The Biblical wars were ruthless wars of extermination; the Old Testament does not mince words:
“And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” (Leviticus;26:7-8).
“Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm;149:6-9).
Deuteronomy 20:16 However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.
Judges 21:10 So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children.
Judges 21:11 “This is what you are to do,” they said. “Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin. Moses ordered the killing of Jews, guilty of idol worship (Exodus;32:26-28.). “Now therefore Kill every male among the little ones, and Kill every woman (female) that hath known man by lying (having sex) with him. “But keep Alive for yourselves all the Girls and all the women who are Virgins.”(Numbers;31:17-18).
The Jews salvaged for themselves; “and thirty-two thousand persons in all, women who had not known man by lying with him.”(Numbers; 31:35).
“But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, (O’ Jews) you shall save alive nothing that breathes,(Deuteronomy;20:16).
‘And they (the Jews) Utterly Destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep, and Ass, with the edge of the sword”(Joshua;6:21)
”He (Joshua) let None remain alive.” (Joshua;10:28).
In the New Testament the Jesus Christ says:
“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”(Luke; 9:27).
Paul, in commending the worthy fruits of Faith, mentions the warriors of the Old Testament as his ideals: “And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets — who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, received promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.” (Hebrews; 11: 32-34).
The monkish morality of the Gospels in their present form has never been followed by any self-respecting Christian or other nation in history. Pope Urban II (1088-99 C.E) coined the phrase ‘Holy War’, launched the Crusades movement which was subsequently vigorously supported by his followers for two centuries(1095-1291 C.E), causing death and destruction to millions besides sowing seeds of hatred and enmity among the followers of two great civilizations which still haunts the humanity. The association of Missionaries with Crusades posed a moral theological problem that troubled medieval Christian thinkers. Thirteenth-century Christian theologians held that conversion could not be forced, but most agreed that force could legitimately be used to preserve a situation in which peaceful propaganda was possible, and they continued to support the Crusade. Furthermore, Europe’s fear was such that the Crusade idea persisted well into the 17th century, and the conviction that, in certain circumstances, war might be just became more deeply enrooted in the conscience of the West. Along with the now generally accepted use of the word ‘Crusade’ to denote any ‘Common Endeavour in a Worthy Cause’ (Christian Jihad), this is one of the most enduring results of the movement. After the bloodstained conversions in South America, the colonization of most of the free world by diplomacy, intimidation aggression and coercion took place. Pope Pius XII was obliged, under the pressures of World War II, to clarify and redefine the church’s teachings on war and peace as well as to work out a strategy of survival. Pope Pius XII , tacitly condoned the Nazi holocaust. The deadly wars and large scale killings of people among weaker nations mostly Muslim which goes unabated on the pretext of war against terror lead by the American Evangelist and Neocons, the claim of love and peace by the Western (Christian) world appears to be hollow. They have forgotten the saying of Jesus :
“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”(Mathew; 7:5).
Violence and Atrocities in Bible
NOTE: These lists are meant to identify possible problems in the Bible, especially problems which are inherent in a literalist or fundamentalist interpretation. Some of the selections may be resolvable on certain interpretations–after all, almost any problem can be eliminated with suitable rationalizations–but it is the reader’s obligation to test this possibility and to decide whether it really makes appropriate sense to do this. To help readers in this task, these lists are aimed at presenting examples where problems may exist given certain allowable (but not always obligatory) assumptions. It should be kept in mind that a perfect and omnipotent God could, should, and likely would see to it that such problems did not exist in a book which s/he had inspired. It should also be kept in mind that what is and is not an atrocity is to some extent a matter of opinion. You are entitled to disagree with the author that these are, in fact, atrocities. In the Bible, words having to do with killing significantly outnumber words having to do with love.
1SA 15:33 “Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the Lord ….”
EX 32:27 “Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.
Compiled by Donald Morgan