God Is a Man of War: The Problem of Violence in the Old Testament

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Stephen De Young
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by Stephen De Young

Infanticide. Holy war. Divine wrath. Violence in the Old Testament has long been a stumbling block for Christians and skeptics alike. Yet conventional efforts to understand this violence—whether by downplaying it as allegory or a relic of primitive cultures, or by dismissing the authority of Scripture altogether—tend to raise more questions than they answer. God Is a Man of War offers a fresh interpretation of Old Testament accounts of violence by exploring them through the twofold lens of Orthodox tradition and historical context. Father Stephen De Young examines what these difficult passages reveal about the nature of Christ and His creation, bearing witness to a world filled not only with pain and suffering—often of human making—but also with the love of God.

About the Author: Fr. Stephen De Young is the author of Religion of the Apostles from Ancient Faith Publishing and is also the pastor of Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church (Antiochian) in Lafayette, Louisiana. He holds a PhD in Biblical Studies from Amridge University and is the host of The Whole Counsel of God podcast and co-host of the Lord of Spirits podcast on Ancient Faith Radio. He is also the author of The Whole Counsel Blog on the Ancient Faith Ministries website. Fr. Stephen wrote this book in response to requests for an Orthodox perspective on violence in the Old Testament.

Praise for God is a Man of War

In God Is a Man of War, Fr. Stephen DeYoung takes an axe to the root of the tree of Neo-Marcionite misreadings of the Old Testament prevalent in academic and popular-level biblical studies literature. Fr. Stephen offers a firm, yet never harsh or condescending, corrective to any interpretation of the Old Testament that seeks either to allegorize or demythologize texts deemed problematic. He does so by seating interpretation in the Person, and work, of Jesus Christ and the contextual world of the Old Testament. This book deserves a wide reading by Christians across the denominational spectrum and will be on my short list of books to recommend to those struggling with the issue of violence in the Hebrew Scriptures. -Rev. Michael Landsman, Pastor of Zion's Stone United Church of Christ and co-host of The Areopagus podcast

"The violence found in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, is often a stumbling block to post-modern sensibilities. Sadly, it's enough to lead many Christians to write off the moral authority of the Scriptures and not a few to abandon the Faith altogether. Thankfully, Fr. Stephen De Young remedies that in this brilliant and accessible volume. He helps the modern reader see the bigger picture of the biblical story and places these challenging texts in their proper theological and cultural context. If you have struggled with these issues yourself—or know someone who has—God Is a Man of War will restore your confidence that 'the Lord is just in all His ways and gracious in all His works' (Ps. 145/144:17). I enthusiastically recommend it." -The Rev. Dn. Michael Hyatt, New York Times Bestselling Author

Author: Stephen De Young

Publisher: Ancient Faith Publishing

Additional Formats:

Available at Ancient Faith Store

Related Media:
Podcast - Lord of Spirits
Podcast - The Whole Counsel of God
Blog - The Whole Counsel Blog

LOOK INSIDE... God Is a Man of War: The Problem of Violence in the Old Testament


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  • 5
    Fantastic read

    Posted by Danny on Jun 15th 2022

    Great book. Informative, thought provoking, but most of all, it clarifies the issues of violence in the Bible in such a way that will be helpful to believers and even plausible for skeptics.

  • 4
    Great content, bad print quality

    Posted by Wayne on Apr 5th 2022

    God Is A Man Of War has great content which a Christian wants to know. Some troubling aspects of the Biblical text are explained in the context of the literature and its cultural context. For some reason, however, the print quality of the text in the book is quite bad. It is readable but not pleasant to read. The text appears on my Kindle as if it was produced from a bad photocopy. The letters on the page are degraded in some way. Not sure why. I'd recommend clearing up the problem in any new edition. The content is important so it is still a title I recommend.