Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses


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Throughout history, believers have used Biblical passages—evocative as and akin to the Sword Verse in the Qur’an—to justify acts of violence and genocide against their enemies. Protestants used those verses against Catholics, and vice versa. The medieval church used the same verses to justify the wars of the Crusades against Muslims and Arab Christians. The same verses were used as recent as 1994 to justify the genocide in Rwanda.

In the latest from Emir-Stein, Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History & Director of the Program on Historical Studies of Religion at Baylor University, argues that neither the Bible nor the Qur’an is violent per se, nor are the respective faiths of Islam, Judaism, or Christianity. Prof. Jenkins argues that misguided “believers” in each tradition are the real problem. In each case, different groups and individuals at particular times and places cite scripture to justify terrorist and criminal acts. And in so doing, they tragically bring those sacred writings into disrepute.

This video is based on Prof. Jenkins’s book Laying Down the Sword : Why We Can’t Ignore the Bible’s Violent Verses.


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