Old Testament violence

The Old Testament is filled with violence, like stoning and wars. They had different laws that today we see as inhumane, like stoning for sex before marriage or adultery. Why did the Jewish law have people killed? I was explaining different things like this in the old Testement, to my mother, and she seemed horrified. So I’m asking this for her sake. Explination would be wonderful. If there’s any scriptures explaining why it was like this, that would be great also!

here is a pretty good link:


Because the code of morality which we have in the Old Testament was inspired by God and imposed by Him on His people, it follows that there is nothing in it that is immoral or wrong. It was indeed imperfect, if it be compared with the higher morality of the Gospel, but, for all that, it contained nothing that is blameworthy. It was suited to the low stage of civilization to which the Israelites had at the time attained; the severe punishments which it prescribed for transgressors were necessary to bend the stiff necks of a rude people; the temporal rewards held out to those who observed the law were adapted to an unspiritual and carnal race. Still its imperfections must not be exaggerated. In its treatment of the poor, of strangers, of slaves, and of enemies, it was vastly superior to the civilly more advanced Code of Hammurabi and other celebrated codes of ancient law. It did not aim merely at regulating the external acts of the people of God, it curbed also licentious thoughts and covetous desires. The love of God and of one’s neighbor was the great precept of the Law, its summary and abridgment, that on which the whole Law and the Prophets depended. In spite of the undeniable superiority in this respect of the Mosaic Law to the other codes of antiquity, it has not escaped the adverse criticism of heretics in all ages and of Rationalists in our own day.

Hope this gives you a good start!

There is a lengthy thread that is currently ongoing that addresses this topic. It’s pretty long, so it might be too much info for you (;)), but here it is anyway:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.