18 Odd and Peculiar Actions Prohibited by the Bible

SharePinEmailMany of us know the key stipulations laid out in The Bible. Indeed, many of the world’s laws and norms have their roots in the Ten Commandments. Nonetheless, this great collation of ancient texts carries an abundance of guidelines that are less widely known and often lead to raised eyebrows when set against modern standards….

Many of us know the key stipulations laid out in The Bible. Indeed, many of the world’s laws and norms have their roots in the Ten Commandments. Nonetheless, this great collation of ancient texts carries an abundance of guidelines that are less widely known and often lead to raised eyebrows when set against modern standards. These ceremonial, moral, and social stipulations guided ancient peoples in their business and relationships, but how do they hold up amongst contemporary believers? In this article, we have compiled 18 things that are condemned in The Bible that might now be considered strange.

Wearing Clothes of mixed fabrics

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Leviticus 19:19 dictates that people ought not to wear clothes that combine different textiles, such as a blend of wool and linen. This is interpreted as a desire to maintain purity and avoid mixing different properties.

cutting hair at the sides of your head

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This prohibition, found in Leviticus 19:27, is followed by some Jewish communities who consequently grow out their sidelocks. For many Christian denominations though, this is an example of an obscure guideline, with people worshipping regardless of their hairstyle.

women speaking in church

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Corinthians 14:34-35 is one instance where women are told to remain silent in church. This attitude is likely reflective of society at the time, where gender roles were far more rigid and women did not enjoy the same freedoms they do today.

Eating certain types of birds

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According to Leviticus 11:13-19, certain types of birds are not to be eaten, in particular those breeds that are scavengers or predators. This is likely for symbolic reasons surrounding health and purity.

Homosexuality

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Yet again, ancient cultural and religious norms come into play with this prohibition, as found in Leviticus 18:22. Homosexual acts are described as detestable in the context of the holy scripture. Nowadays, many churches welcome all sexualities, emphasizing the overall message of love spread by Jesus.

Men having long hair

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In Corinthians 11:14, Paul describes how men wearing their hair long is unnatural. This is another area in which gender roles of the time differ from many contemporary settings, where many followers of The Bible of all genders have long hair.

Overindulging on alcohol

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Drunkenness is condemned in The Bible, particularly in Ephesians 5:18, due to it leading to sinful behavior and debauchery. It distracts from a life led by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, many worshippers do not drink, perhaps for this reason, but some drink alcohol and remain devout in their faith.

Fortune-telling

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Fortune-telling, and other practices like it, are forbidden as they undermine the role of God by relying on other supernatural powers. This is laid out in Deuteronomy 18:10-12. Many followers of The Bible declare that God gave us five senses to be able to discover things for ourselves, and therefore there should be no reason to seek clairvoyance, which is often merely stage magic.

Women cutting their hair short

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Having long hair in ancient times, and perhaps still in many cultures today, was seen as a sign of femininity and a way to project modesty. Many women still prefer to wear their hair long, but few congregations would turn away a short-haired woman today, perhaps due to changes in societal and gender norms contemporarily.

Creating idols

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Much like seeking out fortune-tellers, creating or worshipping idols detracts from the true focus on the love and worship of God. It also leads to idolatry which is contrary to many of the Bible’s teachings. This is unpacked in Exodus 20:4-5, as well as contemporarily in the context of things we can come to rely on in the place of worshiping God.

Eating Fat

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Leviticus 3:17 describes how eating the fat of certain animals is inappropriate, as it ought to be reserved for sacrifices to God, rather than be consumed by people. The fat attached to the high organs are to be saved for God alone, and to eat it would amount to theft.

Working on the Sabbath

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Planning to go to your Sunday job this weekend? According to Exodus 20:10, this would violate the Sabbath, a time for rest and worship. Refraining from work and observing this holy day is a way for believers to honor the covenant between themselves and God.

Eating Shellfish

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As stipulated in Leviticus 11:10-12, shellfish, including shrimp and lobster, are not to be consumed. This is because they are deemed unclean, compromising purity, and this is inappropriate for the diet of a follower of The Bible. You may notice that this law falls within kosher dietary laws in Judaism.

Eating Pork

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Also reflected in the kosher diet of Judaism, Leviticus 11:7-8 outlines that pork should not be consumed. Pigs are considered unclean animals, much like shellfish, and therefore do not constitute an appropriate type of food.

Neglecting to honor your parents

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Even the most devout among us have surely fallen short of honoring our parents from time to time. According to Exodus 20:12, this violates key biblical commands. Respecting parents is crucial to uphold stability and order within the family and wider society, and to do so will deliver a long life in return.

going to an astrologer

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Going to an astrologer for advice or information diverts from God as the true source of creation and knowledge. In Isaiah 47:13-14, astrologers are depicted as powerless, and even in modern-day religion, it can be hard to see how the two belief systems can co-exist without conflict.

divorce without a defined proper cause

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In contemporary society, divorce, even within religious communities, is rising year on year. According to The Bible, particularly Matthew 5:32, Jesus teaches that there are limited proper causes that can justify divorce, namely unfaithfulness. The sanctity and utter permanence of marriage are always emphasized.

touching pig skin

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Another example where cleanliness and purity come into play in The Bible is in Leviticus 11:8, where readers are told that touching the skin of a pig will leave them ceremonially unclean. This continues to influence some cultural behaviors and dietary practices today but strikes some as oddly specific.

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