Are the crusades and wars in general, a biblical command?

In this article, the bible and by transit property Christianity and the God of Christianity stand accused by many people as a violent religion and a bloodthirsty book.


So we will simulate a discussion between two people.


Person 1: “The savage Christians butchered innocent people in the middle east. People who did no crime and waged no war. The Christians killed millions of innocent people!”

Person 2: “Do you mean Christians killed millions of innocent Muslims during the crusades?”

Person 1: “Yes. not only in the crusades. God’s people committed mass genocide against so many people throughout the old testament, they did all that in the name of their God ”

Person 2: “And you also mean that the savage Christians waged an unprovoked unjust war against innocent Muslim people who did nothing to deserve something that horrible? Also in general, you are claiming that the God of the bible is a violent and murderous God?”

Person 1: “Yes.”

Person 2: “Where can I check these facts? Do you have sources that can explain this issue in detail from a geopolitical perspective?”

Person 1: “No, why should I explain it to you? We all learned about it in school. You are just ignorant! You should know all of that, you just claim not to know because you are a white supremacist and a racist!”


Prelude to the answer

The assertion that Christians killed millions of innocent people during the Crusades is a highly controversial and contested claim. While it is true that there were instances of violence and atrocities committed during the Crusades, it is important to examine this issue from a geopolitical perspective and consider the historical context in which these events took place.

Several reliable academic sources have produced works that support the defensive nature of the Crusades, arguing that they were a response to centuries of Muslim aggression and expansionism. For example, historian Thomas F. Madden argues that the Crusades were a just war and a necessary response to the Islamic conquests of Christian lands, such as Syria, Egypt, and the Holy Land. Similarly, historian Rodney Stark has written extensively on the defensive nature of the Crusades, contending that they were a response to Muslim attacks on Christian pilgrims and a defense of the Byzantine Empire.

Moreover, there were several ancient Middle Eastern historians who wrote about the Crusades and their defensive nature. For instance, Ibn al-Athir, a 13th-century Muslim historian, wrote that the Crusaders came to the Holy Land in response to Muslim aggression and oppression of Christians. Additionally, the 14th-century Arab historian Ibn Khaldun wrote that the Crusades were a just war fought in defense of Christianity.

It is important to note that the idea that Christians killed millions of innocent Muslims during the Crusades is a gross exaggeration and a distortion of historical facts. While there were instances of violence and atrocities committed by both sides, the scale of the conflict and the number of casualties are hotly debated among historians.

It is, therefore, essential to approach the issue of the Crusades with a nuanced and critical perspective, considering the historical context and examining reliable academic sources. The notion that the Crusades were an unprovoked, unjust war waged by savage Christians against innocent Muslims is a highly disputed claim that requires further scrutiny and examination.

I would like to offer a comprehensive analysis of this issue from various viewpoints, including historical, philosophical, and religious perspectives. It is important to note that the religious perspective will be examined in detail to demonstrate unequivocally that the Bible and Christianity as a whole do not endorse any form of warfare carried out by human beings.


Religious perspectives


The Old Testament.


Wars of the Old Testament

Are not the wars of the Old Testament considered genocide and racial purification? Are not the methods and ethics of war in the Old Testament considered atrocities? Asking such a question using this logic presents a flawed inquiry.

It is judging the ethics of a war that took place thousands of years ago with the ethics and ideas of the 21st century. A mental condition known as PRESENTISM. (a fallacious way of thinking that involves judging past events and people by contemporary standards, values, and beliefs. It is the belief that current social, political, and moral standards should be used to evaluate the past, rather than understanding it within its historical context.

Presentism can lead to misinterpretations of historical events and figures, and it can also overlook important factors that may have contributed to past events. Historians and scholars generally try to avoid presentism and instead seek to understand the past in its own context.)  

Now, there are the United Nations, treaties, and laws for human rights and the Geneva Convention for prisoners of war. Were all of these systems and laws available and internationally agreed upon for the Israelites to comply with during the Old Testament era, around 3,500 years ago or more? Were the Amorites or the Canaanites in the year 3500 BCE bound by the Geneva Convention signed in 1945? Would those ancient peoples have treated prisoners of war according to the standards of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights?


It is inappropriate and unscientific to judge events that occurred 3500 years ago with present-day logic. These events should be evaluated within the context of their time and place. If we objectively examine the historical and cultural context, do we find that the Israelites were more violent than the surrounding peoples? Were they the only ones wielding weapons while other peoples welcomed them with flowers? Or was what we now consider barbaric and savage behavior normal in those distant times?

We should ask the question from a different perspective. Were the methods employed by the ancient Israelites in warfare more or less violent than those of the surrounding peoples? Did the peoples of the region come bearing flowers to welcome the Israelites, but the Jews still chose to kill and slaughter them? All the peoples of the earth were fighting and killing each other with the same laws in those days. The Israelites had weapons because there was an Israelite people at that time.

We should not forget that every era has its own laws, methods, and ethics. The laws of the twenty-first century are valid for the twenty-first century, and it is neither appropriate nor acceptable to judge the people of the distant past by our current laws and ethics.

What is strange in this situation is that when critics read historical texts such as Sumerian or Pharaonic texts, they always try to understand the context, historical and social circumstances surrounding the text. They also try to understand the psychological circumstances of the author of the text. Why, then, doesn’t the Gospel deserve the same fair opportunity? Why is the Gospel judged before a verdict is even pronounced? The internationally agreed legal principle is that the accused is innocent until proven guilty! So why is the Gospel accused before any verdict is even pronounced?

The texts of wars in the Old Testament are now universally regarded by both Christians and Jews as descriptive and historical narratives, rather than mandatory orders or obligations upon those who follow Judaism or Christianity. As a Christian, I am not obliged to carry the Ark of the Covenant and march around the walls of Jericho blowing a trumpet. This is not because I reject my faith or disbelieve in the holy scriptures, but simply because the general understanding among Christians and Jews is that this text is a historical narrative of what happened in the past, rather than a mandatory commandment for all believers.

There is no notion of defensive jihad or offensive war in the Bible, and therefore jihad is not a prescribed obligation for those who follow this scripture. All of those wars were defensive wars and were never offensive wars. The Jews did not go to Egypt or Babylon to wage revengeful wars in response to centuries of humiliation and enslavement, nor did we ever see them going to war with distant lands to spread their beliefs or religion.

But does all of this justify killing children, women, and animals? Does a defensive war require all of this bloodshed and brutality?


The Killing was not directed specifically towards children or any specific group. Rather, it was mentioned not to spare anyone, because if you showed pity towards them and the animals, you would lose the war. They would exploit that and it would be your weakness. And if they captured you, they would do the same to you, they would kill you! So, the matter is simply: to be or not to be.

If the people of Israel treated these primitive tribes with the human rights and geneva convention logic that would be invented and decided upon after thousands of years, these tribes certainly would not adhere to principles that were unfamiliar to their time and that no one living in that ancient time knew about. The evidence of this is that children and animals were used as shields. For example, in Jericho they used children and animals as human shields when the people of Israel besieged them. This was also a normal thing in those days! And it still happens in some places in our time, as ISIS terrorists used children and women as human shields!

These are difficult choices, war is always a difficult choice. It is a bloody matter at all times. We have never heard of a white or clean war, because the death of any human being is terrible. War was never the first choice of the people of Israel. War was necessary and essential for survival. If they had any other choice, they would have chosen peace. But in this case, they had no choice, and sometimes survival requires war, a logic that has not changed to this day.

In the context of objectively studying the historical context of these tribal communities, we must mention that loyalty was to the tribe and blood. When children in any tribe or clan grow up and their loyalty strengthens, they seek revenge for their fathers. Honor crimes and revenge still occur almost daily in the Arab world. The tribal mentality has not changed much until now.


Racism and Xenophobia of God in the Old Testament

Isn’t the idea of God’s chosen people a racist idea?

In the Bible, there is no concept of a better or superior nation. All humans are equal before God. We do not see the Lord covering up or justifying the sins of his people, as the people of Israel are not the best or the finest, but on the contrary, we find many verses in the scripture that rebuke this people. For example, in the book of Isaiah, the Holy Scripture says through the prophet Isaiah, “The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib; but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” (Isaiah 1:3). And in other places, we find the Holy Scripture calling on all people to turn to God and to follow his commandments, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.

Hosea 13:16 “The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.”

“Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God. Your sins have been your downfall!” Hosea 1:14

“Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary.” Ezekiel 9:6

The selection here that led to their being called the chosen people of God is not a preferential choice, but a choice that carries responsibility. For as much as God loves them, so too does his wrath and punishment fall upon them. Accountability comes with knowledge. This is a simple and understandable logic, as being close to the king always puts one in a sensitive position, as his proximity to the king makes him accountable to the king! Therefore, it is not permissible for one of those close to the throne to be a thief or an oppressor because this makes the king himself a part of this improper act. For example, we have not seen the Lord turn a blind eye to their sins, or forget or cover up their wicked deeds, but we see Him punishing them and handing them over to captivity for hundreds of years, and even closing His ears to them for generations until their souls are straightened out and their deeds are repaired. And why did God treat them this way, despite them being His chosen people in the Old Covenant? Is it because God is contradictory and hates the people He chose, from whom the Redeemer would come? Certainly not! For God is perfect, and falsehood does not come to Him from behind or in front of Him, but because they were never a complete people as some might think, they were never a people superior to other peoples or above them. Therefore, our holy God does not use double standards, and does not prefer any of His children over another. Like the people of Israel, they are like all human beings and peoples, and we see the Lord more merciful and forgiving to the rest of the peoples of the earth in many other instances than His forgiveness and tolerance towards a people once called the chosen. For the Lord’s choice of the people of Israel was for the coming of the Messiah from them, not for their glory, wisdom, or favor. We deduce this from the words of the Holy Scripture in Deuteronomy, “The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 7:8-7)

They were never the strongest, most powerful, or purest of peoples on earth. However, being called the chosen people of God placed upon them great responsibilities and a great burden of accountability. They were not given any privileges or authority. It is also important to consider the whole picture by taking the New Covenant into account. We have all become God’s people and chosen ones in Christ, as attested to by the Holy Scripture. “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.'” (Matthew 25:34). Hence, it has become clear that all the earth has become God’s people, with all its races, tribes, and tongues, as we read in the Book of Revelation: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9). To emphasize the purposes of the Holy Scripture, we read the following: “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12). The scripture used the word “all,” meaning there is no preference for Jews over Gentiles or Arabs over non-Arabs, but rather all people from all corners of the earth without distinction. This is further emphasized by the words of Christ, “And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” (John 17:22).

“Whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:40) This statement includes a clear implication, as seen in preceding verses, that salvation is for all races, colors, languages, and tongues, gathering all of humanity without racism or discrimination against ethnicity or tribe.

The objective analysis of the narratives of the Holy Bible proves without a doubt that the God of the Bible is just and clear, and far from racism in form and content. Therefore, He calls and accepts everyone without racial or discriminatory distinctions. If God were racist, He would have treated the people of Israel with special treatment, forgiven them for their sins and wrongdoings without accountability or punishment, and punished other peoples and treated them harshly for no reason other than their not following Him or not being Jews. We clearly see in the book of Genesis that God blessed all peoples of the earth through Abraham, saying, “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3). If the God of the Holy Bible were racist, how could He bless all the peoples of the earth through Abraham and not just the people of Israel?



The new Testament

The main accusation goes to the following verses.


“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34)

“Then he said to them, ‘But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.'” (Luke 22:36)

“So they said, ‘Lord, look, here are two swords.’ And He said to them, ‘It is enough.'” (Luke 23:38)

Luke 19:27: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Luke 22:36″And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”

These are the texts that are taken out of context by critics and used to support their claim that Jesus Christ our Lord commanded his followers to carry swords and that his message aimed at casting swords on the ground and igniting wars. The strangest thing about this criticism is that its author sometimes searches for the word “sword” throughout the entire Bible and comes up with the result telling you: “Look how many times the word ‘sword’ is mentioned in your book.” However, he fails to realize that the texts in which the word “sword” appears are either parts of historical narrative stories that detail ancient wars or even parts that talk about the end of wars and the arrival of peace: “He shall judge between many peoples, and shall decide for strong nations far away; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Micah 4:3)

Let us examine these Gospel texts that the critic relies on in his claim: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” This phrase was said by Christ to his disciples in his first mission to the people of Israel and to the nations, and that is why he told them, “Do not go on the road to the Gentiles.” Therefore, the people of the mission are the disciples and their relatives, those who cling to Judaism and the teachings of the Pharisees. For Christ, he is the owner of a new call, and for every new call, there is strong and harsh opposition that can reach some to the extent of expelling their sons from their homes in case they embrace this call and leave their fathers’ religion. Christ tells his disciples in advance that this will happen because he did not come to appease the contemporary religious leaders. He did not come to bring peace to Israel, but “division,” as stated in the parallel text in Luke 12:51. Therefore, whoever clings to this will leave his relatives who reject him, even if they are his family. This is the sword of division that Christ cast on the land of Israel, and that is why he said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 10:23). Christ did not rely on his mission to the nations at this time because the earth is not the whole world, but it is the land qualified to undergo the sword of division because it has an ancient religion and a new belief. In this mission, the disciples are sent to their own people, with no risk of being killed, no long-distance travel, so there is no need for a sword or the gold and silver necessary for supplies, no provider, no two clothes, no shoes, not even a stick because the journey is internal.


And he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one” (Luke 22:36). The scene has changed now, as Christ is going to die on the cross, and the disciples are not going to their own people in Israel, but to all the nations, to Samaria and the ends of the earth. That is why Christ mentioned it in the first mission and how he did not lack anything. But now they will travel extensively and be exposed to the dangers of the road and wild beasts, so they need to carry a sword to defend themselves against the dangers of the road and wild beasts. The disciples understood this to be necessary at the moment of Christ’s words, but Christ did not mean this now, but he meant “from now on” you must buy swords to protect yourselves in your mission so that the saying “and he who has no sword must sell his garment and buy one” is fulfilled. Without swords, they are not sinful, but the disciples understood that the Lord wanted swords for an upcoming mission. They did not understand his intention well, which made him say to them, when Peter said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords,” He said, “It is enough.” Not for making war or defending themselves in their mission, but it is enough to fulfill the prophecy “and he who has no sword must sell his garment and buy one.” Some people think that Christ meant the sword as a metaphorical word, but this interpretation does not match the context of the text. Others believed that Christ rebuked them for not understanding his words correctly, but he did not mean this. Christ meant that these two swords were enough now for something else after they did not understand his first intention.


These are the words of Christ during the Last Supper, and on the table there were at least two knives for cutting food. At that time, it was permissible for a Jewish person to carry a knife while traveling to defend themselves against robbers and highwaymen, as well as for use in cutting fruit or the like. In Greek, the word for knife is “machirah,” which is the same word translated as “sword,” which is what Peter asked about when he said, “Shall I strike with the sword?” This is the same Greek word that all Greek dictionaries give this definition for: “a short sword or dagger,” or according to Thayer’s Lexicon, word number 3162 means “a large knife,” which was used to kill animals and cut meat, or a small sword to distinguish it from a larger sword.


the disciples had these two large knives on the table during the Last Supper, and they could be used on the table or for self-defense. When Jesus said to them, “This is enough,” he did not mean it was enough to fend off the coming war or to attack others as Peter did and used this knife to attack the criminal attackers. Rather, Jesus’ thought does not include either the sword of battle or jihad to spread the true religion. He said on one occasion to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath” (John 18:11), as its place is not in the bodies of people, but rather it is permissible to use it to defend yourself on the road at the time. “For all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). Jesus’ words were for specific people, namely the disciples, for a specific purpose, which is the mission and fulfillment of prophecy. But the general principle for him is to abandon the use of the sword. Jesus is the king of peace, the head of peace, the possessor of peace, and the maker of peace. The sword is not a sign of belief in him or a source of pride.


It has become clear that the Christian belief does not involve laws or rules of war. Instead, it contains the foundations of peace and love for all humans. The Holy Scripture did not say that if a Christian slaps you, turn the other cheek, nor did it say to save all Christians as much as you can. It said to save all people without specifying their ethnicity, lineage, religion, or group.

Luke 19:27 “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. is a frequently criticized verse in the New Testament due to its use by some individuals to argue that Jesus is depicted as a violent figure, Some ignorant people have misconstrued this verse to suggest that Christianity advocates for killing. However, what they don’t know is that this verse is among the most profound in the New Testament, and it has a historical background that confirms the reliability of the New Testament text. It is part of a parable that Jesus Christ used to illustrate the story of a king named Archelaus, who wanted to rule over the Jews. The Jews rejected his proposal, saying they did not want Archelaus to rule over them. Nevertheless, Archelaus became king and slaughtered all his enemies. Jesus used the phrase “Archelaus” in the parable to refer to his Second Coming and Judgment Day.

When the Lord Jesus spoke the parable, he wanted the Jews to think about what happened during the days of their rejection of Archelaus and what Archelaus did when he ruled over them. The speaker Archelaus in the quotation that the Lord Jesus quoted, so the Jews believed that the Messiah was the earthly king who would establish the kingdom of David, restore its glory, and lead a revolution against the Roman rule.

The Bible Reader’s Companion states that the background of the parable presented by Jesus, which is the parable of the ten minas, involves Archelaus, son of Herod the Great, who hurried to Rome to seek permission to rule as king. However, his request was rejected by the Jewish subjects. Herod granted him power and authority, and he returned. One can imagine what happened to those who took a stand against him. With these events in mind, Jesus depicted himself as one who, like Archelaus, was rejected but would return and reign. The parable corrects the idea that the kingdom of God is about to appear on earth immediately, as in Numbers 11.

The Bible Exposition Commentary confirms that Jesus knew that many people hoped for his kingdom to be established. Therefore, he gave the parable to clarify the matter. When Herod the Great died, he left the Jewish rule to Archelaus, who was to go to Rome to be approved as king. However, the Jews rejected him, saying that they did not want Archelaus to be their king. They sent 50 men to argue their case with Augustus Caesar.

The Bible Guide, which includes an index, narrates that Jesus added a touch of objectivity to the parable for those who did not want to have a king. They sent a delegation to protest against his kingship. This happened when Herod died, and Archelaus, his son, went to Rome to be appointed king of the Jews. However, he was met with some rejection by a delegation from the Jews. King Augustus Caesar allowed Archelaus to rule only a part of his father’s kingdom, and he refused to grant him the status of king.

As for Luke 22:36″And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”

The word for “sword” μάχαιρα (machaira) can mean either a dagger or a large knife. It is the same word used in Genesis 22:6, “And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife (μάχαιρα, machaira) they went both of them together.” In Luke 22:36, Jesus instructs his disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword, indicating that they may need to defend themselves against potential threats. The meaning of the word “sword” in this context is likely a larger weapon used in combat rather than a small knife or dagger.

The reason for the disciples’ request for swords is logical, as they were going to Samaria and to the ends of the earth, where there was no air travel or transportation. They would have to camp in the desert and rest, and this machaira (a large knife or dagger) was primarily used for hunting and cutting meat and fish. They would certainly need it and also use it for protection against animals and road hazards. Jesus told the disciples that he would be numbered among the transgressors, indicating that it was time to go to death and the cross, and they needed to go to multiple distant places. Those who go to the desert take their staff and machaira for protection and cutting meat. The knife has no relation here to attacking others to rob them of what they have, but rather for protection and personal use.


But the disciples did not understand Jesus’ words, and that’s why they said to him, “Here are two swords.” And Jesus said, “That is enough.” This means it is enough because you did not understand, and it does not mean that two swords are enough for a battle, as there were only twelve disciples, so how would two swords be enough for them?

The Lord Jesus said in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” Therefore, Jesus did not ask anyone to fight for him.

In Matthew 26:52, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”

The second interpretation is that Jesus tells them that their protection will be their responsibility. The sword is a symbol of protection, and he tells them that they will need to protect themselves, even if they have to sell their clothes, because protection is a priority.

In the book of Barton, B. B., Veerman, D., Taylor, L. C., & Osborne, G. R. (1997). Luke. Life application Bible commentary (505). Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House Publishers.

Jesus told his disciples that the situation would change, as he condemned the use of the sword against the servant of the high priest in Luke 22:49-51. His words suggest that they will face difficult days ahead and they should not rely on his physical presence and guidance, but take care of themselves. The sword was for protection, not aggression, and the Church maintained a non-violent approach in the face of persecution, as recorded in Acts 4:25-31, Acts 8:1-3, Acts 9:1-2, and Acts 12:1-5. Therefore, they would need great courage to protect themselves more than they would need their clothing.


The complete religious picture hyperlinked through space-time

To complete the picture, we must mention that the Old Testament was followed by the New Testament, which brought a revolution and a qualitative transfer with new laws and commandments that rise to spiritual and physical perfection. As Christians, we do not hold accountable what happened thousands of years before us, as we are not Jews and we do not testify to Jesus Christ. Anyone who reads the New Testament clearly sees that the doctrine of Christianity is far from violence and fighting, but rather leans towards absolute peace in most cases, as confirmed by the holy texts in the gospel of Matthew: “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword!” (Matthew 26:52) “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18) And to complete and crown this absolute peace, the commandments of the Lord Jesus come in the full sermon on the mount in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter five, where he said…

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.”

To map this hyperlinkage, let us focus on these questions and use them to bridge the old testament to the New Testament.

  • Is the God of the New Testament the same as the God of the Old Testament? Did God change?
  • Does God desire destruction and devastation?
  • Why do we find wars in the Old Testament but not as much in the New Testament?
  • What is the difference between the wars in the Old Testament and other wars?
  • How can we understand wars in light of divine revelation?
  • If some nations are guilty, what is the fault of children in the conquest of Canaan or in other places?
  • The Conquest of Canaan.


Some people view God as suffering from schizophrenia, where the outward appearance of God changes without affecting His essence. The outward change may be viewed as a split personality or what is known in psychology as a dissociative identity disorder, which is different from schizophrenia where one part of the person is psychological and the other part is intellectual, regardless of the content. Some people delude themselves into thinking that the God of the Old Testament is different from the God of the New Testament and that they are two different Gods. The God of the Old Testament is seen as a racial purifier, a bloodthirsty deity by Richard Dawkins, and as a bloody racist by Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud in his book “The Beginning and End of Israel”. Christopher Hitchens also stated that the Old Testament contains a lot of senseless massacre. Many critics of Christianity have criticized the Old Testament, finding in their harsh criticism a means of casting doubt on the word of God, and they have accused the Lord of committing crimes against humanity. They continued to deceive the simple-minded by distorting the image of the holy and loving God, using the principle of the end justifies the means, with the goal of discrediting the Bible by means of internal criticism. They justify what they believe in through what is known as “projection,” which is taking what is within themselves and attributing it to the text. But the fact remains, the Bible is stronger than their attempts, which end in failure, just as others before them have tried for hundreds of years. Let us ask, then, are these criticisms directed towards the Old Testament true? Is God in the Old Testament bloody? Does He want to destroy and call for genocide against innocent men, women, and children? Is the God of the Old Testament different from this loving God in the New Testament? This is the subject of our study, and the question remains a primary axis.

Is the God of the New Testament the same as the God of the Old Testament? Did God change?

Many critics of Christianity argue that the God of the Old Testament is fundamentally different from the God of the New Testament. They believe that the God of the Old Testament does not represent the God of the New Testament, who calls for love. This was also the case in the appearance of the heresy of Marcion and the dualistic view, which rejected the God of the Old Testament. Marcion rejected the Old Testament scriptures and deleted what the New Testament contained of teachings related to the Jewish faith. Luke’s gospel was retained, but only after the deletion of the first chapters of the prophecy of the lineage of Jesus and all that relates to Jewish beliefs. Luke’s gospel retains ten of the epistles of Paul after deleting what contradicts his ideas and relies on the Old Testament. He also deleted pastoral epistles.

In fact, the separation and dualistic view of God was not a new concept, as it existed in the early Church. The objectors describe God according to their whims and their lack of sufficient knowledge of the Scriptures and what it declares. The Bible declares to us that God has no change or variation: “For I am the Lord, I change not.” (Malachi 3:6) The Psalmist states: “My days are like a lengthened shadow, And I wither away like grass. But You, O Lord, abide forever, And Your name to all generations.” (Psalm 102: 11-12)

God is eternal and unchanging, and does not undergo any alteration in any aspect, nor do His attributes, prophecies, or promises change. He does not experience what is known as abrogation, but remains as He is, with His purposes and essence, forever. Saint Augustine said, “As we know that you alone are the true and only existing one, so we know that you alone exist without change, and the desired without change.” Therefore, God does not change, even if we are unfaithful, for He remains faithful until the end. The Bible unequivocally responds to the issue of change, stating that the holy, loving God of the Old Testament cannot change, and the same is true of the God of the New Testament, where Christ is described as “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Both the Old and New Testaments reveal the love of God from the beginning of creation and its unfolding, and demonstrate God’s love for humankind. In the Old Testament, the punishment of God does not contradict the attribute of love, as love is the guidance of others towards repentance. When Adam returned to God, God loved him, even though He said that he would surely die on the day he ate from the tree. Therefore, it can be concluded that God loves Adam.

However, with God’s love for Adam, there is also the holiness of God that calls for judgment, but this judgment is always preceded by warnings. God did not send the flood or destroy the Canaanites without warning, for example, the period of building the ark was 120 years, during which Noah urged people to repent, but he encountered a lot of ridicule. So how could a person build an ark on dry land, and some people thought he was crazy. The judgment came after 120 years. It was possible to avoid God’s judgment if someone repented. The last resort for God was judgment, preceded by a warning. God waited for decades for some people to reach more than four hundred years together before their destruction. There was no future judgment without warning, and there was no warning without future judgment if they continued on their path in their way of life. God dealt with these people in many different ways, with many warnings. This is what our Lord Jesus Christ also declared when he said in Luke 13:34, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.” God wanted very much to gather his children, but after their rejection, judgment came. “Look, your house is left to you desolate” (Luke 13:38). Those who object that God has changed truly do not understand the essence of God and are ignorant of what is stated in the context of the texts we will discuss in detail later. God is eternal and does not change, and what reassures our hearts and minds is that he does not change with the passage of time.

Does God desire destruction and devastation?

Some wonder how a God of love and compassion could have acted in the past in such a way. Does God want destruction, killing, and devastation? Does He delight in punishing nations and destroying them? How does this align with the holiness of God and His love for humanity? Let us see what God really wants. Divine revelation in the book of Ezekiel 33:11 says, “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’” So, God does not delight in the death of the wicked, but rather in their repentance and turning away from the path leading to eternal death. Similarly, in the New Testament, God is a God who delights in repentance. This is also mentioned in the Old Testament, where divine revelation confirms that God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23).

Therefore, those who claim that God desires destruction or that He is bloodthirsty are lying and slandering the God who is merciful and loving. We find that God did not destroy Pharaoh’s army without giving warnings by Moses multiple times. We will see this in detail later. The Bible tells us about God’s patience with generations, such as in Genesis 15:16 where it is mentioned that the iniquity of the Amorites was not yet complete. God is patient for hundreds of years before He destroys these nations. The last resort for God is punishment. Therefore, God is merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in kindness. In Exodus 34:6, God declares, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.” He keeps kindness for thousands of generations, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin. Therefore, God proclaims that He is merciful, loving, and slow to anger, and that He is the God who calls for love: “Do not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18). We also see that God is full of mercy and forgiveness. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:8-10).

Some may argue that there is a significant amount of violence in the Old Testament that is blind to the truth, and that it fails to acknowledge the immense amount of love. This is affirmed by Deuteronomy 6:5 and the love of God, as well as His patience towards His people when they reject Him, as well as their worship of pagan gods in Hosea 9:7-11. Examples of love can be found in Deuteronomy 7:7-15, where the Lord is said to be attached to the Israelites and has chosen them, not because they are greater than any other people, but because of His love for them, His faithful promise to their ancestors, and His act of freeing them from slavery in Egypt. It is said that He will keep His covenant and show kindness to those who love and keep His commands for a thousand generations. The Lord will also curse those who hate Him, and not delay in punishing them.

In order for the Israelites to hear and observe these laws, they must be preserved and put into action. If they do this, the Lord will keep His covenant and loving-kindness with them, which He swore to their fathers. He will love and bless them, multiply their numbers and bless the fruit of their womb and their land, such as their wheat, wine, oil, and the young of their cattle and sheep. They will be blessed above all peoples and there will be no barrenness or infertility among them or their livestock. The Lord will remove from them all sickness, and will not afflict them with any of the terrible diseases of Egypt that they know. Instead, He will turn the curse into a blessing for them, as He did when He turned the curse of Balaam into a blessing for them because He loved them. This is seen in 1 Kings 10:9, where the Lord, the God of heaven, who is great and awesome, is blessed because He loves Israel forever, and has made Solomon king to execute justice and righteousness.

Similar concepts are also found in the New Testament, where we see the love of God as well as His wrath. We see His love in passages such as John 4:1-21 and John 3:16, and His wrath in passages such as Matthew 3:7, Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:5, John 3:36, and Romans 1:18. It is important to note that God does not change and cannot be rationally divided.

Why do we find wars in the Old Testament but not as much in the New Testament? What is the difference between the wars in the Old Testament and other wars?

Before delving into the issue of violence in the Old Testament against nations, it is believed that we must first address another important issue, which is that many people notice a lot of battles and wars in the Old Testament, while there is nothing of the sort in the New Testament, except for the Book of Revelation which presents prophecies about future wars. The reason, in short, is that the Old Testament contains a huge amount of history regarding the state of Israel that extends for nearly 1500 years, while the New Testament focuses on the ministry of Jesus Christ which lasted only three years.

It is also important to note that nations often go to war at times, as when we look at the wars waged by the United States, for example, in less than a hundred years, they waged World War I and II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to countless skirmishes. As much as one dislikes it, violence and war are a part of reality, and therefore, they are a part of history, and history is a part of the Old Testament. Thus, the Old Testament mentions wars because they are part of the history of the people of Israel, and there are strong spiritual indications of God standing with his people and supporting them.

What is the difference between the wars in the Old Testament and other wars?

One of the most important distinctions between wars in the Old Testament and wars in other religions is that Old Testament wars are limited and confined to specific times, whereas wars in some other religions may continue until the end of time, as they are unlimited and not confined by time. Additionally, Old Testament wars are limited and confined to specific places and were not directed towards the entire world, but rather towards specific peoples, such as the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.

Old Testament wars were not intended to spread or enforce a religion or belief, and the goal was not to expand religion through coercion. Judaism was not an evangelical religion, unlike wars in some other religions, which were intended to spread a belief or impose it.

Old Testament wars were not motivated by the desire for booty or profit, and did not seek to win the hearts of the warriors, unlike some other religions, which sought to profit from wars through spoils and booty.

Old Testament wars were not motivated by personal revenge, unlike some other religions, which were motivated by personal revenge.

Old Testament wars were punishment for crimes committed, and the current law punishes such crimes with the death penalty.

Old Testament wars were sometimes directed towards the Jewish people themselves, through punishment for breaking the commandments and covenant. They were not always directed towards other nations, as God is just and punishes those who sin.

The most important difference is that judgment came after many warnings from God, and not without warning.

Old Testament wars were not racist towards a particular people, as evidenced by God punishing Israel in the same way as other nations. For example, God punished Judah with Assyria and punished them by the hands of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Israel was the most punished people under God’s judgment in the Old Testament.

How can we understand wars in light of divine revelation?

To understand the wars in the Old Testament, we must first place them in two stages: first, place the event in its historical context, and then judge the event through the vision, society, and customs of that time. For example, you may come across a story in history about a king who is said to be “merciful,” and you find that this king was cold-bloodedly killing prisoners of war. Without a doubt, you would say that he is not merciful, not only because you judged him by today’s standards, but also because you removed the information from its historical context. But when you return to the historical context in which this king lived and read more deeply, you will ultimately learn that all the kings who preceded him actually burned their prisoners of war alive after gruesome torture, and that this king was the first to replace burning with killing. Only then will “killing” turn into mercy, and you will realize why this king was called merciful, and even believe that he was indeed merciful!

Similarly, we cannot judge the events of the Old Testament and view them through the standards and perspectives of the 20th century and its values and ethics, nor even through the standards of the 5th century, because by doing so, we place these events outside their original reference framework. Therefore, we only come out with a distorted, harsh, and violent image. On the other hand, we mistakenly attribute them to God, comparing them with a crime against humanity, as is often done today when looking back at ancient times, where slavery was not considered a crime or even an act of violence.

In the second stage, we consider whether certain texts speak of prophecies that God revealed in advance and then fulfilled. In such cases, we cannot view these texts as God’s commands with an essential result. Rather, they reveal God’s advance knowledge of events and an announcement to one of the prophets to warn people. Sometimes, such warnings had a positive meaning, as with the people of Nineveh, who believed in God and repented of their ways. In the third stage, we find that God, in the book of Genesis, hates the shedding of blood and imposes the death penalty on those who take another person’s life. Some people might accuse God of violence and murder, but this is an unscientific view. God gave people decades to repent, but they persisted in violating His commandments and following the path of perversion, sexual immorality, incest, murder, and other crimes. In such cases, God intervened as He did in Sodom and Gomorrah, through the flood, or by using one nation against another. God punished the Canaanites through the Israelites because of their many wickedness. In the fourth stage, we note that God’s advance knowledge of every person’s judgment prevents us from questioning why God judges people in a certain way. God’s perspective is different from ours since human reason is subject to time and place, while God is outside of time and place. The book says, “How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!” (Romans 11:33). In the fifth stage, we distinguish between human actions and human will. When the Old Testament mentions some acts of violence committed by humans against other humans or kings against other kings, we must examine whether they were at God’s command or against God’s will. God punishes the aggressor.

The sixth stage is the concept of punishment in a comprehensive manner – the punishment of God for evil nations: There was a punishment from God for evil nations in the Old Testament who disobeyed God, committed evil deeds, and attempted to entice God’s people to commit sin to corrupt and defile the land. The reason for God’s punishment of them was to contain evil so that society would not become contaminated, and to stop evil from spreading in their descendants. The cancerous cell must be removed so that the entire body does not become infected, just as a person with diabetes who has a foot ulcer that has become gangrenous must have the foot amputated (the left foot has become contaminated, and it is possible for the contamination and toxins it contains to be transferred to the rest of the body). The condition is dangerous, and the leg must be amputated.

This is the case with some nations that spread immoral behavior, such as incest, bestiality, and other shameful acts. Their wickedness sometimes led God to intervene directly in dealing with evil, such as in the case of the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and others. God, as we have mentioned, was slow to anger and did not punish directly, but waited for generation after generation, even giving some of them four hundred years to repent. The last resort for God was punishment.

If some nations are guilty, what is the fault of children in the conquest of Canaan or in other places?

One important point regarding the killing of children is that God has provided for those infants who did not have the chance to attain salvation if they had lived to reach the age of accountability. We must remember that the Canaanites were a barbaric and evil culture, so one can imagine that these infants and children, had they grown to adulthood, could have turned out like their parents and become wicked criminals deserving of punishment and eternal damnation in hell with Satan and his followers after they die. As most Christians believe, infants and young children who die before reaching the age of accountability go to heaven. Moreover, if God had allowed these Canaanite children to live and mature in a corrupt culture, we should remember the Scriptures that refer to all children who die before reaching the age of accountability as morally innocent and will be saved (2nd Samuel 12:23 and Matthew 19:14). Isaiah 7:15-16 also refers to the age of accountability. Before that, a child may not have the capacity to distinguish between right and wrong and thus not be guilty of any personal sin. God has given them eternal life that they could not have obtained if they had lived in a corrupt and evil culture like their parents, which is something we would not have expected. From the compassion and love of the Lord, he saved them before they faced destruction.

Another point to consider is who would protect and support these children without a father or mother. It is likely that they would face death due to hunger or other causes, regardless of whether they were allowed to live or not. The chances of survival for orphans were not good in the ancient Near East.

A third point to consider is that these children, upon reaching maturity, may have sought to fight against the Israelites. However, God protected His people.

In light of what was previously mentioned, we can understand the problematic issues raised by objectors to the Bible.

The Conquest of Canaan.

The sentence of execution was issued against a group of humans who deserved God’s judgment. This destruction was directed more towards the Canaanite religion than specifically targeting the Canaanites themselves (Deuteronomy 7:3-5). The destruction was not motivated by racism, but for justifiable reasons. It is known about the Canaanites that they engaged in deviant practices with animals, incest, child sacrifice, and sexual acts of perversion. God was preparing the world for the coming of Christ, and He was preparing the religious and historical climate that would make it possible for Israel’s enemies, including Egypt, Babylon, and Assyria, to feel the sense that Christ is coming to bring salvation, not just to Israel but also to Israel’s enemies. (Psalm 87:4-6; Isaiah 19:23-25)

When evaluating these events, it is important to take into consideration the depraved behavior of human beings. Norman Geisler in his book “The Canaanites” says that this culture was universally evil to the point where the Bible says that God was nauseated by them. They were characterized by cruelty, bestiality, incest, and prostitution with pagan rituals, even offering their children as sacrifices. They were an aggressive culture seeking to annihilate Israel.

It is worth mentioning that God gave the Canaanites a very long and sufficient time to repent, a quarter of a century, as mentioned in Genesis 15:16. In the book of Hebrews, it is mentioned that the Canaanites were the staff of wickedness, which refers to their moral crimes (Hebrews 11:31).

The Canaanites were aware of the strength of God (Joshua 2:10-11; 9:9), and Rahab’s example demonstrates that it was possible for the Canaanites to avoid destruction if they repented as stated in Joshua 2, and as Ezekiel said, the joy of the Lord is in the return of the wicked through repentance (Ezekiel 18:31-32; 33:11). God did not command the Israelites to kill non-combatants, and it is clear in the Bible that there was not a single case where they fought against the women of the Canaanites. This does not mean they were innocent, however, their shameful behavior is mentioned in Numbers 25. The question that arises is what about the children? This question has already been answered, but it must be considered that it is likely that they would have died anyway due to starvation or some other cause, without parents to protect and support them. The chances of survival for orphans were not good in the ancient Near East.

Finally, and most importantly, as we have previously mentioned, God provided for those infants who would not have had the opportunity to receive salvation if they had lived until the age of maturity. We must remember that the Canaanites were a barbaric and evil culture. One can imagine that these infants and children may have grown up to be just like their parents, filled with evil and brutality, and would have been condemned to hell after their death. However, we believe that infants, young children, and babies who die go to heaven. Moreover, the children of the Canaanites would have been in a much better situation if God had allowed them to live and grow to maturity in a corrupt culture.

In the end, the issue of violence is a difficult one, but we must understand that God sees things from a preeminent perspective, and His ways are not our ways. While it is God’s justice to punish sin, His mercy still extends to those who are willing to repent. In the destruction of Canaan, we see two important things: that God is merciful and compassionate, holy, and also capable of being angry.


The historical part of the Crucades (references are included inline)


In the year 632 CE, the Prophet Muhammad, the central figure of Islam and regarded as its founder, died in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Muhammad was born in Mecca, Arabia in 570 CE, and through his teachings, he spread Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula. After his death, his followers, known as Muslims, continued to expand the religion and its influence through military conquests.

Western ancient references to Muhammad include early Christian writings, such as the Epistle of John of Damascus, which provided a critical view of Islam and its prophet. The medieval Latin chronicle of the First Crusade, the Gesta Francorum, also referenced Muhammad and his religion. Eastern ancient references to Muhammad include the works of medieval Persian historians, such as Al-Tabari and Ibn Khaldun, who wrote extensively about his life and teachings.


  • Hodgson, M. G. S. (1974). The venture of Islam: conscience and history in a world civilization. University of Chicago Press.
  • Crone, P. (2008). Muhammad. Oxford University Press.
  • Hoyland, R. G. (2006). Seeing Islam as others saw it: A survey and evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian writings on early Islam. Darwin Press.


In the year 635 CE, the Muslim armies under the leadership of the Rashidun Caliphate launched an invasion into the region of Syria, which at that time was a predominantly Christian territory. The invasion was part of the expansionist policy of the early Islamic state, which aimed to spread its influence and control over neighboring regions.

The conquest of Syria by the Muslim armies is well documented in both Eastern and Western ancient references. According to Eastern sources such as the early Islamic historical works of Al-Tabari and Ibn Kathir, the Muslim armies successfully captured major cities in Syria such as Damascus and Homs, despite initial resistance from the Christian Byzantine Empire. Western sources, including the writings of the Byzantine historian Theophanes and the Arab Christian chronicles of Thomas the Presbyter, also provide accounts of the Muslim invasion of Syria.

Overall, the Muslim invasion of Syria marked a significant event in the early history of Islam and had profound consequences for both the Islamic and Christian world.


  • Kaegi, Walter Emil. Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests. Cambridge University Press, 1992.
  • Kennedy, Hugh. The Prophet and the Age of the Caliphates: The Islamic Near East from the 6th to the 11th Century. Routledge, 2016.
  • Nicolle, David. The Great Islamic Conquests AD 632-750. Osprey Publishing, 2009.
  • Shahid, Irfan. Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fourth Century. Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 1984.



In the year 638 CE, a Muslim army led by General Amr ibn al-As conquered Jerusalem and Alexandria, which were both prominent centers of the Orthodox Christian faith at the time. This military campaign marked a significant expansion of the Islamic empire and had a lasting impact on the religious and cultural landscape of the region.

There are several ancient Christian references to the Islamic invasion of Egypt that are academically accepted. One example is the Chronicle of John of Nikiu, which was written in the 7th century and provides a detailed account of the Arab conquest of Egypt. Another example is the writings of the Coptic bishop Severus Ibn al-Muqaffa, who lived in the 10th century and wrote extensively about the Arab conquest of Egypt and its impact on the Coptic Church.

Other ancient Christian references to the Islamic invasion of Egypt can be found in the writings of the Church Fathers, such as Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Cyril of Alexandria, who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries respectively. These writings do not directly address the Islamic invasion, but they provide insight into the religious and cultural context of Egypt during the early Christian period.


  • Kennedy, H. (1998). The armies of the caliphs: Military and society in the early Islamic state. Routledge.
  • Rogan, E. (2012). The Arabs: A history. Basic Books.
  • Sahner, C. (2019). The holy land in the time of Jesus: An introduction. Princeton University Press.
  • Coptic Egypt: The Christians of the Nile by Christian Cannuyer
  • The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt by Stephen J. Davis
  • Christianity and Monasticism in the Fayoum Oasis: Essays from the 2004 International Symposium of the Saint Mark Foundation and the Saint Shenouda the Archimandrite Coptic Society by Gawdat Gabra and Hany Takla
  • The History of the Patriarchs of the Coptic Church of Alexandria by Mark N. Swanson (translator)
  • Christian Egypt: Coptic Art and Monuments Through Two Millennia by Massimo Capuani
  • The Christian Heritage of Egypt: An Introduction to the Coptic Orthodox Church by Jill Kamil



In the year 650 CE, the Islamic armies made significant advances towards the western and eastern Mediterranean regions, extending their control beyond the Arabian Peninsula. Among the territories conquered were parts of Italy and Cyprus, where they captured hundreds of thousands of people, including Christians and non-Christians, who were taken as slaves.

This military expansion of the Islamic empire is documented in several ancient sources. In the West, the “Chronicon Salernitanum,” a medieval chronicle written in the 11th century, reports the Muslim invasion of Italy in the 7th century, including their capture of enslaved people from the region. In the East, the “Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor,” an 8th-century Byzantine chronicle, also mentions the Islamic invasions and the capture of prisoners as slaves.


  • Salernitanum, Chronicon. Translated by G. A. Loud. Manchester University Press, 1997.
  • Theophanes the Confessor. The Chronicle of Theophanes: Anni Mundi 6095-6305 (A.D. 602-813). Translated by Cyril Mango and Roger Scott. Oxford University Press, 1997.


In the year 711 CE, Muslim forces led by Tariq ibn Ziyad, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and launched an invasion of the Iberian Peninsula, which was at that time part of the Visigothic Kingdom. Within a short period of time, the Muslim armies conquered much of the peninsula and by 715 CE, they had established control over most of the Spanish territory. This event marked the beginning of the Islamic presence in Spain, which lasted for several centuries and had a significant impact on the history and culture of the region.

The invasion of Spain by Muslim forces is a well-documented event in both Western and Eastern ancient sources. Western sources include the writings of the Spanish historian, Isidore of Seville, who chronicled the arrival of the Muslim armies and their conquest of the Visigothic Kingdom. Similarly, the Eastern sources, such as the Arabic chronicles of al-Tabari and Ibn Khaldun, also provide detailed accounts of the invasion and subsequent Muslim rule in Spain.


  • Collins, R. (1989). Visigothic Spain, 409-711. Blackwell.
  • Foltz, R. C. (1999). The Fall of the Caliphate of Córdoba: Berbers and Andalusis in Conflict. Brill.
  • Kennedy, H. (1996). Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of al-Andalus. Routledge.
  • O’Callaghan, J. F. (1975). A History of Medieval Spain. Cornell University Press.


In the year 717 CE, the Muslim armies led by Umar ibn AbdulAziz, the governor of Egypt, besieged the Byzantine capital Constantinople. The siege lasted for several months and ended in failure, with the Muslim armies suffering heavy losses and ultimately being defeated. This event is considered a turning point in the Byzantine-Muslim Wars, and is documented in both Western and Eastern historical sources.

The Western sources include the chronicles of the Frankish historian, Fredegar, who recorded the events of the siege of Constantinople in his “Chronicon” written in Latin in the 7th century. The Eastern sources include the chronicles of Theophanes the Confessor, a Byzantine historian who wrote the “Chronographia” in Greek in the 9th century, which provides a detailed account of the siege and its aftermath.


  • Treadgold, W. (1997). A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford University Press.
  • Mango, C. (2002). The Oxford History of Byzantium. Oxford University Press.
  • (1960). The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar. In J. M. Wallace-Hadrill (Ed.), The Fourth Book of the Chronicle of Fredegar: With Its Continuations (pp. 1-49). Nelson.
  • Theophanes the Confessor. (1997). The Chronicle of Theophanes Confessor: Byzantine and Near Eastern History AD 284-813. Oxford University Press.



In the year 730 CE, Islamic armies invaded the Frankish territory of Gaul (modern-day France), and quickly gained control of large areas. However, their advance was halted and they were eventually pushed back by Charles Martel, the Frankish military commander, in the Battle of Tours in 732 CE. This battle is considered a turning point in the Muslim conquests of Europe, and is regarded by many historians as one of the most significant battles in Western history.

Eastern references to the Islamic invasion of France in 730 CE can be found in various Islamic historical sources, such as the works of Ibn Kathir and Ibn al-Athir. Western references to the Battle of Tours include the Chronicles of Fredegar and the Historia Francorum by Gregory of Tours.


  • Kennedy, Hugh. The Great Arab Conquests: How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In. Da Capo Press, 2007.
  • Holt, P.M., Lambton, A.K.S., and Lewis, B. (eds.). The Cambridge History of Islam, Volume 1A: The Central Islamic Lands from Pre-Islamic Times to the First World War. Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  • Collins, Roger. The Arab Conquest of Spain, 710-797. Wiley-Blackwell, 1989.


In the year 792 CE, Muslim forces launched a major incursion into France with the intention of invasion. However, the campaign ultimately ended in failure. The specifics of the operation remain uncertain, but it is believed that the Muslim forces were led by a chieftain named Aroun al-Raschid. Despite initial success, the campaign was thwarted due to a combination of factors including logistical challenges, unfavorable weather conditions, and effective resistance from the Franks.

Western and eastern sources provide varying accounts of the events of this campaign. Western sources, such as the Chronicle of Moissac and the Annales Regni Francorum, often portray the campaign as a Christian victory against Muslim aggression. Eastern sources, on the other hand, such as the works of Muslim historians al-Baladhuri and al-Tabari, tend to downplay the significance of the campaign and its outcome.


  • Bachrach, B. S. (2018). The Anatomy of a Campaign: The 793 Raid on the Carolingian Empire. In The Battle of Lechfeld and its Aftermath, August 955 (pp. 1-19). Brill.
  • Collins, R. (2014). Early medieval Europe: 300-1000. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Kennedy, H. (2014). The great Arab conquests: How the spread of Islam changed the world we live in. Da Capo Press.


In the year 872 CE, Muslim forces launched an invasion of southern Italy, and eventually conquered the island of Sicily, which remained under Muslim control until 1092. The fate of the Christian population under Muslim rule is a complex and contested issue, with some sources indicating instances of forced conversion, mass murders and rapes the conquest of Sicily is considered to have had a significant impact on the religious and cultural history of the region. Comparisons with contemporary conflicts in Syria and Egypt are often drawn to highlight the long-term effects of such invasions on religious minorities and their communities.


  • Abulafia, D. (2011). The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean. Penguin UK.
  • Kreutz, B. M. (1996). Before the Normans: Southern Italy in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Metcalfe, A. (2009). Muslims and Christians in Norman Sicily: Arabic Speakers and the End of Islam. Routledge.
  • Papaioannou, K. (2015). Early Christian-Muslim Dialogue: Theological Exchange in the Eighth and Ninth Centuries. Gorgias Press.


In the year 846 CE, Muslim forces invaded the city of Rome, which is referred to as the Sack or Raid of Rome in historical records. The invading forces demanded even from the pope payment of jizyah,

Western sources such as the Liber Pontificalis, a collection of biographies of the popes, and the Annales Bertiniani, a chronicle of events in the Frankish empire, document the raid on Rome by Muslim forces. Eastern sources such as the Chronicle of Theophanes the Confessor, a Byzantine chronicle, also describe the event.


  • Armstrong, K. (2000). Islam: A Short History. New York: Modern Library.
  • Collins, R. (2004). Visigothic Spain, 409–711. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • De Groot, A. (2014). The Ottoman Empire and the Netherlands in the Age of Globalization. Leiden: Brill.
  • Haldon, J. (2002). Byzantium at War: AD 600-1453. Oxford: Osprey Publishing.
  • Hodgson, M. (1974). The Venture of Islam: Conscience and History in a World Civilization, Volume 1: The Classical Age of Islam. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  • Kennedy, H. (1996). Muslim Spain and Portugal: A Political History of Al-Andalus. London: Routledge.
  • Kreutz, B. (1996). Before the Normans: Southern Italy in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Laiou, A. (2001). The Economic History of Byzantium: From the Seventh through the Fifteenth Century. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection.
  • Lewis, B. (1987). The Jews of Islam. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Treadgold, W. (1997). A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford: Stanford University Press
  • Ibn al-Athir. Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh. Vol. 3. Dar al-Sadir: Beirut, 2001.
  • al-Mas’udi. Les Prairies d’or. Vol. 7. Translated by Barbier de Meynard and Pavet de Courteille. Imprimerie Impériale: Paris, 1861.
  • al-Tabari. Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk. Vol. 35. Dar al-Ma’rifah: Beirut, 2005.
  • Ibn Khaldun. The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History. Translated by Franz Rosenthal. Princeton University Press: Princeton, 1967.
  • al-Makin. The History of Baghdad. Translated by Haider Al-Saadi. Routledge: London, 2003.



In the year 848 CE, Islamic forces launched a third invasion of France, which ultimately ended in failure. This military campaign was part of a larger effort by Islamic powers to expand their territory beyond the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa, into Europe. The failed invasion was a significant setback for the Islamic armies, who faced strong opposition from Frankish forces led by King Charles the Bald. This defeat is believed to have played a role in reducing Islamic military activities in Europe during the following years.

Western historical accounts of this event can be found in several sources, including the Annals of Saint-Bertin and the Chronicle of Nantes. Eastern accounts can be found in Arabic sources such as the Annals of al-Tabari and the History of the Prophets and Kings by Ibn Khaldun. These sources provide insight into the motivations and strategies of the Islamic armies during their attempts to expand their power and influence in Europe.


  • Bachrach, B. S. (1973). The Islamic invasions: Their impact and significance. In A History of France (pp. 54-69). Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
  • Collins, R. (2004). Charlemagne’s imperial coronation and the Annals of Lorsch. Charlemagne: Empire and society, 211-246.
  • Lewis, A. (2002). Islamic Spain. University of Chicago Press.
  • O’Callaghan, J. F. (2013). The Arab Conquest of Spain, 710–797. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk” (The History of Prophets and Kings) by the Persian historian al-Tabari
  • “Kitab Futuh al-Buldan” (The Book of the Conquest of Lands) by the Andalusian historian al-Baladhuri
  • “Al-Mughrib fi Tarikh al-Andalus wa’l-Maghrib” (The West in the History of Andalusia and the Maghreb) by the Arab historian Ibn al-Khatib

These sources provide accounts of the Muslim invasion attempts in France, along with other historical events in the region.



In the year 1091 CE, following an extended period of tolerance and political inaction spanning 459 years, Europeans finally launched a retaliatory campaign. The instigation for this response was a Papal decree declaring the first Crusade, with the aim of reclaiming Christian territories from violent islamic forces who were attacking pilgrims en route to Jerusalem.

The same Muslims that ruined and ransacked the churches of Jerusalem as a simple example I would like to mention The Destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which refers to the destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, churches, synagogues, Torah scrolls and other religious artifacts and buildings in and around Jerusalem, which was ordered on 28 September 1009 by the Fatimid Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, known by his critics as the “mad Caliph”or “Nero of Islam.”

The desecration was not only carried out on Christian sites in and around Jerusalem. In campaigns of 1011 and 1013–14, Al-Hakim continued his campaign of destruction against Jewish synagogues and Torah scrolls along with churches all over Syria. Unlike other Fatimids, Al-Hakim launched persecutions against Christians and Jews that lasted throughout his reign.  Christians were made to wear large crosses, and Jews were forced to wear wooden blocks around their necks so they would become easy pickings. He only stopped for fear of retaliatory attacks on mosques in Christian lands.

The Islamic conquests and conflicts with Europe persisted through the Ottoman Empire, which was marked by violence and aggression. In the Battle of Vienna, from July 4 to September 12, 1683, the Ottomans were prevented from overtaking the city thanks to the efforts of the Germans.

Here is a shortened list of major wars initiated by Ottomans against Christian Europe

  1. Conquest of Constantinople (1453)
  2. Ottoman-Hungarian Wars (1366-1526)
  3. Ottoman-Venetian Wars (1463-1718)
  4. Ottoman-Wallachian Wars (1462-1476)
  5. Ottoman-Moldavian Wars (1475-1476)
  6. Ottoman-Habsburg Wars (1521-1791)
  7. Siege of Vienna (1529)
  8. Ottoman-Polish Wars (1672-1676)
  9. Ottoman-Russian Wars (1568-1774)
  10. Ottoman-Cretan Wars (1645-1669)
  11. Morean War (1684-1699)
  12. Great Turkish War (1683-1699)
  13. Austro-Turkish War (1716-1718)
  14. Russo-Turkish War (1735-1739)
  15. Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774)
  16. Austro-Turkish War (1787-1791)

A full list of Ottoman conquests in Europe is included in the end of the document.

Western references:

  • Stoye, J. (1994). The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial Between Cross and Crescent. Pimlico.
  • Wheatcroft, A. (1995). The Ottoman Empire, 1700-1922. Macmillan.

Eastern references:

  • Qaradaghi, A. M. (2014). الجهاد الإسلامي وتحديات العولمة [Islamic Jihad and the Challenges of Globalization]. Dar Al Kotob Al Ilmiyah.
  • Hitti, P. K. (1967). History of the Arabs: From the Earliest Times to the Present. London: Macmillan.

The philosophical dimension

in regard to the philosophical dimension, it is pertinent to note that warfare in any manifestation and justification is an abhorrent phenomenon. While it may serve the purpose of safeguarding our liberties and defending our countries, it remains an iniquitous undertaking that ultimately results in losses for all parties involved, even the victors. Despite the noble aspirations of the crusaders, their actions were marred by unforgivable transgressions that tainted their reputation for eternity. However, it is imperative to acknowledge the reality of the situation. Is the notion of a pristine war a plausible one? Such a concept remains a utopian ideal that has yet to materialize in the realm of human experience.

Throughout history, wars have resulted in numerous heinous acts, and while Western civilization and its churches have sought to express remorse for the actions of some of their ancestors, distancing themselves from such behavior and openly condemning it, it remains uncertain whether Islamic civilization has taken comparable steps. Specifically, has Islamic civilization expressed regret for the actions of early Islamic armies towards Syria and its Jewish and Christian inhabitants, as well as the events surrounding Constantinople? Moreover, has the Hagia Sophia cathedral been restored to its status as a church?

Regarding the religious motives behind the Crusades, they were primarily centered on the objective of European nobles to safeguard the holy land and shield Christians from Muslim aggression en route to Jerusalem. In terms of searching for biblical justification to wage war, such efforts are ill-founded. The aforementioned exposition has provided ample evidence concerning the beliefs and viewpoints of Christians on this matter.

Dear viewer, this study has sought to provide a fair examination of the historical, religious, and philosophical factors that underpinned the Crusades. It is hoped that the evidence presented has illuminated the complexity of this period, dispelled misconceptions, and fostered a deeper understanding of this relatively controversial era in Western civilization. It is essential that we refrain from scapegoating Europe’s Christian heritage for present-day problems and instead work towards unity and honest engagement with the past. The stakes are high, and the future is uncertain, but by grappling with our history, we can begin to chart a path forward.



The Crusades are often portrayed in modern times as an example of Western aggression against the Islamic world, and many critics argue that they were motivated by religious fanaticism and a desire for conquest. However, a closer examination of the historical record reveals a more complex and nuanced picture of the Crusades.

The historical record shows that the Crusades were a response to centuries of aggression and expansionism by Muslim powers. From the early seventh century onwards, Islamic armies had conquered vast swathes of territory stretching from the Arabian Peninsula to North Africa, the Levant, and even parts of Europe. In the process, they had subjugated or expelled Christian and Jewish communities, destroyed their religious sites, and imposed a discriminatory system of taxation known as jizya.

This pattern of aggression and expansionism continued for centuries, as Muslim powers continued to encroach on Christian territories in the Mediterranean world. Muslim armies invaded Christian Syria in 635, and captured Orthodox Christian Jerusalem and Alexandria in 638. They reached the south of Italy and Cyprus in 650, capturing hundreds of thousands of Christians and non-Christians as slaves. In 711, Muslims invaded Spain and controlled most of the country by 715. In 717, they laid siege to Constantinople but were defeated. In 730, they invaded France and almost took the country until they were stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours. In 792, Islamic armies mounted a massive raid to invade France again, but the campaign failed. In 872, Muslims invaded southern Italy and took over Sicily, which remained under Muslim control until 1092.

These aggressions had profound consequences for Christian Europe, and they created a sense of fear and insecurity that lasted for centuries. Christians were forced to live under the shadow of Islamic domination, and their religious sites and cultural heritage were continually at risk of destruction. For many Europeans, the Crusades were a way of responding to this aggression and reclaiming Christian lands from the hands of their oppressors.

The religious dimension of the Crusades cannot be denied, but it should also not be overstated. While religious piety played a role in motivating some Crusaders, it was not the sole or even the primary driver of the movement. Economic, political, and social factors also played a significant role in shaping the Crusades, as did the desire to protect and reclaim Christian lands from Muslim rule.

Moreover, it should be noted that not all Muslims were hostile to Christians, and not all Christians were united in their support for the Crusades. There were many instances of peaceful coexistence and even cooperation between Christians and Muslims in the medieval world, and there were also many Christian voices that criticized the Crusades and condemned the violence and atrocities committed by the Crusaders.

In conclusion, the Crusades were a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that cannot be reduced to a simple narrative of Western aggression against the Islamic world. They were a response to centuries of Muslim aggression and expansionism, as well as a product of economic, political, and social factors. While the Crusades had profound consequences for the history of Europe and the Middle East, they should also be seen as part of a larger historical context that included both cooperation and conflict between Christians and Muslims.

Numerous historians and scholars have highlighted the defensive nature of the Crusades. For example, Rodney Stark, a prominent sociologist and historian, argues that the Crusades were defensive wars aimed at protecting Christian lands and people from Muslim aggression (Stark, 2009). Similarly, Jonathan Riley-Smith, a leading Crusades historian, contends that the Crusades were a response to Islamic aggression and that the Christians had the right to defend themselves and their territories (Riley-Smith, 2005).



Final word

There are many historians and reliable academics who have produced work supporting the defensive nature of the Crusades. For example, Thomas Madden, a historian at Saint Louis University, argues that the Crusades were a response to Muslim aggression, and that the goal of the Crusaders was to protect Christians and Christian holy sites from Muslim attacks. Madden has written extensively on the subject, including in his book “The New Concise History of the Crusades,” which offers a comprehensive and accessible overview of the Crusades and their historical context.

Similarly, Rodney Stark, a sociologist at Baylor University, has argued that the Crusades were a defensive response to Muslim expansionism, and that the Crusaders were motivated by a desire to protect Christians and their lands from Muslim aggression. Stark has written several books on the subject, including “God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades,” in which he presents a detailed and compelling argument for the defensive nature of the Crusades.

Other historians and scholars who have argued for the defensive nature of the Crusades include Jonathan Riley-Smith, a historian at the University of Cambridge, who has written extensively on the subject and has argued that the Crusades were a response to the threat posed by Muslim expansionism, and Bernard Lewis, a historian at Princeton University, who has written numerous books and articles on the history of the Middle East and Islam, and who has argued that the Crusades were a defensive response to Muslim aggression.

Overall, while there are certainly scholars who disagree with this interpretation of the Crusades, there is a significant body of work that supports the idea that the Crusades were a defensive response to Muslim aggression, rather than an unprovoked attack on the Islamic world. As such, it is important to approach the history of the Crusades with an open mind, and to consider a variety of perspectives and sources in order to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of this complex and often controversial historical event.

There were also ancient Middle Eastern historians who wrote about the events leading up to and during the Crusades, and their works support the idea that the Crusades were a defensive response to Muslim aggression. One example is Ibn al-Athir, a Muslim historian who wrote in the 13th century. In his book, “Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh,” he described the Muslim conquests of Christian lands and the atrocities committed against Christians, including the destruction of churches and the killing of Christian pilgrims. He also wrote about the motivations behind the Crusades, describing them as a response to Muslim aggression against Christians.

Another example is the Armenian historian Matthew of Edessa, who wrote in the 12th century. In his chronicle, “The Chronicle of Matthew of Edessa,” he described the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem and the subsequent mistreatment of Christians by Muslim rulers. He also wrote about the events leading up to the First Crusade and described them as a response to the Muslim aggression against Christians.

These historians, along with others, provide evidence that supports the defensive nature of the Crusades and suggests that they were not merely aggressive campaigns launched by Western Christians.

Another example of a historian from the era who supports the defensive nature of the Crusades is Fulcher of Chartres, who was present during the First Crusade and wrote an account of the events. In his “Historia Hierosolymitana,” Fulcher portrays the Crusaders as motivated by a desire to defend Christianity and to liberate the holy places in Jerusalem from Muslim rule. He describes the Muslims as tyrannical and oppressive, and presents the Crusaders as heroic figures fighting against an evil enemy.

Another historian from the era who supports the defensive nature of the Crusades is Albert of Aachen. In his “Historia Ierosolimitana,” Albert presents the Crusaders as engaged in a just war to defend Christianity and to liberate the holy places from Muslim rule. He describes the Muslims as cruel and barbaric, and presents the Crusaders as brave and chivalrous figures fighting for a noble cause.

Overall, while there were certainly some Crusaders who were motivated by greed, power, and other less-than-noble intentions, many historians from the era suggest that the majority of Crusaders were motivated by a desire to defend Christianity and to protect themselves and their fellow Christians from Muslim aggression

Ottoman Wars against the entire planet. Check the Excel file Ottoman Empire wars