Christian Parenting, Thinking

“Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child”- A biblical view of disciplining children?

Photograph by Feliciano Guimarães acquired through Wikimedia Commons. Accessible here.

Photograph by Feliciano Guimarães acquired through Wikimedia Commons.
Accessible here.

Spare the rod, spoil the child

I was spanked and no harm came of it

The Bible teaches spanking

Recently, I was involved in a discussion about Christian parenting. An article was shared that showed findings from 5 decades of research (!) that demonstrate spanking causes harm. Some of the first responses immediately appealed to a biblical view of disciplining children, including one comment that said if we accepted this study as Christians we’d have to cut the verse that says “Spare the rod, spoil the child” out of the Bible. What follows is my response, with some expanded comments.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

There is no such verse, so I guess that’s not a problem.

When people use this phrase and claim it is biblical, they are probably referring to what that common saying alludes to, Proverbs 13:24. Therein we see that the word for “rod” is the same word in Hebrew used for the shepherd’s staff in Psalm 23:4, there bringing comfort. Indeed, the shepherd’s crook/staff/rod is probably what is being referenced in Proverbs as well, there showing that correcting children is proper–just as we correct the path of the wandering sheep. But we don’t beat the sheep with the staff, it is used to turn the sheep back to the right path. Thus, the meaning is, I think, more aligned with saying that we ought to correct our children when they stray, just as a shepherd corrects the straying sheep.

We can’t rely on the English translation to make a point over against the Hebrew. The same word used for a shepherd’s staff is the one used in Proverbs. It’s the same word, shebet, in Proverbs 23:13, another text often referenced to support the notion of spanking or “spare the rod, spoil the child.” It reads:

 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you punish them with the rod, they will not die. (NIV)

Further, if you compare Exodus 21:20, which speaks of beating with a rod causing death, to Proverbs 23:13, which assures the reader that the child will not die, there is a difficulty in taking the latter literally, because otherwise death is a distinct possibility which is even legislated against in the former. Indeed, Proverbs 23:14 makes the context clear- correction is saving the child from Sheol. But if that’s the case, then how could it be read as striking in a way that could cause death (Exodus parallel) while also explicitly being intended to save from death Proverbs 23:14: “Punish them with the rod and save them from death” (NIV, ESV reads “save him from Sheol”)? It doesn’t make much sense to save someone from death in a way that causes death.

The Hebrew of Proverbs 23:14 for “strike” is nakah in Hiphil, thus meaning it is causative and, again, seems to point to the same metaphorical meaning I drew out above for 13:24. Strong’s notes the common figurative use of “nakah” in the OT.  That is reinforced in Brown Driver Briggs which shows both intensification of the word (slaughter/etc.) as well as less strong meanings (clapping hands, hail).

Are other readings possible? Sure they are. But corporal punishment is not the only possible translation, and it seems to yield a contradiction. We can’t rely on the English translation to be the end-all-be-all of how we read the Bible. It comes with the assumptions of the translators. I’m not saying they’re wrong–just that it is simplistic to appeal to the English as the final say.

Clarifications

I was asked to explain what alleged metaphor is being employed, as well as the reference to Exodus 21:20. I was also countered by saying the words for rod and staff are being used together in Psalm 23 so why did I draw the conclusion I did.

The metaphor that is employed is fairly straightforward: just as you use a rod to correct the sheep–guiding them with strikes–so we should correct the wrong paths our children take. The metaphor is not that we should strike children–that is the literal reading, and one that I think I’ve shown is not even necessary–but rather that like shepherd we guide children on the right path.

The appeal to Exodus 21:20 is to show that beating with a rod was known to kill people and that was punished. Yet in Proverbs the use of a rod for the child has no implication of death and indeed a direct denial that death is even possible. If we read them both literally there is a contradiction: striking with rod causes death; striking with a rod will not cause death. Use of the words metaphorically, as outlined in the preceding paragraph, clears up this apparent contradiction.

Psalm 23- I’m not so sure about the confusion here. Sure, both words are used inclusively, but that doesn’t change the Hebrew word being translated as rod is also translated as shepherd’s staff and is the word used in each verse presented so far. Nothing in this relies on the word being separated out from context in Psalm 23. Instead, I am appealing to the Hebrew to show that the word is the same as the one used in Psalm 23:4.

Spanking and Anecdotes

One final point I’d like to bring forward is that anecdotes are not arguments. Very often in this discussion (and others), one cites a study or makes a comment, and then someone else responds saying something along the lines of “Well was spanked [had this happen to me, etc.], and I turned out okay” as if this is a counter-argument. It isn’t. Having incidents that don’t cohere with the general trend is to be expected, and appealing to an anecdote doesn’t invalidate such general trends or rules. The study linked above is in no way discredited by the, I’m sure, many thousands of people who were spanked but turned out “okay.” That doesn’t undermine the mounting evidence that spanking is not the best option.

Conclusion

I have shown in this post that texts or sayings commonly cited in support of spanking do not necessitate or even condone the act. The Bible does not necessitate spanking as a way to discipline children. It does, however, teach that parents are to correct wrong behavior, and, like the shepherd, turn their children back to the right path. Given the increasing evidence that spanking is a poor option, Christian parents ought not feel they must use it to discipline their children. Those who choose not to spank may do so with a clean conscience.

Links

For more reading on the psychological studies behind spanking, see Psychology Today as well as the summary article linked above (or here).

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SDG.

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About J.W. Wartick

J.W. Wartick has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. His interests include theology, philosophy of religion--particularly the existence of God--astronomy, biology, archaeology, and sci-fi and fantasy novels.

Discussion

13 thoughts on ““Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child”- A biblical view of disciplining children?

  1. Are there ANE and Hebrew experts who would agree with your conclusion? I would say that the early church (who was closer culturally) disagreed, but with their OT usage being primarily LXX that might not actually stand as a strong argument.
    That being said, this is an interesting read.

    Posted by deeplygrateful | January 16, 2017, 1:54 PM
    • I don’t have access to the commentaries I’d been working through (no longer living on a seminary campus), so I can’t really answer the question right now unfortunately. I would be surprised if there were none, given that the Hebrew word, as I looked it up in BDB, does suggest a shepherding staff. On the other hand, I don’t often see ANE experts in what I’ve read mentioning or commenting on child rearing in almost any passage. But that could be selection effect more than anything else. And I wouldn’t claim to be well-read in ANE experts. I’ve read some John Walton, some Tremper Longman III, and a few others.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | January 16, 2017, 2:18 PM
    • Also, I didn’t go as much into even more contextual discussion, but other verses in Proverbs talk about raising children properly so they do not “turn aside” from the right way (eg. Proverbs 22:6), which would serve the metaphorical reading of shepherd as well. Other passages which might be seen to support striking a children also make more sense interpreted in light of turning aside/shepherd metaphor. For example, an ESV reading of Proverbs 22:15 “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.” The language of “driving” out folly would be similar to driving sheep and driving away bad things as well. Frankly, the more I read verses like this the more it makes sense in light of correction rather than striking/hitting.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | January 16, 2017, 2:22 PM
  2. Prov 23:13 sure sounds like the rod is something that brings pain – but not to the point of death. Why else say it won’t kill him? If Solomon was envisioning a rod that gently moves someone back on to the right path, saying the use of the rod won’t kill them sounds out of place and excessive. Who would ever say, “Guiding them in the right direction will not kill them”? No, but we do so, “Spanking him won’t kill him.” In other words, the physical safety of the child is not at risk by spanking them, but refusing to spank him will result in something worse.
    As for the corporeal punishment reading of Prov 23:13 contradicting Exodus 21:20, I don’t see it. Exodus isn’t saying that striking people with a rod always produces death. Indeed, verse 21 speaks of surviving the beating. But surely we ought not to think that any use of a rod for correction must exhibit the excessive sort that Exodus is referring to. Surely in the case of Exodus it is the intensity and length of the beating that leads to death or excessive physical harm. The use of the rod Solomon envisions is clearly not of that intensity or duration. He knows the striking will merely bring physical pain, not death. And he considers the pain of it worth the saving of the child’s soul from death (which is the end of the foolish man). It seems difficult to interpret this verse in any other way.
    We don’t have to beat our children to correct them. It doesn’t have to be excessive, but the fact of the matter is that the association of (and fear of) physical pain is an effective way to teach immature human beings a moral lesson. I don’t think it’s the only way, but it is an effective way. And I don’t think it has to be a rod (and neither do I think that spanking is nearly as painful as an actual rod, so to compare being spanked to being beat with a rod is itself not fair).
    As for anecdotes, I agree with your general point, but I am skeptical of these studies. I’ll admit that I haven’t read a single one, but I’d like to know what they consider “harm.” I wonder if these studies are amplifying “harm” to suit their purposes (just like the definitions for overweight and obese are so ridiculous that people who appear trim can be considered overweight), so that anyone who says they associate negative thoughts with their past spankings is considered to have experienced “harm.” And for those children who felt harmed by the corporeal punishment they received as a child, I would be interested to know how often, how intense, and how it was delivered. Virtually everyone in my generation was spanked by their parents, and I don’t know anyone who suffers enduring emotional trauma over it. I can see how certain forms of corporeal punishment (belts, rods, wooden spoons, etc.) could cause emotional pain, but unless it was intense and excessive and frequent, I don’t see how it could harm them into adulthood. Could I just have too small a sampling? Perhaps. But given my experience, my bologna meter is going off when I hear of such studies. I’ve seen too many people who have an agenda to eliminate any and all physical punishments merely because of the excessive punishments some parents have meted out. I think that is a mistake, and that this bias can affect researchers’ research findings. Again, I admit I haven’t read the research, so I could be mistaken.

    Posted by Jason Dulle | January 18, 2017, 3:29 AM
    • Insisting that an inference of meaning from a single word in the text must entail corporeal punishment does not follow. Though an English turn of phrase, we often say or hear things like “Saying no ‘won’t kill him'” in regards to child-rearing, or even in everyday conversation. Disciplining a child, instructing them in the way they should go, won’t kill them. But the reading you’re insisting on does require a literal contradiction. You seem to have misread my intention in referencing Exodus 21:20. I did not say that striking with a rod necessarily lead to death in that passage. My point is instead that it explicitly states that death is a possibility from striking with a rod. Given that it is a possibility, such would contradict a statement that allegedly says the same type of striking will not cause death. Period. Full stop. You’ve read into the text something not there in order to avoid contradiction. One text says “X will not cause death.” The other says “If X causes death…” But that is the only way to hold to the reading you are insisting upon. Of course, my argument doesn’t stand or fall on this point.

      Intriguingly, you also shift from striking with a rod to spanking. Why? It seems that you’re not taking the verse as it stands. After all, why did you shift from “rod” to “spank”? Have you struck children or encouraged others to strike children with a rod? Why not? I believe the answer would be that you don’t strike/encourage to strike children with a rod. If I’m right, I would strongly encourage you to ask yourself: does your reading of these verses even make sense? Or does it only make sense when you shift the words from “rod” to “spank”?

      You write, ” the fact of the matter is that the association of (and fear of) physical pain is an effective way to teach immature human beings a moral lesson.” Of course, that is exactly what studies like the one I cited contradict. But because you said you didn’t bother to read such a study, instead assuming that it is based upon “amplifying ‘harm’ to suit their purposes,” allow me to simply write out the relevant portion:

      The more children are spanked, the more likely they are to defy their parents and to experience increased anti-social behavior, aggression, mental health problems and cognitive difficulties…

      This would seem to suggest that a statement that spanking is “effective” is mistaken. In fact, according to research, spanking leads to more defying parents, among other things. I would not use the word effective to describe those results.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | January 18, 2017, 1:46 PM
      • On re-reading my own comment here, I want to make it clear that I hope my reply will not be read in the wrong tone. I hope it is read in a compassionate tone, because that is how I feel about this topic. I think there is a lot of misinformation out there about spanking, and time and again research shows that to be the case. Moreover, I believe many who have read this post either were spanked or have used spanking. I’m not saying they’re automatically horrible people. We have done many things in the past that we did not realize may actually be causing harm. Unfortunately, I think some of the harm is due to misreadings of Scripture and the idea that spanking = what it says (it does not).

        Posted by J.W. Wartick | January 18, 2017, 1:52 PM
  3. Thank you for your note about tone. I understand that you are not fighting with me, and neither am I with you. Just talking.

    Thank you for clarifying your use of Ex 21, however, my point remains the same. In the same way one would be pressing Ex 21 too far to conclude that the rod must always produce death or serious physical harm, one presses Prov 23 to conclude that it is impossible to kill someone with the kind of rod Solomon spoke of. In neither case is the result determined by the tool of punishment, but by the user of the tool. It was the excessive use and intensity of the rod beating that resulted in the physical harm that Ex 21 speaks of. But that does not preclude using the rod more sparingly and with less intensity. I would argue that Solomon said the child will not die because it was expected that parents would use the rod more lightly when disciplining their children. So long as that’s even possible, the idea that this creates a contradiction falls apart. For it to be a contradiction requires that one assume the result is determined by the tool itself, rather than the user’s use of the tool, and I don’t think you could demonstrate that.

    As for the hiphil of nakah, this is consistently used to mean “strike.” I don’t know how you get a metaphorical meaning out of it as mere guidance.

    My shift from “rod” to “spank” is for two reasons. First, assuming my interpretation is right (pro-corporeal punishment), Solomon is providing us with a principle. I don’t know of anyone who thinks that to obey this passage they must determine exactly what a rod looked like in ancient Israel and use that – and only that – to discipline their kids (in the same way we don’t seek to recreate the exact type of bread that Jesus would have used at the Last Supper, or the same kind of wine – but rather use approximations). The principle is one gives their child a physical pain for their misdeed to teach them that such behavior should be avoided in the future.

    Second, I switched to spanking because that is common form of corporeal punishment in our culture. And I recognize that (hand) spanking is typically going to hurt less than some sort of rod or paddle.

    As for the effectiveness of spanking, I think it is contingent on both the age and temperament of the child. I have found that spanking (and I’m not talking beating) is generally the most effective punishment in the youngest years (18 months – 4 or 5 years) (bringing about obedience, not defiance). After that, it may continue to be effective in some kids, but not others. One should use whatever is most effective. For my daughter (10 years), all she needs is my verbal disapproval and a good talking-to. For my oldest son (11 years), writing sentences and taking away entertainment is most effective. For my 5 year old son, it’s standing in the corner or going to the room (he’s a social bug and hates to be alone). Each form of punishment brings its own form of pain (the emotional pain of daddy’s disappointment or disapproval, the physical pain of writing, the physical pain of having to stand in one spot for a while, or the emotional pain of being by oneself). But each of my kids were spanked at some point in their life, and at that point, it was the most effective means of teaching them right from wrong. I think it would just as foolish to forbid the use of spanking as a form of punishment as it would be to insist that spanking be the only form of punishment that one uses (regardless of age, regardless of temperament, regardless of effectiveness). Spanking works best for some kids, at some ages.

    But let’s say I’m wrong about the effectiveness issue. It’s not just about that. People aren’t just saying that if you want to be effective in disciplining your child that you should choose a different form of punishment (a practical argument). They are saying it is morally wrong and harmful to children (a moral argument). How so? As I said last time, I don’t know anyone who was spanked as a child whose adulthood has been adversely affected by it, and common sense tells me it isn’t likely. Since you read the studies (and I don’t have time to), can you tell me what sorts of harm have been documented and how they are able to determine/measure those harms?

    Posted by Jason Dulle | January 18, 2017, 6:04 PM
    • Sorry for the tardiness of my reply. We’re on baby #2 watch so I have a lot of things to accomplish.

      For the sake of time, I’ll just drop the point regarding contradiction, though I do maintain that a straightforward literal reading would indeed entail contradiction. Since you seem now to be shifting from literal reading to the “intent” behind such a reading, we may move forward, perhaps.

      You wrote, “First, assuming my interpretation is right (pro-corporeal punishment), Solomon is providing us with a principle.”

      I’m curious about this, because the idea that Solomon is “providing us with a principle” would itself not entail a corporeal punishment principle. After all, you go on to immediately argue that Solomon would not be teaching we ought to use a specific type/shape/etc. of rod. Given that you seem entirely comfortable substituting “spanking” for “striking with a rod” on your reading, I don’t see it as a shift from the same type of reading–a principial one–to simply say that correcting children is what is needed, and that the verse does not, in fact, entail corporeal punishment. You may answer back saying that because Solomon is allegedly speaking of striking children with a rod (!), he has specifically some form of causing physical pain in mind. But of course you’ve already ceded the point that Solomon’s point is one of principle, not of the specifics of how that principle is carried out. In effect, the point I’m making–that spanking is not required by the Bible–has now been granted. The principle of parents correcting children’s behavior is there. How you carry that out–whether spanking, time outs, etc.–is not a matter of the text itself.

      If you wanted to continue to go against that reading, I think you’d have a serious problem, because you’d be splitting the verse into two voices: one which is a non-literal reading in which the text teaches a principle; the other in which you still allegorize the literal meaning (spank instead of strike with rod) but demand that the literal intent (physical pain) remain the same. It’s a reading of the text that basically requires you to segment different words off to be allegorized, made literal, or made principial.

      Regarding the studies themselves, I am not an expert in the field but I tend to not harbor an innate distrust of people who are experts. Yes, experts can be mistaken, but if experts are to be doubted until proven correct, we could basically accomplish nothing. Given that you’re the one who is saying the studies are not capable of showing harm, or that they do not demonstrate harm, I’d have to see what possible reason you have for doubting them.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | January 20, 2017, 1:46 PM
  4. I appreciate your point here, I think it bears consideration and draws out some useful points to consider. However, I also think there are some significant problems.

    First, I don’t see that the conclusions you draw from the Proverbs / Exodus comparison are merited. The potential contradiction you bring up strikes me as rather ad hoc. To imagine the contradiction, one has to go out of one’s way to interpret these passages in a way that ignores the respective context. So it’s not just that there are other plausible interpretations – there are more sensible and simpler interpretations that still allow for the rod in both cases to be one of corporal punishment, or at least potentially so.

    In fact, if there is a contradiction on the view you oppose, then there’s still a problem on the view you take here. You said,

    “just as you use a rod to correct the sheep–guiding them with strikes–so we should correct the wrong paths our children take. The metaphor is not that we should strike children … but rather that like shepherd we guide children on the right path.”

    Shepherds did literally strike the sheep with a rod at times, which you seem to acknowledge. But they didn’t beat the sheep to death with those strikes. The strikes were of an appropriate magnitude to keep the sheep on the right path. But according to your argument, since the Exodus passage references a rod, the shepherd is still risking the violent death of the sheep simply by using the rod in a striking fashion. First of all, that seems rather absurd to me. Secondly, and more to the point, if that’s the case, then it would be difficult to use the shepherd/sheep analogy as a great metaphor for gently guiding children without that risk. So there’s just a fundamental problem in the comparison between the Proverbs and Exodus passages. These are two completely different scenarios, even if the same object is being used.

    It makes a lot more sense to me to interpret the Proverbs passages as drawing from the shepherd/sheep analogy, and encouraging punishment of the variety that meets the child’s needs. The shepherd does strike the sheep, but only as much as is necessary to correct the sheep’s path. He doesn’t lash out in anger, and he doesn’t abuse the sheep. He does what is necessary to correct it. From that interpretation, striking may not even be necessary in many situations, though sometimes it might be. It opens the door to wisdom, which is what Proverbs is all about. This interpretation better fits the context, takes into account the facts, and is simpler overall.

    How does this connect with the study in question? I haven’t looked into all the details about the study, but I would have some serious questions about it. First of all, when we say “spanking,” what are we talking about? What was the family context? How many of the parents already have anger management problems? How many of the parents were themselves victims of serious abuse? How many of these families are single parent families? What else was involved in discipline (e.g. what kind of words were used, etc)? How many of the families regularly attend church? These are just some off the top of my head. There are so many things to consider that go far beyond the pure act of striking a child’s bottom. That’s not to say the study isn’t useful, but it would be unwise to use it as a blanket statement about the mere act of spanking without addressing a host of legitimate questions like these.

    I recognize this is anecdotal, but let me tell you my own personal experience. I and my brother both were spanked as children. My mother came from a great Christian home filled with love. My father was raised in foster care, removed by the gov’t from a home full of trouble and anger. In some of these foster homes he was further abused. There’s no doubt the negative impact that had on him. Yet, the way my father spanked us was very different than anything he experienced as a child (a testimony, I believe, to God’s grace in his life). First we would have to sit in his and my mother’s room for a few minutes. This gave us time to think about what we did, and him time to cool down (if necessary) and also time to think about what to say to us. After that time, he would come in and talk calmly with us about what we had done, and why were going to be punished. After we acknowledged and understood the problem, we would then be spanked. Not only am I “okay” because of that, I am a better man because of it. Of course, I recognize very few parents in the world have the wisdom or love to handle it like my father did. I highly doubt most of those in this study resemble my father. But the way he did it 100% connects with what Proverbs is talking about in my view, and personally, I’m thankful he did.

    My point here is not so much about spanking or this study in particular, but rather about the supposed disconnect between the two. I just don’t see that they are incompatible, and thus I don’t see that such an interpretation as you offer here is necessary. That said, I do believe further discussion on this topic within and outside the church would be very helpful. Parents do need to understand the shepherding role that they play in their children’s lives, and discussions like these can be fruitful in that regard. Hopefully we will all look first and foremost to the Good Shepherd as an example of how to care for our sheep.

    Posted by L Taylor | January 18, 2017, 11:15 PM
    • Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I unfortunately can’t engage with it as fully as it deserves. As I said to Jason, I’m willing to grant that the texts are not explicitly contradictory–so long as you do not insist upon a totally literal reading of the texts. Given that it seems neither you nor Jason do insist upon a literal reading of the text, I think this is a fair point. But as I said to him, the question is then why do you effectively break the text into chunks of literal/allegory/principle? Given that we’re dealing with a single proverb in some of these cases, it seems quite strange for that one sentence proverb to be intended by the author to be a combination of all three of these factors, depending upon which word you’re reading at the time.

      I also appreciate you sharing your story as well as the anecdote. We both realize that anecdotes do not carry the day, but they can be useful as a baseline. In your own sharing, you noted the exceptional nature of the story you’re telling. If such a story is so exceptional, why should it be so difficult to believe what experts in the fields of psychology and child development are telling us? The exceptions may be wonderful, heart-warming stories–and many clearly are–but that doesn’t disprove studies that are now being based upon 50 years of data.

      Both you and Jason come in with a questioning attitude towards such studies, but I wonder if that attitude would be different were the studies to simply say spanking is harmless or positive. If so, would you still ask the same questions? Would you still be as skeptical about the results? I can’t answer those questions for you, but I think that it is very easy to immediately doubt studies that challenge long-held beliefs. I know this because I have changed my position on a number of issues, largely because I try to explore the facts and evidence related to the claims. It was a process in some cases of many years, or even more than a decade, of exploration. I also don’t think we ought immediately trust every study ever. However, multiple and increasing numbers of studies continue to agree that spanking causes harm. Because I think it is fairly clear the Bible doesn’t say anything about spanking (and we both have to agree it does not–the only way to get to spanking is to make the text allegorized and turn striking with a rod into general culturally accepted corporeal punishment), there is little reason to promote or continue the practice.

      Posted by J.W. Wartick | January 20, 2017, 1:56 PM
      • Thanks you for your response. Just a few thoughts from my side to add. I’m not entirely sure what you mean about breaking the verse up into chunks. It’s a bit late where I am so perhaps my mind isn’t processing it all well. At any rate, my main point is that I just don’t think there’s a reasonable way to rule out the use of some kind of physical punishment in the verses in question. There are ways to take that interpretation certainly, but all of them seem more complicated and less clear than various ones that involve at least the possibility. If indeed scripture leaves the possibility open, I think it would be best if parents did as well.

        As for the study, I’m not sure what questions I myself might ask were the results different, but I absolutely think questions like these would be merited regardless. For me, there are methodological/philosophical problems with these kinds of studies, such that the conclusion itself is less of a concern. I’m just not sure we can study an issue like this in such an expansive way and walk away with an accurate understanding. I think you would have to break it down into fairly specific subcategories (e.g. spanking in stable homes with a family history of stable relationships, spanking in stable homes without a history of stable relationships, spanking in homes with a history of anger management issues, etc), and even then many of the elements involved would be hard to gauge accurately. Human will throws all sorts of curveballs that aren’t always easy to adjust for. That’s not to say these studies are useless. I think they are worth considering and discussing. But if it comes down to a study like this or scripture, I’m not going to lose any sleep trying to reconcile the two.

        Speaking of which, I am losing sleep as I type, so I’ll take my leave for now. Thanks again for the discussion.

        Posted by L Taylor | January 23, 2017, 8:24 AM
  5. There are degrees of spanking that range from merely making a child laugh to making them feel embarrassed to making them feel sad, to traumatizing them, even to murdering them in the most extreme cases. There are also more muscular passages and/or word meanings you may have overlooked in the biblical passages that mention chastisement. For examples of all that I mentioned please see https://edward-t-babinski.blogspot.com/2012/11/suffer-children-to-come-unto-me-jesus.html

    Posted by edwardtbabinski | February 12, 2017, 1:27 AM

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