To say that there are two Gods, one of the Old Testament and one of the New, is Marcionism. To say that the one God is portrayed in various—even conflicting—ways is simply a matter of reading the Bible in English.
Violence of God
It looks like whoever wrote the Flood story has a bone to pick with the Canaanites.
In his book Being Christian, Rowan Williams discusses what to do with problematic stories in the Bible—like those parts where people are dropping like flies (see here). Williams raises the example of Jehu’s coup in 2 Kings 9, where Jehu slaughters, with great fanfare, the royal house of Ahab, who was a member of the […]
The Bible is, you might say, God telling us a parable or a whole sequence of parables. God is saying, ‘This is how people heard me, saw me, responded to me; this is the gift I gave them; this is the response they made . . . Where are you in this?’ If in that […]
A few days ago (October 23 to be exact) my homie Brad Jersak posted on his Facebook page the following proposal. I thought it was an interesting—and even vital—point to make, and so I asked him for permission to post it here. He said no but I’m doing it anyway (jk). (Paragraph divisions and emphases are mine.) Proposal: […]
Yes, I watch Game of Thrones. So do you. It’s a great storyline especially if you can get past the first 2 seasons, which are basically pornography—although, I also get how all that sets the scene for the rough and tumble world of Westeros and the corrupt run for the Iron Throne. But I digress. I […]
This semester I’ll be teaching a course on the Old Testament “historical books”—Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, Ezra, and Nehemiah. (I cover Chronicles as part of my Biblical Hermeneutics class under “midrash.”) As I always do for my biblical canon courses, I read through that portion of the Bible during […]
I found it hard to get to sleep last night. The horror in Paris is to say the least unsettling and disorienting. What is happening in our world? How can it be stopped? Why do people do these things to each other? The last time I felt like this was in December 2012. Because I am […]
A few weeks ago I read John Dominic Crossan’s new book How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence from Genesis Through Revelation, and I would have posted something sooner if I weren’t in the middle of end-of-semester crunch time. Anyway, enough excuses. The book is thoughtful, energetic, and–that overused […]
Several days ago over at OnFaith, John Dickson posted “4 Responses to the Problem of Violence in the Bible.” I respect Dickson and his work a lot. I also think his thoughts in this piece are constructive and will be helpful to many readers. Dickson’s post responds specifically to Richard Dawkins’s charge that the Canaanite extermination in the book of […]