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Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide – Christian Interpretations of Herem Passages - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Making Sense of Old Testament Genocide: Christian Interpretations of Herem Passages

Christian Hofreiter


This book investigates the effective history of some of the most problematic passages in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament): passages involving the concept or practice of herem. These texts contain prima facie divine commands to commit genocide as well as descriptions of genocidal military campaigns commended by God. The book presents and analyses the solutions that Christian interpreters from antiquity until today have proposed to the concomitant moral and hermeneutical challenges. A number of ways in which the texts have been used to justify violence and war or to criticize Christianity are al ... More

Keywords: apologetics, biblical interpretation, divine command theory, genocide, herem, ban holy war, Old Testament, reception history, religion and violence

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780198810902
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198810902.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christian Hofreiter, author
Research Fellow, Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics