help me understand this

Deuteronomy 23:2: “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation.” That is from the Old Testament. We as Catholics do not believe ‘bastard’ children are damned, but then what does this mean. On fb, ‘friends’ are claiming Catholics say children of adultery are damned. help?

I think one needs to read the whole context, I think he is talking about intermarriage which was forbidden back then. I could be wrong, would have to reread. No Catholics don’t take it out on children, and children of wedlock are not dammed. They are innocent and God loves all children, thats why abortions are a sin.

The children mentioned were not children of adultery. They were offspring of forbidden unions. The Hebrew word used, mamzer, means “polluted”. God had forbidden Israelite men from marrying the women of the surrounding heathen tribes, but some disobeyed.

No, they are not damned for being children of adultery. It is not their sin. What they do with their free will later in their lives will determine how God will judge them.

There were a lot of Jewish laws made to set the Jewish people apart from the pagan nations around them.
Those laws pertained to food, washing, and many other things. The rule mentioned sounds crude, but may have been written to show that families needed to not be a cause of bringing children into the world that were not from the marriage. ( I am just guessing at that, but I am sure that the reason behind that “crude” rule had some rationale).

People who want to ridicule usually find obscure and unusual sounding things, and then run with it to make it sound stupid.

Your explanation makes much more sense than my guessing! Thanks.

Dorothy, your answer is a good overall explanation of what God was doing with the Jewish people during that period of time. One explanation you sometimes see is that God was purifying the Jewish people physically during that period. With the coming of Christ, a new phase in our growth began. We are now being purified spiritually. [That’s just a theory:)]

Wow. That’s a new one. Just when I think I’ve heard every misconception out there about Catholics…

Yes, they were being purified! Especially in the desert for forty years, away from the pagan nations.

And, I agree that we, the Body of Christ the Church, are being purified, and we will be inasmuch as we pay attention and subject our wills daily to the Lord’s will! :slight_smile:

I’ll confess I’m a little confused. This verse is in Deuteronomy 23:2. Assuming they think it’s cruel, why would protestants blame Catholics for it? The last time I looked, Deuteronomy is in all the versions of the Bible they use, too!

Your theory sounds right on to me.:smiley:

I don’t think the OP said what religion her facebook friends are. Sounds to me like a typical agnostic/atheist argument against Catholicism.


The Old Testament laws have been abrogated, precepts of natural law remain.

Good call, Gertabelle! I jumped to conclusions. I still don’t see the connection between this Mosaic law and Catholic teaching on adultery, though. You’re probably right; it’s probably some sort of broad-brush attempt to criticize believers in general.

Be wary when someone starts throwing the OT in your face. The arrival of Christ started a new covenant. The OT was the old covenant.

I mean, can you imagine if we were still bound to follow the laws in the OT? :wink:

We could not post on CAF on Saturdays. :frowning:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit