Would Christians Today Approve of Rahab in the Bible?

Rahab is a woman we meet in the Old Testament. She is recorded in the Book of Joshua, and she is a woman who showed great faith in God. Despite being a Canaanite and a prostitute, she still displayed great faith in God.

Many versions of the Bible say Rahab was an innkeeper; however, it is important to know she was a prostitute, and many versions refer to her as a “harlot.” While these are negative connotations to be connected with, nobody can deny how much faith Rahab had in God.

Her faith in God saved not only her but also her whole family. It is clear that Rahab became a believer in God through the encounter we see in the Book of Joshua, but we cannot be dogmatic to say her entire family became followers of God.

What we do know to be true is that Rahab is included within the genealogy of Jesus (Matthew 1:5). Many people would see this as an outrage; however, if one is knowledgeable about the Bible, they would know that God chooses the weak and despised things of the world to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27-31).

Modern Christians

It goes without saying that many Christians in the modern day are cultural Christians. What this means is that they are only Christians in accordance with the culture rather than actual Bible-believing Christians.

Cultural Christians do not place much of an emphasis on Christ and choose to live in accordance with the world rather than in accordance with God.

This is a sad reality, but it is something that needs to be spoken about. While this is one side of the spectrum, there are also many modern-day Christians who are extremely legalistic.

These individuals are very judgmental and take a “holier than thou” approach, which is not Christian at all. Rather than extending the love, grace, and mercy of Christ, these individuals extend hate, judgment, and critical thoughts.

Both the cultural Christians and the legalistic Christians need to take a firm hold on what the Bible actually says and start following the Lord instead of their own created versions of Jesus.

If anyone lives in accordance with cultural Christianity or a form of legalism, they will never be able to live to the glory of God.

With this being said, we can now answer how modern Christians would respond to Rahab. Would they accept her? Or would they condemn her? Sadly, modern Christians would mostly likely condemn her rather than approve of her.

Due to being a prostitute, they would most likely ridicule her and make her feel bad about herself. I have been to enough churches to see this happen. This is because too many Christians are judgmental rather than loving.

As we can see, this is an area Christians need to improve on. Modern Christians today would condemn Rahab, but it’s also important to note that modern-day Christians would most likely condemn Jesus if He was walking in the modern day.

There are Christians in the modern day who are modern-day Pharisees. Just as the Pharisees rejected Christ, these modern-day Christians Pharisees also would reject Him. Many modern Christians have created a version of Jesus that is not biblical.

Instead of seeing the true Jesus, they have created Him to be a white, light-colored hair, blue-eyed man who is the exact representation of America.

This is not the true Jesus. While we are never told exactly what Jesus looks like, we know that He was Jewish and lived in Israel. This means He would have darker skin, dark eyes, and dark hair.

Based on this description, many modern Christians would have disapproved of Jesus just by His appearance. Therefore, it is not surprising that Rahab would be condemned since modern Christians would have disapproved of Jesus as well.

Letting Go of Judgment

Due to the fact that so many modern Christians would be mean to Rahab, it is important for those who think like this to let go of judgment. Instead of judging Rahab for being a prostitute, individuals need to be aware of the two only professions for women in biblical times.

In the modern day, women can be lawyers, doctors, and teachers. It was not always like this. Rather, this took a long time and took many women’s rights movements in order to just give women the right to work and the right to live independently.

In the Old Testament times, women could either be prostitutes or mourners. Since we know this to be true, modern-day Christians don’t need to be so quick to judge Rahab. We do not know everything about her, nor do we know everything about her past.

She was a Canaanite, which means she did not know God until her encounter with Israel in the book of Joshua. It could be that she turned away from being a prostitute after her encounter with the Lord.

The Bible doesn’t tell us this, but it does tell us that Rahab displayed great faith in the Lord. Instead of judging Rahab, modern Christians need to love her just as God loves her. Maybe Rahab didn’t make the best decisions at times, but neither do we.

All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). God knows we are not perfect, and He does not expect us to be. Instead, He wants us to come to know Him and to live in accordance with the Bible.

Maybe Rahab was a prostitute, but she did have faith in God. She is now living in paradise with the Lord, and she will be with Him for all eternity. As Christians, we need to reflect more on this rather than continue to condemn her for being a prostitute.

We often think of prostitution as being the worst thing possible, but we do not understand Rahab’s full situation, and, as mentioned, it could be that prostitution was the only job Rahab would have been able to do to support herself and her family.

Becoming More Like Christ

With all these things in mind, it is important for us to try our best to become more like Christ rather than continue to conform to this modern form of Christianity, which is either extremely passive or extremely legalistic.

In neither of these extremes do we see God. Instead, we sinful human beings who are trying to play God, it is important that we strive to become more like Jesus rather than trying to claim we are Him. All of us make mistakes, and it is not good to condemn someone just because they made a mistake.

We need to strive to be more like Christ in our words, actions, and behaviors. If we strive to do this, we will truly be pleasing to the Lord.

However, if we continue to try to live in a way that conforms to cultural Christianity or legalistic Christianity, then we will only be downplaying the Name of our Lord.

Christians today in the modern day would condemn Rahab just on the basis of her profession. If we look at the Bible, we can see that this is not biblical.

Even though prostitution is not a praiseworthy job, it does not mean God cannot save those who do this occupation. As mentioned, it could be that Rahab changed her profession after she came to know the Lord.

Although the Bible does not tell us if she did or not, we know that she placed faith in God, and this is what matters at the end of the day. As Christians in the modern day, this is what we need to reflect on and hold in our hearts.

We need to let go of all judgment and extend love to all people, including Rahab as well as to the people who are like her in the modern day.

For further reading:

Who Was Rahab in the Bible?

5 Remarkable Women in Jesus’ Genealogy and What They Teach Us

Is God a Feminist?

Photo Credit: ©Miguel Bruna/Unsplash

Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.

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If you’ve ever felt like Jesus couldn’t love you, then please keep reading. The Bible is filled with unlikely people Jesus loved.

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