Monday, April 29, 2013

A Timely Reminder

Reading through Numbers, in which God sometimes seems so constantly and consistently angry, and anticipating Joshua, in which God is depicted as approving, even demanding, genocide, it was good to come across this blogpost by Peter Enns. Here's a quote to whet your appetite.

"So, the question, “Why would God command the Israelites to exterminate the Canaanites?” cannot be addressed in an intramural theological back-and-forth. It must also include this little bit of historical information: Yahweh’s actions are not unique but seem part of an ancient way of thinking.

"Maybe that’s the best way to sum up what I’m saying here: theological discussions about biblical interpretation must be in conversation with ancient ways of thinking."
Click through to read the whole thing. 

What I take away is this: Historical context matters in reading the Bible. Neither Numbers nor Joshua is the final revelation of God's character or will.

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