Showing posts from January, 2018

The Gentile woman and the repentance of Jesus

One of the definitions of repentance is to change one's mind. In the gospels of Jesus, the story is told in Matthew and in Mark of him repenting of his nationalism. I'll share the pericope, then make my case.

Matthew 15:21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” 23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” 24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” 25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!” 26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall …

book report - The Old Testament Case for Nonviolence by M. C. Fleischer (2018)

The title is so ambitious, how could I say no to Mr. Fleischer's offer to read his book in exchange for a review? After reading it, I have to say I wish it was available to me four years ago after I read Paul Copan's book, Is God a Moral Monster? (2011)

Fleischer refers to Copan's book and follows some of his arguments. In both cases, some of these arguments leave frustrated and unsatisfying. Copan's response to the calls by God to commit war crimes is to note contemporary ancient near eastern (ANE) hyperbole. He also points out the Bible's own writers have enemy lists which include tribes which earlier histories claim of total annihilation of without any attempt at cover-up. In other words, Copan says, the command was inflated, the fulfillment was inflated, and the result was minimal, but none of this was problematic to ANE readers, so why should it be to modern readers? As a conservative evangelical, I found Copan's thesis hopeful, but also threatening to my…