Appeared 2009 in
NIB Dictionary of the Bible
. Ed. by K.D.Sakenfeld
(Nashville, TN: Abingdon)
Despite the diverse ideas of war in the Bible, much of past biblical scholarship has been undulyfocused on only one of these ideas, namely “holy war” or Y
-war.” In contrast, the presentarticle examines the various ideologies and theologies of war in the Hebrew Bible canonically,progressing from Genesis to the Prophets and Writings. (For more on this book-orientedapproach, see Wright, “Military Valor and Kingship.”) A final section treats war in the NT.Outline:1.
Accounts of Israel’s Originsa.
The New TestamentBibliography
1. Accounts of Israel’s Origins.
In the narrative extending from Genesis to 2 Kings, one candistinguish three accounts of Israel’s origins that correspond to what seems to have been three,formerly independent, literary works: Genesis, Exodus-Joshua, and Samuel-Kings. Accordingto this view, the book of Judges serves as a literary bridge connecting the latter two works (seeKratz). Each of these accounts sets forth a distinct idea of war.
The political ideal of the book of Genesis is not world unity but rather a plurality ofpeoples. After recounting how Y
disrupted the building project at Babel and scatterednations over the face of the earth, the authors continue in the Patriarchal narratives to unfold