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The Bible is the most widely read and translated book in the world, and its influence is immeasurable. Nonetheless, according to Gerd Ludemann, its use by Christians is highly selective. Ludemann asks, what about those parts of the Bible that contain God's command to exterminate entire peoples or those texts which demonize other faiths? He focuses first on the practice of Holy War and then on the anti-Judaism of New Testament writings. He also tackles the question of how, given this destructive side of Scripture, we can continue to be Christians. In response, he points to the person of Jesus and his example.
Gerd Ludemann is Professor of New Testament at the University of Gottingen in Germany and Director of the Institute of Early Christian Studies. He taught for several years at Vanderbilt Divinity School and has authored several works of New Testament scholarship, including What Really Happened to Jesus: A Historical Approach to the Resurrection.