SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.32 número2The reconciliatory role of Holy Communion in the Methodist tradition'Mission and Power' - The relevance of the Edinburgh 2010 discussion in the theological engagement with violence índice de autoresíndice de materiabúsqueda de artículos
Home Pagelista alfabética de revistas  

Servicios Personalizados



Links relacionados

  • En proceso de indezaciónCitado por Google
  • En proceso de indezaciónSimilares en Google


Verbum et Ecclesia

versión On-line ISSN 2074-7705
versión impresa ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.32 no.2 Pretoria  2011 



The role of the Old Testament in a violent world



Esias E. Meyer

Department of Old Testament Studies, University of Pretoria, South Africa





This article explores the responsibility of Bible critics with regard to the role that the Bible should play in our violent society. The crucial question that needs to beaddressed is whether the Bible, and especially the Old Testament, is part of the problem or part of the solution. The Old Testament is clearly a violent book. How do we deal with this? Does the Old Testament really have a positive contribution to make in a society riddled with violence? Some Bible critics tend to shy away from these questions, but there are exceptions. For some, violence is so endemic to the Bible that there is little to save. For others, the Bible has a very constructive role toplay in a society plagued by violence.



Full text available only in PDF format.




Albertz, R., 2009, 'Monotheism and violence: How to handle a dangerous biblical tradition', in J. van Ruiten & J.C. de Vos (eds.), The land of Israel in Bible, history, and theologystudies in honour of Ed Noort, pp. 373-388, Brill, Leiden.         [ Links ]

Assmann, J., 2010, The price of monotheism, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA.         [ Links ]

Assmann, J., 2000, Herrschaft und heil: politische Theologie in Altägypten, Israel und Europa [Power and salvation: Politcal theology in Old Egypt, Israel and Europe]. C. Hanser, Munich.         [ Links ]

Assmann, J., 1997, Moses the Egyptian: The memory of Egypt in western monotheism, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.         [ Links ]

Baumann, G., 2006, Gottesbilder der Gewalt im Alten Testament verstehen [Understanding divine images of violence in the Old Testament]. WBG, Darmstadt.         [ Links ]

Botha, P.J.J., 2008, 'Bloedoffers en morele vorming: Gewelddadigheid as faset van Christelike tradisies' [Blood sacrifices and moral formation: Violence as a facet of Christian traditions], Hervormde Teologiese Studies 64(4), 1601-1631.         [ Links ]

Brueggemann, W., 2009, Divine presence amid violence. Contextualizing the Book of Joshua, Cascade Books, Eugene, OR.         [ Links ]

Brueggemann, W., 1997, Theology of the Old Testament. Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, MN.         [ Links ]

Collins, J.J., 2005, The Bible after Babel. Historical criticism in a Postmodern Age, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI.         [ Links ]

Collins, J.J., 2004a, Does the Bible justify violence?, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, MN.         [ Links ]

Collins, J.J., 2004b, Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, MN.         [ Links ]

Crouch, C.L., 2009, War and ethics in the Ancient Near East. Military violence in light of cosmology and history, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin. doi:10.1515/9783110223521        [ Links ]

Noort, E., 1998, Das Buch Josua. Forschungsgeschichte und Problemfelder [The Book of Joshua. Research history and problem areas]. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellsschaft, Darmstadt.         [ Links ]

Otto, E., 1999, Krieg und Frieden in der Hebräishen Bibel und im Alten Orient. Aspekte für eine Friedensordnung in der Moderne [War and peace in the Hebrew Bible and in the Ancient Near East. Aspects of an order of peace in the modern world]. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart.         [ Links ]

Römer, T., 2007, The so-called Deuteronomistic history. A sociological, historical and literary introduction, T & T Clark, London.         [ Links ]

Rowlett, L.L., 1996, Joshua and the rhetoric of violence. A new historicist analysis, Sheffield Academic Press, Sheffield.         [ Links ]

Schwartz, R.M., 1997, The curse of Cain. The violent legacy of monotheism, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.         [ Links ]

Snyman, G., 2010, 'Review of: Divine presence amid violence: Contextualizing the Book of Joshua by Walter Brueggemann', in Review of Biblical Literature 04/2010, viewed 03 December 2010, from        [ Links ]

Van Henten, J.W., 2008, 'Religie, Bijbel en Geweld' [Religion, Bible and Violence], Hervormde Teologiese Studies 64(4), 1583-1600.         [ Links ]



Esias Meyer
Private bag X20, Hatfield,
Pretoria 0028, South Africa

Received: 04 Feb. 2011
Accepted: 03 June 2011
Published: 11 Nov. 2011



Note: This article was initially read as a paper at a conference held at the Centre for Public Theology (University of Pretoria) on 'Violence in the democratic South Africa: A challenge to theology and the churches' on 11 August 2010.

Creative Commons License Todo el contenido de esta revista, excepto dónde está identificado, está bajo una Licencia Creative Commons