History of Spanking

I am not suggesting there is no Jewish teaching that corporal punishment is intended by the Biblical verses, and clearly there is instruction to stone a rebellious (adult) child. In fact, reasoning together and the debate and discussion of the true meaning of Scripture is inherent in Jewish study of Scripture. No doubt there are rabbis who condone and teach in a pro-spanking fashion.

The history of spankings is old. There is evidence of spankings of adult women and even men throughout the ages, and any internet novice who does a search on “spankings” will quickly learn not to repeat that error in judgment – as the vast majority of sites brought up will attest to the erotica aspect of this practice. The history of using the Bible to support corporal punishment is not nearly so old. Among Jewish Rabbinical studies there is at best a total rejection of corporal punishments (present even in NT times when Paul instructs parents to not provoke their children to anger) and at worst debate.

Unfortunately many Christians have taken a handful of OT verses, misinterpreted them, and then used them as the foundation for an entire doctrine of child discipline.

The result is a style of harsh parenting that is keeping many from being open to the true teachings of the Bible and the main message that Christianity has been charged with, which is the presentation of Jesus to the world, as we are instructed to be His witnesses and share how He has impacted our lives. When we become advocates for corporal punishment, there are many who see that the way the God of Love and the Jesus who allows us access to Him has impacted our lives is to insist that we hit our children.

May it never be so! Not only does corporal punishment present a false picture of Jesus to the world but also to our children. Many adults who were parented with spankings as children report that they struggle with many misconceptions of God. They see Him as one who is waiting to catch them in sin and punish them. They have difficulty accepting Grace and fear losing their salvation due to some act (often one they aren’t even able to identify if asked).

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