Have you ever wondered why God commanded the Israelites to devote the Canaanites to destruction? Have you ever wondered why some of the patriarchs like Jacob had more than one wife?
The fundamental teaching of Scripture is absolutely clear: God created the world. Man sinned. God chose the line of Abraham to be the one through which the Savior would come. The Son of God became incarnate, born of a virgin, so that He might live, suffer and die to redeem the world from sin. He rose from the dead and promises that all who trust in Him will do the same.
Yet the Bible also presents teachings that are sometimes difficult or unclear because they do not fit our cultural assumptions or the way our corrupted sinful flesh thinks about God.
The October issue of The Lutheran Witness (LW) takes up a number of these difficult teachings. It discusses God’s command to devote the Canaanites to destruction, the practice of polygamy in the Old Testament, the Bible’s teaching on slavery, Law and Gospel, the bondage of the will, and Jesus’ saying that one must hate his father or mother to be one of His disciples. The issue will stretch your understanding of God and how He interacts with the world. But it will also give you an opportunity for growth in the Word of God.
This issue is a counterpart to the August 2022 issue of LW. That issue addressed the seeming contradictions of Scripture; this one addresses difficult teachings of Scripture. Both issues grew out of two pamphlets written by William Arndt (1880–1957), which Concordia Publishing House (CPH) has helpfully bound into a single volume, Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions.
Posted Oct. 16, 2023