Also check out the statements attributed to “Julian” regarding the Garden of Eden in the “Comments” section here.
I have always been aware of the incredible difference between the war -mongering, bloodthirsty deity of the OT and the NT portrait of Christ who seems to pretty much dismiss the “vengeance is mine” aspects.
Personally I have come to think that the OT should be read in the same way we read the Icelandic sagas or the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. A kind of quasi-historical account of Iron age hebraic tribal warfare.
The vileness of the deity described there can be seen by his treatment of the tribe of Dan in Judges 18-20. Firstly he blesses them as they slaughter rape and pillage a town called “Laish” who’s only sin was, apparently to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Then, having decided not to directly punish the actual gang rape and murder of a woman at Gibeah (as he did with an ATTEMPTED gang rape at Sodom) he calls them to be part of the confederation of tribes against the town of Gibeah. This is clearly not a God I would wish to have any dealings with.He strikes me as being utterly amoral and capricious in fact. Thought of as a tribal record, however, it is possible to imagine these tribes believing all this stuff to be the will of their particular deity. Not only does it absolve one of the need to reconcile this stuff with any notion of the divine, but it absolves that divine of this putrefying mass of untreated sewage and he retains his transcendency.
Anyway the article here is what is important, not my waffle.