Bloody, Brutal, and Barbaric?: Wrestling With Troubling War Texts
:Christians cannot ignore the intersection of religion and violence, whether contemporary or ancient. In our own Scriptures, war texts that appear to approve of genocidal killings and war rape-forcibly taking female captives for wives-raise hard questions about biblical ethics...
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:Christians cannot ignore the intersection of religion and violence, whether contemporary or ancient. In our own Scriptures, war texts that appear to approve of genocidal killings and war rape-forcibly taking female captives for wives-raise hard questions about biblical ethics and the character of God. Have we missed something in our traditional readings? In Bloody, Brutal, and Barbaric? William Webb and Gordon Oeste address the ethics of reading biblical war texts today. Theirs is a biblical-theological reading with an eye to hermeneutical, ethical, canonical, and ancient cultural contexts. Identifying a spectrum of views on war texts ranging from "no ethical problems" to "utterly repulsive," the authors pursue a middle path using a hermeneutic of incremental, redemptive-movement ethics. Instead of trying to force traditional Christian answers to fit contemporary questions, they argue, we must properly connect the traditional answers with the biblical storyline questions that were on the minds of Scripture's original readers. And there are indeed better answers to the ethical problems in the war texts. Woven throughout the Old Testament, a collection of antiwar and subversive war texts suggest that Yahweh's involvement in Israel's warfare required some degree of accommodation to people living in a fallen world. Yet, God's redemptive influence even within the ugliness of ancient warfare shouts loudly about a future hope-a final battle fought with complete and untainted justice by Christ.
William J. Webb (Ph.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of New Testament at Heritage Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Ontario (Canada). He has written Tough Texts on Sex, Marriage and Family (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press); Brutal and Bloody: Justice Texts That Trouble the Soul. (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press); Slaves, Women, & Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001) and Returning Home: New Covenant and Second Exodus as the Context for 2 Corinthians 6.147.1. (Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series 85, ed. Stanley Porter. Sheffield, JSOT Press, 1993)
Koorong - Editorial Review.
- :preface: Story Behind The Book
- Introduction: Rethinking Holy War Texts
- <strong>part I: Hard Questions: Genocide And War Rape</strong>
- 1. Slaughtering Children? Grabbing Virgins?
- <strong>part Ii: Traditional Answers: Good Answers For Big-picture, Storyline Questions</strong>
- 2. Where Traditional Answers Do Not Work
- 3. Where Traditional Answers Do Work
- <strong>part Iii: Better Answers: Better For Questions About Genocide And War Rape</strong>
- 4. Reading The Bible Redemptively
- 5. War Rape, Part I: The Ugly Side
- 6. War Rape, Part Ii: The Redemptive Side
- 7. War Rape Meets Genocide
- 8. Total-kill Hyperbole, Part I: Ane Warfare
- 9. Total-kill Hyperbole, Part Ii: Joshua And Judges
- 10. Arguments Against Hyperbole
- 11. 1 Samuel 15: Hyperbole Thesis Undone?
- 12. Drive Out: An Equivalent Alternative
- 13. Ancient War Atrocities
- 14. Yahweh As Reluctant War God: The Subversive War Texts
- 15. Cross, Resurrection, And Ascension: The Battle Is Already Won
- 16. Jesus As Apocalyptic Warrior: One Word Will Fell Them
- Conclusion: The Unfinished Justice Story
- List Of Online Appendixes
- Author Index
- Scripture Index