Ignoring Old Testament Violence

I am by no means a biblical scholar and I am not a religious person in general, but my understanding is that the Christian god in the Old Testament is a wrathful and vengeful god. I understand that there are examples of genocide perpetuated by said deity, that there are murders ordered and condoned by the god, and that the text is quite violent in general. But much of that violence seems to be ignored, referenced as not being literal but symbolic and metaphoric, and generally less of a focus among religions that view the Bible as a sacred text.
 
 
Steven Pinker writes about this phenomenon in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature to demonstrate how people and societies have become less violent over time. “In recent millennia and centuries,” he writes, “the Bible has been spin-doctored, allegorized, superseded by less violent texts …, or discreetly ignored. And that is the point. Sensibilities toward violence have changed so much that religious people today compartmentalize their attitude to the bible. They pay it lip service as a symbol of morality, while getting their actual morality from more modern principles.”
 
 
Pinker references the violence of the Old Testament and the lack of violence in subsequent religious texts while demonstrating that the world has become a less violent place. Religious violence and violence condoned by a deity is simply less common. Texts which followed the Old Testament became less violent as the people writing those texts also became less violent. Today, violent sections of religious texts are almost entirely ignored or explained in a way that deemphasizes their violence. The modern world is less violence and accepts less violence in policing, maintaining authority, and organizing society. This is a huge change for humanity, and can be observed in our cultural products such as our religious documents and attitudes.

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