I began reading the book of Joshua last night and came across the part where the people of Israel are commanded to kill everyone, men, women and even children. Like nearly anyone with a heart, it is hard to for me to understand why God would command such a thing. Even with the understanding that this is a much harsher and violent time period, I still recoiled at such a barbaric activity. Seeking guidance I did some research and found some good explanations by others. 

This is a pretty interesting site and explanation. He basically says “These people were sinners (as all people are) and God did not want them to have temptation around them. Every minute of your life, is granted to you by God, he can take your life when he chooses fit, regardless of who you are. We mere humans are like ants compared to his infinitesimal wisdom, and have no real right to question his authority. That is a hard thought to wrap your head around, but not liking his decision, and choosing to believe he does not exist for that reason, does not change the fact that he is there and very real. http://www.ligonier.org/blog/why-did-god-command-children-israel-kill-every-man-woman-and-child-promised-land/

 Another site that further expands upon this thought process has an excellent passage: 

“With Joshua there was a political, ethnic dimension, God was immediate king, and he uses this people as his instrument to accomplish his judgment in the world at that time. And God, it says, let the sins of the Amorites accumulate for 400 years so that they would be full (Genesis 15:16), and then sends his own people in as instruments of judgment.”  Taken from this site: http://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/what-made-it-ok-for-god-to-kill-women-and-children-in-the-old-testament

Yet another great site that further expands upon this topic. https://bible.org/question/how-could-loving-god-tell-israelites-kill-their-enemies-even-children

He also recommends two books that look very intriguing. What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? and What If the Bible Had Never been Written? by James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe.

Lastly, and probably the best explanation of the conquests listsed in Joshua is from the site listed below. It explains the extreme immorality of the people of Canaan, and more of the reasons why this order was given. https://www.namb.net/apologetics/joshua-s-conquest-was-it-justified

On my path to reading the Bible, one of the first things that stumped me right out of the gate was the tremendous life spans of the Patriarchs listed in the Bible. I tend to view things with a scientific lens, so I was immediately starting to live up to my name as a “doubting Thomas.” I started doing some research, using good ol’ Google, and found some interesting websites that had some fascinating theories.

The first was: https://answersingenesis.org/bible-timeline/genealogy/did-adam-and-noah-really-live-over-900-years/
I highly recommend you read it. It discusses the theological reasons for the human life span being reduced. Stemming from Adam eating the forbidden fruit so that he would eventually die along with his decedents (Genesis 2:16-17) to scientific reasons as to how it could have happened. They discuss how environmental changes could have occurred after the Flood that would have possibly shortened human life spans, and then also genetic bottle necks that would have resulted from a drastically reduced population. They also hint about other literature from that time-period that discusses significantly longer life spans in other cultures.

The next was: https://rcspirituality.org/ask-a-priest-did-noah-really-live-900-years/
This is a response to a similar question by a Catholic priest. While I wouldn’t consider myself a Catholic (I attend a Baptist Church, but currently would not strongly align myself with any particular religion at this point in my religious journey-.) He makes some good points. The line that sums up his response is “Recent Church teaching has leaned toward interpreting Genesis 1-11 as stories that, while they have some basis in history, are meant primarily to teach theological and spiritual truths.” I encourage you to read this article, as I found it to be quite insightful.

This site http://www.ancient-origins.net/human-origins/did-ancient-people-really-have-lifespans-longer-200-years-002093 is a non-Christian source that discusses other cultures that also record incredible declining life spans.

Another very interesting article: http://creation.com/living-for-900-years This site discusses mostly scientific reasoning for the long lives of Biblical times. They go through environmental reasoning, along with genetic theories that are well articulated.

This site http://www.reasons.org/articles/why-aren-t-there-any-900-year-old-human-fossils asks the question “Why aren’t there any 900 year old human fossils?” Explaining their theories as to why.