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How to Read the Bible - Swords into Ploughshares? War and the Old Testament
Sat 19 November 2016, 14:00 – 16:30 GMT
How to Read the Bible
For too long we’ve read the Bible with 19th century eyes and 16th century questions. It’s time to get back to first century eyes and 21st century questions. NT Wright
Our popular series of study afternoons looks at different books and themes of the Bible with leading scholars. We explore what these books and stories would have meant those who heard them first and what they might mean to us now. No previous knowledge is necessary, just come with an open mind to read these books as if for the first time.
Swords into Ploughshares? War and the Old Testament
Saturday 19 November 2.00 – 4.30pm
God sanctions – even demands – war in the Old Testament, but the Ten Commandments say ‘You Shall Not Kill’. How can we understand this contradiction? In this study afternoon we will look at key texts of peace and war in the Old Testament which arose out of Israel‘s long and often bitter experience of warfare.
The Old Testament has also often been used to support war subsequently, including during 1914-18. The ways it was used then may shock us now, but can also be a lens through which we can look at our own complex assumptions about violence, war and the Bible, and help us think through difficult questions in a world still scarred by conflict and looking for peace.
Dr Andrew Mein is Senior Research Fellow in Biblical Studies at Westcott House, Cambridge and teaches in the Divinity Faculty of the University of Cambridge. He is currently leading an AHRCfunded research project at the University on ‘“The Book and the Sword”: The Bible in the Experience and Legacy of the Great War’.