Genghis (Chingis) Khan, Mongol Emperor and The Bible: A Comparison in Morality

Temujin is Proclaimed 'Genghis Khan' in 1206 - Genghis Khan Mongolian King of Kings

Genghis Khan's enthronement  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Genghis_Khan%27s_enthronement_in_1206.jpg
Genghis Khan's enthronement See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Genghis_Khan%27s_enthronement_in_1206.jpg | Source

The History of Genghis Khan, Mongolian Hero

Who Was Genghis (or Chingis) Khan?

Temujin, the boy who would become Chingis Khan ~ legendary Mongolian Khan; the great Mongolian Conqueror ~ was born in or around the 1160s, the son of Yesugai, tribal Mongol leader of the 'Kiyats', and his wife Ho'elun.

Both of his parents were high status individuals, from leading tribal families.

The Mongols led a nomadic life, living in tent-like 'gers' (or 'yurts') and travelling on ponies.

When Temujin was around nine years old, his father found a ten-year-old bride for him ~ Borte ~ from amongst his maternal cousins.

He would live with his betrothed's family until he could marry, at age 12. Arranged marriages were allegiences ~ very necessary in times of almost continuous tribal warfare.

Very shortly thereafter, on the return journey, Yesugai ba'atur, Temujin's father, was murdered ~ poisoned by a rival tribe.

Temuijin was considered too young to inherit leadership of the Kiyat people, so he and his family were rejected and left unprotected, poor and hungry.

1) Orkhon Valley, Mongolia. 2) 'Ger' or 'Yurt'

Mongolia: Orkhon Valley.  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harhorin.jpg
Mongolia: Orkhon Valley. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Harhorin.jpg | Source
'Yurt with the en:Gurvansaikhan Mountains behind, part of en:Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gurvger.jpg
'Yurt with the en:Gurvansaikhan Mountains behind, part of en:Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park'. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gurvger.jpg | Source

'Secret History Of The Mongols' / 'The Mongols'

Book: 'The Mongols in History' - By Bertold Spuler

Front Cover - Amazon
Front Cover - Amazon

History: Genghis Khan of the Mongols Nation

But Temujin was couragous, ambitious and intelligent. By the age of 20, after marrying Borte, killing his half-brother in a dispute, escaping prison after being captured, and generally showing his strength, ability and fighting worth, he managed to take back leadership of the Kiyats.

His military prowess resulted in him subduing the enemies within his tribe ~ as well as those without.

He gradually overwhelmed more and more local tribes, to form a ' Mongol confederacy'. In the year 1206, this united tribal group acknowledged Temujin as their 'Universal Ruler' ~ their 'Genghis Khan' / 'Chingis Khan'.

Chingis Khan was a very able leader and a gifted planner of battles. For thirty years he carried out his campaigns and, by the end of his life, he had subdued and united twelve million square miles of land with its peoples. This had meant much bloodshed, when whole cities were destroyed, but this was the way life was led in that time and place.

Tribal lords wanted power and control. It was a time of cruelty, bloodshed and battle. But, once under the rule of Chingis Khan, it was also a time of settled order.

The tribal battles and bloodshed ~ of which Chingis was, of course, a part ~ came to an end once he took control. He was not just an able soldier, he was also an able ruler.

Temujin ~ Chingis, or Genghis, Khan ~ had been aware of the precarious and dangerous nature of Mongol life, at least since the death of his father, when he and his family were also left to die ~ by their own people.

Certainly he knew it by the time his best friend ~ indeed, his 'blood-brother, Jamuka ~ had become his chief enemy, had captured some of his generals and then had boiled them alive!

This knowledge was re-inforced when his young wife had been kidnapped, carried off and probably raped. Violence breeds violence ~ and a desire for revenge.

Temujin may have appeared to have been cruel, but he was a man of his time ~ and a far more able and successful one than any of either his allies or his enemies.

The Mongolian Conqueror, the Emperor Temujin ~ the 'Genghis Khan' ~ died in 1227. His burial place remains unknown.

Genghis Khan History

Temujin - Front Cover (Amazon)
Temujin - Front Cover (Amazon)

What Does Genghis Khan Have To Do with the Bible?

Is Genghis Khan in the Bible?

No Genghis cannot be found within the pages of the Bible ~ and yet ...

When I was reading some Biblical quotes, they suddenly reminded me of my reading about Genghis Khan. This surprised me, and I decided to check the subject out.

This article is the result of my findings.

(Quotes have been credited. Article Copyright Tricia Mason. All Rights reserved.)


Chingis Khan: 'Rule .. by .. Happiness'

The Holy Bible

The Bible - Ravished and Kidnapped Girls

Young girls kidnappped and raped?

In the Bible?

On the orders of God?!

* * *

The Bible is supposed to be the word of God ~ either inspired, or even dictated, by 'Him'.

The God of the Bible is worshipped.

There are hymns, where it is chanted that 'God is love'.

The Bible should not condone the kidnap and rape of girls and women,

... should it?

~ Yet it does!

Bible: Women Taken 'In Broad Daylight'

Have we fully comprehended Judges 21?

The Israelites decided that a fitting punishment, for not attending their assembly, was to stab to death an entire community.

Consider ~ they took swords to everyone; every man, woman and child. This would include pregnant women, tiny babies, toddlers, children, young couples, elderly people, the sick, every single person!

But no! Not every single person. All of the innocent young virgin girls were left alive, watching this massacre happen before their very eyes. Their mothers, their baby sisters, their grandparents ~ all slit open with a sword. Their fathers and brothers would be trying to save them, when they, too, were slaughtered.

After witnessing the carnage, the girls were dragged from the corpses of their loved-ones and forcibly taken away and given to strange men, to be raped!

But there were not enough girls to satisfy all of the Benjaminite men.

So, those who had no woman to rape, went and hid in the bushes until some girls came past. They then ambushed them and kidnapped them for their own use.

There were marriages, it seems, but did the traumatised girls have any say in the matter? ~ No!

This is in God's book; this was carried out by God's people; this was done in God's name.


Judges 21: Girls Kidnapped

The Benjaminites had become separate from the other tribes of Israel, and the others had vowed never to allow their daughters to marry a Benjaminite.

They also vowed that any who did not assemble before the Lord, at their special tribal meetings, should be killed. They realised, on the occasion described in this story, that no-one from Jabesh Gilead was present.

So the Israelites sent 12,000 of the bravest men to Jabesh Gilead, with instructions to kill everyone there ~ men, women and children, except for the virgin girls.

"10. So the assembly sent twelve thousand fighting men with instructions to go to Jabesh Gilead and put to the sword those living there, including the women and children. 11. This is what you are to do, they said. Kill every male and every woman who is not a virgin." ~ 'Holy Bible' ~ NIV

In Jabeshgilead, four hundred young virgins were discovered ~ and they were brought back to camp.

Then the tribes in question made peace with the Benjaminites, who joined them and were given the kidnapped girls as a gift ~ but there were not enough girls to go round all of the men.

The elders wondered how they might find some more girls to give to the Benjaminite men, because their own women had been wiped out, and the Benjaminites needed to produce heirs. (They had sworn not to give them their own daughters).

Then they rememberered that there was soon going to be an annual feast to God, in Shiloh, and, if the Benjaminites hid in the vineyards, until the girls came along the road, they could each jump out and kidnap one of the girls, and take her home to make her his wife.

When the brothers and fathers complained, the others would put it right with them.

Ghengis Khan: 'My Calling is High'

Yuan Emperor Album - 14th Century Portrait of Genghis Khan (Temujin)

Public Domain. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:YuanEmperorAlbumGenghisPortrait.jpg
Public Domain. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:YuanEmperorAlbumGenghisPortrait.jpg | Source

What did Genghis Khan say about Kidnap and Rape?


What did the evil Genghis Khan say about kidnapping and raping women?

Are his attitudes more, or less, 'moral' than those found in the Holy Bible?

~ ~ ~

After rescuing his own young wife, who had been carried off and raped, he announced specific laws on this subject:

These laws forbade both the kidnapping of women and the selling of woman into marriage.

Thus, women could not, legally, be raped ~ either as a result of kidnap, or of forced marriage.

Rape and kidnap were actively encouraged by certain Bible stories ~ supposedly condoned by God, himself!

So, who is the more moral leader?

Genghis Khan: Pleasure in Conquering

Genghis Khan Books: 'The Secret History of the Mongols'

Secret History of the Mongols - Front Cover (Amazon)
Secret History of the Mongols - Front Cover (Amazon)

The Cruelty of the Khan

There are many stories about Genghis Khan and the cruelty of his army.

Here is one, which I found on the website 'anusha.com' ...

In 1221, when Genghis and his men were riding across the lands of Central Asia, they came across a citadel, built high on a hill. It was inhabited by an Afghan tribe. These were the people of the town of Bamiyan.

When this tribe refused to surrender to the Khan, he first had their water supply cut off, and then killed everyone in the fort ~ the tribal leader and every man, woman and child; not a soul was left alive ~ not even the animals.


An alternative version is found on 'mainlesson.com' ...

Here, Chingis's grandson is mortally wounded by an arrow and the boy's mother insists that everyone in the town should be killed, particularly the children ~ even the unborn babies ~ since she had lost her own child.

http://www.anusha.com/hazaras.htm


http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=abbott&book=genghis&story=victorious

Map of Genghis Khan's Empire at His death

released into the public domain by its author, Postmann Michael. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Genghis_khan_empire_at_his_death.png
released into the public domain by its author, Postmann Michael. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Genghis_khan_empire_at_his_death.png | Source

Genghis Khan - Mongol Emperor; Universal King

Genghis Khan - Battle of the Indus

"History of Abul-Khayr Khan" by  ~. Institute of Oriental Studies, Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:During_the_battle_of_Indus.jpg
"History of Abul-Khayr Khan" by ~. Institute of Oriental Studies, Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:During_the_battle_of_Indus.jpg | Source

Murder of every man, woman and child

The thought of Genghis Khan and his armies, entering settlements, and destroying every living soul is unbelievably horrific. It really is!

But, is it very different from the stories we read in the Bible?

At Baniyan, Chingis Khan and his men apparently killed every single person and animal in the citadel, regardless of age or status.

But, then, at Jabesh Gilead, the Israelites 'put to the sword all those living there, including the women and children ...every male and every woman who is not a virgin'. The Bible proudly tells us so.

The website 'mainlesson.com' claims that, when the Mongols attacked and destroyed towns, the young women were usually captured and given to the men, as spoils of war.

This goes against Genghis Khan's rules about the treatment of women, but, even if true, it is only the equivalent of what is described in the Bible.

Bible: 'Infants dashed to pieces ..'

Genghis / Chingis Khan with Three of his Four Sons

ca. 1430 ~ See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Genghis_Khan_and_three_of_his_four_sons.jpg
ca. 1430 ~ See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Genghis_Khan_and_three_of_his_four_sons.jpg | Source

Even the Animals!

When I read that the Mongols killed everyone in the citadel of Baniyam ~ the tribal leader and every man, woman and child, and even the animals ~ it reminded me of another story that I had heard!

It is a story found in the Bible ~ in 1 Samuel 15.

Here, Samuel tells Saul that God is going to punish the Amalekites, and that he will use Saul to do this. Saul is told: "Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys." (NIV)

So Saul attacked the Amalekites He took their king alive, but totally destroyed all of his people with the sword. He also spared the best of the sheep and cattle. God was not pleased. Samuel asked Saul: "Why did you not obey the LORD? Why did you pounce on the plunder?" God was angry, not because the suckling babies had been ripped apart with a sword, but because some animals had been left alive!

'The Flail od God'

Peaceful Promises

When Chingis Khan was at war with the Khwarezmians, he promised that towns which surrendered would be spared, but those which resisted, would be annihilated.

Thus he made clear that his power had to be acknowledged as supreme and that, provided his supremacy was acknowledged, his take-over could be peaceful.

He usually kept his word. Only where there was resistance, or where his own people were hurt, did he seek revenge.

*

But isn't this similar to Deuteronomy 20:10-14?

"When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labour and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies" (NIV ~ UK)

Note, once again, that the women and children are classed as 'plunder' and that they are given, by God, to the armed men, for their own use. This would have included slavery and rape.

Bible: Kidnap the Virgin Girls. Destroy the Suckling Babies

Ghengis Khan Temujin

Temujin - Front Cover
Temujin - Front Cover

Cruel at times.

Yes, the Chingis Khan and the Mongols could be brutal ~ but so could others. Remember, his father was murdered, when he was just a child; his mother was abandoned, by their own tribe, and left to fend for herself and her children, when she was widowed; his wife was kidnapped and raped, when they were teenagers; his best friend betrayed him, and murdered his men, in a horrendously brutal fashion. Temujin became hard and cruel at times, but life was hard and cruel at times.

*

And the Bible is cruel at times.

In the Bible, God is described as very cruel at times. This is because, as with the Mongols and their enemies, the Bible contains stories of ancient, unciivilised tribes. These were people for whom violence was a way of life. It was a case of kill or capture your enemies and rivals, before they killed or captured you. There was rivalry over power, land, food, women to produce heirs, etc, etc.

Women left with a tribe could increase their number; women kidnapped from a tribe could increase your number. That is why they were taken. The morality of murder and rape did not come into it, where enemies were concerned ~ and any rival was a potential enemy.

Saul's Army Killed The Children and Babies of Amalek

Front Cover (Amazon)
Front Cover (Amazon)

Book: God's killings in the Bible

Bible Stories About God?

No!

These were not stories about God; they were stories of how a belief in God could give a people confidence, unity, strength and power. The Israelites believed that God was on their side ~ that they were his chosen people.

This does not mean that they were God's chosen people; it simply means that they believed it and that it benefiited them to do so.

Their leaders may or may not have believed, but were probably too superstitious to doubt. Most tribes would have had their gods and goddesses ~ their 'good luck' amulets ~ and the Israelites were no different.

There is no good reason to believe that the Israelites knew anything about God, or the existence of God ~ or that their Scriptures contained (or contain) any spiritual truth. It is simply a set of beliefs and ideas and stories that an ancient tribe had evolved

Book: 'Drunk With Blood: God's killings in the Bible'

Amazon: Front Cover
Amazon: Front Cover

Quotes from Chingis Khan

"I will rule them by fixed laws, that rest and happiness shall prevail in the world."
*
"With Heaven's aid I have conquered .. a huge empire.
*
"All who surrender will be spared; whoever does not surrender but opposed with struggle and dissension, shall be annihilated."
*
"As my calling is high, the obligations incumbent upon me are also heavy; and I fear that in my ruling there may be something wanting"
*
"The pleasure and joy of man lies in treading down the rebel and conquering the enemy .."
*
"I am the Flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon You."
*
"Heaven has appointed me to rule all the nations, for hitherto there has been no order upon the steppes."
*
"A man's greatest work is to break his enemies, to drive them before him ... to hear the weeping of those who cherished them."
*
"Be of one mind and one faith, that you may conquer your enemies and lead long and happy lives."
*

Spirituality and Genghis Khan

Like the Israelites, the Mongols would have had their religious beliefs and superstitions.

Their religious practices might be termed 'shamanism', but they also belived in a celestial supreme god ~ 'Mongke Koko Tengri'.

Their shaman may have helped them in battle, or helped them to hunt food, for example.

Interestingly, when Temujin became Chingis Khan, he not only took on the role of an earthly leader, but also of a spiritual leader.

As 'universal ruler', he also became the representative on Earth of 'the 'Eternal Blue Sky' ~ 'Mongke Koko Tengri'. In effect, he became divine, and his destiny was to govern the entire world.

Religious zeal and self belief, encouraged by his 'divinity' and his destiny, may have helped Chingis Khan to realise so much of his success.

The website 'biography.com' states that: 'Religious tolerance was practiced in the Mongol Empire, but to defy the Great Khan was equal to defying the will of God'. It goes on to say that Chingis Khan claimed: "I am the flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."'

We can see a correspondence, here, with the Bible. The Israelites believed that they were God's chosen people and, in a way, so did the Mongols. Indeed, there is something almost Messianic about Chingis Khan's belief that he is the 'Flail of God'. Comparisons could be drawn with some statements credited to Jesus.

It was considered that 'To defy the Great Khan was equal to defying the will of God' ~ and, again, something similar could be said about Jesus. He, too, was considered to be divine: God incarnate, or the representative of God on Earth.

Visions of God

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistine_Chapel_ceiling
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistine_Chapel_ceiling | Source

Laud and Condemnation

God, as described in the Bible, can be cruel and vengeful ~ as well as, sometimes, fair.

Chingis Khan, as described in many history books, can be cruel and vengeful ~ as well as, sometimes, fair.

God, as described in the Bible, is lauded.

Chingis Khan is abhored and condemned for his evil cruelty.

There are many examples of Chingis Khan's cruelty that I have not touched upon here, but, equally, there are many examples of God's supposed cruelty that I have not touched upon, either.

I think that the Mongols and the Israelites were tribal peoples of their time and place. It is difficult to judge them, because they lived according to their culture, knowledge, beliefs and experiences.

Both believed that they were favoured by God on High. We might condemn a lot of their behaviour, today, but, realistically, it is too late to use hindsight now.

What we can do, though, is acknowledge that the stories, which they claimed were about 'God', were really tales of folklore. God did not kill Amalekite babies, or encourage rape, or any of the other horrors ascribed to him. This is mythology.

I am agnostic. I have no idea whether or not there is some kind of power behind the universe, which we might, possibly, label 'God'. But if there is, I am convinced that s/he would not be the petty, cruel and vengeful being, described in the Hebrew Scriptures / Old Testament.

However, if God were, indeed, like that, then I would have to question why anyone would praise him, and call him a good and loving father. After all, Christians don't heap praise on Chingis Khan ~ they are often the first to criticise and condemn him. Yet his actions are similar to those of the God of the Bible.

Furthermore, many Christians do actually believe that God is, indeed, like that ~ yet still they worship and praise him, and try to convert others to their belief that this is truth.

Many believe that God really did slaughter babies, children, elderly, sickly, etc, etc, and that he encouraged kidnap, slavery and rape. And they seem to believe that he was right to do so!

Michelangelo's Vision of God - Sistine Chapel

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistine_Chapel_ceiling
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sistine_Chapel_ceiling | Source

Great Khan's Coin Minted Afghanistan - AD 1221

Mongol ~ Great Khan's coin ~ minted at Balk Afghanistan ~ AH 618 ~ AD 1221. 'I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain.' ~See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mongol_Great_Khans_coin_minted_at_Balk_Afghanistan_AH
Mongol ~ Great Khan's coin ~ minted at Balk Afghanistan ~ AH 618 ~ AD 1221. 'I, the copyright holder of this work, release this work into the public domain.' ~See:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mongol_Great_Khans_coin_minted_at_Balk_Afghanistan_AH | Source

Genghis Khan and The Bible - Conclusion

Genghis Khan and God ~ as described in the 'Old Testament', that is ~ morally comparible?

Or not?

Who was the more moral of these two characters, as described by stories and histories?

Since we can show that Chingis Khan carried out similar atrocities to those described in the Bible, and since Christians condemn Chingis Khan, specifically because of those atrocities, then it is not morally wrong for said Christians to condone the cruel behaviour of God, as described in the Bible?

At least Chingis Khan condemned the kidnap, rape and forced marriage of women and girls!

The Bible does not!

'God' and Genghis - morally comparible?

Mongols - Books: Spuler and Phillips

Front Covers
Front Covers

Mongols the movie: Mongols film / Mongols video / Mongols DVD

Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan
Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan

DVD. 2008.Language: Mongolian with English subtitles. At 2nd May 2012, one hundred and twenty-one Amazon customer reviews. Average score: 4.3 out of 5 stars. Sixty-nine reviewers gave it 5 stars.

 

Genghis Khan Mongols Pictures

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Comments 73 comments

writeronline 5 years ago

Another impressively detailed hub, clearly presented, and with an equally clearly-stated personal point of view. Just what I've come to expect from your work.

I'm amazed at your knowledge of the bible, given your agnostic philosophical view. I can't be bothered making the effort, because to me, all religions are about making it convenient for believers to behave as poorly as they like, under cover of the claim that god has given them the right. Often, in today's times, the same god. What?

Anyway, as long as you keep writing articles with positions and perspectives as clearly enunciated as this (and many of your others), I won't have to make the effort; I'll just keep learning from you.

I voted this Up, Useful and Awesome. Because it is.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello 'writeronline' :)

Thank you very much indeed for such kind and positive comments! They are much appreciated!

I have always had a passion for history ~ and the Bible seems to fit in well with that.

I have always enjoyed religious debate, too. Deciphering the Bible goes with the territory :)


recommend1 profile image

recommend1 5 years ago

Interesting and balanced commentary, I especially like the comparisons of like with like to illustrate better 'how it was' in different times.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Recommend1 :)

Thank you for your comments ~ I'm glad that you enjoyed reading this!


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 5 years ago

Your detail is excellent here. I wish more practising Christians knew the Bible as well as you do - I think it would bring more balance to the faith & practise of Christianity. Yes, I am well aware of the violence in the OT, and yes, I am still a Christian - but all too many of my compatriots have white washed notions of the Bible. Formal teaching in the church turns a bit of a blind eye I'm afraid. Most of us human beings come from a violent past (I say most because anthropology does turn up a few primitive yet peaceful tribes of people - the exception to the rule), and we do better to face it.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Grace :)

Thank you for reading!

And thanks for your very kind words. They are very much appreciated :)

I respect the right of anyone to believe as they wish, but I have to say that I find it hard to understand why Christians, who do know about the more unpleasant aspects of the Bible's version of God, still believe that Bible and still worship that God.

Perhaps you could enlighten me :)

Yes, you are right, much of the past is a violent place ~ as is much of the present. And, supposedly, this is all part of a loving God's creation.

As I indicated, this makes little sense to me, I'm afraid.

I do appreciate your reading this and giving your point of view. :)


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 5 years ago

Trish- I suppose I could write a book about that, why I believe. Why some believe in and experience God while others have no such experience is one of the greatest mysteries of the world to me. I personally don't think it is about education. Some families try very hard to teach children a certain faith with no success, others have great success.

The simplest answer to why I follow Jesus is personal experience. He came into my life at a time (14 years old) when I desparetely needed comfort and guidance, and He helped me when everyone else in my life had failed me. He has always helped and guided me, and I have the stable life that i have now because of His help. I'm the child of a severely mentally ill mother and a father who could probably be described as mentally ill post his Viet Nam experience. He never functioned after Viet Nam. Very few people who grew up in the circumstances i did (yes, my mother actually raised me, though her illness was so severe that she had bouts of not remembering she had a child) are functional people. This is sadly just a fact. I suppose I could say I love Jesus as one would love a rescuer. I'm loyal to Him the way I would be loyal to someone who swept in and airlifted me out of a war zone, and then adopted me and treated me as a beloved child.

I personally believe very few people become Christians because they read the entire bible and decide this is the greatest thing. I think many talk this way because it is encouraged and rewarded in the Christian community. I think most become attached to Jesus because they experience Him in some internal way. I wrote about my relationship to the bible in a hub called "The bible's place in my spiritual life." I personally think much of American church culture does not do a good job with the bible - few read it very much in spite of all that is said, and the average person is given few tools to make sense of it. These are ancient manuscripts, based on even more ancient oral traditions. I do think that these people were experiencing God, they also lived in a violent world we can hardly begin to understand. I can't imagine abandoning Jesus, who is my lifeblood, over this or that story in the Old Testament. If being a Christian were based on thinking the Bible should be perfectly understandable to humans no matter when or in what culture they live, I suppose Christianity would not make sense. But it is based on very different things for me.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Grace

Thank you ~ I wasn't expecting anything quite so heartfelt and personal, and I can, indeed, understand your devotion to the belief system that 'saved' you.

I am sorry to have caused personal memories to be brought forth.

I know other people with similar beliefs, based on parallel experiences, and this is certainly a valid reason / explanation for being a Christian. :)

My Mum is a Christian, and simply does not believe that God annihilated Amalekite babies. However, many Christians do believe this, and do condone it ~ not as the work of a primitive tribe, but as the plan of the eternal, invisible, omnipotent, omnipresent God, of whom Jesus was the human incarnation.

As an agnostic, I don't know whether there is a God, but, if there is, then I don't believe it either.

Thanks again :)


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 5 years ago

I would be more along the lines of your Mum, and I think many believers are, but the stridently vocal among us drown out the more reasonable.

I personally think many who support the vengeful God who condones slaughter & rape -or sends people to do it- are emotionally disconnected people. They are fine to think this way about God because it's not real to them anyway. Some call it compartmentalized thinking. (They think they get it, but i don't think so.) Or maybe one could call it failure of imagination.


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 5 years ago

Trish - I don't tell my story indiscriminately. Some I have little doubt would be disrespectful enough to tell me my faith is just a symptom of trauma.

I admire you for being respectful of people from all belief systems. I try to be that way myself.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello again, Grace. :)

Thanks again for explaining your thoughts on this.

The 'compartmentalized thinking' theory is an interesting one. I have found that some Christians become changed people, when something that is in their belief system, but in an abstract way, is brought home to them and affects them personally. It is as if they view their one-time belief / opinion, truthfully, for the first time.


mib56789 5 years ago

Hello! I saw one of your comments at another HUB writer's HUB (jvhirniak) and came over to see what kind of HUBs you publish. I've struck gold! That your brain can contain all of this information and you can express it so clearly to others. You have a beautiful mind. I'm going to review some more of your HUBs and start following you. Thank you for sharing.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Wow, mib56789, that's a great compliment ~ thank you very much! :)

Good to 'meet' you ~ I'm going to take a look at some of your hubs, now.


DomesticEngineers profile image

DomesticEngineers 5 years ago from Surrey, BC, Canada

I am doing my own research on the impact of "God's whip". At the moment I am reminded of how King David had to run from his predessor, King Saul. Just as Genghis Khan had to run into the woods with his family in his early life. Also it was the second and third generation that actually did the "conquering of the promised land" after Moses led them out of the land of the Egyptians. Just as the sons and the grandsons of Genghis Khan continued with the plans of their father, grandfather. Where the Mongols more ruthless? Or is the written word of the Bible been watered down with the passage of time? Who knows.

It is starting to look more exciting though. Thank you for the wake up.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi DomesticEngineers :)

You have added some very interesting observations! Thank you :)

These parallels are most intriguing!

I think that the Mongols were ruthless, but any more ruthless than other tribes?? Not sure.

Certainly there is plenty of ruthless behaviour in the Bible! :)


DomesticEngineers profile image

DomesticEngineers 5 years ago from Surrey, BC, Canada

Yes, there is more to the Old Testament then what Sunday School teachers try to describe.


stessily 5 years ago

Trish: You make interesting points. When I'm not puzzling over the unseen forces or apparent cruel unfairness in this world, in my softer moments, I tend towards the view expressed by graceomalley. Nevertheless, there are elements in the Bible which are unsettling, and I respect your gentle courage in tackling them.

You make interesting parallels which underscore the conundrum: The definition of evil often seems to shift with the perspective. What's not okay for Genghis is okay for others.

I have no answers for these puzzlements.

Your love of history really shines through this hub.

I saw a fascinating movie on Genghis a few years ago, "Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan." As a human being, he apparently cultivated incredible inner strength to overcome endless adversity in his youth.

I remember one late, insomniac night a while back flipping through the TV and coming across a laughably hideous film by Howard Hughes on Genghis with John Wayne horrendously miscast as Genghis. "Mongol" is probably much closer to the real man and also much more interesting.

Kind regards, Stessily


DomesticEngineers profile image

DomesticEngineers 5 years ago from Surrey, BC, Canada

I saw that movie too. I found it too be an interesting portrayal of a "mysterious" man. That movie is about 50 years old. Mongolia was under the Soviet Union and little was known about the people who Stalin tried to eliminate.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Stessily :)

Thanks for reading and for your interesting comments!

I have a film about Chingis on DVD, which I am looking forward to watching ~ it may be that one.

I studied Ghengis / Chingis Khan and the Mongols as part of my History degree. It was the most unusual bit of my course and I thoroughly enjoyed it. But it was quite a long time ago and I have forgotten a lot of it, unfortunately.

I was really surprised when I saw the parallels with the Bible ~ especially as I have read Christian hubs, which seem to indicate that Chingis was the most evil man who ever lived.

John Wayne as Genghis Khan!? The mind boggles! :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi again DomesticEngineers :)

Yes, I think that he was something of a mystery ~ as was ~ and still is ~ much of his homeland.


stessily 5 years ago

Trish: It was incredibly mind boggling to see John Wayne as Chingis. There are pictures on the internet; those stills are all that you need to see of that film, that had to be Howard Hughes' idea of a joke. I kept wanting John Wayne to say the Mongol equivalent of "Hey there, Pilgrim." :-)

I'll be interested to hear about the DVD you have. The film I saw, "Mongol", was beautifully filmed and really impressed me with Chingis' patience and resolve.

I also have heard that he epitomized evil, and that's part of the name calling which really turns me off to organized religion. I've never felt like jumping for joy, either, about Jezebel being fed to the dogs.

Once again, excellent presentation, Trish. Spotting those parallels is intriguing and comes from an open mind.

"Mysterious" is a good way to describe Chingis.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Thanks Stessily. :)

It's always good to receive your thoughtful and interesting comments!

I'll see if I can find that DVD ~ and those online photos of John Wayne!!!

Found this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsnWOyfMq4I

Wow!!! Mind boggles!!!


stessily 5 years ago

Trish: I just followed that link: Whoa, Pilgrim, that's no way to treat a woman! I'm surmising that Howard Hughes liked Jimmy Cagney and the grapefruit-in-the-face scene so much in "The Public Enemy" that he decided to have John Wayne show what a cad Chingis was by slapping a woman!

It's interesting that I found this hub by you t'other day cuz for some unknown reason for the last week scenes from "Mongol" have flitted through my imagination.

You may think that you have forgotten a lot since your student days but it looks to me as though you recalled and understood all the necessary details of Chingis' life for this hub.

I'll have to locate a DVD of "Mongol" to see again.

Re-read again and I voted again for everything including funny cuz some of our comments are amusing!

Kind regards, Stessily


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Definitely! :) :)

And thank you, Stessily!


janesix profile image

janesix 5 years ago

Very interesting!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 5 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Thanks janesix :)


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Excellent article. Wow people are crazy! I think it safe to think that most Jews of today and most Monguls are peace loving. People should keep in mind the old testament is not about christians.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Eric and thank you.:)

I agree ~most Mongols and Jews are, indeed, likely to be peaceable people.

However, while the Old Testament was never about Christians, it has been adopted by Christians ~ and Jesus, supposedly, came to fulfill the OT.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 4 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Kirei Kireev :)

Thank you for contributing.

The thing with history is that, so often, we have to try to find s truth within the limited information available to us.

I studied Chingis Khan when I was at university ~ but that was quite a long tome ago.


summerwinter 3 years ago

Excellent analysis! .. The Mongols are NOT Turks!! - Not Chinese!! .. Mongols ARE Israelite!! - probably the Tribe of Ephraim!

Many people who are considered Chinese are Israel!!


summerwinter 3 years ago

Genghis Khan did NOT have golden hair. NO Mongols have gold hair. "Gold" is a mistranslation from the description given for him.

Also, Mongols were NOT nomadic. They led sedentary lives. They traveled a lot as they were Conquering! ... Conquering is Not nomadic!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 3 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi :)

Thanks for reading, summerwinter :)


summerwinter 3 years ago

It was Truly My Pleasure Trish M!! ... Thank you! ... I have recently been studying *The Mongols* ... You put it all together Beautifully! ~ God Bless you!!


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 3 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello again Summerwinter :)

Thanks again!

Certainly I find the Mongols a fascinating people. I studied their history many years ago, at University. :)


bobo 3 years ago

hey friend, God who created the heaven and earth knows what He is doing with mankind, first of all man is sinful,born with a sinful nature. God is holy and He chose the Jewish ppl do His will not because they were special but that was in His awesome plan for a hopeless, fallen mankind,before you compare the God who created you and gangis khan, think twice.read revelation 100 times, study who Jesus is and who Satan is who is apparently influencing you now.the bible is a record of true past history with accurate genealogy,prophecies and everything you need to know about sinful mankind and why we need a Savior.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 3 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi bobo :)

Thank you for taking an interest in my article.

I'm afraid that we have different views on the Bible, though :)


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Would a sadistic warmongering god ever extend mercy? Yet, when the people of one particular Canaanite city , Gibeon , sought mercy , Jehovah extended it . ( Joshua 9 :3-27 ) Could a bloodthirsty war god have done so ? Of course no , yet a God who delights in peace and justice would certainly .—Psalm 33 :5 ; 37 :28 .

Over and over again , the Bible connects God’s blessing with tranquility because Jehovah is a lover of peace , not war . ( Numbers 6 :24-26 ; Psalm 29 :11 ; 147 :12-14 ) Due to this fact , when King David hoped to erect a holy space of worship to Jehovah , God explained to him : “You will not build a house for my name, for you have shed a great deal of blood on the earth before me .”—1 Chronicles 22 :8 ; Acts 13 :22 .

While on earth , the Greater David , Jesus Christ , referred to an era when God’s love of justice would cease to permit him to stomach the modern-day ungodliness we observe the world over . ( Matthew 24 :3 , 36-39 ) As he did with the Flood of Noah’s time as well as in the devastation of Sodom and Gomorrah , Jehovah God Almighty will very soon take judicial measures to scour the world of narcissistic , ungodly individuals , thereby paving the path for tranquil conditions to exist under his heavenly Kingdom rule .—Psalm 37 :10 , 11 , 29 ; Daniel 2 :44 .

Now, even though the Bible recounts Jehovah God’s past adverse judgments frankly, you need to keep in mind that such were invariably against ungodly individuals and in defense of the innocent . After all, “Minatur innocentibus qui parcit nocentibus.”

By way of example , it was not until the entire world of Noah’s time finally became “filled with violence” that Jehovah declared : “As for me, I am going to bring floodwaters upon the earth to destroy from under the heavens all flesh that has the breath of life .” ( Genesis 6 :11 , 17 ) Surrounding another judgment , it absolutely was only as a result of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah had “abandoned themselves to sexual immorality and were bent on perverted sensuality” that God caused it to “rain sulfur and fire .”—Jude 7 , The New Berkeley Version ; Genesis 19 :24 .

Did God relish bringing all flesh to ruin in Noah’s day ? Or did he derive some fiendish pleasure from destroying the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah ? For an answer , let us look at the events surrounding the Flood of Noah’s day . The Holy Scriptures inform us that it devastated God that “every inclination of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only bad all the time .” Their maleficence ' saddened his heart. ' Nonetheless , God dispatched Noah , “a preacher of righteousness ,” to sound a monition as well as to construct an ark for the preservation of the godly .—Genesis 6 :3-18 ; 2 Peter 2 :5 . ( Bracket mine ) So you see, undesirable judgments from God Almighty have at all times resulted only because evil men and/or women adamantly refuse to forbear their depravity and evildoing , not because Jehovah delights in doing away with individuals . Now you might ask yourself , ‘Did not Jehovah spur the Israelites to battle with various other nations and obliterate these ?’

The Amalekites , just to illustrate , were “the first one of the nations” to launch an unprovoked assault on the Israelites after the Exodus , at Rephidim in the vicinity of Mount Sinai . For this reason , Jehovah decreed absolute annihilation for the Amalekites . ( Nu 24 :20 ; Ex 17 :8-16 ; De 25 :17-19 ) Twice in the course of the period of the Judges these acrimonious foes of Israel shared in attacking Israel . They did it in the times of Eglon king of Moab . ( Jg 3 :12 , 13 ) Yet again , with the Midianites together with Easterners , they ransacked the territory of Israel seven years before Gideon together with his 300 men dealt them a great defeat .—Jg 6 :1-3 , 33 ; 7 :12 ; 10 :12 . As a result of their unrelenting violence , in the period of the kings Jehovah ‘called to account’ the Amalekites , instructing King Saul to strike them down , which he actually did “from Havilah as far as Shur , which is in front of Egypt .” ( 1Sa 15 :2-33 )

Meanwhile , demon worship , child sacrifice , sadistic violence , together with a range of disgusting sex worship were the order of the day with the Canaanites . Being a God of justice , Jehovah would not make it possible for these types of sickening practices to thwart the tranquility and safety of godly human beings , in particular Israel . ( Deuteronomy 5 :9 ) To illustrate , imagine if the neighborhood where you reside was without a legitimate police force or militia to apply the laws and regulations of the land—would that not give rise to sheer bedlam and violent rioting of the worst kind ? Equally , Jehovah was required to take action against the Canaanites owing to their licentiousness as well as the legitimate peril they presented to pure worship . For this reason , he decreed : “the land is unclean, and I will bring punishment on it for its error, and the land will vomit its inhabitants out.”—Leviticus 18 :25 . “ It is because of the wickedness of these nations that Jehovah is driving them away from before you” , he conveyed to the Israelites at Deuteronomy 9 :4-6 , “It is not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your heart that you are going in to take possession of their land .”

Divine justice was undertaken every time God’s executional forces—the Israelite armies—destroyed the Canaanites . That God decided to make use of human beings to execute this judgment , in lieu of fire or flood , could not lessen the verdict . Consequently , when warring with the nations of Canaan , the Israelite legions were mandated : "In the cities of these peoples, which Jehovah your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not allow any breathing thing to live. Instead, you should devote them completely to destruction, the Hit′tites, the Am′or·ites, the Ca′naan·ites, the Per′iz·zites, the Hi′vites, and the Jeb′u·sites, just as Jehovah your God has commanded you; so that they may not teach you to follow all their detestable practices that they have done for their gods, causing you to sin against Jehovah your God." —Deuteronomy 20 :16-18 .

As opposed to Ares , Otrera , Keres , Enyo or Eris , among others , Jehovah God is a respecter of life . Accordingly , He would not endorse indiscriminate slaying . Deuteronomy 20 :10 and 11 instructed the ancient Israelites , ““If you approach a city to fight against it, you should also announce to it terms of peace. If it gives a peaceful answer to you and opens up to you, all the people found there will become yours for forced labor, and they will serve you."

Even though Israelite troops were permitted to marry captives they had to attend to them with the same rights and honor due to an Israelite wife . Poles apart from what's seen in today's wars , Israelite soldiers were absolutely barred from raping or otherwise abusing women . Jehovah instructed , "If you go to war against your enemies and Jehovah your God defeats them for you and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you are attracted to her and you want to take her as your wife, you may bring her into your house. She should then shave her head, attend to her nails, and remove the clothing of her captivity, [for hygienic reasons ] and dwell in your house. She will weep for her father and her mother a whole month, and afterward you may have relations with her; you will become her husband and she will become your wife. But if you are not pleased with her, you should then let her go wherever she wishes. But you may not sell her for money or treat her harshly.” -Deuteronomy 21:10-14 ( Bracket mine . )

Unmistakably , then , Jehovah is not the bloodthirsty God he is undeservedly charged of being . Having said that , he will not shrink back from rendering justice whenever it is due . God’s love of goodness demands that he take action on behalf of those godly ones who love him by eradicating the evil system that oppresses them all . When he does so , authentic peacefulness will certainly flourish earth wide as the genuinely meek ones unitedly worship Jehovah , “the God of peace .”—Philippians 4 :9 .


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

And yet virgin girls were abducted to be given to soldiers and new babies were slaughtered with the sword - on God's orders, according to the Bible.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

i. When did All-Loving God ever instruct anyone to abduct anybody?

ii. Correct me if I'm wrong but weren't Elizabeth Bathory, Brian And David Freeman, Nelson Byrdwell, Edmund Kemper, Joshua Phillips, Willie Bosket, Laurie Tackett, Brenda Anne Spencer, Jon Venables, Robert Thompson, Jesse Pomeroy, Mary Bell, Andrew Golden, Mitchell Johnson, Jamie Rouse, Barry Loukaitis, Talat Pasha, Margaret Sanger, Josef Mengele, Reinhard Heydrich, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Eichmann, Kim Il Sung, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Emperor Hirohito, Nero, Caligula, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Leopold II of Belgium, Tomas de Torquemada, Mao Zedong, Ivan the Terrible, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Vlad Dracula once babies too?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Everyone was a baby once, Joseph.

Some babies grow up to be good; some to be bad. Often it is the result of the environment in which they are reared.

I doubt that any of us would get away with child-murder simply because we said we knew they would grow up to be cruel people.

If God is God then he has the capacity to ensure that children are brought up in the kind of environment which encourages better behaviour.

Indeed, an all-powerful God could have prevented the excesses of Hitler and the like at any time.

Why is it that Chingis Khan criticised for his cruelty when, according to the Bible, God's behaviour is very similar - yet he is praised?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

It was the baby-slaughter that was specifically on God's orders, Joseph.

The abduction of the girls was not described as being on God's orders - yet the story still made its way into the Holy Bible - supposedly the word of God. It sounds as if he must have condoned it.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

However, it sounds as if God wanted these girls abducted:

Numbers 31

7 ... they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew all the males.

...

9 And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones ...

10 And they burnt all their cities ...

11 And they took all the spoil ...

12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto Moses, and Eleazar the priest, ...

15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?

...

17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.

18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

...

31 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.

*

Can you imagine it? The abducted women and children are terrified Their fathers, sons, husbands and brothers have been killed before their very eyes and now that they have been rounded up mothers, wives and their little boys are to be slaughtered too, in cold blood.

The virgin girls will be 'safe' though because they are to be saved. In the midst of all this horror and bloodshed, all the fear and grief, the killings of their mothers, their fathers, their grandparents, their brothers - even their baby brothers - these distraught, innocent and terrified young girls are to be given to soldiers to rape for their entertainment.

It is absolutely sickening and it is in the Holy Bible.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

"If God is God then he has the capacity to ensure that children are brought up in the kind of environment which encourages better behaviour.

Indeed, an all-powerful God could have prevented the excesses of Hitler and the like at any time."

And what if people don't want God to interfere in their lives? What then?


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Even though Israelite troops were permitted to marry captives they had to attend to them with the same rights and honor due an Israelite wife . Poles apart from what's seen in today's wars , Israelite soldiers were absolutely barred from raping or otherwise abusing women . Jehovah instructed , "If you go to war against your enemies and Jehovah your God defeats them for you and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and you are attracted to her and you want to take her as your wife, you may bring her into your house. She should then shave her head, attend to her nails, and remove the clothing of her captivity, [for hygienic reasons ] and dwell in your house. She will weep for her father and her mother a whole month, and afterward you may have relations with her; you will become her husband and she will become your wife. But if you are not pleased with her, you should then let her go wherever she wishes. But you may not sell her for money or treat her harshly.” -Deuteronomy 21:10-14 ( Bracket mine . )

Unmistakably , then , Jehovah is not the bloodthirsty God he is undeservedly charged of being . Having said that , he will not shrink back from rendering justice whenever it is due . God’s love of goodness demands that he take action on behalf of those godly ones who love him by eradicating the evil system that oppresses them all . When he does so , authentic peacefulness will certainly flourish earth wide as the genuinely meek ones unitedly worship Jehovah , “the God of peace .”—Philippians 4 :9 .


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Let me get this clear, Joseph.

Jehovah's instructions to soldiers who have just won a battle:

If you are attracted to one of your distraught and terrified young female captives you can take her home with you. She will then be allowed a month to mourn the father, grandfather and brothers you killed in battle and the mother, baby brother, married sister and grandmother you slaughtered before her very eyes in cold blood. Then you are allowed to sleep with this frightened, lonely, grief-stricken child. You will become husband and wife. But if you then decide that are not pleased with her, you should then let her go wherever she wishes.

Does she have any choice in the matter; this bewildered little girl? Does she want to sleep with this man who has killed everyone she loves? Does she have the right to refuse to have sex with this big strong man who is a killer and a stranger to her? And she can only go away if he is displeased with her! Where would she go? To the village that they have razed to the ground? To her family and friends who have been slain?

My, oh my!

It is disgusting.

Tell me that this is not abduction, torture and rape.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Rahab, for instance, wasn't forced to become a wife to Salmon, her Israelite husband. In fact, she happily received the Israelite spies and took advantage of the opportunity she saw to lead a better life for herself and her family. Remember, the Canaanites were an evil and ungodly people much like what we see in today's world. It is not so hard, therefore, to imagine all of the violence, abuse, strife, discord, animosity, hatred, bigotry, inequality, injustice, abject squalor and depravity that characterized their daily lives. Like the Gibeonites who also sought Jehovah, she saw the writing on the wall and was happy to see the end of a wicked system of things. More importantly, she rejoiced at the opportunity to worship Jehovah, the one true God :) (cf. Joshua 2)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

That does not appease me, I'm afraid.

Every single Canaanite was evil?!


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 2 years ago

They were so evil that even their cattle were evil. You have to be a seriously evil person to corrupt a cow. (There were one or two groups of Canaanites where the Israelites killed absolutely everything, including the domestic animals.)

I'm snarking. Bronze Age behavior doesn't mesh with modern thinking any better than their personal hygenie practices, their hair styles, their propensity to human sacrifice, or the fact they actually had a profession called 'sacred prostitute.' No modern person can hear the term 'sacred prostitute' for the first time without blushing, smirking or giggling, but for the the Bronze Agers it was normal life.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

As I explicated three days ago, Jehovah God "decreed : “the land [Canaan] is unclean, and I will bring punishment on it for its error, and the land will vomit its inhabitants out.”—Leviticus 18 :25 . “ It is because of the wickedness of these nations [the Canaanites] that Jehovah is driving them away from before you” , he conveyed to the Israelites at Deuteronomy 9 :4-6 .”"


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Grace :)

Hi again Joseph :)

Yes, what we see, here, is a reflection of life at that time and in that place. The Bible stories reflect this life - including tribal beliefs. They believed that God was on their side; that their behaviour was ordained by God; that God really wanted them to slaughter their enemies -including the babies. This is a reflection of their tribal beliefs and is not a reflection of God - if God actually exists. Thus the cruel streak given to God in the Bible is man's doing, not God's - if God exists.

But we still have to deal with the fact that baby lambs are ripped apart by foxes in order for them to live and that baby humans are abused, tortured, murdered, etc, by other humans, who are, apparently, made by a perfect God in his own image - all part of God's creation.

Something is wrong somewhere and to say that God simply decreed that some of his creations were 'chosen' people while others were evil and 'unclean', simply makes no sense at all.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

Hiya Trish! :)

"to say that God simply decreed that some of his creations were 'chosen' people while others were evil and 'unclean', simply makes no sense at all."

Why doesn't this make sense to you?


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 2 years ago

I think the real issue here is fundamentalism - it asks modern people to do the impossible: say that Bronze Age morality is acceptable to modern sensibilities. It simply isn't. But I think large parts of the church have not yet navigated the passage from continuing to believe in and relate to God, while realizing that cultures from thousands of years ago in such different circumstances did not understand Him. The elevation of scripture to the level that we are asked to accept murder and kidnapping as righteous is a disservice to people of faith. I think it has a great deal to do with why so many are currently rejecting religious faith altogether.

I think that Bronze Age people lived with such violence that PTSD was practically a feature of their culture. When i read the Old Testament, i see many of the people behaving like classic trauma victims. Of course, I am bringing modern pyschology into it. I also respect them for who they were - people who had to deal with a great deal of violence and pain, and try to make sense out of it. I see the OT as an important record of that human past, and a part of the history of our world. They helped make us who we are - we don't have to think they are right about everything to respect their contribution to the modern world.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Grace: "I see the OT as an important record of that human past"

I do, too, Grace.

Grace: "The elevation of scripture to the level that we are asked to accept murder and kidnapping as righteous is a disservice to people of faith."

And a disservice to God, too - if God exists.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Joseph, "to say that God simply decreed that some of his creations were 'chosen' people while others were evil and 'unclean', simply makes no sense at all" because they are all, supposedly, his creation; his children made in his own image. Surely he would be expected to love and cherish them all, equally, in a fatherly manner.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 2 years ago

But God doesn't simply decree some to be evil or good. It is something that is earned. So, for instance, when people insist on practicing evil then they must contend with their Creator's strong disapprobation. See Ezekiel 18:21-32.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 2 years ago from The English Midlands Author

Why would someone made in the image of a perfect, loving God even be capable of evil?

As for Bible quotes, for every positive one there's a negative one.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 24 months ago

For the same reason a child raised in a good home with a loving family decides to become a serial rapist or worse ...

We are all free to do with our lives as we choose. If someone wants to dedicate themselves to being evil God most certainly will not stand in their way ...


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 24 months ago

"As for Bible quotes, for every positive one there's a negative one."

I don't follow. How does any of this change the fact that our Creator urges us to be good and is even willing to forgive us when we repent from our wrongdoing ?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 24 months ago from The English Midlands Author

Joseph, I feel that you are so entrenched in your beliefs that you simply do not see what I see.

If a perfect creator God made mankind in his own image, then, unless God wished to create evil, his creation would be incapable of doing evil - because it is created by perfection, in the image of perfection.

As for free will, since any person created in the image of perfection would only be capable of perfection then he would only be able & willing to make perfect choices.

The assumption seems to be that free will results in evil. Why should this be blamed on humans rather than on the God who created mankind? Any children created by an omnipotent perfect super-being would inherit his goodness and their free will would always choose and reflect goodness.

And why would a perfect, 'good' God want to create evil children? There is no logic to this. It couldn't happen - not unless this God incorporated both good and evil. And the Bible does actually reflect such a dual-personality God. The assumption is that free will results in evil. This is not necessarily so. Any children created by an omnipotent perfect super-being would inherit his goodness and their free will would always choose and reflect goodness.

If an all-knowing and all-powerful God created beings who could be born evil, then that is God's doing; God's choice; God's decision.

If God is God, then he can do anything and if new-born babies can be considered so evil that he needs to have them slaughtered, then this supposed evil would have to be the will of God because those children have not had any chance to make decisions and no experience of life on which to base any decisions.

As to urging us to be good, when I read the Bible and see him urging men to slice apart suckling babies I do not see this; quite the opposite, in fact.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 24 months ago from The English Midlands Author

I am sorry for any repetition; I was trying to make my points clear.

But it seems obvious to me that those Christians who criticise the reported evils of Chingis Khan are being hypocritical, if they then praise the actions of a God who orders the same as or worse than Chingis.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 24 months ago

So, if I understand you correctly, you believe perfection is synonymic with goodness and that it necessarily precludes evil. If this is so I must confess that I don't see the connection. Can you walk me through your thought process here? :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 24 months ago from The English Midlands Author

Yes I think that perfection and goodness go together. Perfectly good; isn't that what God is supposed to be? You don't agree? Then I am bewildered.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 24 months ago

Perfection is defined as "the quality or state of being entirely without fault or defect." This is the sense the Bible communicates when it tells us that Adam and Eve were created perfectly. That said, they weren't automatons; they possessed Free Will. In other words, they could choose to obey God and be good or disobey and become evil. With me so far?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 24 months ago from The English Midlands Author

I disagree, Joseph. Anyone born in the perfect image of a perfect God would not be capable of being or choosing evil. I don't care whether the Bible can be interpreted differently.

As you say, perfection is "the quality or state of being entirely without fault or defect." That means being good.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 24 months ago

So you would have preferred being made a mindless robot instead of possessing given Free Will?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 24 months ago from The English Midlands Author

Joseph, you mistake me again. I do not believe the creation story.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 24 months ago

Why not? Has Genesis been proven wrong in any way?


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 24 months ago from The English Midlands Author

Genesis is like a folk tale. There is absolutely no reason to believe very much of it. Sorry, Joseph, but I just do not believe in these folk tales any more than I do the folk tales of any other tribe. It has never been proven to be correct. It is a group of old stories.

But this is not really relevant to Chingis Khan and / or the horrors of the Old Testament.


Joseph O Polanco profile image

Joseph O Polanco 24 months ago

Again I must ask, why not? Has Genesis been proven wrong in any way?


graceomalley profile image

graceomalley 24 months ago

An excellent discussion of the question of why a good God allows bad things to happen is the book God's Problem by Bart Ehrman. Mr. Ehrman is a professor of the New Testament, and self described born again Christian in his youth. He pursued his PhD in the Bible because of personal faith, but eventually became an atheist because of the problem of evil in the world. He is a popular professor of the New Testament, and finds the bible fascinating and important as a text which has shaped our culture, but he is open about the fact that he is not a believer himself. God's Problem discusses the ways that people through history have tried to solve the problem of a good God and a bad world.

Every believer lives in the tension of believing in God's goodness while experiencing a world where terrible things can and do happen. There is no simple answer to this dilemna. I've appreciated reading Bart Ehrman's books - God's Problem in particular - because as an atheist he has no need to 'prove' anything, and his discussions of the various approaches are very thorough. Perhaps ironically, God's Problem is the book that helped me have the most closure about the problem of evil in the world.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 24 months ago from The English Midlands Author

Hi Grace. I like Bart Ehrman and his books, though I do have some issues with his ideas on the historical proof for the existence of Jesus. I have to admit, though, that I haven't read 'God's Problem'. I think it might be worth my looking out for it :)


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 24 months ago from The English Midlands Author

Hello Joseph.

Genesis can be taken as an allegory but as real scientific, historical events? No.

For a start, let's look at Adam and Eve. Were they Homo sapiens? Neanderthals? Homo erectus? Which? And where did their sons find their wives? And what was going on outside the garden of Eden?

Actually, no, not here. It's too far off topic.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 24 months ago from The English Midlands Author

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