, this paper will briefly discuss the representation of the god of the Old Testament through textual analysis and seek to answer which approach most adequately describes his nature.
One of the world’s most famous atheist Sir Richard Dawkins has this to say of the god represented in the Old Testament, “The god of the Old Testament is perhaps the most unpleasant character in all fiction. Jealous and proud of it, a petty unjust unforgiving control freak, a vindictive ethnic cleaners, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, philicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” (Dawkins 1). In this way, the reader can readily understand the approach that many who have rejected religion based upon the seemingly outlandish texts of the Old Testament hold to. From the atheist point of view or from the point of view of the believer that rejects the Old Testament, it is irreconcilable to believe in justice, equality, love, kindness, mercy, and yet believe that the same god that represents texts such as the following: “Then the Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven, and He overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground" (Gen. 19:24-25); or the following: “Behold, I [God], even I am bringing the flood of water upon the earth, to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life, from under heaven; everything that is on the earth shall perish." (Gen. 6:17); or the following: "They [Israel] utterly destroyed everything in the city [Jericho], both man and woman, young and old, and ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword" (Joshua 6:21). Such dictates make the case extremely difficult for those that would seek to justify such an approach (Daniel 84).
In this way, seeking to justify the actions of the Israelites who were supposedly acting under the divine guidance of an omnipotent god becomes