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December 2017 Vol. 55 No. 4

Fortress Press/Augsburg Fortress

The following review appeared in the December 2017 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email


Boyd, Gregory A. The Crucifixion of the warrior god: interpreting the Old Testament's violent portraits of God in light of the Cross. Fortress, 2017. 2v bibl indexes ISBN 9781506420752 pbk, $59.00; ISBN 9781506420769 ebook, contact publisher for price.

Many students of the Bible take exception to the kinds of hate, violence, and genocide attributed to God in the Old Testament, and Jesus appears to have done the same, particularly in his Sermon on the Mount. Many Christians hold that Jesus is authoritative in this regard, but they also hold that the Bible, including the Old Testament, is inspired by God. A key question concerns how the two positions can be reconciled. Boyd (formerly, Bethel Univ.) proposes that all of the Bible is inspired, or "God-breathed," but that all of it must be interpreted via Jesus’s portrait of God as nonviolent and even self-sacrificially loving toward all people, even enemies. Boyd explains how the biblical texts of hate, violence, and genocide bear witness to the God of self-giving love represented in the Cross of Jesus. The moral character of this kind of God is Boyd's standard for interpreting all biblical texts. He contrasts this "cruciform hermeneutic" with its competitors in volume 1, and identifies its main implications for theology in volume 2.

--P. K. Moser, Loyola University Chicago

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.