Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale - Leviticus: Chapter 5 - Reparations and Sin Offerings

We're still doing sins and reparations at the moment. God wants his price paid if people do things of which he disapproves. Interestingly many of the things are described as sins through ignorance. Is this saying that ignorance of the law is no excuse? If you sin without realising that you have sinned is it actually a sin? And how would you know? Does God send a message?

So the latest of the sins dreamt up here - anyone would think that they were trying to dream up sins so that they can keep the Tabernacle in business - is the sin of touching an unclean person or animal carcass. What does this mean? What is unclean? Well we'll get to that later.

If you touch the uncleanness of man then you are guilty. Uncleanness of man? Use your imagination.

If you fail to do what you say you will do, it's yet another sin. Guilt and sin - it's what the Bible thrives on.

And what do you do if you are guilty of these sins? Yep. You have to sacrifice yet another animal. It's a wonder this tribe of herders had anything left to herd.

These animal sacrifices are a little less elaborate than the ones we've had before. Perhaps they were getting bored or the Tabernacle was backed up with dead animals or something.

And then we move on to yet another offering. The reparation offering. This essentially is the law if you do something wrong and it causes damage. Under these circumstances you have to not only give an animal sacrifice to God for what you did but you also have to put right the loss to whoever was your victim. In addition you pay a premium on the top.

The priests were making a very nice living out of all of this of course. It was in their interests to create sins. Some say that much of the book of Leviticus, probably all of this section about sins and reparations, was added on later. It's not hard to see why they might have done that. Religion isn't really about God at all. It is about creating ritual and laws. And sin. For a properly functioning religion you have to have lots of sin and lots of guilt and lots of atonement.

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