Question 27:

Since I have started reading the Bible, one question preoccupies me: How can it be possible what the Old Testament itself says, namely, that Lots daughters made their father drunk and slept with him and conceived children? Or is there another explanation for this event?

In explaining why the daughters had to take this step, it is pointed out that were no more potent men to be found in the city. However, it is also reported that, following the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham saw the smoke rising from the burned-out cities. Why then did Lots daughters commit this so clearly hideous sin? And how can a prophet be involved in such a hideous sin?


Answer: The Biblical text that the reader is referring to is Genesis 19:30-38 (In the Jerusalem Bible it is titled: The Shameful Origin of Moab and Ammon).

a. From a literary-historical point of view, this relates to an appendix to the Book of Genesis, which was perhaps handed down by the Moabites and the Ammonites (see Numeri 20:23 onwards), who would consider such a parentage to their honour, see Genesis 38. Like Tamar (see Genesis 38, 1 Chronicles 2:4 and Matthew 1:3), Lots daughters are not presented as bawdy. Above all, they want to secure their descendents, that is, the continued existence of their race. In the eyes of the text, this seems legitimate. Verse 31 presupposes that Lot and his daughters are the only survivors of the catastrophe. The story of Sodom, which is destroyed because of the sinfulness of its inhabitants, could originally have been an east Jordanian parallel story to that of the Flood.

b. In complete contrast to the Quran, the Bible records the experiences of people in word and deed in their long history with God and his revelation. Furthermore, the Bible is a witness to the learning process of the Israelites regarding the truth about God, people and the relationships between God and humankind. Thus, it is clear that the Bible presents the great personalities of Biblical history, including the patriarchs and the prophets, also as people with weaknesses and sins. Behind that is the faith that Gods benevolence and mercy are stronger than humankind’s weaknesses and sins. God brings his plans to fruition in spite of and through the weakness and sinfulness of humankind. As a result, in Christian theology, there is also no teaching about the prophets being without sin. Just to give one example: The Bible gives a detailed account of David’s great sin in connection with Uriah and Bathsheba (2 Samuel: 11). However, it also then reports David’s personal and public repentance and redress. Psalm 51, the best known of the Psalms of repentance, is attributed to David.

Only Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the son of God, was without sin, according to the testimony of the New Testament. (The tradition of Sahîh Muslim is significant (Fadâil, 146: "When any human being is born, Satan touches him ….except Jesus, the son of Mary, whom Satan tried to touch but failed". In addition, Mary was the mother of Jesus, full of grace (Luke 1:28), because she found favour with God in his unfathomable choosing and because, full of faith, she was fully obedient to Gods call, fully encompassed by the love and grace of God, which was revealed to us in and through Jesus Christ. According to the teaching of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Church, Maria remained without personal sin also for the rest of her life. She is, as the Eastern Church says fully holy. That means full from the beginning and in all dimensions.

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