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xii + 309 pp.

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Encountering Violence in the Bible
Edited by Markus Zehnder, Hallvard Hagelia

Our world is full of violence, with repeated acts of terrorism and generally rising rates of violent criminal acts as the most obvious forms of the phenomenon in the Western world. It even reached the peaceful shores of Norway in the summer of 2011. This was one of the reasons why the first international meeting of the Norwegian Summer Academy for Biblical Studies was devoted to the topic ‘Violence as an Ethical Challenge in the Bible’.

Eighteen biblical scholars from nine different countries (Joshua Berman, Lennart Boström, Friedmann Eissler, Torleif Elgvin, LarsOlov Eriksson, Karin Finsterbusch, Georg Fischer, Terence E. Fretheim, Hallvard Hagelia, Dana M. Harris, Robert L. Hubbard, Jr, Årstein Justnes, Gordon McConville, Kirsten Nielsen, Tommy Wasserman, Karl William Weyde, Peter Wick and Markus Zehnder) met on the beautiful premises of Ansgar Theological Seminary to discuss some of the most fundamental aspects of the topic. The papers presented at the conference are collected in the present volume, dealing mostly with the Hebrew Bible, but covering also the New Testament, Jewish literature from the Second Temple period and the Qur’an.

The contributions reflect a refreshing variety of scholarly and theological approaches. One of the fundamental questions addressed in several studies is how biblical texts justifying violence can be properly understood and used today. Other questions raised are how violent some of the often-criticized biblical passages really are and how violence can be overcome.

Hallvard Hagelia is Professor of Old Testament Studies at Ansgar College and Theological Seminary in Kristiansand, Norway.

Series: Bible in the Modern World, 55
978-1-909697-01-0 hardback
Publication October 2013

Joshua Berman
Why Must Israel Be Warriors?
The Constructive Role of Warfare in Deuteronomy

Lennart Boström
Uzzah’s Fate (2 Samuel 6):
A Theological Problem for the Modern Reader

Friedmann Eissler
God’s Power and Man’s Vicegerency on Earth:
Violence as an Ethic al Challenge in Islam

Torleif Elgvin
Hasmonean State Ideology, Wars and Expansionism

LarsOlov Eriksson
The Enemies in Psalm 119

Karin Finsterbusch
Violence against Judah and Jerusalem:
The Rhetoric of Destruction within Jeremiah 1–6

Georg Fischer
Who is Violent, and Why?
Pharaoh and God in Exodus 1–15 as a Model for Violence in the Bible

Terence E. Fretheim
Violence and the God of the Old Testament

Hallvard Hagelia
Violence, Judgment and Ethics in the Book of Amos

Dana M. Harris
Understanding Images of Violence in the Book of Revelation

Robert L. Hubbard, Jr
Rest for the Wary:
Cities of Refuge and Cycles of Violence

Årstein Justnes
Divine Violence and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Gordon McConville
Human ‘Dominion’ and Being ‘Like God’: An Exploration of Peace, Violence and Truth in the Old Testament

Kirsten Nielsen
The Violent God of the Old Testament:
Reading Strategies and Responsibility

Tommy Wasserman
Lectio vehementior potior:
Scribal Violence on Violent Texts?

Karl William Weyde
Holy War, Divine War, Yhwh War—and Ethics:
On a Central Issue in Recent Research on the Hebrew Bible

Peter Wick
Strategies for the Prevention of the Use of Legitimate Forms of Force in the Sermon on the Mount and the Problem of Violence

Markus Zehnder
The Annihilation of the Canaanites—Reassessing the Brutality of the Biblical Witnesses