Saturday, January 20, 2018

When the Bible is profane

From Christian Century-

 It was not the easiest class. 

Our goal: a full, engaged reading of the book of Judges. I'd committed to leading it a couple of months back, being the teaching elder at my little congregation and all, and I don't regret it.

It's a fascinating book, truly and genuinely ancient, chock full of tales that rise out of the late Bronze Age. Here, songs and stories that are over three millennia old, narratives that rise up from deep in the primal memory of the people of Israel.

That alone makes them worthy of study and worthy of deeper exploration.

But it doesn't make them any less brutal. Judges starts with a captive king having his toes and thumbs cut off, and it pretty much goes downhill from there. It's chock full of ultraviolence, as the imprisoned Alex DeLarge discovered to his delight, as much so as any of the savage tales of our violence-loving culture. The heroes of the tale nail sleeping men's heads to the ground with spikes, and flay village elders to death with thorned branches. They butcher their own children. Even Samson, Samson of countless Sunday school coloring books? He's driven by lust, betrays his sacred oaths, and murders entire villages to pay off his debts.

More here-

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