Jewish Journal

The deadliest books ever published

by Brad A. Greenberg

October 23, 2007 | 4:45 pm

A Croatian Web site offers its list of books that have “changed the world and because of which the bloodiest wars were waged.” The Bible comes in second, right behind Mein Kampf and just ahead of the Communist Manifesto. Here’s the analysis:

The book that founded three great world religions and on which, whether they would like to admit so or not, all societies of the West were founded. The book took milleniums to write.  It originates from ancient Jewish texts that, at least as far as Christians are concerned, make up the foundation of the Old Testament. The book speaks of the salvation of the Jewish people and their arrival to the Promised Land, while the New Testament speaks about Jesus and his sacrifice for the sins of the world. Despite its relatively benign content, the text became one of the chief incentives for some of the biggest massacres mankind has seen.

Controversial idea: Jesus is not a common prophet, but the son of God.

Death toll: If we stick only to the Crusades which lasted a good 200 years, the death toll according to some estimates, is a respectable five million.

Not quite accurate because the “Bible” is not the same book for Muslims and Christians and Jews. But it’s hard to argue that belief in a monotheistic God that began with Abraham has caused a lot of bloodshed.

The Communist Manifesto also seems to be given a free pass in the political killings of Joseph Stalin, whose victims range from 3 million to 60 million. I also wonder if “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” and Luther’s “On the Jew and Their Lies” deserve a place for influencing Hitler.

(Hat tip: DMN religion blog)

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