[Milton-L] Resend of question re Judaism

Dr. Carol Barton cbartonphd at earthlink.net
Wed Jul 26 15:38:37 EDT 2006

I haven't heard of any recent stonings of recalcitrant daughters by their indignant fathers--or of anyone following the Law of Talion and getting away with it, Rose (said with a smile), but I take your point. Especially after a tour of duty in the deep South, I object strenuously to literalist interpretations of any segment of the Bible, Old or New, by people who seem unable to divorce Mythology (with a respectful uppercase M) from empirical fact: if the Bible were the latter, one of the synoptic gospels must of necessity have been composed by a liar (since the order of Jesus' temptations is reversed). Such readers seem to use the Bible defensively, to excuse their own bad behavior (such as an alcoholic homophobe I knew who could recite every passage of the text condemning homosexuality, but seemed blissfully unaware of its denunciation of drunkenness). I am reminded--too constantly--of Swift's _Tale of a Tub_, when I hear people using scripture to defend their deplorable ac!

Best to all,


Carol Barton, Ph.D

 "Books are not absolutely dead things, but doe contain a potencie of life in them to be as active as that soule was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a violl the purest efficacie and extraction of that living intellect that bred them." ~ John Milton, _Areopagitica_ (CPW 2:492).

More information about the Milton-L mailing list