Is the Old Testament God a Bully? Quote to Ponder: Richard Dawkins

Is the Old Testament God a Bully? Quote to Ponder: Richard Dawkins March 8, 2010

As we read the Old Testament, it is easy to get frustrated on several points.  The greatest of these is the violence of God.  Below is a quote from renowned atheist Richard Dawkins…

The God of the Old Testament is arguable the most unpleasant character in all fiction: Jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.[1]

At a superficial level, the statement above (however sacrilegious) has some merit.  When we look at the OT genocide, judgment, war, and violence emerge from the storyline.  How we reconcile this picture with Jesus is one of the greatest mysteries of the Christian faith.  How would you respond to someone who made similar comments or asked questions regarding the Old Testament?  Is Dawkins at all justified in his observations?  Your thoughts…



[1] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, 31.

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