A world-renowned scholar explores and explains the two views of God in the Bible - the violent God of vengeance and retribution, and the non-violent God who became incarnate in Jesus. Argues that there are sharply conflicting images of God in the Bible and that for Christians the true God can only be the one revealed through the words and actions of the historical Jesus. A combination of world-class scholarship and elegant prose make this book highly appealing both to Christians and to the educated general reader. This brave and provocative book grapples with Scripture's two conflicting visions of Jesus and God - one loving and gracious, and the other punitive and vengeful - and explains how readers can better understand these images in a way that enriches their faith. Many portions of the New Testament introduce a compassionate Jesus who turns the other cheek, loves his enemies, and shows grace to all. But the Jesus we find in Revelation and some portions of the Gospels leads an army of angels bent on earthly destruction. Which is the true revelation of the Messiah - and how can both be in the same Bible?
Jesus and the Violence of Scripture explores this question and offers guidance for all who are confused about which version of the Lord to worship. In doing so the author demonstrates that writers of different books of the Bible not only possessed different visions of God but also different purposes for writing, and that for Christians the only God worthy of our worship is the one revealed through the words and action of the historical Jesus.
John Dominic Crossan is Professor Emeritus at De Paul University and currently serves as the President of the Society of Biblical Literature. He is the author of several bestselling books, including The Historical Jesus (T&T Clark 1992), The Greatest Prayer (SPCK 2011) and The Power of Parable (2012), and three written with Marcus J. Borg: The Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009), all published by SPCK.