What on earth are we meant to do with those passages in the Bible where God commands genocide, the stoning to death of rebellious children or poems about dashing the heads of babies on rocks?! Well, according to theologian, author and artist, Derek Flood, the answer is pretty straight forward, we just read the Bible like Jesus did.

Image provided by Derek Flood. Used with permission.


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“The dilemma is that we’re trying to take a book and expect it to be something that it actually isn’t. And what you find in the Old Testament is actually a multitude of conflicting views of who God is, how we are supposed to be in faithfulness to God. That’s a reflection of the fact that Judaism developed over thousands of years – one example being monotheism that went from being a pantheistic religion that was similar to the other religions around them in the ancient world to developing monotheism and their view of God or gods completely changed. And the same is true for a lot of others things.”

“Jesus represents the way of ‘faithful questioning’ and the Pharisees represent the way of ‘unquestioning obedience.’ And those are clearly opposites. And the way of ‘faithful questioning’ we see in Jesus’ stuff where he says things like, ‘Hey, well what do you mean we can’t heal on the Sabbath? Isn’t that actually what we’re supposed to do on the Sabbath?’ So, he’s faithfully questioning. In other words, he’s questioning a law in the name of compassion and saying, ‘Look, this is the way this law is supposed to be done.’”


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