Deuteronomy 22:28-29

I have heard the argument before and recently I had an atheist friend bring it up again, but I wanted to learn more beyond this article and what others here think on the subject. I have always seen of this passage as a way to protect women, because in the time, if she was not married it would be very difficult to provide for herself let alone any children she has, and a woman who was raped would have difficulty finding someone who would marry her. Yes, in our time we look at this as unthinkable, but we live in a time where a woman can make a living on here own and she does not have to rely on a husband for that.

If there are other passages people have heard of and have difficulty explaining to those that bring them up, please mention them as well.
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You are correct, it's about protecting women and calling men to account. We forget culturally women didn't used to have a choice to whom they would marry. Men, usually fathers, decided that. There are countless examples in the Bible where men are asking the father for their daughters hand in marriage (with no regard for the sentiment of the woman).

So in this cultural wrapping, you have God calling men to not be irresponsible, but if you want to lie with a women you need to marry her. This was profoundly respectful of women in the current cultural context. Look at Genesis 34 for an example of this playing out ( 34&version=NIV), Dinah was a piece of property for the king's son. The men of God went and killed all the men in the town for their sister getting raped. Violent, yes. Appropriate, not quite.

The point is God has always been ahead of the curve for women's rights. It's Christians who pushed and railed for women's suffrage (voting rights) in the USA.

A related thought from E. Manning as quoted in The Biblical Illustrator.

“Look at the world before the Son of God came into it. Find one institute of mercy in it. Find a hospital, or an asylum for the widow or for the orphan. Find a home for those who were bereft of reason. Find a ministry of charity to the sick. The culture of classical nations was as cold as the ice, as hard as a stone. The sacred heart of the Incarnate Son of God cast fire upon the earth. And the Christian world kindled and broke forth into all the works of charity. As soon as the widows and the orphans among those who believed were known to be destitute, the apostles set apart a special order -- the sacred order of Deacons -- to be the ministers of the charity of Jesus Christ to His poor. The law of alms came in, which had no existence in the heathen world. The life of community -- not the communism of those that do not believe in Jesus Christ, but the community of all things among those who, being members of His Body, have a sympathy one with another, and share in each other's sorrows, and joys, and in their hunger, and thirst, and nakedness. The miseries of mankind as they were seen by the Son of God Himself are before the eyes of His Church. All the miseries of mankind, of body and soul, are open to the heart that is illuminated and kindled with the love of God and our neighbor. The Church from the beginning has shown an inventiveness of charity, in finding out how it may apply the help of the love and of the mercies of God to every form of human suffering. And what the Church does as a body the saints of the Church have done one by one.” Quoted in (The Biblical Illustrator.)

The same could be said of women's rights. Jesus with the women at the well. Culturally a faux pas to converse with her, but that's God's love. He sees people for people and His heart of caring for women and men alike with regard to seeing His people blessed has been the thread from the Old Testament to the New.
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Speaking of the cultural context, compare Deuteronomy 22:28-29 with other cultural responses. At the time, a woman being raped was a dishonor on the family and it was often considered at that woman was at fault (see the stories of woman being executed for being victims of rape coming from the Middle East today) . It was common then to execute the woman prior to the Hebrew Law, a demonstration of the Lord's mercy and judgement.