How can God be justified in the OT when ordering the Israelites to kill children?

Mike, you don’t want answers. You want proof that God is a bad, contradictory, and arbitrary ogre, and so he can’t possibly exist.
Anything else deflects from your agenda, so you won’t have it. You read the bible as a fundamentalist because to read it otherwise opens doors you don’t want to go through.

Mike, in good faith I posted discussion on this from our former pope.
What specifically do you take issue with?
Use the quote feature if you’d like and pick it apart.
I just posted stuff, there is reams of other stuff.

So now it’s your turn Mike to do something besides sit there and complain about how you don’t like the answers you hear.

  1. Then God should have taken those lives himself and not forced his people to slaughter children.
  1. God is all-powerful yet he seems incapable of coming up with a solution that wouldn’t punish innocents.

Who ever said that the people that were killed were innocent?

If a whole nation is completely and utterly evil, who are we to judge the Creator for wanting to remove that nation from hurting his beloved people? Even children can be raised to be evil - very evil.

In war, whole nations are oftentimes destroyed, including men, women, and children. This destruction does not negate the concept of a just war.

Again that’s wrong. As I noted I’m allowing for non-literal answers, provided that someone can explain the further questions that allowing non-literal answers brings up.

Those questions include:

  1. The passages that have God calling for the death of children, are they literal?

  2. If they are not literal, then the Catechism allows for three types of non-literal readings. As I noted there can be many non-literal readings of a passage so it’s imporant to determine the best way to decide which is the true non-literal reading. Of those three passages I referenced which if read literally have God calling for the death of children, what is the true and proper reading and why?

Simply stopping short and saying that it’s not literal is not an answer. It would be like if a school test asked for a step-by-step breakdown to an algebra problem and the student simply wrote “Not 4”.

  1. Again assuming that the reading of choice is non-literal, we then have to find the criteria for looking at whether it’s literal or not and make that determination. Of those specific three passages I referenced where it appears that God calls for the death of children, how do either you or the Church or some apologist make the determination that a non-literal interpreation is preferable over a literal one?

Presuppositionalism is the worst way to derive knowledge, yet you’ve asked me to presuppose conclusions while not providing how one should arrive at said conclusions.

  1. If we somehow come to a specific reading (literal or not) for those three passages that I referenced, we then might wish to make some statement as to God based on those statements. Clearly if they are literal it’s something that some (although certainly not all) Christians might have a problem digesting. The same may hold true on some non-literal interpretations as well. Assuming that my questions 1 through 3 have been answered, what conclusions (if any) can be made on the chosen readings of the three passages that I referenced?

Mike, in good faith I posted discussion on this from our former pope.
What specifically do you take issue with?
Use the quote feature if you’d like and pick it apart.
I just posted stuff, there is reams of other stuff.

The thing I take issue with is that what you posted is not an answer to my questions – at all. For some a statement of “don’t take it literally” is satisfactory, but for others (including some Christians) a fully thought-out response with no misdirections is needed.

If you can’t answer my questions, that’s fine. Please just say so and don’t act as if you’ve answered them whatsoever.

So now it’s your turn Mike to do something besides sit there and complain about how you don’t like the answers you hear.

I am. I’m rephrasing the questions in the hopes that you understand where I’m coming from. My questions are reasonable but the answers have been absent.

Non-combatant children, in a Christian culture, are innocents. amiright?
In an ancient culture, the assumption might have been different (was different)
See Benedicts Verbum Domini above.
scripture is “conditioned by culture etc…”

If a whole nation is completely and utterly evil, who are we to judge the Creator for wanting to remove that nation from hurting his beloved people?

Of course we don’t judge the creator.
We also know God never, ever, without exception, would command the slaughter of innocents by human hands. Never without exception.
And this is what everyone of these threads boils down to, to justify a literalist reading of God’s expressed motivation:
the non-combatant children were not innocent.”
That is the only way the square peg can fit.

Even children can be raised to be evil - very evil.
In war, whole nations are oftentimes destroyed, including men, women, and children. This destruction does not negate the concept of a just war.

Lots of terrible things happen in war, many of them unjust, almost all of them justified by those who commit them, frequently using God’s name to do the justifying.

I think so.

Yes they are literal. They are not literalist. Literal is the meaning conveyed by the words. Literal does not equate to “historically factual”. Literalist demands the exact factual and historical meaning of the words, in modern language, culture, and context. That is the kind of certitude that fundamentalists need.

  1. If they are not literal, then the Catechism allows for three types of non-literal readings. As I noted there can be many non-literal readings of a passage so it’s imporant to determine the best way to decide which is the true non-literal reading. Of those three passages I referenced which if read literally have God calling for the death of children, what is the true and proper reading and why?

The inspired truth may be (a common interp) to root sin out of one’s life without exception.

Simply stopping short and saying that it’s not literal is not an answer.

Simply saying you don’t get answers is what…?

  1. Again assuming that the reading of choice is non-literal, we then have to find the criteria for looking at whether it’s literal or not and make that determination. Of those specific three passages I referenced where it appears that God calls for the death of children, how do either you or the Church or some apologist make the determination that a non-literal interpreation is preferable over a literal one?

Must be read in the light of Jesus Christ, as it said in the reference I provided you.

Presuppositionalism is the worst way to derive knowledge, yet you’ve asked me to presuppose conclusions while not providing how one should arrive at said conclusions.

No MIke, I asked you to read and respond.

  1. If we somehow come to a specific reading (literal or not) for those three passages that I referenced, we then might wish to make some statement as to God based on those statements. Clearly if they are literal it’s something that some (although certainly not all) Christians might have a problem digesting. The same may hold true on some non-literal interpretations as well. Assuming that my questions 1 through 3 have been answered, what conclusions (if any) can be made on the chosen readings of the three passages that I referenced?

Take no compromise with sin.

The thing I take issue with is that what you posted is not an answer to my questions

Nonsense.
Man up Mike.

If the children were innocent then they went to paradise… vs you know, ancient earth which kinda sucked…

Do people understand heaven? Because if so, how could death of a good person be bad? It is like the awesomest thing for them, just sucks we can’t visit them in their wayyyyy better new house :frowning:

The Catcehism uses the term “literal sense” to differentiate between that and the allegorical, moral, and anagogical senses.

So of the four senses where do you and/or the Church put those three passages that I referenced?

The inspired truth may be (a common interp) to root sin out of one’s life without exception.

This is almost an answer! So by this call to root our sin do you think God is asking his people to put real and tangible blades through real and tangible children/babies or is it symbolic?

Simply saying you don’t get answers is what…?

Accurate. OVERWHELMINGLY and humorously accurate.

Must be read in the light of Jesus Christ, as it said in the reference I provided you.

As I’ve noted twice now multiple believers can have that many allegorical, moral, or anagological readings. What is the method that someone should be use to determine which to use?

Heck, what are those interpretations?
How specifically does the Church read 1 Samuel 15?
How specifically does the Church read Hosea 13:16?
How specifically does the Church read 2 Kings 15:16?

No MIke, I asked you to read and respond.

You asked me to respond to a piece by the pope which in no way, shape, or form answers the questions that I ask regarding the hows, whats, and whys.

Simply answering my questions (assuming that you can) would be the best responses.

Take no compromise with sin.

I’ll wait to see your response to my question about real blades going through real babies before I respond to this one.

Nonsense.
Man up Mike.

He said, dodging questions…

My dad spent over three decades working (both at the state and private organization level) with children that were abandoned, neglected, from broken homes, in trouble, etc. so I’m not one to buy into the notion that an entire generation of children can be evil.

Of course… you wouldn’t know. You couldn’t know. Get it?:wink:

II Ki 15 doesn’t tell us any of the background to Shallum’s deeds. That they are recorded doesn’t necessarily imply that they are approved of. They are just stated.

The text of the Bible is given as a training aid to oral recitation. In parallel with it was a body of doctrine for which the epic was a series of bullet points, cameos, aides-memoires. The doctrine is hung round those. Christian doctrine is regarded as the fulfilment of those and was recognised as such by Jesus and Paul amongst others. See my post from 12.41 today my time about meanings of the seven nations.

In the next few days I’m going to see if I can find detail on the meaning of the Amalekites and the other people mentioned.

It actually was a rough world then.

Attributing what went on in society to God’s desire and planning was a chic way of writing. I think it was a way of getting back through propaganda at people like Assyrians who would boast that because of Assur they did terrible things to all and sundry (except not so much under Esarhaddon, for a period after Jonah had preached).

In addition to which, whatever the degree of what we might call “accuracy” or v.v., the attached teaching was the more important thing to the people telling it.

As another example, one of the flood narratives occupies most of Gen 1 but serves to be attached to doctrine about creation as verse 1 and all of ch 2 are. Indeed it has land reappearing.

Quite frankly some of the detailed meanings of both Testaments are barely known. They are maybe in some book that we aren’t put in touch with.

A very big theme is to not stunt the growth of the widows and orphans, that is people in need of strengthening of heart so they can play their part in strengthening others in turn. The last 21 verses of Proverbs depict God’s profitable family firm. The parable of the talents is about these things too. The meanings of parables and OT passages intertwine.

The nature of the inspiration of Holy Scripture is different from that of the Qur’an as the former are not dictated.

Proof is existential though not many Catholics will tell you that. It worked for the Apostles under pressure, otherwise they’d not have gone along with it. It’s scarcely known what the power of the Paraclete is.

Conversion of heart is the fruit of the indwelling Jesus, or something like that (I’m rather a vague theologian).

Marginal references and a good dictionary like Leon-Dufour show how densely interwoven the Bible is. The marginal references are like hyperlinks.

The nation of the Israelites represents an individual Christian soul and the “seven nations of giants” (in my other post) seven bad attitudes. These can be diminished by application yet with help - like power steering.

According to current Catholic teaching, approved interpretation includes factoring in examination of texts and prevalent ways of writing in old times. It doesn’t imply changing old meanings. because they were attached in parallel.

Metaphorical figures aren’t constant throughout the Bible - there are good and bad snakes, good and bad lions.

Being all-powerful and being all-good ARE NOT THE SAME THING!

If we consider “Goodness” to be doing what God says we should do, then it is safe to assume that God follows his own rules. This means God wouldn’t bare false-witness, God wouldn’t lie, and God wouldn’t order the murder of children.

If God ordered you to place your hands around a baby’s throat and strangle the life out of it because of the baby’s race, then that wouldn’t make the action not-evil. It would just make the God not-good.

Now I honestly believe God IS Omnibenevolent (If God was malevolent then I wouldn’t be able to feel anything but utter fear for him), but I hate it when people claim that Omnipotence and Omnibenevolence are the same thing.

Here are some explanations for how a loving God would seemingly order the mass-slaughter of an ethnic group he created:
[LIST=1]
*]God was being hyperbolic to emphasize that The Isralites couldn’t coexist with the Caanites. Deportation or forced-cultural assimilation were more along the lines of what God had in mind.
*]God was testing the Isralites, to see if they would plead for mercy on behalf of the Caanites in the same way that Abraham plead for mercy on behalf of Sodom and Gomorrah. The civil wars and plagues and forign invasions that hit Israel in later years were in part punishment for failing this empathy test.
*]The Isralites didn’t actually kill that many Caanites, but their descendants “inflated the body counts” to make their conquest seem more impressive.
[/LIST]

There are more potential reasons, but the point is that there can be reasons.

I’ve read one interpretation of the Book of Revelation in which, when Jesus is prophesied to kill Jezebel’s “children,” this refers to those that she has led into sin.

Perhaps, but I’m no theologian nor linguist, “children” can merely be taken to mean those who were themselves idolaters and practitioners of immorality.

And what would your attitude be if ‘children’ meant young boys and girls, toddlers, infants, babies?

I believe it was that God obviously knows where our “Free Will” is going to take us. He knows who will choose right & choose wrong. He would have certainly known the direction that those children would have chosen in the future. He loves the life that he has given all, but the Will for His plan (for the world to come), must come with great sacrifice, since many would not share in the plan that had chosen. It was said before. He is the only author of “life”, which means of “death” also. Everyone comes to life by His plan, and everyone (that has ever lived) in death, goes by his plan.

That would seem to be a possibility.
*Reply OBJ 3: By the judgment of God children are punished in temporal matters together with their parents, both because they are a possession of their parents, so that their parents are punished also in their person, and because this is for their good lest, should they be spared, they might imitate the sins of their parents, and thus deserve to be punished still more severely. Vengeance is wrought on dumb animals and any other irrational creatures, because in this way their owners are punished; and also in horror of sin. *(Aquinas ST II-II, 108)
Ender

How do you square Aquinas from the 13th century with Pope Benedict’s verbum domini?

To start with, they don’t directly contradict one another. Aquinas was talking about punishment in general, and although his comment could easily be interpreted to include the slaughter of whole societies, that was not what he said. Nor was Benedict’s comment directed at a specific passage. He may have suggested that those passages under discussion should not be taken literally, but that’s not what he said either. The issue is still not clear…which is why I wrote that it is “a possibility” that at least some of them might be taken literally.

Ender

3 implies that the Bible was corrupted. 1 and 2, why wouldn’t God stop them like He did Abraham when he was about to kill Isaac?

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