As It Is Written . . .

Dark Passages of the Bible

by Patrick Henry Reardon

Not long ago, in a Q&A session following a lecture, someone inquired of me, "How do you reconcile children to the violent stories found in the Old Testament?"

My response went along these lines: "I believe this is a bogus problem. In truth, I have never met a child disturbed by violence in literature. In my experience, on the contrary, children take narrative barbarity very much in stride, whether in the Bible, or the Brothers Grimm, or anywhere else."

For example, children expect a bad wolf in a good story to fall to the sword or the ax—they depend on it—whether on the last page . . .

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of Christ in the Psalms, Christ in His Saints, and The Trial of Job (all from Conciliar Press). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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