Divine violence in the old testament: Perspectives and approaches of Bible teachers in Hong Kong

Man Choi CHOW

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


Many Christians are worried about the Old Testament portraying God as violent and commanding people to kill others or commit genocide. This study conducted a survey of Sunday school and seminary teachers to obtain their opinions about the ethical and theological challenges of these problematic texts, with the goal of identifying which perspectives and approaches to God’s violence tend to be adopted by Bible teachers in Hong Kong in their training classes. This study included a questionnaire survey of 300 respondents and interviews with 40 selected interviewees. The results identified different approaches to divine violence, related to those proposed by Eric A. Seibert. Then, the researcher analysed the approaches, perceptions, thoughts, and ideas of the different teachers, and their willingness and reluctance to discuss divine violence in their training classes. The survey responses yielded insights into how to approach and interpret such problematic texts in the Bible. Moreover, they offered pedagogical suggestions on how to teach about divine violence, as well as discussing the actual nature of God and the ethical framework for His divine action. The conclusion of the study is that no matter how people interpret these problematic Scriptures, which describe God’s violent behaviour, Christians and non-Christians should no longer use violence to injure others or justify their violent behaviour in society. Instead, mutual communication between Christians and non-Christians should be encouraged. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • CHAN, Man Ho 陳文豪, Supervisor
  • CHOW, Hung Kay, Daniel 周鴻奇, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Catholic
  • Christianity
  • Divine violence
  • Genocide
  • Orthodox
  • Alt. title: 《舊約中的神聖暴力:香港聖經老師的觀點和教授方法》
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2020.


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