on 10 November 1998
A reader seeking a resolution of the ethical contradiction implicit in a just and loving God who demands the total annihilation of those that oppose his arbitrarily adopted people groups will probably be disappointed. She states that such an inquiry is beyond the range of this book. She does, however, offer a complex identification of the various implementations of warfare in relation to God, and she suggests some well justified theories as to their particular sources and cultural contexts that gave rise to each of the trajectories. The material for engaging in an exploration of the ethical paradox of the Merciful God versus the Destroyer God exists in this book, and the library of reference material furnishes a field for beginning an inquiry of this kind. This book helps us in our study of the Old Testament because it supplies a means of identifying various literary systems of violent passages and a method of analyzing these systems. It also provides an extremely rich portrayal of the warring facets of Hebrew culture that is helpful in understanding the culture as a whole. I personally learned a great deal not only about the Old Testament's approach to violence but also about intensely academic and technical writing in general. All of this knowledge will be useful to my study of the Old Testament as well as any further contact with similar writing.