Not for the first time, I’m finding myself drawn to discussing the morality of God, specifically God of the Bible, and in particular a number of Old Testament verses that lead me to question the morality of God. I’m also responding to David Tee of Theology Archaeology, who has written a response to an earlier post of mine on this very subject.
David has suggested I am cherry picking the Bible. I’m going to offer up a few more examples of Biblical violence, either carried out by God or ordered by God, and I’ll pose a few questions along the way. For further reading, I once again refer you to Creation Theory, and an excellent page on Old Testament violence.
There are many examples of terrifying, vengeful actions in the Old Testament, and none of them are actions I would wish to carry out. God has a man killed for refusing to impregnate his brother’s (who was killed, seemingly randomly, by God) widow. God orders Moses to kill a man for collecting wood on a Sunday. The tale of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is legendary and brutal, encompassing the deaths of children and babies.
There’s more. Leviticus 10:1-2 sees two men killed for starting a fire. Other commands include forcing people to eat their own children as a form of punishment. In Numbers 14:29-33 complaining about their plight sees God leave people to die in the desert.
Deuteronomy 22:20-21 – a woman who has had premarital sex must die.
There’s the butchery of the Book of Joshua, something far too lengthy to go into detail on here. This violence continues in the Book of Judges and the Books of Samuel. If you continue through the Creation Theory page, you will come across acts of bloodshed too numerous to count, carried out for dubious reasons. We are led to believe that God is the ultimate form of morality and unquestionable, but if we are to interpret the Bible literally, there are many questions to ask.