Thursday, 14 July 2016

John J. Collins, "The Zeal of Phinehas: The Bible and the Legitimation of Violence"

關於從聖經看暴力, 關於信徒必須與暴力割蓆的講法, John Collins咁講:

 "In short, violence is not the only model of behavior on offer in the Bible, but it is not an incidental or peripheral feature, and it cannot be glossed over. The Bible not only witnesses to the innocent victim and to the God of victims, but also to the hungry God who devours victims and to the zeal of his human agents... The Bible does not demystify or demythologize itself. But neither does it claim that the stories it tells are paradigms for human action in all times and places.

 The least that should be expected of any biblical interpreter is honesty and that requires the recognition, in the words of James Barr, that 'the command of consecration to destruction is morally offensive and has to be faced as such,' whether it is found in the Bible or in the Quran. To recognize this is to admit that the Bible, for all the wisdom it contains, is no infallible guide on ethical matters. As Roland Bainton put it, in his survey of Christian attitudes to war and peace, 'appeal to the Bible is not determinative.' But historically people have appealed to the Bible precisely because of its presumed divine authority, which gives an aura of certitude to any position it can be shown to support; in the phrase of Hannah Arendt, 'God-like certainty that stops all discussion.' And here, I would suggest, is the most basic connection between the Bible and violence, more basic than any command or teaching it contains... Perhaps the most constructive thing a biblical critic can do toward lessening the contribution of the Bible to violence in the world, is to show that that certitude is an illusion."

 ~ John J. Collins, "The Zeal of Phinehas: The Bible and the Legitimation of Violence," 2002 年 Society of Biblical Literature 年會主席演說.

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