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How should we regard biblical texts that portray God as violent, destructive, or irrational? Do these disturbing images influence our understanding of scriptural authority? Do they undermine our image of God? Offering a discerning reading of the Old Testament, Seibert distinguishes literary and theological goals achieved through narrative characterizations of God. He reveals that we cannot enclose God within our own mindset and hope to understand him.
How should we understand biblical texts where God is depicted as acting irrationally, violently, or destructively? If we distance ourselves from disturbing portrayals of God, how should we understand the authority of Scripture? How does the often wrathful God portrayed in the Old Testament relate to the God of love proclaimed in the New Testament? Is that contrast even accurate? Disturbing Divine Behavior addresses these perennially vexing questions for the student of the Bible. Eric A. Seibert calls for an engaged and discerning reading of the Old Testament that distinguishes the particular literary and theological goals achieved through narrative characterizations of God from the rich understanding of the divine to which the Old Testament as a whole points. Providing illuminating reflections on theological reading as well, this book will be a welcome resource for any readers who puzzle over disturbing representations of God in the Bible.