Killing in the Name
Contemporary Evangelical Christian Interpretations of the Jericho Massacre in the Context of Anti-Immigration and Anti-Muslim Trends
Keywords:Bible, Evangelical Christian, hermeneutics, interpretation
While there has been an increase in the popularity of featuring negative portrayals of Islam and justifications of violence using the Qur'an, similar prominent contemporary interpretations of Biblical passages advocating and justifying violence have been largely ignored in Western discourse about religion and violence. This article focuses on justifications of the use of violence in the account of the fall of Jericho in Joshua chapter six, in which non-combatant adults and children are killed. Using Bamberg's (1997) framework for analysing how narratives position their characters, readers, and authors, it examines two contemporary interpretations from prominent Christians, William Lane Craig (2013, 2007) and John Lennox (2011). Findings show that both writers view the violence as just and necessary in the context provided by the Bible. However, the article also shows how such action could once again be perceived as right if believers combined these justifications with particular interpretations of New Testament texts while viewing themselves as entering a specific set of special circumstances.
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