THE VIOLENT GOD OF THE BIBLE: A STUDY ON THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND ITS IMPACT ON THE DISCUSSION ON HUMAN DIGNITY

Klaas Spronk

Abstract


This article seeks for a good method to use the Bible in a fruitful way in discussions
about religion and violence. First some general remarks are made on the
hermeneutics of sacred texts. Then the discussion is presented about the assumed
direct relation between monotheism and violence, evaluating the positions of
Assmann and Albertz. Much attention is paid to the image of Yhwh as a jealous god
with jealous (zealous) followers. It can be demonstrated that the picture of a violent
God is much influenced by historical circumstances. Already within the Old
Testament the central confession about Yhwh in Exodus 34:6-7 describing him as
both merciful and violent has been applied differently, depending on the changing
situation. As a conclusion some indications are given about the way the Bible can
act as an agent of change.

Keywords


Violence, Hermeneutics, Monotheism, The jealous God, Revenge

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/102-0-607

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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