Thinking through violence in the Old Testament

If you’ve ever had questions about the violence of God and God’s people in the Old Testament, I think you’ll really enjoy following this discussion by Dr. Seibert over at Peter Enn’s blog. Sure, you probably won’t agree with everything, but it’ll be some fresh thoughts for you to chew on, no doubt. Enjoy!

Ps 137.9  Happy is he who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rocks! (HCSB)

4 thoughts on “Thinking through violence in the Old Testament

  1. Two random thoughts I had – maybe God’s violence looks different through the lens of covenant retribution than it does through the lens of human rights, and… gentle Jesus is going to be extremely violent when He comes back anyway (apparently) so where does that leave us?

    • I think I like where you’re going… can you explain more on the difference between covenant retribution and human rights?

      And yes, I remember thinking as I read the linked post that they’d forgotten about how Jesus is gonna bring a smack down on the world—just not yet.

  2. From what I have read, covenant breakers in the ancient world were seen by the community as deserving to die (at the hands of kin!). The human rights philosophy of the modern world, on the other hand, would have us all be autonomous individuals deserving to live no matter what. But what if we are wrong about human rights? What if God has the rights, not only as creator of but also as covenant partner with humanity, to deal out covenant curses to covenant breakers such as the Canaanites?

    I’m not dying on that hill but I do think its worth a closer look…

    • Yeah, I see your point; and I agree, I think a lot of our problems with the text and God (like this God being violent predicament) will likely be resolved in some major paradigm shift like the one you mention above.

      It’s crazy how switching up the way you address a problem sometimes nullifies the existence of the problem in the first place.

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