Did God Commit Genocide In The Old Testament?

By Clarke Bates| In the books of Deuteronomy, chapter 20 and Joshua, chapters 11 and onward, we read that the people of Israel are commanded to go into the land possessed by the Canaanites and “devote them to destruction.” With varying degrees of success, the Israelites do this very thing. When engaging with skeptics, this act of extermination is often used to point out the clear immorality of the God of the Old Testament. God is a genocidal, immoral, murderer, to paraphrase the eloquence of Richard Dawkins.

As Christians, our pride would have us dismiss such a claim immediately, but we must be honest and consider how passages such as these, sound. After all, it is also claimed, if God can just arbitrarily command his people to kill another group of people, what’s to say he won’t tell you to do the same thing? It really sounds no different than the beliefs that caused men to fly airplanes into buildings in 2001 and commit constant acts of mass murder in all the years since.

 

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References

Clark Bates. 3/14/18. “Did God Commit Genocide In The Old Testament?” Reasons For Jesus. http://reasonsforjesus.com/did-god-commit-genocide-in-the-old-testament/

Photo credit: Haiku Deck

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