Debate: What do you think about the violence in the Bible?

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Reading some lectures, we can find brutal violence in it:
Moses dispose the killing of an entire city, including women and children, moving to keep the virgin ones: Numbers 31:17-18
Another blodshed Deut 2:34-35
Rape caused by God's malediction for not respecting the law of Moses Deut 28:30
death penaty Numbers 35:19
Revenge Leviticus 24:19-20
killing nonbelievers Deut 13:6-10

Possible Explanation

1. Concerning Moses' actions in Numbers 31, it's never mentioned this came via commandment from God. There are several cases we know of where Moses is said to have instituted commandments on his own apart from God:

  • Divorce: Jesus said Moses' allowing of divorce was done because the Israelites pressured him on it, not because God supported it. (Matthew 19:8) Therefore, Deuteronomy 24:1 was given by Moses and contrary to God's will.
  • Striking the Rock: In what was intended as a wonderful sign glorifying God, Moses did not do what God told him and took the glory for himself. This final act of disobedience resulted in God not letting Moses enter the Promised Land. (Numbers 20:10-12)
  • Talking to Pharaoh: God told Moses to talk to Pharaoh about letting the Israelites go. Moses attempted various excuses, that he was a nobody (Exodus 3:11), he didn't know who he should say sent him (Exodus 3:13), they wouldn't believe him (Exodus 4:1), and that he had a speech impediment. (Exodus 4:10) After God answered all of his concerns, Moses still refused and told God to send somebody else. (Exodus 4:13) This annoyed God enough that Aaron ended up tagging along as Moses' spokesperson (Exodus 4:16) which caused a lot of trouble later on.

2. In Deuteronomy 2, the king wouldn't let the Israelites pass. The Bible does say God hardened his heart in that passage. However, one must look at why God despised the nations being destroyed. In Leviticus 18 it specifically states (v. 27) that these are the reasons God was destroying the nations. These reasons included:

  • Sacrificing their own children. (v. 21)
  • Widespread incest. (vv. 6-22)
  • Widespread promiscuous adultery. (v. 20)
  • Bestiality. (v. 23)
  • Homosexuality. (v. 22)

God throughout the Old Testament condemned the practice of child sacrifice in particular, and some of Israel's greatest punishments came for adopting the practices of heathen nations (who they hadn't destroyed) in sacrificing children alive. (Jeremiah 7:31-34, 19:5-15, 32:35-36) God took this very seriously:

Ezekiel 16:20-21 Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?

Ezekiel 20:31 For when ye offer your gifts, when ye make your sons to pass through the fire, ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day: and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel? As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will not be enquired of by you.

To my mind, this is similar to Nazi Germany. A very evil nation must be destroyed so its wicked practices don't spread, and its horrible crimes are stopped. God as Judge of the world chose to wipe out nations engaging in mass infanticide, not just to stop their specific crimes, but stop their practices from spreading to other nations, including Israel.

3. Deuteronomy 28:30 never mentions rape. Rather it talks of how those who disobey God will see those betrothed/engaged marrying others.

4. The Old Testament Law repeatedly stated a death penalty for severe crimes. Jesus pointed out that all are guilty by the Law, and that while such a penalty is just, humans can't punish others with it unless sinless themselves. (John 8:7)

5. Based on point 4, Jesus pointed out that eye for an eye should not be used. (Matthew 5:38-48) Logically, since all are guilty before God, if we do not show mercy to others, we cannot expect God to show mercy to us. (Matthew 6:12-15)

6. Deuteronomy 13:6-10 doesn't say to go kill unbelievers. It says specifically those who tried to lead Israelites to obey heathen idols like Baal and Molech which involved child sacrifice and the other aforementioned crimes. Unbelievers minding their own business aren't mentioned in the passage.

--Joshua Zambrano 04:05, 3 September 2012 (EDT)