Many argue that the Bible especially the Old Testament is not the inspired word of God because of the command to destroy the Canaanites. Many use this as a basis of their argument that the scriptures are not inspired by God because they wonder how could God, a God of non-violence, mercy and goodness command such a thing. The focus of this paper will be “how is one to respond to this accusation that the Old Testament is not inspired because of commands to destroy people such as the Canaanites? This paper will attempt to answer this question by offering contrary evidence, will argue that when God’s nature is properly understood, the command for destruction of the Canaanites is not against God’s nature and that God had justified reasons in this command. This paper will provide proof of the goodness, mercy and moral nature of God, as well as the accountability that God demands from all people. It will then show the justified reason for such commands not only for the Canaanites but other nations as well. This paper will show that in spite of the commands of destruction from God that Scripture is indeed inspired by God.
Some of the arguments that God would not command destructions of the Canaanites or any other nation because it would portray God as an immoral God. It would portray God as cruel, unmerciful, ruthless, unloving, unforgiving and unjust which is the opposite of what Christians believe and preach to the lost. Christians today tell unsaved people that
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Note that in the commandments concerning how to conduct war, certain tribes are singled out for complete destruction. Starting in verse sixteen, God commands the Israelites to kill everything, men, women, children, and their animals. Also note that in verse eighteen, He gives one of the reasons, “That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods.”
The bible teaches us many things about God. From Genesis and Exodus we can learnwhat the Judeo-Christian view of God was. Genesis shows us that God made the sun, the moon,the earth and every living thing. During the days of creation God made all things good. On theseventh day of creation God rested and declared all he made to be very good (Genesis 1:31). God created human beings in his own image. We as humans can be certain of our owndignity and self worth because we have been created in the image of God. The book of Genesisshows us that people disobey God by choosing to do wrong. Even great bible heros failed Godand disobeyed him. The bible teaches us that God is forgiving. God has many attributes. God makes no mistakes and this is wisdom. God is infinite, heknows
In Genesis the word of God leads humanity in the direction of self preservation, urging them to procreate, to ”Be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 9:1), and to minimize hostility and violence among people. As Freud asserted, “Besides the instinct to preserve living substance and join it into ever larger units, there must exist another, contrary instinct seeking to dissolve those units and bring them back to their primeval, inorganic state” (Freud 77). Genesis exemplifies the struggle between the two opposing human instincts, with God acting as a moderator between them. Forms of justice are put into place in an attempt to control these drives, one example being the proclamation that “Whoever sheds the blood of a human, by a human shall that person’s blood be shed” (Genesis 9:6). The ethics and laws that develop throughout Genesis seek to “prevent the crudest excesses of brutal violence” but are unable to control “the more cautious and refined manifestations of human aggressiveness” (Freud 70). Since they cannot be completely eradicated, the scriptures instead play into the more negative aspects of human nature, especially narcissism, and manipulate them into a force for conservation rather than annihilation.
Joseph M. Bolton RELS 103-02 Online Old Testament Studies Spring Semester 2011 Session E May 8, 2011 to July 2, 2011 The Old Testament TimeLine Creation & Primeval History The Creation: * God creates the Heavens and the Earth * God creates man in his image. *
The two gospels, The Old Testament and The New Testament provide mirror images of Terrestrial Humans mentality Evolution and the comprehensive overview of the mental developmental trends over a span covering last five millennia. The Old Testament moral norms served in establishing a legal system with base in an absolute, irrevocable right of private ownership. Incontestable proof of continuous process of Evolution in this micro-segment of Spiral is an emergence of ‘The New Testament’, as a herald of a new mental era on the Earth, which naturally succeeds ‘The Old Testament’. Needless to remind, that The Old Testament also inspired adherents to vehemently follow the principle "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth", a total ‘defence of ownership’ “…based on the superstition or the illusion that one was ‘God 's chosen people’ and was superior to all ‘heathens’ ". (Quote from ‘Livets Bog’, Vol IV #1310)
For multitudes of people the Bible is a source of justice, of freedom, and of hope. The Bible is inspiration for achieving a prosperous life. However, for some the Bible entails stories that ring true to their own histories, but not in a positive way. Specifically, the story of indigenous populations bears a striking similarity to one of the most frequently referenced stories in the Bible, Exodus. The one outlook from Exodus that is consistently neglected is that of the Canaanites, the indigenous people destined for destruction in order for the previously oppressed Israelites to reach success. When looking at American history, the Native Americans have undergone a near mere image of the Canaanite’s story. To me, this is a major issue and should be considered with weight.
Author John N. Oswalt begins The Bible Among the Myths: Unique Revelation or Just Ancient Literature? with a concise and well-written introduction that whets the reader’s appetite, compelling one to continue reading. He begins by informing the reader that his novel has been in the works dating all of the way back to the 1960s, when he attended the Asbury Theological Seminary. Oswalt quickly points out that one of the main points that the book will focus on is determining if “the religion of the Old Testament [is] essentially similar to, or essentially different from, the religions of its neighbors.”1 Oswalt is swift to acknowledge a major difference between the Old Testament and the religions of the Israelites Near
The history of how the Bible came into existence has been explored for centuries and is an active area of study today. There are many facets to the Bible and each has its own set of unique characteristics and teachings. The Old Testament is considered a contemporary guide for daily living, even though it was composed hundreds of years ago. Where did the Old Testament come from? What are some of the influences that shaped the Old Testament? What are the significant events of the Old Testament? In order to gain a better understanding of the Old Testament and its message to Christians, special consideration is given to its historical and cultural context, and to the major milestones in its development. Personal application of the teachings offered in this section of the Bible should be the aspiration of all Christians today.
While reading the story of Ishmael and the story of Esau, readers could easily find some similarities. Both stories delineates the process of the disfranchisement of the elder sons’ firstborn right, the expulsion of certain characters, and the instruction of God. Those similarities make people to wonder that whether the two stories are just the same kind of story written to teach the believer the same lesson. This essay is divided into three parts and aimed to prove that the disfranchisement stories of Ishmael and Esau are essentially the same story told over two generations
Crossan also explains that although civilization tends to normalize violence, it is possible that violence is not our ultimate destiny. He shows that both possibilities; violence and nonviolence, are present in the bible, often side by side. Crossan would like us to realize that the choice between the violence and none violence is ours to make. He shows that there is proof of this choice in both the Old and New Testament. Moreover, the Bible, he says, “is about the ambiguity of divine justice” (p. 94).
From the first chapter of Genesis, the character of God is formed from all positive things such as the creation of the earth and the creation of humans— “it was good” (Gen 1:10). Additionally, the first verses of Genesis and the word “hovering” connotates the character of God as nurturing and pertaining the beauty synonymous to childbirth (Alter 17). However, very quickly, there is a threatening side of him that is seen when he says he will kill Adam and Eve if either one of them eat from the tree of knowledge. The juxtaposition of these two scenes is important because it encapsulates the great power God has which can be used to help or harm anything and anyone. God’s ambivalence is also portrayed when he completely obliterates the earth with floods, but saves one person, Noah.
In the Old Testament, there are a number of books that contain violent stories that may astonish a first time reader. Some of these stories seem to encourage not only the slaughtering of enemy armies, but also the murder of innocent civilians including the elderly, women, children and livestock. The book of Joshua has a multiple of narratives that tell of such events. In chapters six through eleven, God instructs Joshua and his fellow Israelites to annihilate dozens of enemy armies, and subsequently orders them to lay their cities and towns to waste. Joshua and the Israelites put to death men, women, children, and livestock by the “edge of the sword.” Biblical
The idea of war is a subject that most people do not understand or want to understand. People tend to judge what they do not understand, and this is why war is looked upon as something that is a negative, even if it is for a good cause. When one reads the Old Testament it is filled with blood and harsh subjects to take in, but this is what mankind brought on it’s self when it sinned against a loving God. To look at the text of the Old Testament and reason through it on why would a loving God remove people from the face of the earth. In some cases He would wipeout a family including livestock, and in other incidence, he would destroy a people group, like the Canaanites where Israel was commanded to annihilate everything from treasures to their idols. To come to understand why would this loving God had so much justly anger at a world in sin is to look at the wars of the bible and see Gods good purpose for why these things came to be.
The Book of Judges bares witness to the simpleness of humans and sets forth God 's mercy, compassion, longsuffering, patience and love for His people – no matter how depraved they may be. Along with the aforementioned purposes, one of the main aims of Judges was to demonstrate divine judgment of the apostasy of Israel. Israel 's continual disobedience to God and worship of Canaanite gods resulted in their failure to experience divine blessing in the full conquest of her enemies. Canaanite influence in moral and social areas lead to the apostasy and anarchy of Israel. Therefore, the oppressors pictured and the powers of this world sought and still seek to bring people into bondage. Judges acts as a warning to those who turn away from God to idol worship.