Violence & Horror – How do we read Judges 19?
15th March 2022
Trusting the Bible, series 2
Reading the Old Testament: A guide to finding your way through difficult Old Testament passages
Dr Andrew Ollerton meets with academics and researchers from the Tyndale House network to discuss how they approach the Old Testament and wrestle with its trickier passages. Each episode focuses in on a different text from the Old Testament, as we explore the reading processes and practices that researchers bring to their own Bible reading.
In this episode Dr Andrew Ollerton is joined by the Revd Dr Helen Paynter to look at horror and violence in the Old Testament. Helen walks us through one of the Old Testament’s “Texts of Terror”—the notorious 19th chapter of the book of Judges and explores how we can bring humility and empathy to the way we read the Bible.
Content note: Please note this episode contains extended discussion about sexual violence in the Old Testament narrative.
- God of Violence Yesterday, God of Love Today? by Helen Paynter (The Bible Reading Fellowship, 2019)
- The Lost World of the Israelite Conquest: Covenant, Retribution, and the Fate of the Canaanites by John H. Walton and J. Harvey Walton (IVP US , 2017)
- Did God Really Command Genocide? Coming to Terms with the Justice of God by Paul Copan and Matt Flannagan (Baker Books, 2014)
- Bloody, Brutal, and Barbaric? Wrestling with Troubling War Texts by William J. Webb and Gordon K. Oeste (IVP US, 2019)
- Telling Terror in Judges 19: Rape and Reparation for the Levite’s wife by Helen Paynter (Routledge, 2020)
The Revd Dr Helen Paynter is a Baptist Minister and the Director of Bristol Baptist College’s Centre for the Study of Bible and Violence. Helen has a Masters in Missional Church Leadership, another Masters in Biblical Studies, and a PhD in Old Testament. Her main research interests are in the narrative portions of the Hebrew Bible.
Trusting the Bible is a collaboration between Tyndale House and the Bible Society.