Can a person say he's a Christian if he doesn't believe in the Old Testiment stories?

I read the OT recently and was astonished by God’s lust for murder.* Then I had the opportunity to talk to a priest at a party, and I asked him very politely – careful not to offend him – about a christian’s view on OT, considering the endless murderings.

“God demands killings in OT, over and over again”, I said, “but that’s not very christian, is it? How do you relate to this, as a christian?” I asked, sincerely curious.
“You have to see”, he said, “that what is in the OT is not what God wants, but it is want the humans believes He wants. It is the human interpretation of God’s will, and perhaps they didn’t understand Him.”
I said: “So the Bible isn’t the words of God?”
He said: “No.”

Being naive perhaps, this struck me as an odd conversation – I mean, talking to a priest. Protestant of course, but anyhow.
*Sorry, ye OT believers, mean not harm, that was the feeling I got.

That’s probably how Jonathan addressed him. :slight_smile:

I would disagree. The histories refer to various of the prophets, and their existence can hardly be taken as a ringing affirmation of the priesthood.

Or go even earlier, to the beginning of 1 Kings, which describes the contest to succeed David as king. Abiathar, high priest under David, and Zadok, who seems to have been his priestly second-in-command, take various sides, just like (and seemingly for no better reasons than) the other players in the drama. Abiathar sides with Adonijah, and Zadok with Solomon; Zadok becomes high priest, and Abiathar is lucky to keep breathing. It’s not a condemnation of the priesthood, but the message is pretty clear: they’re no better than anyone else.

The prophets come off considerably better, but it would be paradoxical for the histories to be pro-prophet propaganda: the histories were surely not written by the prophets, and they didn’t exactly constitute an ongoing institution: there’s no continuity there, no Isaiah handing the torch to Jeremiah, etc. Nobody who’s writing the histories is going to constitute a pro-prophet interest group.

And even in the histories, the prophets don’t come off clean: in the Davidic succession, Nathan is just another player, just like Zadok and Abiathar the priests. And there’s this incident from the second chapter of 2 Kings (NIV):