Resources for Questions of Divine Violence

Prepared by Lissa M. Wray Beal (August 2021)

Editor’s note: This resource list was part of an interview with Dr. Lissa Wray Beal for the full interview and transcript click here

Of the many volumes on this topic, this is a sampling from different perspectives.

Boyd, Gregory A. Cross Vision: How the Crucifixion of Jesus Makes Sense of Old Testament Violence. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017. [This is a popularization of his 2-volume Crucifixion of the Warrior God: Interpreting the Old Testament’s Violent Portraits of God in Light of the Cross. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2017].

Copan, Paul. Is God a Moral Monster? Making Sense of the Old Testament God. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2011.

Copan, Paul. Is God a Vindictive Bully? Reconciling Portrayals of God in the Old and New Testaments. Forthcoming.

Copan, Paul and Matthew Flannagan. Did God Really Command Genocide? Coming to Terms with the Justice of God. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2014.

Cowles, C. S., Eugene H. Merrill, Daniel L. Gard, and Tremper Longman III. Show Them No Mercy: 4 Views on God and Canaanite Genocide. Edited by Stanley N. Gundry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Hawk, L. Daniel. The Violence of the Biblical God: Canonical Narrative and Christian Faith. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2019.

Longman, Tremper. Confronting Old Testament Controversies: Pressing Questions about Evolution, Sexuality, History, and Violence. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2019.

Paynter, Helen. God of Violence Yesterday, God of Love Today? Wrestling Honestly with the Old Testament. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, 2019.

Seibert, Eric A. The Violence of Scripture: Overcoming the Old Testament’s Troubling Legacy. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012.

William Webb and Gordon Oeste, Bloody, Brutal, and Barbaric? Wrestling with the Troubling War Texts. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2019.

Wray Beal, Lissa M. Joshua. Story of God Commentary. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019.

Wright, Christopher J. H. The God I Don’t Understand: Reflection on Tough Questions of Faith. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008.

Podcast and online resources:

Brierley, Justin. Unbelievable? Podcast. Two-part debate between Greg Boyd and Paul Copan on biblical violence from January 2018. Here: Unbelievable? Greg Boyd & Paul Copan debate Old Testament violence and Boyd’s new theology in Crucifixion Of The Warrior God – Saturday 20th January 2018 02:30 pm ( and here: Unbelievable? Boyd & Copan pt 2 – debating Amalekite destruction & Ananias and Sapphira – Saturday 27th January 2018 02:30 pm (

Copan, Paul. “Greg Boyd’s Misunderstandings of the ‘Warrior God’” at The Gospel Coalition, January 26, 2018 ( )

Copan, Paul. “The Violence of Scripture” on The Gospel Coalition, March 13, 2013 ( )

Paynter, Helen. Director for The Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence. Blogs, online videos and conferences on a wide array of topics. CSBV – Centre for the Study of Bible & Violence (

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