The Joshua Delusion?: Rethinking Genocide in the Bible

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9781608998920: The Joshua Delusion?: Rethinking Genocide in the Bible
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Many Christians wrestle with biblical passages in which God commands the slaughter of the Canaanites-men, women, and children. The issue of the morality of the biblical God is one of the major challenges for faith today. How can such texts be Holy Scripture? In this bold and innovative book Douglas Earl grasps the bull by the horns and guides readers to new and unexpected ways of looking at the book of Joshua. Drawing on insights from the early church and from modern scholarship, Earl argues that we have mistakenly read Joshua as a straightforward historical account and have ended up with a genocidal God. In contrast, Earl offers a theological interpretation in which the mass killing of Canaanites is a deliberate use of myth to make important theological points that are still valid today. Christopher J. H. Wright then offers a thoughtful response to Earl's provocative views. The book closes with Earl's reply to Wright and readers are encouraged to continue the debate.

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Review:

' The fruits of Earl's approach are not dissimilar to the result of reading the book of Joshua as 'story'. His originality lies in the way he conscripts Turner and Kunin to bolster his case for reading it as myth. Readers who are prepared to follow him on the journey will find this a challenging and stimulating book, even if they disagree with him. ' --John J. Bimson in The Expository Times, Vol. 124 (1), October 2012

'These books ['The Joshua Delusion?' along with 'Reading Joshua as Christian Scripture', by the same author] are definitely worth reading. Earl's treatment of myth is useful, and his discussion of the narrative of Joshua is also quite helpful. [...] Also to be commended is his willingness, particularly in JD, to address issues which can be somewhat sensitive within his own Evangelical Christian community.' --Anthony Milner in Gregorianum, Vol. 93 (2012)

About the Author:

Douglas Earl did his PhD on the book of Joshua at the University of Durham. He is author of Reading Joshua as Christian Scripture.

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