11 August 2006

God's death toll in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Quran

In previous posts, I counted the number of people killed by God and Satan in the Bible: 2,821,364 and 10, respectively. That made me wonder how God's death toll in the Bible would compare with its rival holy books: the Quran and the Book of Mormon. Here's what I found.
(I'm only including killings that provide an exact number of victims.)

The Book of Mormon
Who Passage Number Killed
Laban 1 Nephi 4:10-18 1
Sherem Jacob 7:15-20 1
Noah Mosiah 19:16-24 1
Lamanites Mosiah 9:18 3043
Nehor Alma 1:15 1
Amlicites Alma 2:16-19 12532
Amlici Alma 2:30-31-19 1
KorihorAlma 30:591
Zerahemnah Alma 44:12 1
dissenters Alma 51:29 4000
Amalickiah Alma 51:33-34 1
Lamanites Alma 57:14 2000
Ammoron Alma 62:36 1
Paanchi Helaman 1:7-8 1
Zemnarihah 3 Nephi 4:28 1
Nephite soldiers Mormon 6:9-15 230,000
Mighty men Ether 15:2 2,000,000

The Quran
Who Passage Number Killed
Korah 28:79-81 1
Noah's wife and son 11:42 2
Lot's wife 66:10 1

And here's a summary of all three.
God's Death Toll
Bible 2,821,364
Book of Mormon 2,251,586
Quran 4


Anonymous said...

Korihor was killed by the Zoramites, "a people who had separated themselves from the Nephites", and who in the very next chapter are said to be "perverting the ways of the Lord."

Just a minor comment. :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Love to see your documentation for your Bible portion, or at least an explanation for the huge number.

You got linked from reddit.com, btw, so it would be in your best interests to prepare for the onslaught. :)

Mel said...

If you ask anyone of any of those religions (although some christians dissagree) they are worshiping the exact same God. Its just a matter of who's prophetic words are more heavily subscribed to. The book of Mormon, and Quran both include Jesus - they just don't consider him the divine son of God, rather another wise prophet. As a matter of fact... Mormons might call Jesus the son of God also actually. I'm not as knowledgable about their belief system.

Anonymous said...

Christ is the central figure in the Book of Mormon too. Son, Savior, etc. In Islam, he's "just" another prophet of God/Allah.

The first thing this death toll stuff makes me think of is.. God by definition kills everyone when they get old enough. ;o As someone else mentioned, death in most religions isn't really that big of a deal.

Anonymous said...

It's funny that people find such stupid comments intelligent. I know, I know, it takes only a few religion-bashing stupid comments to become a reddit star.

Anonymous said...

not exactly a god.. but how-many did buddha kill? None I suppose. ; ) Also, what about Hindu Gods?

Anonymous said...


Would you rather read a rose-colored view of humanity and the world? or the reality that we are inherently selfish, and do all the things that go along with that?

Would you rather follow a religion that says "The world is peaceful, there is no death, or pain, and everything is just peachy"?

Anonymous said...

Buddha is not a god, he is an enlightened being.

Anonymous said...

The Buddha supposedly killed a man with his bare hands to prevent that man from robbing 500 others.

Similar logic to Nephi (Mormon prophet) chopping off Laman's head so that nation's would not "dwindle in unbelief"

Anonymous said...

Why do so many of you post anonymously? Jesus, just enter your frigging name or handle! With all these anonymouses replying to each other, it's confusing as to who's replying to whom.

"Would you rather read a rose-colored view of humanity and the world? or the reality that we are inherently selfish, and do all the things that go along with that?"

We are. According to Christianity we're all sinful and have to believe in Jesus to become as benevolent as God. But if God is such a murderous monster, aren't we already above him? The truth is that we are selfish creatures, but we've evolved since the Bible was written and so the biblical god made in man's image is just a barbaric, outdated entity.

Anonymous said...

Oh looksie, I thought Anonymous was the no-sign-up option. There's no real need for the Anonymous radio button if the fields in Other are all optional.. Blame Blogger.

BTW. Neither the Quran, nor the Book of Mormon are specifically 'rival holy books' to the Bible.

Anonymous said...

I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours -
Stephen Roberts

Anonymous said...

Bible-New testamet:


top that

El Serracho! said...

so, just a technical question. are you manually thumbing through the bible to do these counts?

lotsa work. keep it up.

Shaun said...

You missed one.
Sherem in Jacob 7 in the book of mormon.

I find all this talk about who God has killed very interesting. First, we must remember that all who are born will die. Second, that time in between has been alotted for us to prepare to return to God.

The really noteworthy thing is Christ. Because Christ lead a sinless life he was able to atone for our sins and allow us to overcome spiritual death. Because he was the son of God he was able to overcome physical death. These things were done so that we then could be recovered from these forms of death.

All who die will live again.

When God kills he is only removing the spirits of his children from their bodies. They only had these bodies in the first place because it was his plan to give them bodies so that they could learn and become more like him.

They are not dead as to conciousness, they are simply without bodies. Something that would have happened eventually anyway.

The victory of Christ is not only that we will all receive new bodies, but that the new bodies will be perfect and never fail us.

God only slays the wicked because he wants to maximize the number of his children that want to return to him and follow him. Besides, many people who are considered wicked are that way because they learned it from their parents or decided to not follow the correct teachings of their parents.

He has given us agency. He can't make us choose, but he can stop us from causing others to follow our incorrect traditions.

Now, if only the true nature of God were more generally understood...

Steve Wells said...

the serrach said... "so, just a technical question. are you manually thumbing through the bible to do these counts?"

No, I used the SAB, SABoM, and SAQ to get them. (Of course I had to create them first!)

Steve Wells said...

Shaun said...

You missed one.
Sherem in Jacob 7 in the book of mormon.

Thanks Shaun. I'ved added it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone will read this but this is just to clarify some issues.

buddha killed a guy to prevent him from robbing 500 other,that happened in a previous life (buddhists believe in reincarnation) before he became buddha. So in effect, it's an unenlightened man that killed the thief not he buddha himself(the word buddha means an enlighted being).

Actually in the scriptures, Buddha admitted that he committed many muders in previous lives,and went on to say that he suffered greatly the result of his karma,for he is a man and subjected to the laws of causes and effects just like everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Shaun, while I do not share your religious beliefs, I sincerely respect the peace and dignity you display before those of us of 'lesser faith'.

Personally, I believe that Jesus was one of the best philosophers that has ever lived, and if nothing else is said about him, that should be said. I don't believe that he was the Son of God any more than the rest of us (which isn't to say that he wasn't the Son of God, though; think about that), but if any of the stories about him are true, then he was, at the least, a good person.

I bet those were as few and far between as they are today.

For the most part, I believe that most religions started by ancient parents without scientific answers that got tired of their kids' limitless questions, and it all got blown out of proportion a few generations later. Still, if God does exist (and who's to say that He doesn't?), I don't think He's (or She's, or It's, or ThEy'Re, whatever) the soul-weighing type.

But I guess we'll all find out eventually. In the meantime, I'm just going to take some of the advice of this really nice guy from 2000 years ago and be kind to my fellow man. :)

Anonymous said...


Islam teaches peace...its the people that is not.

Sad really.

Anonymous said...

"Christian suicide Bombers : 0
Islamic suicide Bombers :???????????? "

and the many thousands of knights from europe who invaded asia and eastern europe were doing what exactly. slaying the unbeliever i think. pretty much the same thing

Anonymous said...

Completely ignoring your prophet's teachings and example,ie. Jesus. Is not the same as following to the letter your prophet's teaching and example,ie. Mohammed

People killed by Jesus=0
People killed by Mohammed= 1000's

The more one studies and believes the Koran, the more violent they become toward anybody that does not believe.

Islam is not peace.
Islam is submission to Allah's will as told by Mohammed.

There are peaceful passages in the Koran, but the "verse of the sword" was one of the last passages and the Muslim scholars ruled long ago that the later passages void the earlier ones.
"Allah gave us something better" is how they explain the apparent contradiction.

Please read the Koran for yourself if you really want to understand this "religion".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous supporter of Pandeism -- God made the Universe; God IS the Universe; God doesn't play an active role in the Universe, ergo God never killed nobody.

Anonymous said...

...and here's a great definition of Pandeism culled from Warren B. Sharpe's "Philosophy for the Serious Heretic: The Limitations of Belief and the Derivation of Natural Moral Principles" (2002):

God didn't create the universe, but God became the universe. Then he forgot that he became the universe. Why would God do this? Basically, for entertainment. You create a universe, and that in itself is very exciting. But then what? Should you sit back and watch this universe of yours having all the fun? No, you should have all the fun yourself. To accomplish this, God transformed into the whole universe. God is the Universe, and everything in it. But the universe doesn't know that because that would ruin the suspense. The universe is God's great drama, and God is the stage, the actors, and the audience all at once. The title of this epic drama is "The Great Unknown Outcome." Throw in potent elements like passion, love, hate, good, evil, free will; and who knows what will happen? No one knows, and that is what keeps the universe interesting. But everyone will have a good time. And there is never really any danger, because everyone is really God, and God is really just playing around.

Anonymous said...

Heh! That's quite interesting actually. Good job calculating all that.

"Islam teaches peace? Then why the hundreds of mentions of tormented hellfire for non-believers (and Jews and Christians)? So peace for those that believe, the rest; searing pain, flesh peeling hell, boiling water and on. Where do you "Islam=peace" people get off? Do you think we can't read?"

Well... Bible, Quran and Book of mormon all say that people who do not believe their particular brand of religion will suffer. -_- Neither of them can claim to take the high road so to speak. They're all rather violent, intolerant and cruel. (Ofcourse I am biased, since I'm one of those poor suckers who are supposedly damned simply for being. *sigh*)

RecycleUtah said...

Hey! Can't we all "just get along?"
As I tell my friends, I believe in the basic teachings of Buddha, Jesus, Mother Teresa and others that teach respect for life and human equality. People might want to think for themselves and question religious beliefs they grew up with. I'm a spiritual trying to live the basic teachings of Jesus, Buddha, and others. Most importantly: I choose how to think and feel, NOT because a religion or person says I should think a certain way! As long as I'm not hurting people or animals and I respect the same, I'm living a heaven on earth, so to speak.

Have a good one! Aloha & Namaste


Tom J said...

This is a simplistic and shoddy attempt to qualify one religion over another in terms of which is more peaceful.

Number of people killed in a book of religion does not necessarily qualify that particular religion as violent.

I personally believe Islam is more barbaric and evil than Christianity or Judaism (all religions suck, but Islam is one of the worst.)

Reinis I. said...

This is a simplistic and shoddy attempt to qualify one religion over another in terms of which is more peaceful.

Oh, really? Please quote from the post where exactly does it say that.

Spike Spiegel said...


Isn't what you think and the view you make of your own religion that matters? Anyone can tell me the point of proving ANYTHING by means of the writings on the Holy Books? Is everybody playing dumb in here?

God's death toll in the bible = 2million+
God's death toll in the mormon book = 20000+/-
God's death toll in the quran = 4

Ok. Neat. So?

Unknown said...

The problem is not religion, teachers or teachings. The problems is the belief/unbelief, because when you have a belief/unbelief that you think it's the 'rigth' one, then you seat on top of others and try to convince them to join your belief/unbelief system either by will or by force.

Same thing happen in other areas of human interaction like politics you believe in X system I believe in another system then we figth each other because of our diference of belief.

I'm not gonna say anything about the religious beliefs that fall on hands of goverments as a political system frame, you guys know what happen next.

If you have a belief/unbelief that works for you, keep it for yourself, then nobody will have problems regarding diference of beliefs/unbeliefs.

Kevin Z. said...

Of course, you havn't listed the hundreds of knights, preists, suicide bombers, etc. that have killed and/or tortured thousands of people in the last few thousand years.

"I personally believe Islam is more barbaric and evil than Christianity or Judaism (all religions suck, but Islam is one of the worst.) "

Really? Can you give a reason? By the way, I'm guessing that you weren't raised in the middle east. Were you?

Asana Bodhitharta said...

Life and death both come from God, so your point is extremely invalid.

tuccia said...

Perhaps life and death come from God, but that would only be valid if there really is a God, so it appears that your statement is based on an assumption which may only be as valid as an opinion?

tuccia said...

I think the answer is not in the numbers killed (by God), but in the reality that men use religion as a basis for control. Followers kill others, as well as themselves, for theologies that they have bought into heart and soul. People who want to run the world will use the belief of these followers to the extent that they can, regardless of their personal belief.

Dassan Dassa said...

o yea defintly 'islam is the religion of peace' because no muslim has ever killed in the name of religion...abrahamic religions are a joke. hatred, ignorance, killing, is widespread throughout them, they contradict science, we know no reasonable person can possibly follow every word (though it is the 'word of god'). yet we continue to take them seriously, its sad i know.

Unknown said...

well, it was God punishing them, and a majority of those aren't really counted as "deaths", more like Him taking people to New Jerusalem(Heaven)

MeCHtronika said...

Actually the death toll is much larger in the Book of Mormon. God allowed the Lamanite nation to over-run his chosen Nephite people because they didn't go home-teaching enough. The Book of Mormon describes the Nephite nation rivaling the size of Roman Empire at its peek before being utterly destroyed.

Of course these numbers themselves aren't something to get worked up over. After all we are discussing pieces of fiction.

I guess the rub comes when people use this fiction to rationalize their world view and thrust it upon others.

Steve Wells said...

Yeah, you're probably right about that, McCHtronika.

I'd be interested in your estimates for the numbers of people killed by God (or inspired by God) in the Book of Mormon. I'm too busy right now going through God's killings in the Bible to do justice to the Book of Mormon.

Adnan Khalil said...

To be fair the Quran mentions several other wide-scale killings by Allah:

1) The people of Ad
2) The People of Thamud
3) The People after the Queen of Sheba
4) The Dwellers of Rass
5) The Folk of Madyan (Midian)
6) The People of Abraham
7) The Inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah
8) The People who died in the Flood.
9) The Children of Israel who worshiped the Golden Calf.
10) Samir (The builder of Calf according to the Quran).
11) Pharaoh and his people who went after Moses and the Children of Israel.

Never discount Allah, he can be as evil as his counterpart, Yahweh.

Linus Gabrielsson said...

Note that the Mormons consider the Bible to be the word of God and the BoM is just some kind of addendum/clarification, which brings the death toll for the LDS god up to 2,410,999. I don't know what status the Christian bible has in Islam. The Quran completely overrides the bible, does it?

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the christian god killed nearly every living thing on earth, plants, animals, even fish. If the flood was freshwater, being rain, that seems reasonable, all the salt water creatures would die.

That requires that we ignore that there isn't enough water on earth to cover all of the mountains or even a sizable number of them. Nor the fact that the 5,000,000+ creatures and food for a year for them would n0t fit on a 450 wooden boat.

Nor has a wood boat that size ever been built, even using modern techniques that could survive even a moderate sea.

Here's how "holy" books try to look accurate:

On the 11th of September, 2001, two commercial aircraft flew into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing thousands.

Some people believe that this was an act of terrorism by an Islamic fundamentalist organization.

It was really the power of my god (he who must not be named) directing those planes to warn the people of the USA and the world to abandon their wicked ways and praise the only true god.

The first sentence is unquestionable historic fact. The last sentence is a delusional lie but is impossible to prove to be false. The “truth” of all “holy books” is based upon this same technique.

Unknown said...

Ok raise your hand if you will make this deal.

Spend two years in a minimum security federal prison and you can have 750 Million dollars.

Ok, now die for three days and you can live for all eternity.

Did he really die for your sins? To die is to not know what is going to happen. But he die with the promise of eternity in front of him.