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Divine Evil?The Moral Character of the God of Abraham$
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Michael Bergmann, Michael J. Murray, and Michael C. Rea

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199576739

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199576739.001.0001

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Reading Joshua

Reading Joshua

(p.236) 8 Reading Joshua
Divine Evil?

Nicholas Wolterstorff

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an interpretation of the stories of extermination to be found in the Old Testament Book of Joshua. The chapter considers two interpretations which take the stories more or less at face value, the contemporary interpretation by the Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann and the traditional interpretation by John Calvin. The chapter then argues that there are compelling internal reasons for not taking the stories at face value. The book is to be read as a hyperbolic and highly metaphorical celebration of Joshua as Israel's leader. The chapter concludes by reflecting on whether stylized celebrations of the deeds of admired leaders can play a positive role in the modern world.

Keywords:   Brueggemann, Calvin, hyperbole, Joshua

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