young-lovers (1)I believe God is good, and the Bible is His revelation of Himself to us. Therefore, it too must be good. And if the Bible is good in general, it flows then that it is good for God’s image bearers, male and female. I’ve felt compelled (there is no better word for it) to study the passages that seem hardest for women. After studying Dinah, I went on to Deuteronomy 22, which seems to be the later laws addressing Dinah’s situation so that the horrible fiasco that happened after her rape would not be repeated. The bottom line of the law is that the man who violates a woman has to restore her honor and dignity in her culture. He has to pay a dowry worthy of what he took indiscriminately. He must marry her, and He cannot divorce her. Civilization at this point wasn’t very civilized. For a culture apart from the law in which women had zero rights (see Dinah’s story in Genesis 34), this was the first step toward giving her rights. But I was struck by a bigger issue while studying this passage. Deuteronomy 22 has back to back laws on sex outside of marriage (punishable by stoning) and adultery (also punishable by stoning). The punishment is extremely harsh. I don’t like the harshness of the penalty. It makes me extremely uncomfortable, especially if I’m asking the question if the Bible is good for women. But the punishment did cause me to sit back and reflect. More