A New Book about Divinely Sanctioned Violence in the Hebrew Bible Points to Ancient Tensions between Judaism and Christianity

July 25 2019

To modern readers, the injunction that appears in the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua to “drive out” the inhabitants of Canaan, which appears to command their mass slaughter, raises disturbing questions. Daniel Hawk, a professor of Old Testament at the Ashland Theological Seminary, attempts to address such questions in his recent book The Violence of the Biblical God, arguing—to put it simply—that God must from time to time condone bloodshed in trying to make His will manifest in a dysfunctional world. In his review, Shai Held praises Hawk for dismantling many commonplace but flawed approaches to these questions, but also has some sharp criticism:

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Read more at Christian Century

More about: Book of Joshua, Christianity, Deuteronomy, Hebrew Bible, Jewish-Christian relations, Theology

Israel Experiences a Resurgence of COVID-19, but This Time with No One to Blame

During the past two weeks, the Israeli government has been gradually reopening schools, restaurants, and beaches, leading to a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, the reclosing of some schools, and the quarantining of hundreds. The new outbreaks, for the most part, have spared the ḥaredi communities so severely affected by the initial waves of the virus. But, writes Ruthie Blum, there has been no parallel expressions of anger akin to what was directed at the ultra-Orthodox two months ago:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Coronavirus, Israeli society, Ultra-Orthodox