Samuel Payne sam at sampayne.worldonline.co.uk
Fri Feb 9 14:39:22 EST 2001

I have joined the list rather late in the progress of this discussion on the
advisability of using the word "racial" in connection with the Bible, so I
am not sure what has been said already. It does echo however a problem I
have felt for several years.

The Books of Numbers and Joshua in particular describe what nowadays people
would call a war of aggression, and ethnic cleansing on a large scale - with
town after town destroyed, men, women and children. I would like to be able
to say that this was in almost pre-historic times, in the infancy of the
nation, when there was still much to learn. But the Bible does not permit me
to look at it like this. It is all described as being done on the direct
command of God. This leaves me on the horns of an aweful dilemma. If it
really was all done on the direct orders of God, what picture does this give
me of God, and what sort of example is this to the gentiles? On the other
hand, if it WAS "in the infancy of the nation", and NOT on the command of
God as described, how do I accept other cases of "God said . . " or "God
commanded . . " in the Bible as true?

I would be very grateful to be lifted off these horns. It is a painful

Samuel Payne

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