Dobson's Misuse and Misinterpretation of Scripture

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Tapestry Of Power

James Dobson believes that "[t]he best source of guidance for parents can be found in the wisdom of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which originated with the Creator and was then handed down generation by generation from the time of Christ"[1], and he states very plainly that his main purpose in writing The New Dare To Discipline was "to record for posterity [his] understanding of the Judeo-Christian concept of parenting that has guided millions of mothers and fathers for centuries.[2]

In my opinion, Dobson misinterprets a good number of Bible verses in his attempt to provide scriptural support for his various arguments. This surprises me somewhat because, as he mentions in both The New Dare To Discipline and The New Strong-Willed Child, his father was a preacher, and I would expect somebody with that background, to say nothing of Dobson's level of education, to be more skilled at Biblical interpretation.

Jacob And Esau

During one of the "question and answer" sections in The New Strong-Willed Child, Dobson makes a couple different statements about Jacob and Esau.

    Q: Does Scripture confirm that babies have temperaments or personalities before birth?
    ...[I]n a remarkable account, we are told of the prenatal development of the twins Jacob and Esau. As predicted before their birth, one turned out to be rebellious and tough while the other was something of a mama's boy. They were fighting before they were born and continued in conflict through much of their lives (see Genesis 25:22-27). Then later, in one of the most mysterious and disturbing statements in the Bible, the Lord said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Romans 9:13, KJV). Apparently, God discerned a rebellious nature in Esau before he was born and knew that he would not be receptive to the divine Spirit.[3]

I disagree with basically everything Dobson has written in this brief paragraph.

Although I do believe that unborn children have their own individual temperaments and personalities (at least to some degree) before they are born, I don't believe one can honestly use the story of Jacob and Esau to scripturally "confirm" that view, and I believe a closer inspection of the story of these two individuals will show why that is.

Gen. 25:21-26 says...

Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD answered him and Rebekah his wife conceived. But the children struggled together within her; and she said, "If it is so, why then am I this way?" So she went to inquire of the LORD. The LORD said to her,
"Two nations are in your womb;
And two peoples will be separated from your body;
And one people shall be stronger than the other;
And the older shall serve the younger."
When her days to be delivered were fulfilled, behold, there were twins in her womb. Now the first came forth red, all over like a hairy garment; and they named him Esau. Afterward his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau's heel, so his name was called Jacob; and Isaac was sixty years old when she gave birth to them.

When I read these verses, I see very little said about their pre-birth personalities. The only two statements I see that even come close to describing their personalities are in verse 22 where the Bible says "the children struggled together" and in verse 26 where it describes how Jacob was born holding on to his brother's heal. You might be able to conclude from those statements that the boys didn't like each other and that Jacob was very competitive, but you might also be able to conclude that the boys were playful and Jacob was afraid of being without the company of his brother, or perhaps you could conclude that the boys were strong-willed and were intentionally trying to drive their mother crazy by moving around too much inside her and that Jacob was an idiot who needed his brother to guide him to the outer world.

Despite Dobson's claim to the contrary, I see no place in which God predicts specifically that one of the children would "be rebellious and tough while the other [would be] something of a mama's boy". God, in fact, says nothing about their personalities. What He tells Rebekah is that she has twins, that those children will grow up to father two separate nations, and that the nation that comes from the younger child will be stronger and more important than the nation that the older child fathers. I see no place within that prophecy in which God even passingly mentions their personalities.

Dobson thinks that Esau was rebellious and tough and that Jacob was a "mama's boy", that too I see no proof of in the scriptures.

What the Bible actually says is that "When the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the field, but Jacob was a peaceful man, living in tents. Now Isaac loved Esau, because he had a taste for game, but Rebekah loved Jacob." (Gen. 25:27-28 NASB)

According to dictionary.com, a "mama's boy" is "a boy or man showing excessive attachment to or dependence on his mother."

I do not understand how one can logically conclude that because a man is a peaceful tent-dweller who is loved by his mother, he must, therefore, be excessively attached to or dependant on her.

I can agree that Esau was probably tough given that he was an accomplished hunter who lived a semi nomadic existence 2000 years before the birth of Christ. And to a point I can agree that he was rebellious given that he married two women his parents did not seem to approve of[4] and famously sold his birthright for a pot of stew[5]. Although, I think one could argue that selling his birthright showed less rebellion than it did a lack of respect or proper valuation for the honor his birth had blessed him with.

I do, however, reject Dobson's implication that Esau was rebellious while Jacob was not. In the Biblical account of his life, Jacob does not come across as a particularly upright or virtuous man. He bribes his brother of his birthright[6] and later impersonates his brother and lies to his father in order to steal Esau's blessing[7]. He marries his wives' maidservants[8][9]. And he does what is in his power to con his uncle out of as much livestock as he can[10].

On the basis of those incidents, I simply don't believe one can honestly argue that Esau was rebellious whereas Jacob was not. Rather, they both seem to have had their share of character issues and flaws.

But, in some respects what I've just written is unimportant. I do find it troubling that Dobson is unable or unwilling to accurately restate what the Bible has to say about Jacob and Esau. However, those misstatements are nothing compared to the absolute twisting of scripture that Dobson engages in when he writes

Then later, in one of the most mysterious and disturbing statements in the Bible, the Lord said, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Romans 9:13, KJV). Apparently, God discerned a rebellious nature in Esau before he was born and knew that he would not be receptive to the divine Spirit. (italics mine)

Romans 9 is probably the most important passage about spiritual justification in the Bible, and Dobson makes a mockery of it, ripping verse 13 completely out of context and, in fact, causing it to say the exact opposite of what the Apostle Paul is trying to convey.

First off, I think it would be helpful to give some sort of context to the passage Dobson cites.

    But it is not as though the word of God has failed For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; nor are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: "THROUGH ISAAC YOUR DESCENDANTS WILL BE NAMED."
    That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants. For this is the word of promise: "AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON."
    And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, "THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER." Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED."[11]

It is perhaps worth noting that the scripture passage the Apostle Paul is referencing in verse 13 is Malachi 1 (specifically verses 2 and 3) where is appears that God is not speaking about the individuals of Jacob and Esau but rather about the nations of Israel and Edom which came from those two men.

It is perhaps also worth noting that in Romans 9 when Paul talks about individuals he does so in order to make a greater point about two groups of people, namely, the Jews and the Gentiles.

At any rate, the statement Dobson makes that God rejected Esau before he was born because He discerned a rebellious nature in him is diametrically opposed to what the Apostle Paul writes in verse 11.

for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God's purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls

Paul is saying that God chose Jacob over Esau not because of any action or attitude on their part current or future. If God had chosen Jacob or rejected Esau based on their future actions that would have completely destroyed the argument Paul is trying to make in that passage.

To quote from the Bible commentary by Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown...

It might be thought that there was a natural reason for preferring the child of Sarah, as being Abraham's true and first wife, both to the child of Hagar, Sarah's maid, and to the children of Keturah, his second wife. But there could be no such reason in the case of Rebecca, Isaac's only wife; for the choice of her son Jacob was the choice of one of two sons by the same mother, and of the younger in preference to the older, and before either of them was born, and consequently before either had done good or evil to be a ground of preference; and all to show that the sole ground of distinction lay in the unconditional choice of God--"not of works, but of Him that calleth."[12]

It shocks me beyond measure that a christian leader would take one of the most important passages in scripture and twist it to say the exact opposite of what the original author intended all so that he can back up a dubious point in a book about child-rearing.

The Word

Even when the point Dobson is making is not dubious, that is still no guarantee he will not misinterpret and/or misapply scripture. In arguing that parents should be careful what they say to their children, Dobson makes this statement...

If you doubt the power of words, remember what John the disciple wrote under divine inspiration. He said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1). John was describing Jesus, the Son of God, who was identified personally with words. That makes the case about words as well as it will ever be demonstrated. Matthew, Mark and Luke each record a related prophetic statement made by Jesus that confirms the eternal nature of His teachings. He said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Matthew 24:35). We remember what He said to this hour, more that two thousand years later. Clearly, words matter.[13]

...No, clearly Christ's words matter. That is the most, it seems to me, one can honestly conclude from those scripture verses, but whether what we humans say matters those verses do not say.

To quote Adam Clarke

Was the Word

Or, existed the Logos. This term should be left untranslated, for the very same reason why the names Jesus and Christ are left untranslated. The first I consider as proper an appellative of the Saviour of the world as I do either of the two last. And as it would be highly improper to say, the Deliverer, the Anointed, instead of Jesus Christ, so I deem it improper to say, the Word, instead of the Logos. But as every appellative of the Saviour of the world was descriptive of some excellence in his person, nature, or work, so the epithet λογος, Logos, which signifies a word spoken, speech, eloquence, doctrine, reason, or the faculty of reasoning, is very properly applied to him, who is the true light which lighteth every man who cometh into the world, John 1:9; who is the fountain of all wisdom; who giveth being, life, light, knowledge, and reason, to all men; who is the grand Source of revelation, who has declared God unto mankind; who spake by the prophets, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, Revelation 19:10; who has illustrated life and immortality by his Gospel, 2 Timothy 1:10; and who has fully made manifest the deep mysteries which lay hidden in the bosom of the invisible God from all eternity, John 1:18.[14]

This verse seems to be clearly talking about Christ and His attributes. You cannot, therefore, conclude that because Christ has certain attributes humans also have those same attributes--that because Christ's words are powerful, a human's words are also powerful.

That is not to say I disagree with Dobson's assertion that a parent's words can be powerful and have long-lasting affects upon their children. I simply object to him inappropriately trying to make a Bible verse say something that it does not say.

What I find odd is that on the very same page, Dobson goes on to quote James 3:3-6 which does, I think, legitimately back up his point. I do not understand why he chooses to twist a scripture to make it support something it simply doesn't when there is an equally good scripture which he also uses and which supports his point without any twisting.

Eli And His Sons

In chapter 10 of The New Strong-Willed Child, Dobson writes out a three page speech that he presents as an example of the sort of speech a parent ought to give to a teenager who has "entered a period of remarkable defiance".[15] Dobson suggests that, during part of that speech parents include something along the following lines...

God has given us a responsibility as parents to do what is right for you. I want to read you an important passage from the Bible that describes a father named Eli, a priest in the temple, who did not discipline and correct his two unruly teenage sons. (Read the dramatic story from 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25, 27-34; 3:11-14; 4:1-4 and 10-22.) It is very clear that God was angry with Eli for permitting his sons to be disrespectful and disobedient. Not only did He allow the sons to be killed in battle, but He also punished their father for not accepting his parental responsibilities.[16]

As with the story of Jacob and Esau, Dobson profoundly twists this Bible story and ascribes to it a meaning that it simply does not possess.

First off, the Bible is not clear about how old Hophni and Phineas were, although it is possible they were teenagers, and by the time they were killed in battle they were most certainly adults--Phineas, in fact, being the father of at least two children.

According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

"Young man" is generally in the Old Testament the translation of bachur, from bachar, "to prove," "to choose," and of na'ar (literally, "boy", but used sometimes also of a girl). The former term denotes a young man, no longer a mere youth, but liable to military service....

Na'ar is frequently used (singular and plural) of soldiers….Abraham's "young men" (ne'arim) were "trained servants," "trained men," warriors (Gen 14:24; compare 14:14 the Revised Version (British and American).[17]

Vine's Expository Dictionary states that "[the term 'young man'] signifies the fully developed, vigorous, unmarried man."[18]

To describe them as "teenagers" strikes me as misleading at best if not outright manipulative.

I think that is worth noting because Dobson seems to be trying to turn this passage into a cautionary tale of what happens when parents don't discipline their children.

However, it appears to me that the story is not about that at all but rather is meant show how seriously God views it when someone abuses their position of religious authority.

1 Samuel 2:12-17 describes how Eli's sons did not follow God and did not serve the people of Israel but instead used their positions as priests solely to benefit themselves. In verses 22-25 Eli rebukes his sons, but, even though he is the High Priest, he does nothing to actually stop them.

Finally, in chapter 27 God confronts Eli

    Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house? Did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me; and did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel?
    'Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?'
    "Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, 'I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever'; but now the LORD declares, 'Far be it from Me--for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.
    'Behold, the days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father's house so that there will not be an old man in your house. You will see the distress of My dwelling, in spite of all the good that I do for Israel; and an old man will not be in your house forever.
    'Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar so that your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul grieve, and all the increase of your house will die in the prime of life.
    'This will be the sign to you which will come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phineas: on the same day both of them will die.
    'But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always. Everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and say, "Please assign me to one of the priest's offices so that I may eat a piece of bread."'"[19]

The way Dobson uses this scripture passage strikes me as highly manipulative. He is basically (although not nearly as bluntly) advising parents to tell their unruly teenage children, "Eli's sons misbehaved, Eli did not discipline them enough, and God killed all three of them."

That is an extremely heavy weight to put upon young person--or any person for that matter--and it is made all the more offensive by the fact that that Bible story cannot honestly be made out to possess that moral.

God was not angry with Hophni and Phineas to the point of killing them because they were disobedient. He was angry to the point of killing them because they were disobedient priests.

God opens the prophecy he sent to Eli by stressing the great honor it was to be a member of the priesthood, but He mentions nothing about the honor or duty of being a parent. He goes on to ask, "Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?"

It seems very clear from this that God was not angry at some random, everyday joe for not disciplining his unruly teenagers. Rather, He was angry at the High Priest of Israel for not only standing idly by while two priests under his command misused their positions of authority but for also benefiting himself from their blasphemous impiety.

A Healthy Parental Attitude Toward Children And Vice Versa

If, in Dobson's view, the Bible provides an account of poor parenting and its results in the story of Eli and his sons, the Bible also provides instruction on what proper parenting ought to entail. As Dobson says...

Consider the clarity with which the following verses outline a healthy parental attitude toward children and vice versa.

"He [the father] must have proper authority in his own household, and be able to control and command the respect of his children. (For if a man cannot rule in his own house how can he look after the Church of God?" (1 Timothy 3:4-5, Phillips).

This verse acknowledges the fact that respect must be "commanded." It is not a by-product of human nature, but it is inherently related to control and discipline.[20]

It is perhaps a minor quibble that Dobson is not entirely accurate when quoting the above verses. 1 Timothy chapter 3 outlines the standards a man must meet if he wishes to be a leader in the church. Therefore, Dobson should have written something along the lines of

"He [the would-be elder/deacon/pastor of a church] must have proper authority in his own household..."

Although the above verse is really only speaking to would be church leaders, I do think that it would be a good one for any parent to follow, whether leader or not, and so I am willing to let Dobson's mis-statement pass with only minor comment.

However, I am not willing to let pass what appears to be a complete misunderstanding of the meaning of verse 4.

One of the things I have found interesting in Dobson's writings is the way he quotes from multiple Bible translations. When quoting one verse he will use the New International Version, for another he quotes the King James, and here he actually uses J.B. Phillips' The New Testament In Modern English.

After viewing the various English translations of 1 Timothy 3:4-5 available at Biblegateway.com it occurs to me that Dobson could not have so easily made his point that "respect must be 'commanded'" had he used any of the more common English translations of the Bible due to the way they have rendered that verse.

As you can see, none of those translations use the word "command" and they each seem to emphasize or de-emphasis the control aspect to varying degrees.

In order to understand exactly what this verse is saying, it would perhaps be helpful to look at the original greek words. Like many, if not most, people, I have not actually studied ancient greek. However, there are many resources (such as the Interlinear Study Bible) which are available to people who want to investigate such things.

First, let us look at the verse again.

He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (1 Tim. 3:4, NASB)

The word translated "manages" is "Proistemi" (and I am using the transliteration here). It means

    to set or place before
  1. to set over
  2. to be over, to superintend, preside over
  3. to be a protector or guardian
  4. to care for, give attention to

In viewing that definition, it seems to me that what is being described is not so much a person using their authority to unilaterally command or order other people but instead to oversee and supervise them--and to do so in a protective, attentive, and caring manner.

The word translated "control" is "Hupotage" which means

  1. the act of subjecting
  2. obedience, subjection

It is a noun that originates from the verb "Hupotasso" which means

  1. to arrange under, to subordinate
  2. to subject, put in subjection
  3. to subject one's self, obey
  4. to submit to one's control
  5. to yield to one's admonition or advice
  6. to obey, be subject

The Interlinear Study Bible goes on to state that it is

A Greek military term meaning "to arrange [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader". In non-military use, it was "a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden".

So it seems that this is not an attitude that can be compelled but is rather something that an individual must give of their own free will.

Finally, the word translated as "dignity" is "Semnotes" which means

  1. the characteristic of a thing or person which entitles to reverence and respect, dignity, majesty, sanctity
  2. honour, purity

It is a noun that originates from the adjective "Semnos" which means

  1. august, venerable, reverend
  2. to be venerated for character, honourable

Taking all of that together, it seems to me that in this verse the Apostle Paul is saying that a man who desires to be worthy of a position of leadership within the church must use his parental authority to guide, oversee, protect, and care for his children, and by conducting himself in an honorable and venerable manner he is to gain his children's' willing obedience and subordination.

That seems a far cry from Dobson's claim that

This verse acknowledges the fact that respect must be "commanded." It is not a by-product of human nature, but it is inherently related to control and discipline.

The Proverbs As Proof Text For Spanking

Finally, although this issue has received attention from many other people, I feel no critique of Dobson's use of scripture would be complete without addressing his use of the Proverbs to justify his view on spanking. He writes in The New Dare To Discipline...

"Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him." (Proverbs 22:15, KJV)

This recommendation has troubled some people, leading them to claim that the "rod" was not a paddle, but a measuring stick with which to evaluate the child. The following passage was included expressly for those who were confused on the point.

"Withhold not correction from the child; for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23;13-14, KJV)

Certainly, if the "rod" is a measuring stick, you now know what to do with it? (Note: Please don't grill me on this. I would ask that you heed all of my disclaimers related to child abuse, which I expressed in earlier chapters--especially on pages 11-12.)

"He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes." (Proverbs 13;24, KJV)

"The rod and reproof give wisdom; but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." (Proverbs 29:15, KJV)

"Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul." (Proverbs 29:17, KJV)[21]

It is difficult not to notice that he comes across needlessly rude and depreciatory in this passage toward anyone who might disagree with him, and I personally think it is generally always poor form for a person to make a strong assertion and then tell the people reading his words or listening to him to not question him about it. All in all, I think Dobson's tone here is in bad taste and not worthy of a man in his position within the evangelical subculture.

But, addressing the actual verses themselves...

I take issue with the idea that one can establish doctrine based on the Proverbs. A proverb is "a short popular saying, usually of unknown and ancient origin, that expresses effectively some commonplace truth or useful thought".[22]

Given that, it seems to me that a proverb is not meant to be taken too literally. Rather it's an aphoristic statement that focuses on general or even abstract truth, and I believe it is possible to actually miss the greater point of a proverb if you try to take it too literally.

In merely casually browsing through the book of Proverbs, I notice several sayings that, if taken at their face, are debatable at best if not flat out untrue.

A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, and the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. (Prov. 13:22, NASB)

There are many good men who simply are not rich, and some who cannot even leave an inheritance to their children, much less their grandchildren. And the second part of the verse is just flat out untrue. Sinners keep their wealth and pass it on to their descendents, and righteous people don't get to possess it. The whole Enron fiasco illustrates that.[23]

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men." (Prov 22:29, NASB)

There is many a man skilled in his work who has not stood before kings or presidents or any sort of national leader. Consider the stereotype of the artist who labors and dies in obscurity, to be recognized only after their death as a talented creator. Or, more mundanely, consider a skilled electrician or a skilled house painter; there are many in existence, but the simple nature of their work pretty much prevents them from ever being recognized the way this proverb says a skilled worker will be recognized.

When you sit down to dine with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you, and put a knife to your throat if you are a man of great appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for it is deceptive food. (Prov. 23:1-3, NASB)

So, according to this verse, a person who is invited to a dinner at the White House should refuse to eat the meal.

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor. (Prov. 12:24, NASB)

I suppose that verse explains Congress' brutal work ethic[24] and the fact that Paris Hilton is now doing manual labor on a farm in California alongside migrant workers.

It seems very plain that the above quoted verses cannot be honestly viewed in a rigidly literal manner. Instead, they are each using imagery to convey a general truth. For example, Proverbs 13:22 uses the imagery of inheritance and wealth, but it speaks about more than simply money. As Matthew Henry writes...

A good man, by being good and doing good, by honouring the Lord with his substance and spending it in his service, secures it to his posterity; or, if he should not leave them much of this world's goods, his prayers, his instructions, his good example, will be the best entail, and the promises of the covenant will be an inheritance to his children's children.[25]

When viewing the proverbs about spanking, it seems to me that, as in the above verses, one cannot view them rigidly literally, or else the truth that the writer was trying to convey will be lost. It is good for parents to discipline their children; that is (or so it seems to me) the basic general truth found within those proverbs. They may use the specific imagery of spanking, but the emphasis is on discipline in general.

To take those verses and say, "See, the Bible advocates corporal punishment" is, I think, wrong. The proverbs advocate discipline, and whoever wrote those specific verses was simply using a common image of his day to make that greater point.

Conclusion

James Dobson believes that "the Judeo-Christian" ethic is the best source of solid parenting theory. He also believes that the advice and philosophy he presents in his books accurately reflects that Judeo-Christian ethic. However, upon examining his writings, it becomes clear that he has an appallingly poor understanding of proper Biblical exegesis. If he claims that his parenting techniques are based upon Biblical principles and yet is unable to accurately present and interpret scripture, what guarantee do his readers have that his parenting techniques truly are Biblical?

Footnotes

1. The New Dare To Discipline, James Dobson, Chapter 2 pp. 16 Back
2. The New Dare To Discipline, James Dobson, Chapter 2 pp. 18 Back
3. The New Strong-Willed Child, James Dobson, Chapter 3 pp. 45 Back
4. Genesis 28:34-35 Back
5. Genesis 25:29-34" Back
6. Ibidem Back
7. Genesis 27:1-36 Back
8. Genesis 30:3-4 Back
9. Genesis 30:9 Back
10. Genesis 30:31-43 Back
11. Romans 9:6-13 Back
12. Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown Back
13. The New Strong-Willed Child, James Dobson, Chapter 5 pp. 68 Back
14. Adam Clarke's Bible Commentary, Adam Clarke Back
15. The New Strong-Willed Child, James Dobson, Chapter 10 pp. 161 Back
16. The New Strong-Willed Child, James Dobson, Chapter 10 pp. 163-164 Back
17. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Geoffrey W. Bromiley (editor) Back
18. Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, W. E. Vine and Merrill F. Unger Back
19. 1 Samuel 2:27-36 Back
20. The New Dare To Discipline, James Dobson, Chapter 11 pp. 247-248 Back
21. The New Dare To Discipline, James Dobson, Chapter 11 pp. 249-250 Back
22. proverb. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved May 21, 2008, from Dictionary.com website Back
23. "Payouts anger former Enron workers", Edward Iwata, USA Today Back
24. "Congress finds 5-day workweek is too taxing", Charles Pope, Seattle PI Back
25. Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible, Matthew Henry Back


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