The prevalence of evil and violence in the world is a growing focus of scholarly attention, especially violence done in the name of religion and violence found within the pages of the Old Testament. Many atheists consider this reason enough to reject the notion of a supreme deity. Some Christians attempt to exonerate God by reinterpreting problematic passages or by prioritizing portrayals of God’s nonviolence. Other Christians have begun to respond to violence in the Old Testament by questioning the nature of the text itself, though not rejecting belief in a good God.
Wrestling with the Violence of God: Soundings in the Old Testament is a response to these challenging issues. The chapters in this volume present empathetic, holistic, and methodologically responsible readings of the Old Testament as Christian Scripture. Contributors from different nationalities, religious traditions, and educational institutions come together to address representative biblical material that depicts violence. Chapters address explicit portrayals of divine violence, human responses to violence of God and violence in the world, alternative understandings of supposedly violent texts, and a hopeful future in which violence is no more. Rather than attempt to offer a conclusive answer to the issue, this volume constructively contributes to the ongoing discussion.
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