Critical-Multifaceted Review Against Genocide Allegations of Ancient Conquest Account of the Promised Land




Genocide, Canaanite Genocide, Old Testament, Ancient Conquest Account, Ancient Near Eastern War, Moral Monster, New Atheism, Violence in the Bible, Apologetics


The purpose of this article is to deliver a critical-multifaceted review against the accusation that the Judeo-Christian God has commanded genocide to Israelites in the conquest of the Promised Land. Correspondingly, I try to reconsider what matters essentially in the accusation and dissect the accusation into three facets, included legal terminology, interpretive and moral-philosophical facets. By analyzing the criteria of genocide in international law, I argue that the ancient conquest account of the Promised Land in the Old Testament dissatisfies these criteria, thus the conquest was incorrectly classified as genocide. I also gather some examples of misinterpretation of the conquest account of the promised land. I agree that the figurative-hyperbolic language as a common literary feature in the ancient conquest account and the ideology of war viewed as the divine retribution in ancient near eastern worldview. Then, I take Joshua chapters 9-11 as a biblical case study to demonstrate historical-cultural gaps between the ancient near eastern context of the conquest account and our present context. In the last facet, I tersely argue that there is a more contextual approach based on theistic moral argument instead of the New Atheist accusation.


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How to Cite

Yohanes, Hendra. “Critical-Multifaceted Review Against Genocide Allegations of Ancient Conquest Account of the Promised Land”. Veritas: Jurnal Teologi dan Pelayanan 18, no. 2 (November 28, 2019): 107–123. Accessed June 4, 2023.