Original Research

Yahwistic incongruency and enigma: A challenge to relinquish violence?

Doniwen Pietersen
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6851 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6851 | © 2021 Doniwen Pietersen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 May 2021 | Published: 20 October 2021

About the author(s)

Doniwen Pietersen, Department Old Testament and Hebrew Scriptures, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract

This article deals with the incongruency and enigma of violence on the part of Yahweh, in order to locate action or inaction against violence on a human level. The debate whether people should be actively involved in serving their countries in the military, if political leaders can wage war and take up arms against a corrupt, grossly oppressive and unjust regime, and if people should vote for and endorse parties with such policies, is contested. Furthermore, questions such as whether people can fight back when they are attacked on the street, whether they can own firearms and use them in self-defence when their families are under siege, and if they can physically harm a person who is in the process of sexually abusing their spouse, are indeed pertinent yet difficult questions to answer, especially in light of verses that say ‘Blessed are the meek… blessed are the merciful… blessed are the peacemakers… blessed are those who are persecuted…’ (Mt 5:3–10). The questions are foregrounded on the notion that appropriates the Christian use of violence to correct a wrong. For the purpose of this study, a historical and literary analysis was employed.

Contribution: This article contributes to the theological discourse within the Old Testament, ethical studies, New Testament studies as well as practical theology as it explores the intersections between the theological theme of violence by means of historical-critical and inter-textual reading methods.


Keywords

violence; Old Testament; renounce; ethics; incongruency and enigma

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