The Joshua Delusion?

Rethinking Genocide in the Bible

Author: Douglas S. Earl

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1608998924

Category: Religion

Page: 190

View: 8616

DOWNLOAD NOW »

Many Christians wrestle with biblical passages in which God commands the slaughter of the Canaanites-men, women, and children. The issue of the morality of the biblical God is one of the major challenges for faith today. How can such texts be Holy Scripture? In this bold and innovative book Douglas Earl grasps the bull by the horns and guides readers to new and unexpected ways of looking at the book of Joshua. Drawing on insights from the early church and from modern scholarship, Earl argues that we have mistakenly read Joshua as a straightforward historical account and have ended up with a genocidal God. In contrast, Earl offers a theological interpretation in which the mass killing of Canaanites is a deliberate use of myth to make important theological points that are still valid today. Christopher J. H. Wright then offers a thoughtful response to Earl's provocative views. The book closes with Earl's reply to Wright and readers are encouraged to continue the debate.
Release

Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide

Christian Interpretations of Herem Passages

Author: Christian Hofreiter

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198810903

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 4800

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The divine commands to annihilate the seven nations living in Canaan (to 'devote them to destruction', herem in Biblical Hebrew) are perhaps the most morally troubling texts of the Hebrew and Christian bibles. Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide: Christian Interpretations of Herem Passages addresses the challenges these texts pose. It presents the various ways in which interpreters from the first century to the twenty-first have attempted to make sense of them. The most troubling approach was no doubt to read them as divine sanction and inspiration for violence and war: the analysis of the use of herem texts in the crusades, the inquisition, and various colonial conquests illustrates this violent way of reading the texts, which has such alarming contemporary relevance. Three additional approaches can also be traced to antiquity, viz. pre-critical, non-literal, and divine-command-theory readings. Finally, critics of Christianity from antiquity via the Enlightenment to today have referenced herem texts: their critical voices are included as well. Christian Hofreiter combines a presentation of a wide range of historical sources with careful analysis that scrutinizes the arguments made and locates the texts in their wider contexts. Influential contributions of such well-known figures as Augustine, Origen, Gregory the Great, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin are included, as well as those of critics such as Marcion, Celsus and Matthew Tindal, and less widely known texts such as crusading histories, songs and sermons, colonial conquest accounts, and inquisition manuals. The book thus sheds new light on the ways in which these texts have shaped the thoughts and actions of their readers through the centuries, and offers pertinent insights into how readers might be able to make sense of them today.
Release

Did God Really Command Genocide?

Coming to Terms with the Justice of God

Author: Paul Copan,Matt Flannagan

Publisher: Baker Books

ISBN: 1441221093

Category: Religion

Page: 352

View: 6801

DOWNLOAD NOW »

A common objection to belief in the God of the Bible is that a good, kind, and loving deity would never command the wholesale slaughter of nations. Even Christians have a hard time stomaching such a thought, and many avoid reading those difficult Old Testament passages that make us squeamish. Instead, we quickly jump to the enemy-loving, forgiving Jesus of the New Testament. And yet, the question doesn't go away. Did God really command genocide? Is the command to "utterly destroy" morally unjustifiable? Is it literal? Are the issues more complex and nuanced than we realize? In the tradition of his popular Is God a Moral Monster?, Paul Copan teams up with Matthew Flannagan to tackle some of the most confusing and uncomfortable passages of Scripture. Together they help the Christian and nonbeliever alike understand the biblical, theological, philosophical, and ethical implications of Old Testament warfare passages. Pastors, youth pastors, campus ministers, apologetics readers, and laypeople will find that this book both enlightens and equips them for serious discussion of troubling spiritual questions.
Release