By Eryl Wynn Davies
Eryl W. Davies discusses the ethically frustrating passages of the Hebrew Bible and how students have addressed facets of the bible normally considered as offensive and unacceptable.
In this paintings Eryl W. Davies sums up a career's worthy of in-depth mirrored image at the thorny factor of biblical ethics interpreting the Bible's, now and then frustrating, stance upon slavery, polygamy and maybe its so much complex element, the sanctioning of violence and struggle. this can be so much pertinent in appreciate to Joshua 6-11 a textual content which lauds the 'holy warfare' of the Israelites, anihiliting the local population of Canaan, and a textual content which has been used to legitimise the activities of white colonists in North the USA, the Boers in South Africa and right-wing Zionists in sleek Israel.
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Extra resources for The Immoral Bible: Approaches to Old Testament Ethics
It represented a preliminary stage in Israel’s ethical development which had now been surpassed and therefore could no longer be regarded as normative for the Christian believer. Before concluding the present chapter, it may be salutary to consider how the evolutionary strategy has been applied to the “holy war” traditions of the Hebrew Bible, for such an examination well illustrates both the strengths and weaknesses of this particular approach to the ethics of the Hebrew Bible. The Evolutionary Approach and the “Holy War” Traditions The evolutionary approach was regarded as a particularly useful strategy to explain, if not to excuse, the kind of atrocities perpetrated by the Israelites against their enemies in the book of Joshua39.
14 15 16 17 18 Hahn has argued forcefully that Wellhausen was uninfluenced by Hegelian principles of interpretation: “[W]hile Hegel interpreted the history of human culture in terms of progressive development, Wellhausen tended to emphasize the eternally valid nature of the natural, primitive forms of human society. Wellhausen was not a good Hegelian in his evolutionary doctrine. Whereas the Hegelian idea of development implied continuous progress, Wellhausen put a primary valuation on the initial stage in socioreligious development as the only genuinely significant stage” (1959:303).
Cf. Fosdick, who claimed that the Hebrew Bible reflected twelve centuries and more of “deepening and enlarging spiritual experience and insight”, and that such a view of Scripture had “become the common property of the well-informed” (1938:ix). The Evolutionary Approach 31 were firmly convinced that it was not in the nature of an historical religion to be static, and that the development of Israel’s religion and ethics was one of constantly expanding ideals25. Davidson argued that the growth and development of moral and theological ideas in the Hebrew Bible were inseparably connected with the progress of Israel as God’s people.
The Immoral Bible: Approaches to Old Testament Ethics by Eryl Wynn Davies