Did God Command Genocide?

In Joshua 8:2, Yahweh seems to command the indiscriminate killing of the inhabitants of the city of Ai: “And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves. Lay an ambush against the city, behindContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide?”

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The Wilderness and Early Christian Monasticism

In the sixth chapter of his The Word in the Desert, Douglas Burton-Christie reflects on the influence of eschatology, compunction (penthos), asceticism, and the struggle against evil on the shape of the scriptural interpretation of the Desert Fathers (and Mothers). Highlighting monastic awareness of coming death and judgment (182-3), compunction and the power of scriptureContinue reading “The Wilderness and Early Christian Monasticism”

Exodus from Bondage?

Response to “Exodus from Bondage: Luke 9:31 and Acts 12:1-24” by Susan Garrett In her article “Exodus from Bondage: Luke 9:31 and Acts 12:1-24,” Susan Garrett argues that Luke employed a soteriology of exodus, wherein Jesus (and to a lesser extent, through thematic recapitulation, Peter) stood as true Israel and freed his people from bondageContinue reading “Exodus from Bondage?”

The Day That Jesus Died

“When students are first introduced to the historical, as opposed to a devotional, study of the Bible, one of the first things they are forced to grapple with is that the biblical text, whether Old Testament or New Testament, is chock full of discrepancies, many of them irreconcilable…. In some cases seemingly trivial points ofContinue reading “The Day That Jesus Died”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part VI)

This is the final post in a series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. A Way Forward Given Ancient Near East warfare terminology, “driving out” language, and an emphasis on the destruction of the heads of state, it seems that the vast majority ofContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part VI)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part V)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. The Total Destruction of Ai What about those instances where near-total destruction—including women, children, and non-combatants—does seem to be ordered by Yahweh? As an example of this, let’s consider JoshuaContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part V)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part IV)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. The Context of Conquest Several texts can be submitted as examples of where Yahweh seems to have commanded the people of Israel to commit genocide. One such place is ExodusContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part IV)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part III)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. Ancient Near East Warfare Terminology Most important for our purposes is considering the language of the conquest narratives in Deuteronomy and Joshua, especially in light of other passages which canContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part III)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part II)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining whether or not God commanded Israel to commit genocide in the conquest of the Promised Land. How Do We Read the Bible? : The Importance of Context Many Protestant Christians talk about reading the Bible “literally.” But I often don’t understand exactly what that means. Webster’sContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part II)”

Did God Command Genocide? (Part I)

The Rock Church of Saint Louis–our church home–is in the midst of reading through the entire Bible narrative as a church community. The past two weeks we have been reading the book of Joshua, which is all about Israel’s conquest of the promised land of Canaan. One feature of this conquest that contemporary Christians areContinue reading “Did God Command Genocide? (Part I)”