20 December 2023
13 December 2023
05 December 2023
I have recently been studying the opening books of the Old Testament. The Torah refers to the first five books as we know them today, while the Pentateuch refers specifically to ancient scrolls that served as the basis for the Torah.
In any case, BEGIN SATIRE, I implore readers of other texts to avoid blasphemy! The Pentateuch and beyond describe God's might, the need to be loyal to the one God and to despise other gods and idols, and to obey The Law given by God to Moses. Consider this hypothetical question: What if a person were proven to have committed adultery? The Law (a) prohibits adultery, (b) requires that adulterers be stoned to death, and (c) states that the first stones are to be cast by the verified accusers. If another (hypothetical) person were to advise against carrying out the punishment, such a person would be promoting disorder, regardless of the sinfulness of neighbors. Disobedience by one is not atoned for with disobedience by another! A person advising such chaos, which is akin to spitting into the very eye of Moses, would be a blasphemer of the highest order. How could such blasphemy be justified? Such a person would need to be publicly executed by any available means, the more painful the better. END SATIRE.
Of course, in John 8:1-11, we read that Jesus directs an adulterous woman to depart and sin no more, without having been stoned. We all have our favorite Bible passages, and I have liked this one because it seemed like an ingenious retort by Jesus, "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone," aimed at the scribes (historians and observers) and Pharisees (official, hardline enforcers of the Law given by God to Moses). I had considered that Jesus' statement caught the others by surprise (including the townspeople holding stones).
However, it would NOT have been a surprise to an ancient Jew that neighbors and officials were watching for deviations from The Law. In fairness, The Law's primary objective was order, i.e., to maintain an orderly society, socially and religiously. It is true that The Law was enforced harshly, and women and certain others (slaves, the disabled, etc.) were treated more harshly than Jewish males who traced their ancestry though the twelve tribes. In any case, all were taught to avoid the temptation lurking around every corner. In the Gospel story, "sin" was not just an abstract concept relating to our worthiness of God's love; sin was strictly laid out in Scripture.
When a person wonders about those without sin, again, the is not just an abstract question. The ancients lived a difficult life, and the Hebrews got to where they were through ruthless military conquests. Even if all Scriptural battles do not have independent historical verification, life was hard and dangerous. Have no doubt that the townspeople were not as righteous as The Law demanded. The townspeople were reminded there was always another mob with stones looking for retribution.
In my satire, the person advising the chaos is not necessarily ingenious. The advice would be radical. The society and the woman both need love. One needs to read the New Testament to understand how Christians are Abrahamic and descendants of The Law but have, um, "turned the tables" on The Law.
People learn to succeed when they're able to interact with successful people. Diversity on its own does not ensure success, but no one s...
Due to Google search idiosyncrasies, I have adjusted the spelling of certain words. On October 7, 2023, Paaaaaaaaaa terrorists associated wi...
On December 2, 2023, the Wall Street Journal published a column by author Katie Roiphe entitled "In Praise of Girls’ Night". Roiph...
Due to Google search idiosyncrasies, I have adjusted the spelling of certain words. I am not a rabbi; I am a Christian studying the Bible....