Stop reading reviews and buy this book.
Copan and Flanagan have penned an excellent read regarding the God of the Old Testament, our opinions of him and our interpretation of the violence therein.
The book is divided into four parts:
1) Genocide Texts and the Problem of Scriptural Authority
2) Occasional Commands, Hyperbolic Texts, and Genocidal Massacres
3) Is It Always Wrong to Kill Innocent People?
4) Religion and Violence
The meatiest section are parts 2 and 3. These two delve into the texts and provide amazing food for thought. The title, permeates throughout each chapter. Did God really command genocide?
Now I realize that question sounds an awful lot like the question the serpent raised to Eve. And thus, many Christians will scoff at this book and dare not open the pages.
But try it. Read the ideas and proposals from Copan and Flanagan and come to your conclusions. We don't want to read what they say in a book review. So get the book.
Perhaps you won't agree with their studies and conclusions. Perhaps they'll get you to think about Scripture in a new way. Perhaps this book will provide a gateway to you reading your Bible.
This is a fantastic book. No matter if you are a fundamentalist, or a scathing hater of Christianity. This book will provide hours/days of conversation and reflection.
I couldn't recommend it more!
This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Baker Books.