Responding to skeptics' claims that "the God of the Hebrews is a capricious, jealous, tribal God, fighting the battles of his favored people and reveling in the defeat of their enemies," Elder Stephen L. Richards asked:

"What if Hebrew prophets, conversant with only a small fraction of the surface of the earth, thinking and writing in terms of their own limited geography and tribal relations did interpret Him in terms of a tribal king and so limit His personality and the laws of the universe under His control to the dominion with which they were familiar? Can any interpreter even though he be inspired present his interpretation and conception in terms other than those with which he has had experience and acquaintance? 

Even under the assumption that Divinity may manifest to the prophet higher and more exalted truths than he has ever before known and unfold to his spiritual eyes visions of the past, forecasts of the future and circumstances of the utmost novelty, how will the inspired man interpret? Manifestly, I think, in the language he knows and in the terms of expression with which his knowledge and experience have made him familiar. So is it not therefore ungenerous, unfair and unreasonable to impugn the validity and the whole worth of the Bible merely because of the limited knowledge of astronomy and geography that its writers possessed."

An Open Letter to College Students
Elder Stephen L. Richards
of the Quorum of the Twelve
(Improvement Era 36:451-453, 484-485, June 1933)
http://scottwoodward.org/Talks/html/Richards,%20Stephen%20L/RichardsSL_ALetterToCollegeStudents.html

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