What About Genocide in the Bible? Is the Bible “Bloody, Brutal, & Barbaric?”

Questions That Matter

Christianity is known for making the claim of being nonviolent. Jesus, after all, allegedly taught his followers to “turn the other cheek,” and to pray for those who seek their harm and undoing. Jesus even went so far as to tell fellow Jews living under Roman rule to “go an extra mile” if a Roman soldier commanded them to carry his armor for one mile. This certainly didn’t help his popularity.

So Jesus was about peace and reconciliation.

But what about the Old Testament? What about the apparent chasm between troubling Old Testament passages and what the New Testament presents? What then are we to make of texts in the same Bible that seem to contradict each-other? What about texts glorying in the gruesome acts of enemies’ infants being dashed against rocks? What are we to make of the Israelite conquests? These and other questions are what William Webb and…

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