Killing in the name of God – part 1

I have heard, to almost the point of nausea, that the Quran is an evil and horrible book and that the entire Islamic faith is about nothing but, murder. The irony of course is that the majority of the people who say this have absolutely no right or authority to do so as they have never read the Quran, and I doubt if they have even read their own Bible.

The Jewish and Christian religions have their foundations in the Torah. The Torah is said to have been written by a man named Moses. Now, although many Christians ignorantly claim that the Old Testament contains the “old law” and that it is no longer relevant, they have obviously forgotten what Jesus himself says in Matthew 5: 17-19, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

So unless Jesus’ words mean nothing, Christians are to abide the “old law”. So, does the Bible contain instructions on killing people?

In the book of Exodus the following commandment is given by God to Moses:
Thou shalt not kill.– Exodus 20:13

(This conveniently follows the 10 plagues and genocide (or Passover) committed in Egypt as well as a few incidents before)
In the exact same book, in fact in the very next chapter, the following orders to kill are done with God’s approval.

Exodus Chapter 21: God orders killing:

12 – He who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death
14 – But if a man acts with premeditation against his neighbor, to kill him by treachery, you shall take him from My altar, that he may die.
15 – And he who strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
16 – He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.
17 – And he who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

Now this next one may not be a command for killing but, the message here is just detestable. It is my belief that an all-loving God would never, under any circumstance, condone slavery.

Exodus 21:20 – And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.

OK, Now back to the permission to kill in Exodus:

Chapter 22:

18 – You shall not permit a sorceress to live.
19 – Whoever lies with an animal shall surely be put to death.
20 – He who sacrifices to any god, except to the LORD only, he shall be utterly destroyed.
22-24 – You shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If you afflict them in any way, and they cry at all to Me, I will surely hear their cry; and My wrath will become hot, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

There is a small break where (according to the author) God describes how to decorate the tabernacle, which of course has a primary function of slaughtering, I mean sacrificing, animals for God. Then the orders to kill return again:

Exodus 31:14, 15 – You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

Here is an order by Moses given after he returned from his meeting with God in the mountain. Why Moses was not immediately struck down for giving this genocidal order is beyond my comprehension:

Exodus 32:27 – And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel: ‘Let every man put his sword on his side, and go in and out from entrance to entrance throughout the camp, and let every man kill his brother, every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

Remember, no working on Saturday:

Exodus 34:2 – Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh day shall be a holy day for you, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death.

That wraps up the orders to kill in just the book of Exodus alone. There hundreds of instances in the Bible where God gives the command to kill, kills, or someone invokes the “will of God” to either kill or order killings.

So the hypocrisy is pretty clear to me. Jews and Christians condemn the Quran for being violent and they either haven’t read their own Bibles or feel for some hypocritical reason that there is some viable explanation for what is written in the Bible in regards to killing in the name of God.

More to come on this subject…

© Nelson Rose, The Quest for Light (All Bible quotations were taken from the NKJV)