Originally Posted by hogfish
It is things like this that I always thought were the difference between The Old and New Testaments.
It is common to describe the Bible as comprised of the Old Testament and the New Testament. There is no doubt that the New Testament reflects a fulfillment of much that in the OT era lay in the future. As to family life, the NT reflects life seen through Christ. The OT reflects the broad semi-episodic experience of the Jewish people. Not everything the Jewish people did reflected the will of God. They were to often in and of the pagan world that surrounded them. This is not surprisingly seen in marriage and family life/structure that often less than perfectly meassured up to the ideal normative in the NT. Doubtless cruelty and outrageous abuse occurred. The period reflected in the book of Judges has for good reason been called the "dark ages of Israel" a time when "every man did as was right in his own eyes." Some would also characterize some of the family/community codes of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy (traditionally described as the "Books of Moses") as developmental and obsoleted in Christ. I am not aware of any place in the OT where there is any sort of support for the idea that a husband has the right to punish his wife.