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