Is The Bible More Violent Than The Quran?

NPR – Excerpt: “‘Much to my surprise, the Islamic scriptures in the Quran were actually far less bloody and less violent than those in the Bible,’ Jenkins says. Jenkins is a professor at Penn State University and author of two books dealing with the issue: the recently published Jesus Wars, and Dark Passages , which has not been published but is already drawing controversy. Violence in the Quran, he and others say, is largely a defense against attack. ‘By the standards of the time, which is the 7th century A.D., the laws of war that are laid down by the Quran are actually reasonably humane,’ he says. ‘Then we turn to the Bible, and we actually find something that is for many people a real surprise. There is a specific kind of warfare laid down in the Bible which we can only call genocide.’ It is called herem, and it means total annihilation. Consider the Book of 1 Samuel, when God instructs King Saul to attack the Amalekites: ‘And utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them,’ God says through the prophet Samuel. ‘But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’ When Saul failed to do that, God took away his kingdom. ‘In other words,” Jenkins says, “Saul has committed a dreadful sin by failing to complete genocide. And that passage echoes through Christian history. It is often used, for example, in American stories of the confrontation with Indians — not just is it legitimate to kill Indians, but you are violating God’s law if you do not.’

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