THE VIOLENT WORLD
A BIBLICAL RESPONSE
In a world that is getting increasingly violent, our inquiry is into the notion of violence in the Bible and the biblical responses that we can take recourse to in understanding and dealing with the religious, cultural and ethnic violence that is confronted on a daily basis, especially in a diverse country like India. Browsing through the pages of the Bible, we see that the early history of the people of Israel was violent to a great extent. They suffered great violence and inflicted similar violence on others in the process of conquering and protecting a kingdom. The world-wide violence can only be seen as a reflection of what is seen in human nature portrayed in the Bible, where violent practices like ḥāmas and ḥērem pose a challenge to the believer. However, the perspectives of the Prophets and the Psalmist on violence is less radical. From a biblical perspective, in this respect, Israel comes of age in Jesus as the New Testament adopts a more pacific approach to non-Israelite religions. In the teachings of Jesus, we find an antidote to the delusions of a violent God of the Old Testament as the moral evolution that was inaugurated by the prophets culminates in Jesus. What we see in the Bible is a progressive divine portrait, which is complete only in a God on the Cross. Jesus is the answer to the violent delusions of the world.
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