[Milton-L] Moloch et al

Richard A. Strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Sun Feb 2 19:17:30 EST 2014

But the question is whether the OT account of neighboring gods/religions is historically/anthropologically reliable.  Until very recently, the view of scholars of those religions was that it was not reliable, that it was (as is to be expected) propaganda for the moral superiority of the Yahweh cult.

This is why the claim that there actually was infant sacrifice is surprising rather than commonplace.  It will be interesting to see whether a new consensus among ancient Middle East scholars emerges -- or not.  In any case, the OT account of these things cannot necessarily be taken at face value.  As the song puts it, "The things that your liable / To read in the bible -- / They ain't necessarily so."

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Kemmer Anderson [kanderso at mccallie.org]
Sent: Sunday, February 02, 2014 6:00 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Moloch et al

For a letter to the editor in the Chattanooga Times Free Press,I wrote this sentence at the end of December around the Slaughter of Innocents:

We seem to place our bets on the altar of Moloch rather than the stable in Bethlehem. If the Word was made flesh, we seem to choose to perforate it with bullets, bombs, and bombast while wars drone on without end.

On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 10:23 PM, Stallard, Matthew <stallard at ohio.edu<mailto:stallard at ohio.edu>> wrote:
I "think" that Diodorus Siculus connects Cronos with Moloch. I don't have _Diodorus of Sicily_ within reach.

Child sacrifice was a feature of the worship of the Ammonite god Molech mentioned in the OT who is quite possibly the same as the Carthaginian Moloch. See for example Leviticus 18:21. The Bishops Bible and the Douay-Rheims use the spelling "Moloch." In the Masoretic text the name is "Molech" but the Septuagint renders it "Moloch."

Matthew Stallard, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
Ohio University
Department of English
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stallard at ohio.edu<mailto:stallard at ohio.edu>
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my book webpage: http://www.mupress.org/contributorinfo.cfm?ContribID=533
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From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu> [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu>] On Behalf Of JD Fleming [jfleming at sfu.ca<mailto:jfleming at sfu.ca>]
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 2:19 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] Moloch et al

Seems to me there is a fair bit of child sacrifice in the OT too. Including a tension between "literal" and other versions. Making Moloch interesting. jdf

James Dougal Fleming
Associate Professor
Department of English
Simon Fraser University

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