Bathsheba’s Story (Part 2): How My Friends Changed Their Perspectives

city wall cropMy formal research on Bathsheba revealed a variety of opinions about Bathsheba, which I divided into three categories: (1) immoral and complicit, (2) reformed sinner, and (3) helpless victim.

Some people think that Bathsheba had no qualms about having sex with the king, perhaps even instigating it herself. Some take this view a step further by claiming that she was a repentant sinner whose sin God redeemed. The third group views her as a victim, not a sinner, and in no way at fault.

While working on my thesis, my perspective on Bathsheba’s story changed (see previous post). But what really surprised me is that short conversations with friends changed some of their perspectives as well.

With the wide variety of view points among evangelicals, I didn’t expect to change many people’s perspectives very easily. But a few carefully phrased comments and replies did just that.

As people inquired about my thesis topic, there were two common responses:

  • “I never realized there was enough in Bathsheba’s story to write a whole thesis about.”—Yes, indeed! Bathsheba’s story is worth studying in-depth and has applications for us today.
  • “Why was Bathsheba bathing on a roof?”—Well, actually she probably wasn’t. Though a few Bible translations suggest that, it is more accurate to say David saw her bathing from his high rooftop. Bathsheba was likely in an enclosed courtyard.

After one particulary engaging conversation, a friend commented, “I never thought about this before, but I wonder if Bathsheba knew that David murdered her husband. How awful it must feel to be married to the person who murdered your first husband.” Bathsheba’s victimization hit home for her.

This all encourages me. Why? Because sometimes all it takes for the major truth of a narrative to hit the heart is a few glimpses of smaller truths within the story.