If the Middle East was filled with people who believed solely in the Old Testament part of the Bible

If the Middle East was filled with people who believed solely in the Old Testament part of the Bible, and the West was violently occupying their land, bombing them, stealing their oil, and killing their families, they would use the violent commands and portrayals of God in the Old Testament to wage war against the West.
Why are there millions of Muslims in America who are peaceful? They have the same Quran that ISIS does. Why aren’t they slaughtering everyone?
It’s not about the Quran or any religious text. It’s about violence reaping violence, and religion being used to fuel it. Violence is a human problem, not a religious one. Religion just helps put conviction behind violence.

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16 thoughts on “If the Middle East was filled with people who believed solely in the Old Testament part of the Bible”

  1. Agreed , yet the text is part of the problem if you can’t translate it in any other way than literally, a problem in islam that is not in christianity original doctrine ( orthodox understanding )

  2. Exactly right. I’ve read the Koran. It’s no more violent than the Old Testament. We just have people using the most violent parts of their holy book to justify their actions.

  3. Even if they were Christians, it would be the same. There are very violent sections of the New Testament.

    “But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.’ ” – Luke 19:27

    “Slaves, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh.” – 1 Peter 2:18

    “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” – Matthew 10:34

    It was originally kind of exclusive…

    “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.”
    – Matthew 10:5-6

    1. Well, if you put these couple of verses in context with the rest of Jesus life and teaching, there is no way you can get violence out of them. However, you are right that the new testament does not condemn slavery. It tolerates it, but commands slaves and masters to get along and masters not to be abusive. The teaching of the equality of all humans is there though, which naturally leads to the condemnation of slavery.

      But this is a good point about Christianity though, because even though Jesus does not tolerate violence in his followers at all, and commands enemy love, Christians throughout history have used the Bible to oppress and do violence to people.

    2. Like in Conservative Jewish theology, the Scripture must be allowed to be re-interpreted in a modern context without sacrificing the significance (kavod) of what is written.

    3. Analogy: the same approach is used by most legal experts and political theorists in regard to the US Constitution — which declared “all men equal.” A true statement, but at the time did not include women, African-Americans, or anyone without property for that matter. Are we to transport 18th Century culture directly into the present? Or can we maintain the spirit in life so as not to be killed by the letter? To paraphrase Paul.

    4. Jacob M. Wright – I still never understood Matthew 10:34. It doesn’t seem to fit the rest of the logic of his teachings. It almost sounds like something a radical jihadist would claim the Quran says and other Muslims would claim that it doesn’t.

    5. To my mind, the sword he brings is the truth of his message. He uses the king parable to talk about converting people, rather than physically destroying him. A lot of this violent language is Jesus using the literary devices of the OT authors to talk about spiritual warfare, rather than physical warfare. Thus then does it make sense when he demands Peter not fight for him with a physical sword.

  4. I’ve heard the opposite, that the peace-loving Muslims aren’t really following the Quran because, according to them, it calls for the death of all infidels (nonbelievers). I’ve never read it so I dunno one way or the other, yet that seems preposterous to me!

  5. The Religion of Muslims calls, in their scripture, for inflicting punishment upon the unbelievers. The Religion of Old Testament Judaism calls for death to the abominable. Jesus calls for love and compassion of all. Religion sucks in almost all forms, and the Muslims in this country who would follow their sacred scripture, are in some cases no doubt subdued by the fact that they know Baptist have good guns and will kick but if need be. Is not Islam an evil religion as much as fundamental death based old testament religion is???? That’s why we say, “Jesus is the Way.” just evening thoughts to yours….

  6. Why so peaceful in America, and to be fair, most other places?

    Because most people actively choose day to day nonviolence, and accept a social contract to conform to the norms of a functioning society.

    In any group large enough you will have violent or terroristic or fundamentalist outliers. Some groups have more or less. Islam has more outliers in the modern world compared to most religious ideologies because it is more conducive and targeted towards conquest. I’ve poured over the Qur’an for many years, and contextually it is very different in how it approaches divine commands, violent and conquest oriented commands even, than other western religious texts. It’s not bound to historical events like the OT. The Qur’an’s calls to violent conquest stand in context as universal calls to conquest and even violence.

    Many…. many people choose to reinterpret or ignore this. Some do not. Outliers, but outliers for 1.5 billion people results in tens of millions of violent extremists.

    As for America specifically… there are indeed those who would act out great violence against innocents here… but have no real opportunity or ease to do. So it’s rarer here, thankfully. Debate why that is, but it is. Maybe our police state is sadly good for one thing after all.

  7. This is not new news, it is just another reason / excuse for what has been going on in history for centuries.

  8. “Men never do evil so cheerfully and so completely as when they do so from religious conviction.” – Blaise Pascal

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