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I recently hosted a 3-part guest blog series by Eric Seibert (Messiah College) on the topic of God’s violence in the Old Testament (part one here). It’s a touchy subject for some, and the comments left over several days reflect the diverse points of view people hold, and generally with both respect and passion.

Not unexpected, some comments voice very strong opinions that leave little room for give and take–as if the commenter is the very voice of God. Those sorts of comments rarely generate anything beyond a quick glance–until today, this morning at 10:27 to be precise, when Jesus himself paid me a visit and left a comment.

It’s amazing how so many of you feel you can change my words as you see fit to serve you own personal ends. I wrote the bible along side my father to leave behind a record for mankind, since then you have committed endless blasphemy claiming it is my will and disobeyed my command. This shall go no further, submit before my word, or be judged before my will.

You can imagine my reaction. I was all set to stop blaspheming and submit to Jesus and be judged by him when a thought occurred. Knowing Jesus’ penchant for engaging in dialogue with both friend and foe in the Gospel stories, I thought I would follow that pattern and see if there was some way I could engage him in further reflection on this matter.

Submitted on 2013/02/08 at 12:17 pm | In reply to Jesus Christ.

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for taking the time to post on my blog. I had no idea I attracted so much attention.
Thank you for writing the Bible along side of God and for giving us a record. I am sorry we are so bad at understanding it. Please do not judge us before your will–at least until I have a chance to explain.

You see—if I may, knowing how you can’t wait to judge us–some of us who are really trying to pay attention to your book get very confused about what exactly it wants from us. For example, why did you and God say in one part of the Bible that killing our enemies–even women and children–was your will, but then, you and God change your mind about all that in other parts (the parts where you are speaking, Jesus)? Also, please clarify, if you would, that part about smashing the heads of Babylonian babies against the rocks, and also the part where drowning everyone on earth was the best way to deal with sin way early in the book you wrote, but later you took a very different approach.

Those are just some questions I and others have had since the days of the Apostle Paul. I have other questions, and if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask them at some other time, if you haven’t judged me by then.

See you Sunday.

It goes without saying I will let you know if I get a response.

Pete Enns, Ph.D.

Peter Enns (Ph.D., Harvard University) is Abram S. Clemens professor of biblical studies at Eastern University in St. Davids, Pennsylvania. He has written numerous books, including The Bible Tells Me So, The Sin of Certainty, and How the Bible Actually Works. Tweets at @peteenns.