Violence In The Bible And Why The Old Testament Counts?


“Islam is not a religion of peace.” You probably have read this on Facebook, seen it on YouTube, or even watched a movie depicting Muslims as terrorists.  But, what you probably never read before is all those gruesome verses in the Bible about what I call “Biblical Jihad”.  Anybody that reads the Bible will find that it contains plenty of violent verses.  Most of these verses would be of great concern to anyone that reads them today. The verses I will be including in this post are more than enough to challenge any Christian today.  This proof from the Bible, however, does not seem to put an end to attacks against Islam from islamophobes and anti-Islam Christians.

When confronted with things they are not comfortable with from their book, most Christians defend their faith with one famous statement claiming that “it’s just the Old Testament.”  It is important to note that even though Muslims are aware of the violent verses in the Bible, they don’t attack the Christian faith for two reasons.  First, Muslims believe in all God’s prophets which also means that God’s prophets don’t teach violence.  Second, Muslims believe the original Bible does not contain violence and that today’s Bible is nothing but a corrupted version.

The claim that “it’s just the Old Testament and that it doesn’t count” Christians use today is not valid and the Old Testament counts for many reasons:

1) Nowhere explicitly nor implicitly in the New Testament will you find proof that supports the idea that the Old Testament doesn’t count.  Every verse cited by Christians to disqualify the Old Testament is a matter of interpretation.  The New Testament, as a matter of fact seems to be supporting the idea that the Law as a whole counts.

2) The Old Testament counts because Christians today still quote it and still abide by some of the things it says.

3) The Old Testament counts because obviously without it most of what the New Testament says wouldn’t make sense.

4) The Old Testament counts mostly because of what Jesus says:

Matthew 5:17  Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Matthew 5:18  I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished

Matthew 5:19  Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

Luke 16:17  But it is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for one dot of the law to become void.

 

Assuming the violent verses in the Bible are to be read in a certain context, these verses can still be misread and misinterpreted in the same way Islamophobes read verses in the Quran.  In other words, it is easy for anyone to misquote and misinterpret the Bible.  It is even easier for the non Muslims to misinterpret the Quran, because most English translation are not as rich as the Original (Arabic) version.

A lot of people may claim that the scarcity of Christian or Jewish terrorist groups is a proof that there is something different and dangerous about Islam. The answer to this can easily be explained by realizing that Christians obviously pick and choose what verses to believe in, and what verses to reject. Christianity today is nothing but an optional spiritual and personal view of God rather than what the Bible itself says about God. It is also easy to say that it is not Muslims that killed over 6 millions of Jews in Europe. It is not Muslims that colonized most of Africa, and subjugated its people.  It is not Muslims that killed millions of native Americans.  It is not Muslims that annihilated thousands or aboriginal Australians.  It is not Muslims that dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese killing thousands in seconds.  It is not Muslims that kicked Jews and Muslims from Al Andalus(Spain) to North Africa, and it is not Muslims that occupied the land of every Muslims country in the 20th century.   Finally, it is not the Muslims that colonized all of South America, and changed its languages and religions to Catholicism.

The point of this article is not to attack Christians, but to point out that just like islamophobes attack Islam, it is easy to misquote the Bible, and use it against Christians. The only difference is that Christians are not under the microscope like Muslims today. There was a point in history when Christians were under scrutiny.  That is why they came up with secularism to separate the church from the state. They also needed to separate the spiritual life from everyday life. Christians are obviously embarrassed by the Old Testament violence, because life for other religious groups would be a living hell.  Many Christians who read this will tell you that “but Jesus also preached love” all religions preach love, but that is not the issue.

One final proof from the New Testament that Jesus never rejected the Old Testament:

Matthew 23:1-3 “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” It is clear Jesus never prohibited for the Old Testament to be followed, but rather warned his followers to not follow the masses.

The Bible as a whole is full of laws and orders.  Assuming that Jesus is GOD himself as Christians believe, the Old Testament’s laws are Jesus’ Laws as well.  Since Christians discredit Old Testament’s violent laws, the Bible is then a contradictory book.  If God is the one who inspired the Old Testament, then his laws are no longer binding.  That would then make Christianity today is nothing but a cult.

A Short List Of Violent Bible Verses

Timothy 2:12: “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, she must be silent.”

1 Samuel 15:3: “This is what the Lord Almighty says … ‘Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ ”

Psalm 137: “Happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us / He who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.”

1 Peter 2:18: “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.”

Exodus 21:20-21: “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.”
Ephesians 6:5: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.”

Leviticus 25:44-46: “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”

Deuteronomy 20:10-15: “When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby”


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3 thoughts on “Violence In The Bible And Why The Old Testament Counts?

  1. It is always necessary to take verses of violence in all the religious books into their historical context, a verse is not always meant to be transtemporal and it could be revealed to a prophet as an answer or guidance for a certain situation that he was going through or witnessing, also back then, it was another times, wars and bloodshed were common and were regarded as being something normal so we shouldn’t analyse stuff that happened thousands of years ago with our modern days standards of morality, in general, christianity and Islam as religions preach peace and it is people with their own stupid acts that are making a religion looks good or bad.

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