of Abraham (Luke 16:19-31).
That account ends with these words:
30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

Scripture shows what a danger these NDE accounts are. Scripture itself places them in the category of mediums and those who consult with the dead. Rather, the living should rely on Moses and the Prophets, that is on the written Word of God.

Experience shows that these NDE accounts disrupt and usurp the authority of Scripture, supplant the Gospel and tend to introduce all kinds of enthusiasm.

So when someone comes up with the next most best NDE story, share with them the story of a Real Death Experience: the Real Death and Resurrection of Christ.

That is the only Death and Resurrection account that provides the sure foundation for our salvation.

=========
Comments brought over from Facebook:

Allie Enge posted to Joe Abrahamson

I first read what you wrote about NDE's and was like gee who brought Debbie Downer to the party, took a step back and reread it and what a great article. Thank you for writing that, eye opener!

  • Joe Abrahamson Thank you, Allie. I know that some people are going to be frustrated and even take offense at what I wrote. But when the issue is whether to believe Christ's word or some other promise, the real issue is also salvation.
     
  • Allie Enge I agree the sad part is that we believe in God we believe in his word, although we are fixated on this person that we know and see and almost idolize that person, not as a false God but maybe a hero. I dont agree with it, although its true. I have read Heaven is for Real, and smiled the whole time. I don't doubt by his reading where he was, but what Colton seen Bible has already stated, (well maybe not the part of asking the angels to sing "We will rock you", so why should we put Colton words up to a higher standard than we do scripture? We shouldn't, we should grab our scripture and think about our own salvation. I have read this books too and been upset on why was this person saved and not my brother. We all have the option to be saved, it's whether or not you chose it. I remember hearing a story about this older lady that had an NDE and for her remaining time on earth every morning she woke she was mad when she opened her eyes because she seen Jesus and knew that heaven held no comparison to earth.
     
  • Joe Abrahamson Allie, I could go on at great length as to how Ryan's death affected me and still does. He died at the same age as my brother, both liked the same things and had gone through very similar struggles. My dad found my brother's lifeless body. That same week my brother died I had Vera Gardner's funeral and my son John was born. John had a breathing problem and we were wondering if we should send him to NICU. When Ryan died I had just been at Betty Mostrom's death bead with Forest and Donna watching her fight for her last breath after her massive brain hemorrage. I came to your folk's place to sit with you all and went to Betty's wake that evening and buried her the next day.

    Both of them, by God's grace in Christ through His Word were brought to faith and are there at Abraham's bosom waiting for the resurrection for us to join them in Eternal Life: Chosen by God, Delivered by God, to be raised from the dead by God.
     
  • Allie Enge This really has made me think a lot! I was just frying bacon and thinking to myself about NDE's and what I would do it one in particular happened to me. Let's just say this if I seen hell, well move over Abrahamsons cause Allie is moving in with her pillow and sleeping bag and bible, so we have a major intervention to do! But on a more serious note, I am no longer angry with God over Ryan. I have accepted it, don't have to like it, but instead of being angry with God I took a step back and reevaluated my own spirituality. I get sad because he is not here, but sadness and anger while can be sometimes confused with one another is two different emotions and two different steps in the healing process.

Text Criticism News

Ancient History and Archaeology