“If there is a God, the phrase that must disgust him is – holy war.”
Steve Allen

Would a Holy War really disgust God, or would he smile in approval? I suppose this may depend upon which God you believe in. I know with certainty that Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism would never teach nor condone a Holy War of any sort. This does not mean they have never known war, because the east has known many, but none of these wars to my knowledge were based off the notion their religious beliefs dictated them to go to such a war. I think this is a bit different when it comes to Christianity or the Muslim faiths.

I was talking religion with my dad awhile back, and the topic of the Quran came up, and he went on and on about how the Quran promotes violence and the killing of infidels. I immediately disagreed with him. I told him the Quran teaches peace, it is just misread by the extremists. We went back and forth on this topic and finally I told him I would read the Quran and prove him wrong. I have read various different religious texts but for some reason I have never given the Quran a detailed look. I figured this would be a great learning experience for me. I think I may have bitten off a little more than I could chew!

I kept putting this chore off because I was a bit intimidated by this daunting task I had just committed to. When I had a free minute here or there I would pick it up and skim through it. Although I must admit I couldn’t really get into it all that much. The reading was rather dry, kind of like the Old Testament. I could not put my full attention into the reading. Through the brief reading I did, I must say I found some evidence of the Quran promoting violence. These scriptures are not that vague, as to be completely misunderstood, in fact they are rather to the point.

 “Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.” Quran 4:74

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them” Quran 8:12

 “If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.”Quran 8:57

“O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.” Quran 9:123

In my research I had found a total of 109 verses in the Quran calling Muslims to war against non-believers. I am certain if you read these verses and considered them in the historical context of the writings, these verses may mean something completely different. This however is not the point, what matters is how current day Muslims would consider these, and many other verses, would apply today. This then got me thinking about Christians and their stance on war against non-believers. The Bible is just as guilty as the Quran, as it promotes violence against those who believe differently. I included some verses I have come across in the Bible. I know Trey (The Rambling Taoist) could offer many other examples.

“The LORD said to Moses, “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites. After that, you will be gathered to your people.”  So Moses said to the people, “Arm some of your men to go to war against the Midianites and to carry out the LORD’s vengeance on them.” Numbers Chapter 31 Verse 1-3

“The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.” Exodus 15:3

“I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence. Luke 19:26-27 **Note this was Jesus speaking**

Also, in Deuteronomy Chapter 13 verses 6-16, God is instructing his believers to go out on a murdering spree killing all those who worship any one but him. The verse is rather long, so if you are interested I encourage you to check it out. I think within these few verses you get the feeling that both the Bible and the Quran do not always teach peace. Both God and Allah are jealous and vengeful towards those who believe differently. In the wrong hands these few verses can and do lead to “justifiable” Holy Wars. I am not sure I believe the God of the Quran or the God of the Bible would be disgusted with a Holy War, possibly they would encourage one if it meant that in the end the survivors believed in Him and Him alone.


Sorry for the repost

  1. Tim,
    Okay, I agree that the Old Testament has some very disturbing passages about war and particularly how to treat captives. I honestly struggle with how to understand these things, and I have got a long way to go.
    However, your quote of Jesus was taken out of context. In Luke 19, Jesus is telling a parable, a story meant to teach a lesson. The person saying the words you quoted is the master/king in the story.
    Parables are open to many interpretations, but usually this passage is taken to be about the wise use of believers’ God-given talents and money.
    Why does the master tell his subjects to kill those who refused to acknowledge him as king? In terms of the story, probably because they had plotted against him and would continue to be a threat.I would argue that Jesus was referring to the day of judgement, when those who refuse to believe and acknowleges God as King will be cast out of his presence and fail to have eternal life.
    Later, in Luke 22:49-51, Jesus rebuked his followers for resorting to physical violence, and healed the man whose ear was chopped off, even though this guy was part of the group that had come to capture him.
    The New Testament is about God’s love and provision for reconciliation, a New Covenant between God and humankind. References to warfare are about spiritual warfare and fighting the battle against evil.
    Just a note: any objections to Christianity arising from the Old Testament would also be objections to Judaism, perhaps even more so, so there is another faith system to consider.

    • Jodi,

      Thank you for clarifying my misinterpretation. I think if anything this at least proves that the Bible is open to such interpretation. I would imagine I am not the only one who has taken that out of context. As for Judaism I considered adding that since I was using some OT references I just figured that would have been obvious.

  2. The Old Testament is filled with instances of “God” supposedly instructing his “chosen people” to commit all sorts of atrocities, like rape or murdering children. It is quite disgusting!

    It must be remembered that both the OT and the Quran were written by semi-nomadic tribesman who lived in a world in which war was always a breath away. These people fought incessantly and so it should surprise no one that their “holy books” often glorified war.

  3. gingerclub says:

    Nice post, very stimulating! With both old scripts, one should not forget that they have been told from one person to the next, translated and translated again. In every translation there is an interpretation. What we end up with in both cases is something totally diverted unless we understand the original languages.




  4. Hey I like your post because you’re trying to find some answers or least minimize the bad information of the world. Your reply to some other post brought to here. Yes capitalism and sturctured churchs can be distructive. See my post for today of you like to read about a man that ended his organization. I am spiritual so please take that into account. http://www.informationforager.wordpress.com

  5. The White Bull says:

    There are two facets to religion – what the texts say and what the believers say it says.
    As with the first comment, believers will always say you took things out of context.
    The fact is that the New Testament shares in the insanity of the Old Testament and the Qu’ran. The vast majority of humanity is condemned into that “broad road” to an eternal, never-ending, torture in hellfire. Revelation says that god and Jesus will be covered in blood in the great winepress of god’s wrath. As far as a matter of degrees… sure, the NT isn’t *as* bad.
    At the same time, it contradicts itself like crazy (not just in Matthew and Luke’s VERY different stories for making a Nazarene come to be born in David’s City). Paul uses his hellenized education to claim the OT is now void and null – this is bullshit Christians continue to shovel. Some gospels on the other hand, claim Jesus said his followers must follow every “jot and tittle.” The OT institutionalizes slavery – owning humans, and Paul continues supporting this disgusting practice by telling slaves to be good bitches to their masters. The OT allows polygamy – though in another gospel they attribute words to Jesus that he arbitrarily claimed Deuteronomy was from Moses, not god, yet Genesis’ Adam/Eve is the correct prototype for marriage. Burning prostitutes, executing people for absurd and inane laws, and all sorts of horse shit are found in the bible.
    Cowardly Christians try to disavow the OT and shove it off on Judaism – this is arbitrary and goes against the whole point of the NT. How can more than half of the Christian bible be “garbage?” How can one throw away the entire foundation (both theological and prophetic) of their faith because they simply don’t like… the facts. Christians: did god also inspire the OT, or did he not? Even Paul acknowledged its importance while trying to find a way to abandon it.

    • White Bull,

      Welcome to the community. I am a huge fan of your blog. If you ever get a chance you should check out how I used basic logic to disprove the existence of God in the first few chapters of Genesis

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