Terrorism in the Bible – Is the Godhead of the Bible Morally Upright?


Calling Christians

Most Christians either completely gloss over or ignore the violence of the Old Testament. Such an apologetic is usually framed in the form of contextualising this violence as being for a specific period and people. We’re speaking about genocide, mass rape, mass torture, and horrendous acts of this nature. When compared with the New Testament, it is difficult to reconcile the two versions of God being presented to us. Our most read article also inspects some of these stories of the Old Testament.

The Old Testament contains the single most violent passage among any scripture in world history:

However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. – Deuteronomy 20:16.

Rivaled by none, the scale of sheer violence and bloodshed in the Bible is not only disturbing, it is also extremely difficult to accept that…

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Categories: Islam

22 replies

  1. Such a dishonest post Ijaz.

    The extent to which someone believes something is violent or cruel is subjective to the individual. To say Deuteronomy 20:16 is the single most violent passage of any scripture is completely your own opinion and very dishonest. I find the vivid descriptions of hell torture in the Quran much more violent and cruel than anything I’ve read in the Old Testament, but like I said this is subjective to me the individual. To go around telling people that I’ve found the most violent passage of any scripture in the Quran would be foolish of me, so to see that here I consider to be a foolish move.
    You fail to mention that just a few verses before Deuteronomy 20:10 says “When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.” So there is clearly a reason behind the command that God gave the Israelites in verse 16.
    The explanation is given is verse 18: “Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the Lord your God.”
    Funny how you missed that out. Then in the verse after God commands the Israelites not to destroy any trees as they can eat it’s fruit. So clearly there is a context to understand behind verse 16. Besides that, God already expanded upon His reasons behind commanding the Israelites to destroy those nations it would conquer, such as in verse 18 but also in Deuteronomy 7 and 9. Not only that but the Quran itself also acknowledges that there was a time when God chose the Israelites over people of other nations, so the Quran itself justifies the actions found in the Hebrew Bible. Here are examples:
    Surah 17:104 – And We said after Pharaoh to the Children of Israel, “Dwell in the land, and when there comes the promise of the Hereafter, We will bring you forth in [one] gathering.”

    Surah 5:20-21 – And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, “O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds. O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah ‘s cause] and [thus] become losers.”

    There are plenty more Surah’s which explain that God gave a special favour to the Israelites in the past, but I wish to stop at Surah 5:21 which specifically mentions that God commanded the Israelites to fight in His cause when they enter the holy land unless they wish to become losers. This parallels the stories found in the Bible when Joshua lead the Israelites to conquer the land that God had promised to their ancestor Abraham but some of them hesitated because they were afraid of the more powerful nations. Do you wish to dishonour your Lord by claiming that the commands He gave to the Israelites were cruel, violent and unjustified Ijaz?

    Then you go on to confuse God’s laws with His war commands. The command to wipe out the nations in the land that the Israelites were to conquer were indeed specific. It wasn’t a law to be observed as part of their religious life, it was a command for war. Once the nations were driven out of Israel how exactly could they continue to observe this command eternally? Can you explain that?
    Can you explain God’s law which tells the Israelites to treat foreigners as their own once they conquer the land? Leviticus 19:34 “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
    This is an example of an eternal righteous law.
    Tell me something honestly Ijaz, do you consider the war commands in the Quran to be eternal or specific?

    The Quran itself is a testimony against your own post, unless you wish to tell me that God did not promise the land of Israel to Abraham and his descendants and therefore go against what the Quran says.


    • ThinkWell?


    • Burhanuddin1
      Don’t worry about the name, can you focus on the topic?


    • Thank you for your feedback ThinkWell (Robert?).

      It’s not subjective to think that killing everything, all things that breathe is somehow less violent than what the Qur’an teaches about the afterlife. We aren’t comparing Islamic afterlife with the Christian afterlife of perdition. We’re discussing what teaches itself to be both a historical command and a teaching by God. How many Christian apologists reference Qur’an 9:5, and 9:29 on violence, when they have Deuteronomy 20:16 and Zechariah 14 (the latter interpreted as a future for us all)? We are merely calling these apologists and polemicists to consistency. Sure, fighting is violent, but killing everything that breathes is on a whole other level. If you think that there is no distinction between the two, then the problem lies with your moral compass.

      You have confused yourself by thinking we Muslims accept the authority and authenticity of the Tanach, as Muslims we only confirm what the Qur’an confirms, and as such when it comes to the Tanach we can indeed reject such teachings. Do you wish to dishonour yourself by misrepresenting the Muslim position on these simple issues? That certainly seems to be the case. The mitzvot are religious commands, there’s no other way to spin it unless you don’t understand what they are? Are you trying to say that when the Lord commands something, it isn’t a religious command? How does that logic work? You’d have to explain your reasoning there in great detail for it to become coherent.

      Let’s try a little bit of exegesis, shall we? Does Leviticus postdate or predate Deuteronomy? I think that should answer your question(s).


      Liked by 3 people

  2. I haven’t quite noticed Surah 5:21 before… Interesting thanks ThinkWell.
    Ijaz you better “think well” about your response 😉

    By the way, what are Muslims opinions of the verses in the Quran where God clearly mentions the favors He gave to the Israelites above other nations. I mean do you guys just overlook those the same way you claim that Christians overlook the “violence” of the Old Testament? Because if you overlook them then no wonder it seems so confusing to read the Bible and see God talking about given a certain land to His people.

    Ijaz here’s a little help about understanding the law of God from the Quran, “We [Allah] made a covenant with you [Children of Israel] and raised the Mount [Sinai] above you, saying: ‘Grasp fervently [the Torah] what We [Allah] have given you, and bear in minds its precepts, that you may guard yourselves against evil'”. [Qur’an, sura 2:65]
    There’s more from where that came from because according to the Quran, the Torah is amazing and served as a guide for the Israelites and the prophets who followed Moses after, including Jesus who confirmed the Torah. And guess what? Deuteronomy is part of the Torah and according to the Quran Jesus confirmed it a thousand years or more after Moses.


  3. “Not only that but the Quran itself also acknowledges that there was a time when God chose the Israelites over people of other nations, so the Quran itself justifies the actions found in the Hebrew Bible.”



  4. Good post, and it doesn’t surprise me that the apologists are already making excuses and then trying to deflect to the Quran.

    I agree with brother Paul that to argue that since Allah (swt) favored the Israelites, that somehow means He commanded them to kill anything that lives is a non-sequitur. No where in the Quran or Hadiths is it stated that Allah commanded the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. In fact, what the Quran says is that Allah had revealed to the Israelites that saving a life is like saving all of mankind while taking a life unless it is for justice, as in criminal proceedings, is like killing all of mankind.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. By the way, there is scant archaeological evidence of a rapid and bloody conquest of Canaan, thus contradicting the Bible.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. I’m not Robert and I have no clue who Robert is, nor am I deflecting anything to the Quran, I’m simply calling out double standards where I see them.

    So how do you make sense of this scenario:
    According to the Quran the Israelites were once slaves in Egypt. Moses lead them out of Egypt and into the promised land. God tells the Israelites to enter this land and to fight in His cause.
    Do you think they just simply walked into an uninhabited land or that they simply made peace with all those who lived there already?

    There is also scant archaeological evidence of an exodus of Israelites out of Egypt yet the Quran confirms it. Are you then going to apply those same standards to the Bible and say it thus contradicts the Quran which also confirms the exodus?

    I want to know the supposed Islamic opinions on this matter, because calling out the Bible on these things does nothing to help your position.

    This is exactly what I mean by double standards.


    • Why does God degrade deformed people (Lev. 21:16-23)?


    • Leviticus 21:16-23

      16 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 17 Speak to Aaron and say: No one of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the food of his God. 18 For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, one who is blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, 19 or one who has a broken foot or a broken hand, 20 or a hunchback, or a dwarf, or a man with a blemish in his eyes or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. 21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord’s offerings by fire; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the food of his God, of the most holy as well as of the holy. 23 But he shall not come near the curtain or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries; for I am the Lord; I sanctify them.


    • I come back after all these hours and all I see is likes but no one answering my questions… Nice

      Liked by 1 person

    • ThinkWell,

      God did command the Israelites to fight, but that does not mean that they were also commanded to kill every living thing. As brother Paul said, you are committing a non-sequitur. There is no reason to believe that God commanded a “scorched earth” policy.

      Regarding the archaeological evidence for the Exodus, that is a red herring. A lack of evidence for the Exodus is actually not surprising, and I discussed this very issue in one of my articles:


      The Exodus was a migratory journey. The Israelites would have been nomads, so they would not have left much evidence behind. As for the lack of evidence in Egyptian sources, the Egyptians would not have been expected to provide a detailed record of their humiliation and defeat, so it would be silly to expect detailed hieroglyphics on the subject.

      In contrast, the lack of evidence for a rapid and bloody conquest of Canaan would be expected to provide lots of evidence. We should find mass graves, cities burned to the ground, etc. But, no such evidence has been unearthed. That is a problem for the Bible, and not for the Quran.

      Liked by 3 people

    • ThinkWell You got your answers. You just don’t understand. It’s a mystery.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. i would ask by what standard does yhe author use to judge God other then his own objective view of morality?


  8. Terrorism in the Bible? I’d like to see how Mozer G would respond to this.


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