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Episode 43

Making Sense of Violence in the Old Testament

Featuring Tamra Fromm

November 9, 2023 | 39 min.

Do you struggle with reading the Old Testament because of the violent passages in it, including places where God appears to condone, encourage, or even be responsible for that violence? Tamra Fromm offers a framework for reading those passages and considers them in the light of Christ's teaching.

 **Content warning: Mentions of disturbing violence portrayed in the Old Testament, including the rape and dismemberment of the Levite’s concubine in Judges 19.

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Show Notes

Visit Tamra's blog, Novo Areopagus: Pre-Evangelization for a Postmodern World

Why Read the Old Testament? (and How to Read those Dark Passages) from the Living the Word Bible Podcast Featuring Kelly Anderson

The God Who Loves You: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling by Peter Kreeft

Dark Passages of the Bible: Engaging Scripture with Benedict XVI and St. Thomas Aquinas by Matthew Ramage


Take Tamra’s Suggested Scripture to Your Next Holy Hour

Pray: Come, Holy Spirit, open my heart and mind to hear your word today.

Read the Word: Romans 12:14–21

(Read it in your own Bible to get the context, and so you can make notes)

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.  Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited.  Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Ponder the Word: Read several times, lingering where it touches your heart. What catches your attention? What do you hear the Lord saying to you?

Pray with the Word: Bring to the Lord what you have heard, and talk to him about it. Ask for his grace. Thank him for his loving care.

Live the Word: How does what you read touch your life? What can you do this week to put it into practice?

Tamra Hull Fromm, PhD, is an instructor with the Catholic Biblical School of Michigan, a faculty member with Catholic Distance University, and an associate lecturer with Maryvale Institute. She is the author of Pre-Evangelization and Young Adult “Native Nones”: A New Paradigm for Reaching the Unchurched (Wipf and Stock Publishers) and blogs regularly on scripture and evangelization at Novo-Areopagus: Pre-Evangelization for a Postmodern World.

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