Not clearing the guilty

Not clearing the guilty June 7, 2013

While eschewing Marcionism, Eric Siebert attempts to distinguish between the textual and the actual God and argues that “ some Old Testament portrayals of God do not accurately reflect God’s character” ( Disturbing Divine Behavior: Troubling Old Testament Images of God ).

But his overt selectivity leads him to split texts into bits and to ignore aspects of texts that he doesn’t like, a point especially evident in Seibert’s treatment of the claim that God “appears to act in self-contradictory ways” (33). He cites Exodus 34:6’s revelation of God as “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” but wonders how this fits with Deuteronomy 7:2’s command, “show them no mercy.” But he ignores Exodus 34:7, where Yahweh goes on to say that He “by no means leaves the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children.” Nowhere in Seibert’s book does he cite verse 7, which is part of the revelation of God’s glory on Sinai.

This may not be Marcionism. But it may be worse.


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