Reading the Conquest

Watch The Bible Project’s overview video on the book of Joshua, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In Joshua, after Moses' death, Joshua leads Israel and they settle in the promised land currently occupied by Canaanites. #Joshua #TheBibleProject #BibleVideo

Strategy for Reading Joshua - PART 0: Introduction

So, how do we read the conquest? How do we understand the book of Joshua as a part of God’s words to us? This is a big challenge for many of us who can’t reconcile what seems to be happening in the story with a definition of goodness. And it will take some work to understand what’s being said in this story.

We start by remembering that we’re not reading the news updates on our smart phones. This is a consistent reminder that the Bible is full of ancient stories and texts that have different starting points and different questions to answer than most of the contemporary writings that we are used to reading. Before we can get to “what is God saying to us” we must first answer the question “what was God speaking to them?” With all their values, concerns, questions and hopes. So one of our first questions is to ask, “how would ancient people read the Joshua story?” 

And that is what we’ll be focusing on over the next several weeks as we walk through the book. For now, try to get your mind inside the story. How would an ancient person read this? What is the logic and values assumed in the story by the major characters? 

So read on!