Joshua and Violence (Part 1) by Matt Lynch

From the archives: Joshua and Violence (Part 1) by Matt Lynch

Genocide MemorialJoshua and Violence (Part 1) by Dr. Matt Lynch. How do we talk about violent acts in the Bible? In this blog post, Matt Lynch (WTC Academic Dean), discusses an often overlooked subject in biblical studies. He writes:

“I was once asked to lead a Bible study at my church. I agreed before learning that the subject was ‘Genocide in the Bible.’ I’d never before taught on the subject, and in fact, I had very little teaching experience in general at that point. So I did the logical thing, I opened the book of Joshua (where the problem appears most starkly) and searched it line-by-line for some ray of light. What I found in Joshua surprised me. Joshua wasn’t what it had seemed on the surface.

But before getting into Joshua, it’s worth considering the problem, or rather problems, of violence in the Bible. We read of divinely-initiated violence (the flood), divinely-commanded violence (Joshua), descriptions of horrific human violence (Judges), violent prayers (Psalms), images of violence against women by the prophets, future cataclysmic violence (prophets, Revelation), and much more. ‘The problem of violence in the Bible’ is not uniform.”

Read the rest at:

Joshua and Violence (Part 1 of 7) by Matt Lynch on the Theological Miscellany blog: