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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Encountering Violence in the Bible
Zehnder, Markus and Hallvard Hagelia, editors

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2013 pp. xii + 309. $100.00

Series Information
The Bible in the Modern World, 55

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Description: Our world is full of violence, with repeated acts of terrorism and generally rising rates of violent criminal acts as the most obvious forms of the phenomenon in the Western world. It even reached the peaceful shores of Norway in the summer of 2011. This was one of the reasons why the first international meeting of the Norwegian Summer Academy for Biblical Studies was devoted to the topic ‘Violence as an Ethical Challenge in the Bible’. Eighteen biblical scholars from nine different countries (Joshua Berman, Lennart Boström, Friedmann Eissler, Torleif Elgvin, LarsOlov Eriksson, Karin Finsterbusch, Georg Fischer, Terence E. Fretheim, Hallvard Hagelia, Dana M. Harris, Robert L. Hubbard, Jr, Årstein Justnes, Gordon McConville, Kirsten Nielsen, Tommy Wasserman, Karl William Weyde, Peter Wick and Markus Zehnder) met on the beautiful premises of Ansgar Theological Seminary to discuss some of the most fundamental aspects of the topic. The papers presented at the conference are collected in the present volume, dealing mostly with the Hebrew Bible, but covering also the New Testament, Jewish literature from the Second Temple period and the Qur’an. The contributions reflect a refreshing variety of scholarly and theological approaches. One of the fundamental questions addressed in several studies is how biblical texts justifying violence can be properly understood and used today. Other questions raised are how violent some of the often-criticized biblical passages really are and how violence can be overcome.

Subjects: Bible, Literature, Methods, Historical Approaches, Literary Approaches, Ideological Critique, Dead Sea Scrolls

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Review by Paul Middleton
Published 6/1/2015
Citation: Paul Middleton, review of Markus Zehnder and Hallvard Hagelia, eds., Encountering Violence in the Bible, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


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