Violence in the Old Testament


QuestionHow does one correlate the brutality found within the Old Testament with a loving God?

This is an important question that every Christian should take an honest look at. The reason for it being an important question is three fold:

  1. It is important for Christians to understand the settings of the Old Testament and what the day to day life experience was like for the inhabitants of the Biblical lands during the time periods that the Old Testament was written;
  2. Because there is a significant amount of violence within the Old Testament it is important to understand God’s reasoning and purpose behind the violence via a careful study of God’s word to comprehend the numerous changes that the God of Abraham was bringing about with regard to the promise of a Redeemer for both the Israelites (His chosen people) and the whole world, and the detailed introduction of sin (the Law), the Holiness of God, personal accountability, the importance of faith, justice and mercy into a very violent world; and
  3. Quite often it is a question that you will be asked by people who are looking at our Christian faith and it is good to know a response that answers their question.

There is a host of material that is readily available on the Internet which directly addresses this honest question. I will identify some links that I recommend that you can use as a starting point and also some video links but it is imperative that you dedicate some significant time to prayerfully reading through the Old Testament Scriptures and not only become conversant with them, but also explore and investigate the way the world functioned in these tumultuous times.

Recommended Historical Introductory Overview

Lawson Stone is a Professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He has three short 7 minute videos which are available here: Violence in the Old Testament  Part One,  Violence in the Old Testament Part Two and Violence in the Old Testament Part Three


And another by Ravi Zacharias:

And finally:  (30 minutes but worth it)

Recommended Links:

The above link is an 11 page PDF authored by Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota. I would encourage you to read all of the 11 pages. Three excerpts are included below for your convenience.

“God’s use of violence, inevitable in a violent world, is intended to subvert human violence in order to bring the creation along to a point where violence is no more”

“God chooses to become involved in violence so that evil will not have the last word. In everything, including violence, God seeks to accomplish loving purposes.”

“There remains a certain ambiguity of the Bible toward violence. God does not intend the violence that disrupts the life of the world, rooted as it is in the sinfulness of humankind. Again and again, God takes the side of those afflicted by violence. God so engages the divine self on behalf of those entrapped in violence and its effects that God enters deeply into the life of the world, most supremely in Jesus Christ, and shows thereby the most basic stance of divine nonviolence in the face of violence. But, in order to accomplish God’s work in the world, God may respond in violent ways in and through various agents so that sin and evil do not go unchecked in the life of the world.”

C.S Lewis wrote “If you take the Bible as a whole, you see a process in which something which, in its earliest levels …. was hardly moral at all, and was in some ways not unlike the Pagan religions, is gradually purged and enlightened till it becomes the religion of the great prophets and Our Lord Himself. …. At first hardly anything comes through but mere power. Then (v. important) the truth that He is One and there is no other God. Then justice, then mercy, love, wisdom.”


Will the links and videos I have provided satisfy all skeptics of Christianity? Probably not. But what I see in God’s Holy Word is a gradual expanding process whereby God’s purpose and love for Israel and ultimately the whole world unfolds and the reality of violence is diminished as the revelation of God’s intent and purpose continues to become understood. God’s ultimate intent is personified in and through His Son, and realized through God’s Kingdom on this earth, ruled by Jesus Christ for 1000 years and then a new heaven and a new earth and a new Jerusalem where there is no violence, no pain, no death. The violence of the crucification of Jesus on the cross made this all possible and the sting of death, for those who believe, is no more.


Follower of Jesus, married with 5 grown up children, 6 grand children, ex-military and residing in beautiful Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. a.k.a. "Papa"

Posted in Apologetics, Christian, New Testament, Old Testament, Prophecy, Religion

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog Stats
  • 9,398 hits
Google Translate Available
Post Categories

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Christian Apologetics

A Clear Lens

Theology, Apologetics, Worldview

The Silver Lining

Encouraging others to find hope, healing, truth, and freedom through Jesus Christ.


Discussing Biblical Authority

The Isaiah 53:5 Project

Life: the time God gives you to determine how you spend eternity

Endless Rivers

It all started with a blank piece of paper


I would love for you to join me in worshipping Christ.

Salt My Words

Let your conversation be gracious and attractive and seasoned with salt...

You Can Trust Him

God's Faithfulness for the Grieving Parent

Another Fearless Year

Linda Kruschke's Blog about life, faith, and poetry

Brandon J. Adams

For millennials seeking the abundant life of Jesus

The Ruminant Scribe - Snapshots of God's World and Word

Thoughts based on God's Word as seen in His World

Real Christianity


marks of the kingdom

Infiltrating the darkness with the light of Christ's reign.

God's Grace ~ God's Glory!

~ declaring His kingdom ~ for His glory

Saving Sodom

Live a life of positive influence

Christians Ascent

Connecting People to JESUS


So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? Galatians 4:16

Bible Apologetics

discussing the evidence for the Bible


Responding to Critics, Seekers, and Doubters

Liberating Lions

"The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself."

randy bunch

Connecting People to His Purpose

What's Happening...?

helping you to know & to survive

1 Way 2 Yahweh

... through the blood of Jesus alone.

The Woodshed

Reaching with heart, mind, soul, and strength

RZIM: Ravi Zacharias International Ministries

Christian Journey, Christian Cases, Faith, Salvation, Hope

Sean McDowell

Christian Journey, Christian Cases, Faith, Salvation, Hope

Risen Jesus, Inc.

Christian Journey, Christian Cases, Faith, Salvation, Hope

Christian Apologetics Alliance

answering seekers, equipping Christians, and demonstrating the truth of the Christian worldview

The Apologetic

Debating Atheism, Evolutionism, Cults, and Christianity

Is Christianity True?

finding the truth in an unreasonable world with J. Steve Lee

It Ain't the Same

A Newsletter of Opinion on Current Australian Christianity

Random Thoughts. Christian Walk.

Everyday Thoughts on Life from a Christian Perspective.

Christ Centered Teaching

Our Lord and God is Christ, Our Message is His Gospel, and Our Context is God's Love.

Unshakable Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

Spirit Of Error

A biblical response to the modern prophets & apostles movement


Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.

%d bloggers like this: