[EDITOR’S NOTE: THE IMPLICATION THAT A GOOD GOD CAN COMMAND THE EXTERMINATION OF INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN IS RIGHTLY DISTURBING AND JARRING. WHAT FOLLOWS IS AN ARGUMENT THAT RESPONDS TO THIS QUESTION. THIS IS NOT PART OF OUR DEVOTIONAL, NECESSARILY….BUT AN ANSWER TO A QUESTION THAT IS PROBABLY PLAGUING THE READER ON SOME LEVEL.]
Imagine a concerned parent who instructs his son to stay out of the busy street out front and play only in the yard. The son, not realizing that the street is a dangerous place, believes only that his father is a killjoy who doesn’t understand the true magic of stickball in the street. Desirous only of chasing his own pleasure, rather than pleasing his father, he runs out to the street to play with several of his neighborhood friends as soon as his father is out of sight. When the father catches him in the street, the boy is sternly reprimanded and the instruction is repeated—this time in an austere tone of voice. The dispassionate bystander who observes these goings-on can’t help but conclude that the father is acting in the best interests of the son, though the son is incapable of recognizing it at that exact juncture. If the son obeys, he will live long enough to see the sense in the original command. It is in just such a parent-child paradigm that the modern critic finds himself in his criticism of the Old Testament God Who commanded the “genocide” of the Canaanites. The knee-jerk emotional reaction to the term “genocide” is surely part of our post-World War II attitude toward the systematic extermination of whole people groups. In our Enlightenment-era, rationalistic under-readings of the “invasion texts” of the Old Testament, some are indeed quick to press charges against Christianity, the Old Testament, God, the Bible or Israel. But a proper contextualization of Man’s view in relation to God’s view and the actual text of His Word might well put to rest once and for all the hyperbolic hysterics inherent in the charge of “genocide.”
PART ONE: MAN’S VIEW
A proper response to any problem is to first, of course, review the problem. There is no question that the invasion texts of the Canaanite conquest reveal details about God with which Man may well have problems. At first blush, it would seem that God commands the genocidal extermination of Israelite enemies:
When the Lord your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them. (Lev 7.1-2)
If this is true, couldn’t it be said of Him that He is a “mass murderer?” Aren’t critics within bounds when they accuse God of being a “genocidal general?” At the very least, surely Dawkins was right when he called God an “unpleasant character” in his own book, wasn’t he? The basic problem is that God has commanded behavior that seems inconsistent with His own teachings elsewhere, and with Mankind’s own sense of “fairness” and “love.” If these two elements of Man’s notion of God cannot be mitigated, then one might readily see the validity of these criticisms. If no solution exists, then perhaps the indictment of author Mark Twain stands supreme: “Then it is plain that [God] cannot keep his own commandments.”
Of course, the standard reactions to this problem by these critics are, to put it charitably, not seeking mitigation. Rather, they are extreme positions that are predicated on socio-cultural presuppositions of Who God is and who Man is. One of the most popular extreme positions is that of pacifism. The assumptive fallacy of a pacifist God is not limited to a few obscure communities in Pennsylvania. Those who consider the very concept of war to be immoral note that “The wars of the Old Testament are a problem for Christians committed to biblical pacificism. How is it that the God Who is most fully realized in Jesus and His nonresistant way, commanded His people, Israel, to fight?” David Gushee seems determined to uphold the notion of a consistently pacificist God in his work, as well, arguing that “no human interaction is merely a human interaction.” Particularly since the advent of the “Jesus People” influence in the post-1960’s countercultural movement, one of the most enduring images of Jesus is of a laughing, vaguely Communist pacifist Who would never have committed our troops to a horrible civil war in Indochina. This model has endured to the present day, despite the apocalyptic imagery of an eschatological Christ Who brings a violently conquering army to earth at the moment of His Second Coming (Rev 19.11-19). Reasonable rebuttals to the God-as-Pacifist paradigm have appeared in the form of written theology, and have also appeared in the culture in more popular nuances, such as the Gary Cooper film Sergeant York. The ultimate problem with the God-as-Pacifist view is that it is predicated on a low view of scripture, since God Himself orders the aforementioned attacks on the Canaanites.
Another extreme is the Marcionist one. Marcion himself had the gravest of difficulties with an Old Testament God Who behaved in such seemingly monstrous fashion:
Since Marcion was convince that the world is evil, he came to the conclusion that its creator must be either evil or ignorant—or both. But instead of positing a long series of spiritual beings, as the Gnostics did, Marcion proposed a much simpler solution. According to him, the God and Father of Jesus is not the same as Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament. It was Yahweh who made this world. [ . . . ] This means that the Hebrew scriptures are indeed [not] inspired by the Supreme Father. 
Eric Seibert attempts to finesse a fine line between heretical Marcionism and some form of deism in his own attempt to explain the problem passages. He extols the view of Thomas Paine, a noted Deist, as an individual with whom he can “identify.” Paine believed the Bible to be incompatible with his view of God, and therefore rejected its inspiration. Mark Twain, the author of Letters From The Earth—which is widely hailed as an atheistic masterpiece—is re-categorized as a Deist (somehow) by Seibert and enlisted in his fight against the Old Testament God of genocide. Seibert’s ultimate goal is a specific reinterpretation of the problem texts that ultimately end up challenging historicity. It is a type of non-Marcionite Marcionism that rests on his contention that “there is no good explanation for God’s choices” otherwise. Setting up a dichotomy between the “textual God” and the “actual God” holds some hermeneutical promise on its face, but ultimately devolves into Seibert’s real premise: that if Man cannot see the motive for the military command, the text must therefore be unreliable. Such texts discredit God, in Seibert’s view, and must therefore be interpreted in some other way. One may readily notice, then, a pattern emerging in the cry of critics against this “genocidal” God: when He does not line up with their pre-suppositional values, He must go. The biggest problem with these criticisms, then, is a low view of God Himself—if He is to be God, He’d better shape up to their image of Him.
PART TWO: GOD’S WORD
Before God’s Word can be tossed out as unreliable, it would seem the better part of wisdom to investigate what it actually says. There are four pertinent facts about the “genocide” texts with which the disinterested scholar must necessarily grapple if he is to reach a reasonable conclusion: (1) the concept of Yahweh War; (2) the meaning of חָרַם (hrm); (2) the significance of peace in the “genocide” texts; and (4) the employment of the term “genocide” to the Canaanite invasion in the first place. The first relevant fact is that of so-called Yahweh War, so termed by Rudolf Smend. Eugene Merrill explains that Yahweh War is a specific type of war that is distinct from “regular” war:
God initiated the process by singling out those destined to destruction, empowering an agent (usually his chosen people Israel) to accomplish it, and guaranteeing its successful conclusion once the proper conditions were met. [ . . . ] Yahwey was [is] distinct from war in general. 
The need for Yahweh War is spelled out in numerous texts: Ex 20.22-33, Lev 26.3-45, Num 14.39-45, Num 21.1-3, Num 31.1-20, Deut 20.1-20 (especially 20.16-20), Jos 6.1-27, Jos 8.1-29, and 1 Samuel 15.1-23. Merrill notes that there is a formula for Yahweh War which is critical to one’s understanding of the distinction:
the mustering by a trumpet call; (2) consecration of the men; (3) offering of sacrifices; (4) oracle of God; (5) “Yahweh has given;” (6) Yahweh leads the way; (7) designated as “Yahweh war”; (8) “fear not” formula; (9) enemy’s loss of courage; (10) war cry; (11) divine terror; (12) חָרַם; (13) “to your tents.”
The first example of Yahweh War appears in Ex 23.20-33, in which “the common theme of the [ . . . ] passage is the need to recognize that only Yahweh is God and only he is to be worshiped.” The concept reaches its apotheosis in the Deuteronomy passage—the very moment that the invasion is looming on Israel’s horizon, and a special kind of war for a special kind of enemy is warranted:
It is clear that the land was considered Israel’s by divine right and that the nations who occupied it were little better than squatters. Yahweh, as owner of the land, would therefore undertake measures to destroy and/or expel the illegitimate inhabitants, an he would do so largely through his people Israel and by means of Yahweh war.
If Yahweh War is associated with the eradication of false worship, it stands to reason, then, that a precision of language is warranted, inasmuch as the true enemies in Yahweh War are the Canaanite deities, as opposed to the Canaanites themselves:
At the heart of this matter is the recognition that if Israel goes off into idolatry, she has effectively become paganized. Yahweh war, then, is essentially war against the imaginary gods of the world who challenge the sovereignty of Yahweh. In this sense, Yahweh war can perhaps more properly be termed deicide rather than homicide.
A second pertinent fact about the text itself is the use of חָרַם. From a lexical standpoint, חָרַם means either “to destroy or devote to destruction” or “to dedicate.” Merrill rightly notes that there are instances of “both nuances occurring in the same passage.” As Merrill has pointed out in the above section, the meaning of חָרַם informs the interpretative nuance that the expositor would use to render the meaning of the passage. Since HALOT glosses it as both “destroy” and “dedicate,” context is everything to the exegete. Moreover, it would appear that an iron-clad notion of “destroy” would also escape the careful reader. Consider Ex 23.23-33:
For My angel will go before you and bring you in to the land of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites; and I will completely destroy them. You shall not worship their gods, nor serve them, nor do according to their deeds; but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their sacred pillars in pieces. But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and I will remove sickness from your midst. There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days. I will send My terror ahead of you, and throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. I will send hornets ahead of you so that they will drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites before you. I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land. I will fix your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the River Euphrates; for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you will drive them out before you. You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods. They shall not live in your land, because they will make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.
The promise of God to “destroy” the Canaanites in 23.23 is immediately followed by His promise to “throw” them “into confusion.” Moreover, He promises to make the Canaanites—presumably, the “destroyed” Canaanites—“turn their backs” to the Israelites. There must be a wider lexical understanding of “destroy” than critics of the “genocidal” God accept. This would create an untenable lexical position for the critic who is quick to indict God of genocide on the basis of the text.
The third pertinent exegetical fact is the significance of peace in the context of Yahweh War. Copan recognizes that, in the Joshua story, “a sevenfold opportunity was given for Jericho to make peace with Israel, which it refused to do.” Those Canaanite enemies who were set apart for destruction (חָרַם) had foregone this offer of peace. Just as God has offered salvation to Man, but will grant Man’s wish for damnation instead, so the expositor might also see that God’s initial offer of peace may be rejected by Man who favors war instead.
Finally, it is noteworthy that three cities—Jericho, Ai, and Hazor—are mentioned in the biblical text (Jos 6.24, 8.28, and 11.13) as having been utterly destroyed by fire. This is hardly genocide, particularly in light of the evidence that the leadership and royalty lived in the cities, while the general population lived outside the walls of the cities. In fact, when one compares the actual textual account—with its lexical nuances—to archaeological evidence (affirming “gradual infiltration and occupation”), one will be hard-pressed to conclude that any genocide took place. Copan describes Joshua’s “conventional warfare rhetoric” as quite common in Near East texts, comparing it to the modern-day equivalent of claiming that the local sports team “blew their opponents away.” The use of “genocide” to describe this limited invasion and long-term resettlement is a profound misuse of words that poisons the well of discourse. When the careful expositor understands the concept of Yahweh War, the use of חָרַם, the significance of peace in these “problem” texts, and the proper historical context of the invasion itself in relation to the term “genocide,” one can begin to see that the case against the “genocidal” God may have been overstated after all.
PART THREE: GOD’S VIEW
Once the expositor has come to grips with the exegetical issues at hand, he might then ably move toward a biblical-theological understanding of the “problem” texts. This is, of course, rightly accomplished by contextualizing the texts with a cogent grasp of theology proper—God’s attributes—as well as a literary understanding of God as the protagonist in the story and Man as the antagonist. To begin, one must necessarily be reminded of four attributes in particular: God’s holiness, God’s justice, God’s commitment to Man, and God’s patience and lovingkindness toward Man. As we begin to understand God’s holiness, we are reminded that God’s sovereignty permeates all of existence: “The Christian [ . . . ] should learn the lesson God wanted to teach ancient Israel: living under God’s reign should affect all of life.” Merrill reminds his audience that the holiness of God has real-life ramifications on life and death:
Among the attributes associated with his participation in Yahweh war are God’s omnipotence, his infinite wisdom, and above all, his holiness. In fact, it is this last-mentioned characteristic that gave rise to earlier descriptions of this kind of conflict as “holy war.”
The command to the Israelites to be separate from the Canaanites was predicated on the significance of upholding the supremacy of God Himself over and against the deification of false gods: “Attentive parents will regularly tell their kids to avoid getting mixed up with the wrong crowd. Bad company corrupts good character. Likewise, God gave the Israelites certain actions to carry out as a way of symbolically telling them not to get mixed in with the false ways of the nations.” The Canaanites had engaged in a very serious idolatry that had indeed been tolerated for a long enough period of time:
The worship of idols wasn’t innocent or harmless. The Old Testament connects idolatry with the demonic—that is, with the cosmic enemies of God who rebelled against him. [ . . . ]So in the exodus, Yahweh is the cosmic warrior who engages the evil powers of Egypt and the forces that inspire them.
Indeed, their idolatry wasn’t just a nonchalant choice to “go against God” as much as it was a deliberate union with demonic forces. The Midianites has deliberately engaged in sexual seduction (Num 31) designed to distract God’s chosen people from His definition of holiness. The universal morality of God has been revealed to Man across cultural lines. For this reason, to fail to recognize the dire consequences of offending God’s holiness is to fail to recognize the significance of holiness itself.
Yet another attribute of God that must remain in view in light of these invasion texts is the justice of God. God is a just God: (Ac 10.34-35). He cannot act other than justly. Seibert complains that the Canaanite sin, though serious, shouldn’t be seen as too serious, and the fact that sin is “punishable by death is a debatable assumption.” While it may be debatable to Seibert, however, it was not debatable to the Apostle Paul: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ro 6.23). If the consequence of sin is death, all of Man deserves the just punishment that is inflicted on the Canaanites, who have deliberately built the culture of demonic-influenced deification of their “own way” at the expense of a committed following of Yahweh. It is the very definition of sin, writ large on a macrocosmic canvas—the penultimate picture of Eden’s original choice to dethrone God and enthrone Self. The penalty then was death (Gen 3.3), and it was still death in the aforementioned texts. To change it in the Canaanite era would be arbitrary and unjust—particularly for those who suffered the consequences of sin in earlier eras. To put it in Jesus’ eventual vernacular, Sodom and Gomorrah might have “risen up in judgment” (Mt 10.15) against the Canaanites.
Another attribute that is pertinent to the present discussion is that of God’s committed marriage relationship to Israel specifically. As God demonstrated His relational love for Man through His revelation to Israel, He behaved as a husband committed to His wife. To the extent that Israel honored Him as her Head, she was a faithful wife. To the extent that she dethroned God and enthroned other gods, she is spoken of in terms of being adulterous and sexually unfaithful (Eze 23, Hos 3.1-2) This marriage analogy is crucial, inasmuch as it reveals an aspect of God often overlooked by abstract thinkers: He relates deeply, personally, and emotionally to His people: “God’s relationship with us isn’t a commander-commandee arrangement (similar to the “divine cop in the sky” notion). In that kind of relationship, God’s will merely coerces, overriding the choices of human agents. Rather, God seeks the interpersonal intimacy with us in the context of covenant-making.” Such a marital relationship requires fidelity on the parts of both parties: “Israel had committed itself to be faithful to Yahweh; as in any good marriage, spouses shouldn’t play the field in the name of marital freedom.” This begs the question: what kind of husband would not be jealous of a wife that cheated on him? To treat fidelity with such nonchalance would be antithetical to the completely devoted nature of God’s love. His anger, therefore, is a proper response to the full-scale wickedness, and His jealousy goes forth for His people’s ultimate good: “God’s jealousy isn’t capricious or petty. God is jealous for our best interests.”
One more attribute of God that might help shed some light on the “problem texts” is that of His patience and lovingkindness. His timing of the invasions did not happen in a vacuum; as noted before, He had exercised a great deal of patience with the Canaanites (Gen 15.16), well past the patience He had exercised with Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 18-19). The inability to accept both righteous anger and patient love from the same God is uniquely hypocritical of Man, who accepts these qualities in himself. A proper understanding of God’s holiness, His justice, His committed status of “husband,” and His patient love toward His bride is necessary to make defensible sense of the invasion texts.
Yet another aspect of understanding comes from viewing God, properly, as the protagonist in this over-arching story. In the narrative of Man, God is the protagonist and Man is the antagonist; many of the critics’ complaints fail to take this literary hermeneutic into proper perspective. It’s His story—the story of His creation, His love, His magnanimity, His heroism, His spectacular rescue of the race of Man from himself—and He’s the good guy. Merrill’s insistence that this be grasped is helpful to the discourse. Given that God has defined “good” and “evil” on His terms, and Man has chosen “evil,” how then can he accuse God of wrongdoing?
Seibert has helpfully categorized four approaches to being a biblical Christian in the face of these invasion texts. He has done so with the express intent of repudiating each approach and substituting his own: a denial of historicity of the Old Testament texts themselves. But in the process of his cataloguing the “wrong” approaches, along with his rebuttals thereunto, he has aptly provided a framework that captures the full argument pertinent to these texts. He calls his first category the “Divine Immunity” view: “The divine immunity approach defends God’s behavior in the Old Testament by suggesting that everything God does is good and right because God can do no wrong.” He rightly points out that Irenaus employed a variation of this argument. Seibert’s chief problem with this view is that it “restricts honest inquiry about God.” Unless God then makes Himself available to Seibert for cross-examination of His motives, the inquiry is invalid, apparently. Other scholars embrace a definition of justice that is apparently morally superior to God’s:
If the indiscriminate slaughter of human beings for any reason can be called a “good” and “righteous” acts, then all moral and ethical absolutes are destroyed, all distinctions between good and evil are rendered meaningless, and all claims about God’s love and compassion become cruel depictions.
The acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty in the face of Man’s puny judgment is part of the definition of God; if He is subject to Man, He is no longer God.
Seibert’s second category of Biblicist is the “Just Cause” view. According to this view, the Canaanites deserved the harsh treatment that God commanded the Israelites to inflict on them. Seibert’s chief criticism of this view is that, for God, there appears to be a sin that is punishable by death. Though this has been dealt with in another portion of this paper, it is noteworthy here to observe that while he is certainly correct that the infants and animals had not committed idolatry or demonic-influenced false worship, he has failed to understand the common theological understanding of sin, particularly as voiced in Augustinian terms:
The power of sin is such that it takes hold of our will, and as long as we are under its sway we cannot move our will to be rid of it. The most we can accomplish is to struggle between willing and not willing, which does little more than show the powerlessness of our will against itself. The sinner can will nothing but sin.
Given this traditional understanding of sin, and the inherited nature of this nature in Man, there can be no one who is truly innocent, as we are born into the stain of guilt. But even apart from Original Sin, the aforementioned idolatry of the Canaanites had severe consequences for all in its society: “Humans are ‘imaging’ beings, designed to reflect the likeness and glory of their Creator. If we worship the creaturely rather than the creator, we’ll come to resemble or image the idols of our own devising and that in which we place our security.” A broader view of God’s patience is probably necessary in order to understand the justice behind the Canaanite invasion: “Yahweh was willing to wait about 430 years because ‘the sin of the Amorite had not yet reached its limit.’” It is worth underscoring God’s patience in discussing this view, inasmuch as He Himself exhibited it in allowing the Canaanites to continue in their idolatrous and demonic path. Again, Seibert’s chief problem with this category is caused by his low view of God’s justice.
The third category, or “The Greater Good” school of thought, is described by Seibert as being a sub-category of the Just Cause view. An over-arching good had been accomplished by Israelite conquest of Canaan, and had been brought about by God’s providence:
Much as we regret the terrible loss of life, we must remember that far greater mischief would have resulted if they had been permitted to live on in the midst f the Hebrew nation. These incorrigible degenerates of the Canaanite civilization were a sinister threat to the spiritual survival of Abraham’s race.
Seibert’s criticism of this view is the difficulty in believing that God would exterminate one group in favor of another. Cowles calls this the “sanitized land theory,” and similarly repudiates it: “The ‘sanitized land theory’ presents an unflattering view of Israel’s God.It was a virtual admission that in free and open competition with Canaanite religion, Yahweh worship would lose out.” However, there is no question that biblical portrayal of divine violence is always purposeful—either for judgment or salvation, always the “means by which God’s people are delivered from violence.”
Seibert calls his fourth category “God Acted Differently,” a possible attempt to underscore what he sees as a challenge to God’s immutability. At the heart of this view is the notion of progressive revelation, ably defined by Dennis Hollinger: The Old Testament contains a growing disclosure of God’s moral designs for his people and all humanity. In the process of this self-disclosure, God, being deeply personal, often begins where people are in their understanding of his will and plan.” Seibert’s chief problem with this view is that there is no explicit proof text for it, opining that “it is extremely difficult to demonstrate from the biblical texts themselves.” Notwithstanding, Copan demonstrates the logic behind this understanding that God revealed Himself in increments that Man could understand over the passage of time:
So when we read in Joshua 10.22-27 that Joshua killed five Canaanite kings and hung their corpses on trees all day, we don’t have to explain away or justify such a practice. Such actions reflect a less morally refined condition. Yet these sorts of texts remind us that, in the unfolding of his purposes, God can use heroes such as Joshua within their context and work out his redemptive purposes despite them.
Ultimately, all four of Seibert’s “false” categories hold logical water. God’s use of phenomenological language to contextualize His Word to the time, place and culture He’s directing is not a challenge to His immutability, but rather a testament to His concern for His creation. The notion of progressive revelation is among the most eminently reasonable of all explanations of how an inscrutable God could deign to reveal Himself to a creation of limited understanding: “He adapted his ideals to a people whose attitudes and actions were influenced by deeply flawed structures.” The Canaanite invasion isn’t the only terrifying thing to happen that brought about a greater good for others, and God was surely just in bringing disobedient Man to judgment after having given him ample time to repent and give glory to his Maker. Seibert’s contention that his own inability to see God’s motives renders the text unreliable is untenable, and incongruous with a proper theology of God: if He’s truly God, then He is, indeed, immune from Man’s judgment and puny criticism. In fact, the very notion that Man can and should deduce God’s motives and ways is inherently arrogant and wrongheaded. The penultimate problem with the Seibert view is that it grants authority to Man where such authority doesn’t belong: “It would be a strange, defective God who didn’t pose a serious cosmic authority problem for humans. Part of the status of being God, after all, is that God has a unique authority, or lordship, over humans.” Man’s feeble mentality and understanding, when contextualized over and against God’s, is such as to render him utterly incapable of grasping the breadth and depth of God’s motives in Canaan and elsewhere. If God is truly God, then, we are all Canaanites—disobedient, rebellious, arrogant, hopeless, completely depraved. God’s justice is deserved, and only God’s special provision can rescue us. This is the proper and high view of His justice, His love, and His spectacular rescue of us from ourselves.
As ludicrous as it would be for a young boy to accuse his father of unfairness for prohibiting him from playing in the street, so is it ludicrous for critics to levy the charge of “genocide” against God, the Old Testament, or Israel. Inherent in the definition is the acceptance of the fact that His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts not our thoughts (Isa 55.89). Divorced from the historical context of the invasion stories, the socio-cultural value system of the region during that day will understandably seem foreign to the postmodern. A sweeping indictment of the texts on the basis of this change in worldview is precisely what C.S. Lewis meant when he spoke of “chronological snobbery,” or “the uncritical acceptance of the intellectual climate common to our age and the assumption that whatever has gone out of date is on that count discredited.” Arbitrarily setting up our own standards, then holding God to them—all while twisting His Word to read it in the worst possible light—is among the more hysterical of human pursuits in the last century.
Archer, Gleason L. New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982.
Chandlee, Harry. Sergeant York. Special Ed. DVD. Directed Howard Hawks. Burbank: Warner Brothers Studios, 1941.
Copan, Paul. Is God A Moral Monster? Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011.
Cowles, C.S. “A Response to Eugene Merrill.” Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views On God And Canaanite Genocide. Ed. Stanley N. Gundry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003. 13-34.
Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Boston: Hougton Mifflin, 2006.
Fretheim, Terence. “God and Violence in the Old Testament.” Word and World 24 (2004): 24- 25.
Gonzalez, Justo. The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1. New York: HarperCollins, 2010.
Gushee, David P. The Sacredness of Human Life. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2013.
Hollinger, Dennis P. Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002.
Koehler, Ludwig and Walter Baumgartner. Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Vol. I. Leiden: Brill, 2001.
Lewis, C.S. The Abolition of Man. San Francisco: Harper, 2001.
Lewis, C.S. Surprised By Joy. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1956.
Merrill, Eugene H. “The Case For Moderate Discontinuity.” Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views On God And Canaanite Genocide. Ed. Stanley N. Gundry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003. 63-94.
Morey, Robert A. When Is It Right To Fight? Orange: Christian Scholar’s Press, 2008.
Moser, Paul K. “Divine Hiddenness, Death, and Meaning.” Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.
Paine, Thomas. The Age Of Reason. New York: Carroll, 1995.
Seibert, Eric A. Disturbing Divine Behavior. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009.
Schrag, Martin H. and John K. Stoner. The Ministry Of Reconciliation. Nappanee: Evangel, 1973.
Smend, Rudolf. Yahweh War and Tribal Confederation. trans. Max Gray Rogers. Nashville: Abingdon, 1970.
Trigg, Joseph Wilson. Origen: The Bible And Philosophy In The Third Century Church. Atlanta, John Knox Press, 1983.
Twain, Mark. Letters From The Earth. New York: Harper and Row, 1962.
 Eric A. Seibert, Disturbing Divine Behavior (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009), 20.
 Ibid, 24.
 Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Boston: Hougton Mifflin, 2006), 31.
 Mark Twain, Letters From The Earth (New York: Harper and Row, 1962), 49.
 Martin H. Schrag and John K. Stoner, The Ministry Of Reconciliation (Nappanee: Evangel, 1973), 34.
 David P. Gushee, The Sacredness of Human Life (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2013), 37.
 Robert A. Morey, When Is It Right To Fight? (Orange: Christian Scholar’s Press, 2008).
 Harry Chandlee, Sergeant York, Special Ed. DVD, Directed Howard Hawks (Burbank: Warner Brothers Studios, 1941).
 Justo Gonzalez, The Story of Christianity, Vol. 1 (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), 74.
 Seibert, 41.
 Thomas Paine, The Age Of Reason (New York: Carroll, 1995), 109.
 Seibert, 41.
 Ibid, 147.
 Ibid, 170.
 Seibert, 174.
 Rudolf Smend, Yahweh War and Tribal Confederation, trans. Max Gray Rogers (Nashville: Abingdon, 1970), 38.
 Eugene H. Merrill, “The Case For Moderate Discontinuity,” Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views On God And Canaanite Genocide, Ed. Stanley N. Gundry (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 65.
 Merrill, 69.
 Ibid, 66.
 Ibid, 67.
 Ibid, 71.
 Ludwig Koehler and Walter Baumgartner, Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, Vol. I (Leiden: Brill, 2001), § חָרַם, s.v. 1.
 Ibid, s.v. 2.
 Merrill, 70.
 Paul Copan, Is God A Moral Monster? (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011), 180.
 Ibid, 183.
 Ibid, 182.
 Ibid, 171.
 Ibid, 171.
 Copan, 75.
 Merrill, 81.
 Copan, 77.
 Ibid, 167.
 Ibid, 179-180.
 C.S. Lewis, “Appendix,” The Abolition of Man (San Francisco: Harper, 2001).
 Seibert, 75.
 Copan, 39.
 Ibid, 160.
 Copan, 39.
 Merrill, 80-81.
 Seibert, 101, 110-111.
 Ibid, 71.
 Joseph Wilson Trigg, Origen: The Bible And Philosophy In The Third Century Church (Atlanta, John Knox Press, 1983), 50-51.
 Seibert, 73.
 C.S. Cowles, “A Response to Eugene Merrill,” Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views On God And Canaanite Genocide, Ed. Stanley N. Gundry (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 100.
 Seibert, 74.
 Ibid, 75.
 Gonzales, 249.
 Copan, 159.
 Ibid, 159.
 Seibert, 77.
 Ibid, 77.
 Gleason L. Archer, New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), 158.
 Seibert, 79.
 Cowles, 98.
 Terence Fretheim, “God and Violence in the Old Testament,” Word and World 24 (2004): 24-25.
 Seibert, 80.
 Dennis P. Hollinger, Choosing the Good: Christian Ethics in a Complex World (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002), 158.
 Seibert, 80.
 Copan, 61.
 Ibid, 59.
 Seibert, 174.
 Paul K. Moser, “Divine Hiddenness, Death, and Meaning,” Philosophy of Religion: Classic and Contemporary Issues (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008), 221-222.
 C.S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1956), 207.