How we can make sense of violence in the Bible?
The teachings of the incarnate Jesus sometimes seem to be at odds with the edicts of the God of Israel. Joshua commands God’s people to wipe out everyone in the Promised Land, yet Jesus commands God’s people to love their enemies. How are we to interpret passages on violence when it is sanctioned at one point and condemned at another?
The Violence of the Biblical God by L. Daniel Hawk offers a new framework, solidly rooted in the authority of Scripture, for understanding the paradox of God’s participation in violence. Hawk suggests that the historical narrative of the Bible offers multiple canonical pictures for faithful Christian engagement with the violent systems of the world. Reading Scripture as the story of the Creator’s decision to restore creation by working within and along with humanity, Hawk shows how Christians with diverse perspectives can at once be faithful to the biblical text and partake in a common conversation on violence.