Friday, December 18, 2015

Violence in the Old Testament

I had a lot of bright students for fall semester 2015, many of whom posed a number of questions and/or objections to me concerning the "Old Testament" (Hebrew-Aramaic Bible).

Many people decry the "violence" in the Old Testament. They wonder how a holy book for Jews and Christians could sanction such violent acts. Then they go off, purchase tickets and popcorn (along with drinks), and they watch gory films produced by Hollywood iterum et iterum. I thus wonder how bothered moderns truly are.

I'm not trying to make a tu quoque defense for the Bible, since there are ways to explain the wars in the OT. But this question just arose in my mind as I heard numerous criticisms of the OT this semester. Why do so many violent films exist, violent TV shows (etc), if we enlightened moderns are so bothered by violence? Just thinking out loud.


Duncan said...

These arguments are future hopes overlayed on past events. God will destroy the persistent wicked in the near future. Ruining those who ruin the earth. Jehovah's standards do not change. Once cannan was deemed as holy by Jehovah it had to be made clean. This is the objection of those who think that Jehovah forgives all. The evidence is that Jehovah is selective in favour of the compliant over the persistent disobedient.

Duncan said...

It is the issue of establishing that the senses are truly identical. Once this is agreed then contradiction has no logical argument in its favour.

dokimazo said...

Of course Christianity does not endorse absolute pacifism. After all there are the wars in the old Testament and of course there is Armageddon. Christ will come to execute vengeance "on those on those who do not know God and those who do not obey the good news about our Lord Jesus." 2Thess. 1.8,9 Of course "Vengence is mine I will repay"
Romans 12.9

Paul Copans book, 'Is God a Moral Monster' is a pretty good read on Wars of Yahweh in the Old Testament and justification of those wars.

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan and Dokimazo,

Good points. I've used Copan's material from YT and read the book that he and Craig wrote on creatio ex nihilo. I would like to read the book you mentioned too. Thanks!

Duncan said...

Anonymous said...

Hey Edgar, thank you for responding to my question on clement, this I do appreciate. I would like to summarize the Feb,1, 2014 WT. Why does God allow the strong to oppress the weak? Basically Jehovah was challenged on who can govern themselves so since Jehovah can't lie he allows these things to happen.
Example: The Israelite's wanted a human king just like the surrounding nations. God told them what would happen under such a king, and we now have their history good & bad. Mostly bad. (Eccl.8:9) (Titus.1:2)
Maybe you can read it it's brief thank you!

Edgar Foster said...

Thank you for the Feb 1, 2014 WT reference. I will read it.