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Old 27 March 2007, 01:56 AM
StillandSilent StillandSilent is offline
 
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Blow Your Top Spare the Rod?

I'm sure we have all hear the phrase "Spare the rod and spoil the child" as a justification for spanking your kids. However, I had a religon major tell me the other day that the "rod" being referred to was actually a shepards crook, which is used to gently nudge and guide the sheep, rather then striking them. So the point of the phrase it that you need to provide guidence to your kids, rather then spanking them. Is there any truth to this?
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  #2  
Old 27 March 2007, 02:20 AM
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While I will not claim to speak for those that actually wrote that passage, that interpretation does seem to fit in with the major 'shepherd of men' theme that runs throughout the entire bible moreso than "don't forget to beat your kids" does.

If you're a firm pro-spanker* it doesn't even undo that interpretation. I'm sure a shepherd has to poke the sheep pretty hard sometimes.

*I appologize for the mental picture that will likely conjure up. I couldn't think of any other way to say it.
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  #3  
Old 27 March 2007, 02:26 AM
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OTOH, the saying (which I do not think comes from the Bible, although it may) is "Spare the rod and spoil the child", not "Spare the rod and spoil the lamb." I doubt somehow that it refers to shepherds and sheep -
I think it's to be taken literally.
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Old 27 March 2007, 02:37 AM
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The saying originates from Proverbs 13:24. Here is a sampling of the text from different bibles:
King James & American Standard Versions: He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
New International Version: He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.
New Life Version: He who does not punish his son when he needs it hates him, but he who loves him will punish him when he needs it.
Not a lot of "guidance" mentioned.
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  #5  
Old 27 March 2007, 02:43 AM
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Here are the relevant Bible passages.

Quote:
Proverbs 13
24He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. (KJV)

24 He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him. (NIV)
Quote:
Proverbs 22
15Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. (KJV)

15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him. (NIV)
Quote:
Proverbs 23
13Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. (KJV)

13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. (NIV)
Quote:
Proverbs 29
15The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. (KJV)

15 The rod of correction imparts wisdom,
but a child left to himself disgraces his mother. (NIV)
It was always obvious to me that it meant physical punishment to an unruly child to correct his ways.
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Old 27 March 2007, 02:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arriah View Post
If you're a firm pro-spanker* it doesn't even undo that interpretation. I'm sure a shepherd has to poke the sheep pretty hard sometimes.

*I appologize for the mental picture that will likely conjure up. I couldn't think of any other way to say it.
I think you were apologizing for the wrong mental picture. But hey, the shepherd's got needs of his own, right?
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  #7  
Old 27 March 2007, 03:15 AM
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According to these people: http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/, spanking should firmly be done with a rod and they even sell it

Sufficient cite: http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/418676.html

The biblical verse is meant to help parents understand that a spanking, NOT a beating (especially with a rod)will help guide your children.

You will find this thread will turn into a pro/anti spanking debate quickly. There are some who feel any kind of spanking is abusive, there are some who feel a simply spanking is not, there are some who will say "I got beat with the rod and I turned out fine", and there are some, like the Pearl's, who feel a "good beating is neccessary". Seriously, read their site, they not only advocate very abusive situations, but even go so far as to "set the child up" so that he will "stumble immediately" and you can correct him right away. They also advocate spousal abuse and incest.

But everyone here already knows how I feel about the Pearl's. Let's just say I don't like them. But I bring them up because they are the best example that correlates with your question.

But insomuch as your question--the verses in question are guiding parents to provide guidance as much as possible to a child, but not to "spare the rod" should the child need it. EG: God won't punish you if you need to thwack the child a few times.

Some clearly take this too far.

~~EB
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Old 27 March 2007, 03:30 AM
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Un. Be. Leivable:

Quote:
How many licks?

There is no number that can be given. It would be better to administer more licks that are less forceful than to administer few licks that hurt severely. It is much more effective to administer chastisement or punishment in a slow thoughtful fashion. Our goal is to cause the child to voluntarily surrender his will. We want to impress upon him the severity of his disobedience. It takes time and thoughtfulness for the child to come to repentance. I have told a child I was going to give him 10 licks. I count out loud as I go. After about three licks, leaving him in his position, I would stop and remind him what this is all about. I would continue slowly, still counting, stop again and tell him that I know it hurts and I wish I didnít have to do it but that it is for his own good. Then I would continue slowly. Pretending to forget the count, I would again stop at about eight and ask him the number. Have him subtract eight from ten, (a little homeschooling) and continue with the final two licks. Then I would have him stand in front of me and ask him why he got the spanking. If his answer showed that he was rebellious and defiant, he would get several more licks. Again he would be questioned as to his offense. If he showed total submission, we put it all behind us, but if he were still rebellious, we would continue until he gave over his will.
Yeah, that's the way to handle it. Draw it out as long as possible. Don't get it over with -- make it as sadistically protracted as you can manage.
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  #9  
Old 27 March 2007, 05:08 AM
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From Proverbs there's also:

Quote:
Proverbs 3
11 My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
and do not resent his rebuke,

12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves,
as a father [b] the son he delights in.

b. Hebrew; Septuagint / and he punishes (NIV)
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  #10  
Old 27 March 2007, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cactus Wren View Post
Un. Be. Leivable:



Yeah, that's the way to handle it. Draw it out as long as possible. Don't get it over with -- make it as sadistically protracted as you can manage.
Cactus Wren, that quote sounds like the bastard is GETTING OFF on it. UGH. Gross. Vile.

Here's the New Living Translation of Proverbs 13:24:

"If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don't love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them."

The word "rod" perhaps could have been interpreted to imply physical striking - it looks to me as if this is another of those many cases where the Hebrew word had different meanings and perhaps not even a good translation and we simply *do not know* which was the correct one - but child psychology was a good 4500 years away and striking was the state of the art for discipline by that society. To them, striking probably was discipline. To us, we know better. These are people who still stoned adulterous women in public and the punishment for breaking the sabbath was death, IIRC. Humans evolve and society evolves and the way Jews understood their scripture (and then Christians) has evolved also. I believe this is how it is intended to be.

I don't think anyone would argue against the notion that properly administered *discipline* is mandatory to raising a happy, well adjusted person, and that parents who won't discipline their children are not doing them or society any favors and they are not doing it out of love but rather from not caring enough to go to the effort. Much easier to ignore the little monster tearing up the store than to chase him down, physically pick him up and explain to him the rules and then remove him from the situation if he won't behave...each and every time...even though you still have shopping and errands to do...parents who just sit there blabbing away to friends while their kids run amuck strike us as lazy and unconcerned and oblivious to what is obvious to the rest of us, that their kid is a disagreeable, undisciplined little terror...and there are all kinds of ways to address that situation without ever hitting the kid.

I don't take the bible literally, I believe something can contain truth without being literal, so I have no problem at all in seeing this proverb's intention and message as being one of discipline. There's a lot of underlying truth we agree with, even though it was manifested in ways back then that we have evolved waaaaaay past, thankfully. ~ or I should say, SOME of us have evolved way past. Then there are the nutjobs. Le sigh.
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  #11  
Old 27 March 2007, 07:57 AM
BluesScale BluesScale is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arriah View Post
I'm sure a shepherd has to poke the sheep pretty hard sometimes.
It was made worse by sleep confusion and cold meds. I read that as "poke the pretty sheep hard"

Blues
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Old 27 March 2007, 02:24 PM
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The thing about Proverbs is that they are general principles, not guarantees. Interpretation must take genre into account. For a long time I thought the passage meant corporal punishment was necessary, but now I've had a lot of exegesis classes and Hebrew and a whole slew of other training, and it is my impression that it just means that children need discipline. Whether that discipline should take the form of spanking is a discussion for another day.

Avril
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Old 27 March 2007, 02:30 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
Cactus Wren, that quote sounds like the bastard is GETTING OFF on it. UGH. Gross. Vile. .
Well, some of those folk also advocate "domestic discipline," (i.e. physically chastizing your wife as well as kids.) I wouldn't be surprised if there is an element of sexual tension involved as well.

It seems to me that spanking ( the kind of formal, measured, long spanking, as opposed to one swat here and there, or, perhaps, a pat on the hand) would very likely have vast psychological ramifications. In what I've seen, the more often and more severe that kind of treatment, the more disorders the kid develops.
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Old 27 March 2007, 02:42 PM
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Interesting. The Latin from the Vulgate of 13:24 is: "qui parcit virgae suae odit filium suum qui autem diligit illum instanter erudit."

Literally, "He who spares [the use of] his virga hates his son, but he who loves him urgently instructs him."

Virga can mean either a twig, sprout, stalk, switch, rod, staff, wand, or scepter. The sense I take from it is a small branch used for disciplining.
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Old 27 March 2007, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryda Wong, EBfCo. View Post
Well, some of those folk also advocate "domestic discipline," (i.e. physically chastizing your wife as well as kids.) I wouldn't be surprised if there is an element of sexual tension involved as well.

It seems to me that spanking ( the kind of formal, measured, long spanking, as opposed to one swat here and there, or, perhaps, a pat on the hand) would very likely have vast psychological ramifications. In what I've seen, the more often and more severe that kind of treatment, the more disorders the kid develops.
I totally agree.

I'm not FOR spanking so much - but I don't think a rare, fast sudden swat on the behind, done almost impulsively due to perhaps the scarey or extreme nature of the circumstance - as the classic example of the kid darting across the street, to be followed of course by a teary hug and explanation of what could happen - is ANYTHING like this deliberate, creepy ~EEWWW it just is sick.
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Old 27 March 2007, 02:59 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
I totally agree.

I'm not FOR spanking so much - but I don't think a rare, fast sudden swat on the behind, done almost impulsively due to perhaps the scarey or extreme nature of the circumstance - as the classic example of the kid darting across the street, to be followed of course by a teary hug and explanation of what could happen - is ANYTHING like this deliberate, creepy ~EEWWW it just is sick.
Yeah. Or the kid about to touch a hot stove, slapping the hand away.

I mean, I've swatted the Jake-dog a couple of times when I had to get his attention, right then, and he wasn't responding.

But I would never, ever....blech.
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Old 27 March 2007, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admiraldinty View Post
Interesting. The Latin from the Vulgate of 13:24 is: "qui parcit virgae suae odit filium suum qui autem diligit illum instanter erudit."

Literally, "He who spares [the use of] his virga hates his son, but he who loves him urgently instructs him."

Virga can mean either a twig, sprout, stalk, switch, rod, staff, wand, or scepter. The sense I take from it is a small branch used for disciplining.
I like to use Crosswalk's online lexicon.

The Hebrew word for "rod" in these verses is shebet. It can mean
rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, sceptre, tribe

1. rod, staff
2. shaft (of spear, dart)
3. club (of shepherd's implement)
4. truncheon, sceptre (mark of authority)
5. clan, tribe
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Old 27 March 2007, 05:45 PM
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Yeah, well,

Quote:
Wink is often good as nod;
Spoils the child who spares the rod;
Thirsty lambs run foxy dangers;
Dogs are found in many mangers.
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Old 27 March 2007, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avril View Post
The thing about Proverbs is that they are general principles, not guarantees. Interpretation must take genre into account. For a long time I thought the passage meant corporal punishment was necessary, but now I've had a lot of exegesis classes and Hebrew and a whole slew of other training, and it is my impression that it just means that children need discipline. Whether that discipline should take the form of spanking is a discussion for another day.

Avril

I think this here is one of the most important points - much more so than anything you could learn trying to dig up Hebrew lexica or the sort (though I still strongly encourage such language studies!).

Western cultural Christianity is so used to thinking of the bible as the fallen-from-heaven-word-of-God that everyone tends to assume that anything they read in it must be taken literaly as some absolute universal truth. That does a real injustice to the bible itself, which if read carefully and slowly will be seen not to present itself in that way.

In the case of the proverbs, they clearly present themselves as proverbial sayings - hence the name - which by definition refers to truisms that may apply at some times and may not in others. The classic example of this is to look to proverbs 26.

in v4 it tells you "do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him." But if you took that as absolute universal truth - to never answer fools - then you would really be tripped up by the very next verse, which reads "answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes"!

Bottom line, a responsible reading of the discipline proverbs is that sometimes it will be a good idea to discipline your child.

Now, as to all that rod stuff, it's true that "rod" in the OT is often used metaphorically to refer to any kind of force, e.g. an invading army is sometimes referred to as the "rod of the Lord" as if the Lord was using the army to punish the people being invaded.

That said, it seems obvious however that the rod being thought of in these proverbs is just that - an actual branch or switch or some sort that was used to hit the child as a form of discipline. The vulgate translation admrial gave shows that, at very least, the early church read it that way.

The key here is not to try to perform some great exegetical twists and turns to try to make "rod" refer to something other than hitting your kid with a stick. Rather, the key is in the hermeneutical method ith which you choose to interpret that text. A responsible hermeneutical method will, I think, simply acknowledge honestly that this text does, on a literal level, refer to hitting your kid with a stick, but then move on from that and, as snapdragonfly notes, realise that the princible of this proverb is culturally ensconsed and that a faithful interpretation will work to translate that truth from the culture it is found in to the modern culture to which we wish to apply it. In other words, while we can embrace the proverbial truth that it will be necessary from time to time to discipline your child, we have to acknowledge that in this modern day "discipline" no longer means using a stick.

This is all common sense, really. I mean, we lose track of it because in north america spanking is such a contorversial issue, but in other areas of biblical interpretation we manage to see it quite easily. for example, when the bible tells you to give your kid bread, we easily acknowledge that the idea is that we should provide sufficient food for a children, but we don't for a second think that the text's specific use of "bread" precludes us from serving them a hamburger.
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Old 27 March 2007, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by callee View Post
Rather, the key is in the hermeneutical method ith which you choose to interpret that text. A responsible hermeneutical method will, I think, simply acknowledge honestly that this text does, on a literal level, refer to hitting your kid with a stick, but then move on from that and, as snapdragonfly notes, realise that the princible of this proverb is culturally ensconsed and that a faithful interpretation will work to translate that truth from the culture it is found in to the modern culture to which we wish to apply it. In other words, while we can embrace the proverbial truth that it will be necessary from time to time to discipline your child, we have to acknowledge that in this modern day "discipline" no longer means using a stick.
Thanks for explaining it so well.
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