Difficult Questions on the Old Testament

I want to ask you a favor. Please send me difficult questions about the Old Testament, those questions that everyone thinks about but are afraid to ask. I want to compile a list of maybe 10 questions that we can seek to answer together. The Top Ten list will be the questions that are most pastorally relevant. You can post them in a comment below or email me at mark -at- catholicbiblestudent.com.

So what kind of questions am I looking for?

Here are some examples:

  • Why did God command the Israelites to kill children in the conquest of Canaan–is that right and how do we explain it? (Deut 2:24; 20:16-18; Josh 6:21)
  • Are we really supposed to “hate with a perfect hatred”? (Ps 139:21-22)

I want to find good answers for hard questions, answers that can be easily summed up and delivered to people who ask the hard questions to their pastors and teachers. It is very easy to gloss over difficult problems like these when what people need to satisfy their intellectual honesty is a good, well-thought-out answer. Let’s work through these together!

Oh and in terms of pastoral relevance, check out this article by Dr. Peter Williamson on the topic called Biblical Scholarship with a Pastoral Purpose.

One thought on “Difficult Questions on the Old Testament

  1. Larry Lovell

    I’ve been researching the impact of Tamar, daughter-in-law of Judah. She bore twins, the most significant of whom was Perez, and his first-born, Hezron, was the most significant of her grandchildren. Through Hezron’s sons came several significant characters: through Ram came the line of David, and eventually Christ; through Caleb came Bezalel, the skilled craftsman chosen by the LORD to produce the Tabernacle. In his old age Hezron married the daughter of Makir (no name is given for her in 1 Chronicles 2:21). Regardless of the translation used, it is clear from the text that Hezron “lay with her and she bore him Segub”, the father of Jair. Jair was a prominent warrior who was given 23 towns in Gilead, and is spoken of as a “son” of Manasseh in several places. My difficult question is this: When lineage is normally reckoned through the father, why is Jair considered a descendant of Manasseh and apportioned land east of the Jordan in Bashan, when he is the grandson of Hezron from the tribe of Judah? Jair’s grandmother, the daughter of Makir/Machir, was a descendant of Manasseh, but having married Hezron, her off-spring would normally be considered descendants of Judah. Even in the event that Hezron married her and had intercourse with her, but died before she became pregnant, leaving her a childless widow, any resulting levarite marriage would have been for the purpose of raising up children for her deceased husband.

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