A Tale of Two Gods? He is an all-too-human deity with the human failings, weaknesses, and passions of men—but on a grand scale.
Lenny, I find it very interesting how different God is portrayed in the OT vs. Yeshua in the NT. I am a devoted follower of Yeshua and believe strongly in the inerrancy of the original communication of the Bible to Man. For instance, how could the God of Justice in the OT order the slaughtering of non-believers that perhaps never heard the Word and in the NT, Yeshua turned the other cheek.
This dichotomy is very difficult to resolve. How do you resolve it? Dan Hi Dan, Thanks so much for writing. I appreciate your desire to better understand the Bible and how God's actions can be reconciled with his nature.
This question actually comes up quite frequently when discussing the nature of the Bible. Skeptics will point to passages like Joshua 6: They then draw the conclusion that Christianity is obviously false, since the nature of God seems to be in contradiction.
However, upon closer examination, we can see that not only is this charge false, but there are good reasons we read about God commanding different actions in different situations.
Personal Admonitions Versus National Interests - First Understand the Context Before we get too far into examining whether the Bible portrays God inconsistently, we need to first understand the context in which the individual passages are given.
This is an important point to remember in trying to understand any difficult portion of Scripture. We must always interpret the verse in light of the context in which it was written since that can drastically color the meaning the passage takes on.
When we look at Old Testament passages such as Joshua 6: Here God is instructing Israel as a forming nation. Christ's command to turn the other cheek and pray for those who persecute you are directed to individuals on how they should deal with other individuals who offend them.
So we must note that trying to draw a comparison between these passages is strained from the outset. They are addressed to two totally different audience types a political government versus individuals and two different sets of circumstances establishing a new nation versus dealing with a personal wrong.
Another point we note is that the commands given to Joshua and the people of Israel were for a single circumstance where God was instructing them.
They were to destroy all of the inhabitants of Jericho, but that command did not extend beyond them, and it was to only happen during that timeframe.
Later he wrote, “For with thee is the fountain of life” (Ps. ). Peter called Jesus “the Son of the living God” (Matt. ). The Bible makes frequent reference to the “living God.” He is both the source and sustainer of life (John ). In essence, life comes from the nature of God, because God is life. better depicted God’s presence in the needed manner. The Spirit’s presence after An analysis of Craig R. Koester, The Dwelling of God: The Tabernacle in the Old Testament, Intertestamental Jewish Literature, and the New Testament (Washington, DC: Catholic . God is certainly depicted in the Old Testament as full of checed. The unchanging The unchanging love, kindness and mercy of God are clearly illustrated to Israel.
This command of God did not give the Israelites license to just wipe out anyone who they deemed as in their way. The instructions of Jesus, however, are general admonitions for life. They are guidelines for how we can be more loving to our fellow human beings and they help instill a spirit of selflessness in our individual characters.
Also, they are not to be taken as hard and fast rules. When Jesus Himself was struck on the cheek by an officer of the Sanhedrin, He did not turn to offer His other cheek, but challenged the officer who had struck Him ref. In all, we can see that comparing these kind of passages and claiming they are contradictory is flawed right from the outset.
However, this doesn't quite get us out of the woods yet. Your question also focuses on the nature of God. If God is all-loving, then how can He command the wholesale destruction of an entire population?
Guidelines for Protecting an Infant Nation As I pointed out above, many of the Old Testament passages brought up in this are limited to a specific period in Israel's history - one in which Israel was just starting to establish itself as a new nation.
And we must remember God had a very specific plan for the nation Israel - it would be the nation that would give the world God's word ref. Because Israel was to provide the very elements from which all the people of the world would be saved, the survival and protection of the nation was paramount.
Therefore, God gave the infant nation a special measure of protection when establishing it in the land of Canaan.
This is entirely consistent with God's character. As a parent myself, I have given my children different rules for the different times of their lives. When they are toddlers, I limit their exposure to things that may be dangerous for them.
For example, my four year old isn't allowed to cross the street by himself. However, my twelve year old can play ball in the street. Is this being inconsistent?Old Testament Theology is the branch of Biblical theology that seeks theological insight within the Old Testament or Hebrew Bible.
It explores past and present theological concepts as they pertain to God and God's relationship with creation. Jul 27, · Thus, God’s command to the creation, “be fruitful and multiply”, reflects the character and nature of God.
|Guidelines for Protecting an Infant Nation||He differs from Greek gods, whose faults and quarrels cause events. His unchanging nature is hinted at by his names.|
|(A-2) Jehovah, or Christ, Is the God of the Old Testament||Matter is one yet distinct:|
|Personal Admonitions Versus National Interests - First Understand the Context||Many people today are just as ignorant of the God of the Old Testament as the pharaoh was.|
Although the Creation cannot create ex nihilo, it is able to “create” its own kind (likeness). (A-2) Jehovah, or Christ, Is the God of the Old Testament.
Although for many it seems a paradox, Jehovah of the Old Testament was none other than the Son of God, Jesus Christ.
He created the world under the authority and direction of God the Father. Later, Jehovah came to earth as the Savior and Redeemer of the world. Old Testament Life and Literature () Gerald A.
Larue. Chapter 16 - Prophecy and the Earliest Prophets. DURING the eighth century, utterances of a class of men known as "prophets" were recorded in Israel and Judah.
God is not nature. God is not the universe. God is not a cosmic consciousness or a force of mystery. God is not man—He is greater than man and does not change His mind (Numbers ). Since God is holy, God does not author confusion.
He is Light. He is the truth (John. God. In the Old Testament, God is unique, sovereign, and unchanging. He differs from Greek gods, whose faults and quarrels cause events.
His unchanging nature is hinted at by his names.