Also, it was clear that the tone could encourage disrespect, or even contempt, for the bible. One of the realities of biblical interpretation is understanding how ideas (like about marriage) changed over time. The "family values" touted by some biblical evangelicals are not the "biblical values" seen here. It took people of faith a while to understand and articulate the core teachings of marriage: between one man and one woman, exclusive, permanent commitment, faithful, fruitful, of body, mind and soul. This is why (despite #15 in the list) St. Paul's elevation of marriage to a comparison of the relationship of Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:22-33) is the culmination of a long journey of reflection on marriage.
Reading this list also shines a spotlight on the patriarchal patterns of behavior in most of the sacred scriptures. Women were certainly second class citizens. In this the Israelites copied the attitudes of the peoples around them (with a few exceptions such as Ruth, Susannah, and Mary). I do not believe that Jesus Christ was patriarchal, or misogynist (see Mark 10:12, where he says a woman can divorce her husband; or how Mary Magdalene is the "apostle to the apostles," see Matthew 28:10 or Mark 16: 9-10). Elements of the New Testament also confront male domination (see Galatians 3:28). But the times and location of the bible (c. 1200 B.C. -- 125 A.D.; the Middle East) were certainly patriarchal and misogynist.
So, enjoy the irony of this list, even as we have to put it into perspective with the further developments that came in our understanding of marriage.
TOP 15 WAYS THE BIBLE RECOMMENDS TO FIND A WIFE
- Have God create a wife for you while you sleep. Note: This will cost you a rib. --Adam (Genesis 2:19-24)
- Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you'll definitely find someone. (It's all relative, of course.) --Cain (Genesis 4:16-17)
- Agree to work seven years in exchange for a woman's hand in marriage. Get tricked into marrying the worng woman. Then work another seven years for the woman you wanted to marry in the first place. Yes, 14 years of toil for a woman. --Jacob (Genesis 289:15-30)
- Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock. --Moses (Exodus 2:16-21)
- Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and giver her new clothes. Then she's yours. --The teaching of Moses (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)
- Find a prostitute and marry her. --Hosea (Hosea 1:1-3)
- Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. --Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)
- Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. --Benjaminites (Judges 21: 19-25)
- Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law's enemies and get his daughter for a wife. --David (1 Samuel 18:27)
- Become the emperor of a huge nation and hold a beauty contest. --Ahasuerus (Esther 2: 3-17)
- When you see someone you like, go home and tell your parents, "I have seen a woman; now get her for me." If your parents question your decision, simply say, "Get her for me. She's the one." --Samson (Judges 14: 1-3)
- Kill a co-worker and take his beautful wife. (Prepare to lose your son though.) --David (2 Samuel 11)
- Wait for your brother to die. Take his widow. (It's not just a good idea, it's the law.) --Boaz (Deuteronomy 25: 5-7; example in Ruth 4:10)
- Do't be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. (But 700???) --Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3)
- A wife? ... NOT! --Paul (1 Corinthians 7:32-35)