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The Journal News | lohud.com | Westchester, Rockland, Putnam news The Journal News and lohud.com: Get the latest news, information, sports, food, entertainment, real estate, video and opinion in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam, New York.
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Mission US | THIRTEEN Developed for use in middle and high school classrooms, Mission US engages students in the study of transformational moments in American history. Each mission consists of an interactive game and a set of curriculum materials that are aligned to national standards and feature document-based activities. The game immerses players in rich, historical settings and then empowers them to make choices that illuminate how ordinary people experienced the past. The Educator's Guide provides a wealth of resources and activities for both teachers and students, including primary source documents that show the broader social, political, and economic context of events and perspectives featured in the game. Since some of the topics Mission US explores are difficult, it is recommended that teachers/parents preview the game content to make sure it is appropriate for their students/children. LEARNING OBJECTIVESThe most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that only 17% of eighth graders perform at or above the proficient level in American history. Mission US aims to get students to care about history by seeing it through the eyes of peers from the past. The goals of Mission US are to help students:• Learn how Americans struggled to realize the ideals of liberty and equality• Understand the role of ordinary men and women, including young people, in history• Develop historical empathy • Build understanding and critical perception to think like an historian.RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTWNET collaborates with a multidisciplinary team to create Mission US. Much planning, research, review, and testing with diverse groups of teachers and students goes into the development and creation of each mission and its companion educational materials. Reflecting the latest academic scholarship and incorporating primary source documents, the history content for each mission is developed by a team of historians at the American Social History Project/Center for Media & Learning (ASHP), a research center at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Scholars with expertise in each era serve as advisors. Throughout the development process, researchers from the Center for Children and Technology/Education Development Center conduct focus group testing with students and teachers that helps the game development team address misconceptions about the content each mission explores. The game developer is Electric Funstuff, a company with extensive educational technology experience.SERIOUS GAMINGWinner of the Games for Change Award for Most Significant Impact, Mission US is part of a growing body of "serious games" that immerse users in historical and contemporary problems in ways that encourage perspective-taking, discussion, and weighing of multiple kinds of evidence. Research has shown that, by assuming the roles of peers from the past, students develop a more personal, memorable, and meaningful connection with complex historical content and context. MISSIONS“For Crown or Colony?” puts players in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. They encounter both Patriots and Loyalists, and when rising tensions result in the Boston Massacre, they must choose where their loyalties lie.  A brand-new version of this game is now available! Learn more.In “Flight to Freedom,” players take on the role of Lucy, a 14-year-old girl enslaved in Kentucky who escapes to Ohio. As Lucy joins a community of abolitionists, players discover that life in the “free” North is dangerous and difficult. In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act threatens all African Americans in the North and brings new urgency to the anti-slavery movement.In “A Cheyenne Odyssey,” players become Little Fox, a Northern Cheyenne boy whose life is changed by the encroachment of white settlers, railroads, and U.S. military expeditions.  As buffalo diminish and the U.S. expands westward, players experience the Cheyenne's persistence through conflict and national transformation.In “City of Immigrants,” players navigate New York’s Lower East Side as Lena, a young Jewish immigrant from Russia. Trying to save money to bring her parents to America, she works long hours in a factory for little money and gets caught up in the growing labor movement. In “Up from the Dust,” players take on the roles of twins Frank and Ginny Dunn, whose family wheat farm is devastated by the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. As they experience the hardships of the 1930s, players learn about Americans’ strategies for survival – as individuals, communities, and a nation. “Up from the Dust” is available online and as free iPad and Windows 10 apps.IMPACTMultiple research studies have found using Mission US leads to measurable gains in students' historical knowledge and skills, and yielded positive feedback from teachers. Most recently, a major summative study by Education Development Center (EDC) found that students who studied the Great Depression and Dust Bowl using Mission US significantly outperformed those who studied these topics using typical materials on standardized measures of U.S. history knowledge and skill. The Mission US group showed a 14.9% knowledge gain from pretest to posttest; the other group’s gain was less than 1%. See Research and Evaluation for summaries of past Mission US studies. PRAISE FOR MISSION USWith well over two million registered users across the fifty states and beyond, Mission US continues to earn honors and praise from educators, parents, students, and critics. See Awards and Reviews for a list of selected accolades, reviews, and testimonials.For more information, visit the Help page.  Get updates about Mission US on Facebook and Twitter.  To share your feedback or for assistance, email us via the contact form on this site. 
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Academic Buzz Network | History, Politics, Education, Judaism & News By Bonnie K. Goodman History, Politics, Education, Judaism & News By Bonnie K. Goodman
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Kristina Grish :: Writer, Author, Collaborator Kristina Grish is an internationally published author, co-author, and magazine writer. She covers women''s lifestyle topics, including health, marriage, relationship, celebrity, pet, fashion, fitness, and pop-culture trends for various titles and media outlets.
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Congregation Beth Aaron Congregation Beth Aaron is the leading Orthodox synagogue in Teaneck, NJ. We are a warm and welcoming shul of over 350 families with close to 50 minyanim each week, several weekly shuirum, and an active Men''s Club & Sisterhood. Come join us today!
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Ariel Ministries | Ariel Ministries exists in order to evangelize Jewish people and to disciple Jewish and Gentile believers through intensive Bible teaching from a Jewish perspective.
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International Jewish Men's Slo-Pitch Softball Tournament | The Best International Jewish Men's Softball Tournament
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Homepage | Friends of the Israel Defense Forces Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) ‬is an organization established in 1981 dedicated to the men and women serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), wounded veterans, and the families of fallen soldiers. Headquartered in New York City, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that operates fifteen regional offices in the United States and Panama. Friends of the Israel Defense Forces initiates and supports educational, social, cultural and recreational programs and facilities in an effort to ease the burden that the Israel Defense Forces' soldiers and their families carry on behalf of the Jewish community worldwide.
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Mission US | THIRTEEN Developed for use in middle and high school classrooms, Mission US engages students in the study of transformational moments in American history. Each mission consists of an interactive game and a set of curriculum materials that are aligned to national standards and feature document-based activities. The game immerses players in rich, historical settings and then empowers them to make choices that illuminate how ordinary people experienced the past. The Educator's Guide provides a wealth of resources and activities for both teachers and students, including primary source documents that show the broader social, political, and economic context of events and perspectives featured in the game. Since some of the topics Mission US explores are difficult, it is recommended that teachers/parents preview the game content to make sure it is appropriate for their students/children. LEARNING OBJECTIVESThe most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that only 17% of eighth graders perform at or above the proficient level in American history. Mission US aims to get students to care about history by seeing it through the eyes of peers from the past. The goals of Mission US are to help students:• Learn how Americans struggled to realize the ideals of liberty and equality• Understand the role of ordinary men and women, including young people, in history• Develop historical empathy • Build understanding and critical perception to think like an historian.RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENTWNET collaborates with a multidisciplinary team to create Mission US. Much planning, research, review, and testing with diverse groups of teachers and students goes into the development and creation of each mission and its companion educational materials. Reflecting the latest academic scholarship and incorporating primary source documents, the history content for each mission is developed by a team of historians at the American Social History Project/Center for Media & Learning (ASHP), a research center at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Scholars with expertise in each era serve as advisors. Throughout the development process, researchers from the Center for Children and Technology/Education Development Center conduct focus group testing with students and teachers that helps the game development team address misconceptions about the content each mission explores. The game developer is Electric Funstuff, a company with extensive educational technology experience.SERIOUS GAMINGWinner of the Games for Change Award for Most Significant Impact, Mission US is part of a growing body of "serious games" that immerse users in historical and contemporary problems in ways that encourage perspective-taking, discussion, and weighing of multiple kinds of evidence. Research has shown that, by assuming the roles of peers from the past, students develop a more personal, memorable, and meaningful connection with complex historical content and context. MISSIONS“For Crown or Colony?” puts players in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. They encounter both Patriots and Loyalists, and when rising tensions result in the Boston Massacre, they must choose where their loyalties lie.  A brand-new version of this game is now available! Learn more.In “Flight to Freedom,” players take on the role of Lucy, a 14-year-old girl enslaved in Kentucky who escapes to Ohio. As Lucy joins a community of abolitionists, players discover that life in the “free” North is dangerous and difficult. In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act threatens all African Americans in the North and brings new urgency to the anti-slavery movement.In “A Cheyenne Odyssey,” players become Little Fox, a Northern Cheyenne boy whose life is changed by the encroachment of white settlers, railroads, and U.S. military expeditions.  As buffalo diminish and the U.S. expands westward, players experience the Cheyenne's persistence through conflict and national transformation.In “City of Immigrants,” players navigate New York’s Lower East Side as Lena, a young Jewish immigrant from Russia. Trying to save money to bring her parents to America, she works long hours in a factory for little money and gets caught up in the growing labor movement. In “Up from the Dust,” players take on the roles of twins Frank and Ginny Dunn, whose family wheat farm is devastated by the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. As they experience the hardships of the 1930s, players learn about Americans’ strategies for survival – as individuals, communities, and a nation. “Up from the Dust” is available online and as free iPad and Windows 10 apps.IMPACTMultiple research studies have found using Mission US leads to measurable gains in students' historical knowledge and skills, and yielded positive feedback from teachers. Most recently, a major summative study by Education Development Center (EDC) found that students who studied the Great Depression and Dust Bowl using Mission US significantly outperformed those who studied these topics using typical materials on standardized measures of U.S. history knowledge and skill. The Mission US group showed a 14.9% knowledge gain from pretest to posttest; the other group’s gain was less than 1%. See Research and Evaluation for summaries of past Mission US studies. PRAISE FOR MISSION USWith well over two million registered users across the fifty states and beyond, Mission US continues to earn honors and praise from educators, parents, students, and critics. See Awards and Reviews for a list of selected accolades, reviews, and testimonials.For more information, visit the Help page.  Get updates about Mission US on Facebook and Twitter.  To share your feedback or for assistance, email us via the contact form on this site. 
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Learn Torah Online - Machon Meir Learn Torah Online - Machon Meir Machon Meir is an engaging men's learning program, which provides a blend of deep Jewish learning with Israeli integration and personal guidance for each student. Located in Jerusalem's center, Machon Meir is an ideal learning environment for students and young adults, ages 20 - 35.
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Circumcision Information and Resource Pages CIRP is an Internet resource providing information about all aspects of the genital surgery known as circumcision: Medical considerations, risks, benefits and harm. Includes searchable reference library.
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The First Cut The First Cut is the leading source for unbiased information about male circumcision, covering medical and sexual aspects, history and anthropology. It includes an extensive guide to peer-reviewed literature.
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JETS School - Jewish Educational Trade school JETS is a technical college and high school that gives young Jewish men the tools with which to lead productive and fulfilling lives through a well-balanced program of Judaic studies, vocational training, and recreational activities.
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The Lilith Gallery of Toronto The Lilith Gallery of Toronto, Canada. Art and paintings of Mythological, Fantasy, and feminist icons: Representations of Lilith and the Icons of Feminism; Essays on Philosophy and Spirituality.
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Hebrew High School of New England | We are a community, a place of caring and respect for God and humanity, a place of responsibility, educational excellence and love of learning. Hebrew High School of New England is far more than an educational institution. We are a community of young men and women from across the Jewish denominational spectrum, working together to develop knowledge, values, and leadership skills.
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Lolathecur's Blog Below are two very important entries from the "Jewish Encyclopedia". Read them VERY CLOSELY. | VULGATE: Table of Contents Earlier Latin Translations. Jerome's Bible-Revision Work. Jerome's Bible-Translation Work. Jerome's Translation in Later Times. Earlier Latin Translations. Latin version of the Bible authorized by the Council of Trent in 1546 as the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church. It was the product of the work of Jerome, one of the most learned and scholarly of the Church leaders of the early Christian centuries. The earliest Latin version of the Scriptures seems to have originated not in Rome, but in one of Rome's provinces in North Africa. An Old Latin version of the New Testament was extant in North Africa in the second century C.E., and it is thought that a translation of the Old Testament into Latin was made in the same century. Indeed, Tertullian (c. 160-240) seems to have known a Latin Bible. There were at least two early Latin translations, one called the African and the other the European. These, based not on the Hebrew, but on the Greek, are thought to have been made before the text-work of such scholars as Origen, Lucian, and Hesychius, and hence would be valuable for the discovery of the Greek text with which Origen worked. But the remains of these early versions are scanty. Jerome did not translate or revise several books found in the Latin Bible, and consequently the Old Latin versions were put in their places in the later Latin Bible. These Old Latin versions are represented in the books of Esdras, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and Maccabees, and in the additions to Daniel and Esther. The Psalter also exists in a revised form, and the books of Job and Esther, of the Old Latin, are found in some ancient manuscripts. Only three other fragmentary manuscripts of the Old Testament in Old Latin are now known to be in existence. Jerome was born of Christian parents about 340-342, at Stridon, in the province of Dalmatia. He received a good education, and carried on his studies at Rome, being especially fascinated by Vergil, Terence, and Cicero. Rhetoric and Greek also claimed part of his attention. At Trier in Gaul he took up theological studies for several years. In 374 he traveled in the Orient. In a severe illness he was so impressed by a dream that he dropped secular studies. But his time had not been lost. He turned his brilliant mind, trained in the best schools of the day, to sacred things. Like Moses and Paul, he retired to a desert, that of Chalcis, near Antioch, where he spent almost five years in profound study of the Scriptures and of himself. At this period he sealed a friendship with Pope Damasus, who later opened the door to him for the great work of his life. In 379 Jerome was ordained presbyter at Antioch. Thence he went to Constantinople, where he was inspired by the expositions of Gregory Nazianzen. In 382 he reached Rome, where he lived about three years in close friendship with Damasus. Jerome's Bible-Revision Work. For a long time the Church had felt the need of a good, uniform Latin Bible. Pope Damasus at first asked his learned friend Jerome to prepare a revised Latin version of the New Testament. In 383 the Four Gospels appeared in a revised form, and at short intervals thereafter the Acts and the remaining books of the New Testament. These latter were very slightly altered by Jerome. Soon afterward he revised the Old Latin Psalter simply by the use of the Septuagint. The name given this revision was the "Roman Psalter," in distinction from the "Psalterium Vetus." The former was used in Rome and Italy down to Pius V. (1566-72), when it was displaced by the "Gallican Psalter" (so called because first adopted in Gaul), another of Jerome's revisions (made about 387), based on many corrections of the Greek text by reference to other Greek versions. About theend of 384 Pope Damasus died, and Jerome left Rome to travel and study in Bible lands. In 389 he settled at Bethlehem, assumed charge of a monastery, and prosecuted his studies with great zeal. He secured a learned Jew to teach him Hebrew for still better work than that he had been doing. His revision work had not yet ceased, for his Book of Job appeared as the result of the same kind of study as had produced the "Gallican Psalter." He revised some other books, as Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Chronicles, of which his revisions are lost, though their prefaces still exist. Jerome's Bible-Translation Work. But Jerome soon recognized the poor and unsatisfactory state of the Greek texts that he was obliged to use. This turned his mind and thought to the original Hebrew. Friends, too, urged him to translate certain books from the original text. As a resultant of long thought, and in answer to many requests, Jerome spent fifteen years, 390 to 405, on a new translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew text. He began with the books of Samuel and Kings, for which he wrote a remarkable preface, really an introduction to the entire Old Testament. He next translated the Psalms, and then the Prophets and Job. In 394-396 he prepared a translation of Esdras and Chronicles. After an interval of two years, during which he passed through a severe illness, he took up his arduous labors, and produced translations of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. The Pentateuch followed next, and the last canonical books, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and Esther, were completed by 404. The Apocryphal parts of Daniel and Esther, and Tobit and Judith, all translated from the Aramaic, completed Jerome's great task. The remainder of the Apocryphal books he left without revision or translation, as they were not found in the Hebrew Bible. Jerome's Translation in Later Times. Jerome happily has left prefaces to most of his translations, and these documents relate how he did his work and how some of the earlier books were received. Evidently he was bitterly criticized by some of his former best friends. His replies show that he was supersensitive to criticism, and often hot-tempered and stormy. His irritability and his sharp retorts to his critics rather retarded than aided the reception of his translation. But the superiority of the translation gradually won the day for most of his work. The Council of Trent in 1546 authorized the Latin Bible, which was by that time a strange composite. The Old Testament was Jerome's translation from the Hebrew, except the Psalter, which was his Gallican revision; of the Apocryphal books, Judith and Tobit were his translations, while the remainder were of the Old Latin version. The New Testament was Jerome's revision of the Old Latin translation. These translations and revisions of translations, and old original translations, constitute the Vulgate. See also Jerome. Bibliography: Grützmacher, Hieronymus: eine Bibliographische Studie, vol. i., Leipsic, 1901; S. Berger, Histoire de la Vulgate Pendant les Premières Siècles du Moyen Age, Paris, 1893; H. J. White, Codex Amiatinus and Its Birth-place, in Studia Biblica et Ecclesiastica, vol. ii., Oxford, 1890; E. Nestle, Ein Jubiläum der Lateinischen Bibel, Tübingen, 1892; E. von Dobschütz, Studien zur Textkritik der Vulgata, Leipsic, 1894; Hastings, Dict. Bible. See fuller bibliography in S. Berger's work, mentioned above.JEROME (EUSEBIUS HIERONYMUS SOPHRONIUS): Table of Contents His Teachers. His Knowledge of Hebrew. Exegesis. Use of Noṭariḳon. Traditions. Church father; next to Origen, who wrote in Greek, the most learned student of the Bible among the Latin ecclesiastical writers, and, previous to modern times, the only Christian scholar able to study the Hebrew Bible in the original. The dates of his birth and death are not definitely known; but he is generally assumed to have lived from 337 to 420. Born in Stridon, Dalmatia, he went as a youth to Rome, where he attended a school of grammar and rhetoric. He then traveled in Gaul and Italy, and in 373 went to Antioch, where he became the pupil of Apollinaris of Laodicea, the representative of the exegetical school of Antioch; subsequently, however, Jerome did not accept the purely historical exegesis of this school, but adopted more nearly the typic-allegoric method of Origen. From Antioch he went to Chalcis in the Syrian desert, where he led the strictly ascetic life of a hermit, in atonement for the sins of his youth. Here to facilitate his intercourse with the people, he was obliged to learn Syriac; and this language doubtless aided him later in his Hebrew studies ("Epistolæ," xvii. 2; yet comp. ib. lxxviii. and comm. on Jer. ii. 18). Here also he began with great labor to study Hebrew, with the aid of a baptized Jew (ib. cxxv. 12), and it may be he of whom he says (ib. xviii. 10) that he was regarded by Jewish scholars as a Chaldean and as a master of the interpretation of Scripture (ib. cxxv. 12). On a second visit to Antioch Jerome was ordained a priest. He then went to Constantinople, and thence to Rome, where he undertook literary work for Pope Damasus, beginning at the same time his own Biblical works (c. 383). He finally settled at Bethlehem in Palestine (c. 385), founding a monastery there which he directed down to his death. This outline of Jerome's life indicates that he was a master of Latin and Greek learning, and by studying furthermore Syriac and Hebrew united in his person the culture of the East and of the West. His Teachers. It was in Bethlehem that he devoted himself most seriously to Hebrew studies. Here he had as teachers several Jews, one of whom taught him reading ("Hebræus autem qui nos in veteris instrumenti lectione erudivit"; comm. on Isa. xxii. 17); the peculiar pronunciation of Hebrew often found in Jerome's works was probably therefore derived from this Jew. Jerome was not satisfied to study with any one Jew, but applied to several, choosing always the most learned (preface to Hosea: "diceremque . . . quid ab Hebræorum magistris vix uno et altero acceperim"; "Epistolæ," lxxiii. 9 [i. 443]: "hæc ab eruditissimis gentis illius didicimus"). With similar words Jerome is always attempting to inspire confidence in his exegesis; but they must not be taken too literally, as he was wont to boast of his scholarship. However, he was doubtless in a position to obtain the opinions of several Jews; for he often refers to "quidam Hebræorum." He even traveled in the province of Palestine with his Jewish friends, in order to become better acquainted with the scenes of Biblical history (preface to "Paralipomena," i.); one of them was his guide (preface to Nahum). Of only three of his teachers is anything definite known. One, whom he calls "Lyddæus," seems to have taught him only translation and exegesis, while the traditions ("midrash") were derived from another Jew. Lyddæus spoke Greek, with which Jerome was conversant (comm. on Ezek. ix. 3; on Dan. vi. 4). Lyddæus, in interpreting Ecclesiastes, once referred to a midrash which appeared to Jerome absurd (comm. on Eccl. iii. 1); Jerome thought him fluent, but not always sound; this teacher was therefore a haggadist. He was occasionally unwilling to explain the text (ib. v. 1). Jerome was frequently not satisfied with his teacher's exegesis, and disputed with him; and he often says that he merely read the Scriptures with him (comm. on Eccl. iv. 14, v. 3; "Onomastica Sacra," 90, 12). Another teacher is called "Baranina," i.e., "Bar Ḥanina," of Tiberias. He acquainted Jerome with a mass of Hebrew traditions, some of which referred especially to his native place, Tiberias. He came at night only, and sometimes, being afraid to come himself, he sent a certain Nicodemus ("Epistolæ," lxxxiv. 3 [i. 520]). A third teacher, who may be called "Chaldæus," taught Jerome Aramaic, which was necessary for the Old Testament passages and the books of the Apocrypha written in that language. This teacher of Aramaic was very prominent among the Jews, and Jerome, who had great difficulty in learning Aramaic, was very well satisfied with his instruction (prefaces to Tobit and Daniel). Jerome continued to study with Jews during the forty years that he lived in Palestine (comm. on Nahum ii. 1; "a quibus [Judæis] non modico tempore eruditus"). His enemies frequently took him to task for his intercourse with the Jews; but he answered: "How can loyalty to the Church be impaired merely because the reader is informed of the different ways in which a verse is interpreted by the Jews?" ("Contra Rufinum," ii. 476). This sentence characterizes the Jewish exegesis of that time. Jerome's real intention in studying the Hebrew text is shown in the following sentence: "Why should I not be permitted, . . . for the purpose of confuting the Jews, to use those copies of the Bible which they themselves admit to be genuine? Then when the Christians dispute with them, they shall have no excuse" (ib. book iii.; ed. Vallarsi, ii. 554). His Knowledge of Hebrew. Jerome's knowledge of Hebrew is considerable only when compared with that of the other Church Fathers and of the general Christian public of his time. His knowledge was really very defective. Although he pretends to have complete command of Hebrew and proudly calls himself a "trilinguis" (being conversant with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew), he did not, in spite of all his hard work, attain to the proficiency of his simple Jewish teachers. But he did not commit those errors into which the Christians generally fell; as he himself says: "The Jews boast of their knowledge of the Law when they remember the several names which we generally pronounce in a corrupt way because they are barbaric and we do not know their etymology. And if we happen to make a mistake in the accent [the pronunciation of the word as affected by the vowels] and in the length of the syllables, lengthening short ones and shortening long ones, they laugh at our ignorance, especially as shown in aspiration and in some letters pronounced with a rasping of the throat" (comm. on Titus iii. 9). Jerome not only acquired the peculiar hissing pronunciation of the Jews, but he also—so he declares—corrupted his pronunciation of Latin thereby, and ruined his fine Latin style by Hebraisms (preface to book iii., comm. on Galatians; "Epistolæ," xxix. 7; ed. Vallarsi, i. 143). This statement of Jerome's is not to be taken very seriously, however. In his voluminous works Jerome transcribed in Latin letters a mass of Hebrew words, giving thereby more or less exact information on the pronunciation of Hebrew then current. But, although he studied with the Jews, his pronunciation of Hebrew can not therefore be unhesitatingly regarded as that of the Jews, because he was led by the course of his studies, by habit, and by ecclesiastical authority to follow the Septuagint in regard to proper names, and this version had long before this become Christian. Jerome shared the belief of the Hebrews and of most of the Church Fathers that Hebrew was the parent of all the other languages ("Opera," vi. 730b). He sometimes distinguishes Hebrew from Aramaic (preface to Tobit), but sometimes appears to call both Syriac. In reference to Isa. xix. 18 (comm. ad loc.; comp. "Epistolæ," cviii.) he speaks also of the "Canaanitish" language, as being closely related to Hebrew and still spoken in five cities of Egypt, meaning thereby either Aramaic or Syriac. In explaining "yemim" (Gen. xxxvi. 24), he correctly states in regard to the Punic language that it was related to Hebrew ("Quæstiones Hebraicæ in Genesin"). His knowledge of Hebrew appears most clearly in his two important works, that on the Hebrew proper names and that on the situation of the places mentioned in the Bible; in his extensive commentaries on most of the books of the Old Testament; and especially in his chief work, the new Latin translation of the Bible from the Hebrew original (see Vulgate). Through these works he not only became an authority on the Bible during his lifetime, but he remained a leading teacher of Christianity in the following ages, because down to very recent times no one could go direct to the original text as he had done. Jerome's importance was recognized by the Jewish authors of the Middle Ages, and he is frequently cited by David Ḳimḥi; also by Abu al-Walid ("Sefer ha-Shorashim," s.v. and ), Abraham ibn Ezra (on Gen. xxxvii. 35), Samuel b. Meïr (on Ex. xx. 13), Naḥmanides (on Gen. xli. 45), Joseph Albo (iii. 25), and the polemic Isaac Troki (in "Ḥizzuḳ Emunah"). Jerome is also important because he could consult works which have since disappeared, as, for example, Origen's "Hexapla" (he says that he had seen a copy of the Hebrew Ben Sira, but he seems not to have used it); he had Aramaic copies of the Apocryphal books Judith and Tobit; and the so-called Hebrew Gospel, which was written in Hebrew script in the Aramaic language, he translated into Greek and Latin ("Contra Pelagianos," iii. 2; "De Viris Illustribus," ch. ii.; comm. on Matt. xii. 13). Exegesis. Jerome's exegesis is Jewish in spirit, reflecting the methods of the Palestinian haggadists. He expressly states, in certain cases, that he adopts the Jewish opinion, especially when he controverts Christian opponents and errors (comm. on Joel iv. 11: "nobis autem Hebræorum opinionem sequentibus"); he reproduces the Jewish exegesis both in letter (comm. on Amos v. 18-19) and in substance (παραφραστικῶς; comm. on Dan. ix. 24). Hence he presents Jewish exegesis from the purely Jewish point of view. Even the language of the Haggadah appears in his commentaries, e.g., where the explanation is given in the form of question and answer (comm. on Dan. ii. 12: quærunt Hebræi"); or when he says, in explaining, "This it is that is said" ("Hoc est quod dicitur"; comp. ); or when several opinions are cited on the same subject ("alii Judæorum"); or when a disputation is added thereto ("Epistola xix. ad Hedibiam," i. 55). He even uses technical phrases, such as "The wise men teach" ("Epistolæ," cxxi.) or "One may read" (comm. on Nahum. iii. 8). This kind of haggadic exegesis, which is merely intended to introduce a homiletic remark, leads Jerome to accuse the Jews unjustly of being arbitrary in their interpretation of the Bible text. But he did not believe that the Jews corrupted the text, as Christians frequently accused them of doing. While at Rome he obtained from a Jew a synagogue-roll ("Epistolæ," xxxvi. 1) because he considered the Hebrew text as the only correct one, as the "Hebraica veritas," which from this time on he regarded as authoritative in all exegetical disputes. Jerome hereby laid down the law for Bible exegesis. Of course he recognized also some of the faults of Jewish exegesis, as, for example, the forced combination of unconnected verses (comm. on Isa. xliv. 15: "stulta contentione"); he sometimes regards his teacher's interpretation to be arbitrary, and opposes to it his own (ib. xlix. 1). Contrary to the haggadic interpretation of the Jews, he correctly notices a difference between "Hananeel" (Jer. xxxi. 38; see comm. ad loc.) and "Hanameel" (ib. xxxii. 7). Jerome rarely employs simple historical exegesis, but, like all his contemporaries, wanders in the mazes of symbolic, allegoric, and even mystic exegesis. In his commentary on Joel i. 4 he adopts the Jewish interpretation, according to which the four kinds of locusts mean the four empires; Zech. iv. 2, in which the lamp means the Law, its flame the Messiah, and its seven branches the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, he interprets entirely mystically. Use of Noṭariḳon. In his commentary on Eccl. i. 9 he even teaches the preexistence of all beings, including man. He frequently uses the NoṬariḳon, e.g., in reference to Zerubbabel (comm. on Hag. i. 1) or to Abishag ("Epistolæ," lii. [i. 210]). Jerome's exegesis came in some respects like a revelation to the Christian world, and cleared up difficulties in reading the Bible; e.g., his explanation of the Hebrew alphabet ("Epistola xxx. ad Paulam," i. 144) or that of the ten names of God ("Epistola xxv. ad Marcellam," i. 128). It must always be remembered that in many portions of his allegorical exegesis Jerome is entirely in agreement with Hellenistic methods; for instance, in the explanation of the four colors in the sanctuary of the desert ("Epistola lxiv. ad Fabiolam," i. 364; comp. Philo, "De Monarchia," § 2; Josephus, "B. J." v. 4, § 4; idem, "Ant." iii. 7, § 7). Jerome's commentaries are of small value for Old Testament criticism, on account of the inclination to allegorize which leads him to a free treatment of the text, as well as on account of his polemics against Judaism (comp. Jew. Encyc. iv. 81, s.v. Church Fathers). Traditions. Jerome's works are especially important for Judaism because of the numerous Jewish traditions found in them, particularly in his work "Quæstiones Hebraicæ in Genesin." Jerome designates by the general name "tradition" all supplementary and edifying stories found in the Midrash and relating to the personages and events of the Bible; these stories may fitly be designated as historic haggadah. Here also Jerome affirms that he faithfully reproduces what the Jews have told him (comm. on Amos iv. 16: "hoc Hebræi autumant et sicut nobis ab ipsis traditum est, nostris fideliter exposuimus"). He designates the Jewish legend of Isaiah's martyrdom as an authentic tradition (comm. on Isa. lvii. 1: "apud cos certissima traditio"), while he doubts the story of Jeremiah's crucifixion because there is no reference to it in Scripture (comm. on Jer. xi. 18). Jerome often remarks that a certain story is not found in Scripture, but only in tradition (comm. on Isa. xxii. 15), and that these traditions originated with the "magistri," i.e., the Rabbis (comm. on Ezek. xlv. 10); that these "fables" are incorporated into the text on the strength of one word (comm. on Dan. vi. 4); and that many authors are cited to confirm this tradition. All these remarks exactly characterize the nature of the Haggadah. Jerome apparently likes these traditions, though they sometimes displease him, and then he contemptuously designates them as "fabulæ" or "Jewish fables," "ridiculous fables" (comm. on Ezek. xxv. 8), "ridiculous things" (on Eccl. iii. 1), or "cunning inventions" (on Zech. v. 7). Jerome's opinion of these traditions is immaterial at the present time. The important point is that he quotes them; for thereby the well-known traditions of the Midrash are obtained in Latin form, and in this form they are sometimes more concise and comprehensible—in any case they are more interesting. Moreover, many traditions that appear from the sources in which they are found to be of a late date are thus proved to be of earlier origin. Jerome also recounts traditions that are no longer found in canonical Jewish sources, as well as some that have been preserved in the Jewish and Christian Apocrypha. It is, furthermore, interesting to note that Jerome had read some of these traditions; hence they had been committed to writing in his time. Although other Church Fathers quote Jewish traditions none equal Jerome in the number and faithfulness of their quotations. This Midrash treasure has unfortunately not yet been fully examined; scholars have only recently begun to investigate this field. Nor have Jerome's works been properly studied as yet in reference to the valuable material they contain on the political status of the Jews of Palestine, their social life, their organization, their religiousviews, their Messianic hopes, and their relations to Christians. Jerome was no friend to the Jews, although he owed them much; he often rebukes them for their errors; reproaches them for being stiff-necked and inimical to the Christians; controverts their views in the strongest terms; curses and reviles them; takes pleasure in their misfortune; and even uses against them both the books that he has cunningly obtained from them and the knowledge he has derived therefrom. Thus Jews and Christians agree that he is eminent only for his scholarship, and not for his character. See Church Fathers. Bibliography: O. Zöckler, Hieronymus, Sein Leben und Sein Wirken, Gotha, 1865; A. Thierry, St. Jérôme, Paris, 1867, 1875; Grützmacher, Hieronymus, part i., Leipsic, 1901; Nowack, Die Bedeutung des Hieronymus für die A. T. Textkritik, 1875, pp. 6-10; S. Krauss, in Magyar Zsidó Szémle, 1890, vii., passim; idem, in J. Q. R. vi. 225-261; M. Rahmer, Die Hebräischen Traditionen in den Werken des Hieronymus, i., Breslau, 1861; ii., Berlin, 1898; idem, in Ben Chananja, vii.; idem, in Monatsschrift, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868; idem, in Grätz Jubelschrift; Siegfried, Die Aussprache des Hebräischen bei Hieronymus, in Stade's Zeitschrift, iv. 34-82; Spanier, Exegetische Beiträge, zu Hieronymus, Bern, 1897; W. Bacher, Eine Angebliche Lücke im Hebräischen Wissen des Hieronymus, in Stade's Zeitschrift, xxii. 114-116. VULGATE: Table of Contents Earlier Latin Translations. Jerome's Bible-Revision Work. Jerome's Bible-Translation Work. Jerome's Translation in Later Times. Earlier Latin Translations. Latin version of the Bible authorized by the Council of Trent in 1546 as the Bible of the Roman Catholic Church. It was the product of the work of Jerome, one of the most learned and scholarly of the Church leaders of the early Christian centuries. The earliest Latin version of the Scriptures seems to have originated not in Rome, but in one of Rome's provinces in North Africa. An Old Latin version of the New Testament was extant in North Africa in the second century C.E., and it is thought that a translation of the Old Testament into Latin was made in the same century. Indeed, Tertullian (c. 160-240) seems to have known a Latin Bible. There were at least two early Latin translations, one called the African and the other the European. These, based not on the Hebrew, but on the Greek, are thought to have been made before the text-work of such scholars as Origen, Lucian, and Hesychius, and hence would be valuable for the discovery of the Greek text with which Origen worked. But the remains of these early versions are scanty. Jerome did not translate or revise several books found in the Latin Bible, and consequently the Old Latin versions were put in their places in the later Latin Bible. These Old Latin versions are represented in the books of Esdras, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, and Maccabees, and in the additions to Daniel and Esther. The Psalter also exists in a revised form, and the books of Job and Esther, of the Old Latin, are found in some ancient manuscripts. Only three other fragmentary manuscripts of the Old Testament in Old Latin are now known to be in existence. Jerome was born of Christian parents about 340-342, at Stridon, in the province of Dalmatia. He received a good education, and carried on his studies at Rome, being especially fascinated by Vergil, Terence, and Cicero. Rhetoric and Greek also claimed part of his attention. At Trier in Gaul he took up theological studies for several years. In 374 he traveled in the Orient. In a severe illness he was so impressed by a dream that he dropped secular studies. But his time had not been lost. He turned his brilliant mind, trained in the best schools of the day, to sacred things. Like Moses and Paul, he retired to a desert, that of Chalcis, near Antioch, where he spent almost five years in profound study of the Scriptures and of himself. At this period he sealed a friendship with Pope Damasus, who later opened the door to him for the great work of his life. In 379 Jerome was ordained presbyter at Antioch. Thence he went to Constantinople, where he was inspired by the expositions of Gregory Nazianzen. In 382 he reached Rome, where he lived about three years in close friendship with Damasus. Jerome's Bible-Revision Work. For a long time the Church had felt the need of a good, uniform Latin Bible. Pope Damasus at first asked his learned friend Jerome to prepare a revised Latin version of the New Testament. In 383 the Four Gospels appeared in a revised form, and at short intervals thereafter the Acts and the remaining books of the New Testament. These latter were very slightly altered by Jerome. Soon afterward he revised the Old Latin Psalter simply by the use of the Septuagint. The name given this revision was the "Roman Psalter," in distinction from the "Psalterium Vetus." The former was used in Rome and Italy down to Pius V. (1566-72), when it was displaced by the "Gallican Psalter" (so called because first adopted in Gaul), another of Jerome's revisions (made about 387), based on many corrections of the Greek text by reference to other Greek versions. About theend of 384 Pope Damasus died, and Jerome left Rome to travel and study in Bible lands. In 389 he settled at Bethlehem, assumed charge of a monastery, and prosecuted his studies with great zeal. He secured a learned Jew to teach him Hebrew for still better work than that he had been doing. His revision work had not yet ceased, for his Book of Job appeared as the result of the same kind of study as had produced the "Gallican Psalter." He revised some other books, as Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Chronicles, of which his revisions are lost, though their prefaces still exist. Jerome's Bible-Translation Work. But Jerome soon recognized the poor and unsatisfactory state of the Greek texts that he was obliged to use. This turned his mind and thought to the original Hebrew. Friends, too, urged him to translate certain books from the original text. As a resultant of long thought, and in answer to many requests, Jerome spent fifteen years, 390 to 405, on a new translation of the Old Testament from the original Hebrew text. He began with the books of Samuel and Kings, for which he wrote a remarkable preface, really an introduction to the entire Old Testament. He next translated the Psalms, and then the Prophets and Job. In 394-396 he prepared a translation of Esdras and Chronicles. After an interval of two years, during which he passed through a severe illness, he took up his arduous labors, and produced translations of Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs. The Pentateuch followed next, and the last canonical books, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and Esther, were completed by 404. The Apocryphal parts of Daniel and Esther, and Tobit and Judith, all translated from the Aramaic, completed Jerome's great task. The remainder of the Apocryphal books he left without revision or translation, as they were not found in the Hebrew Bible. Jerome's Translation in Later Times. Jerome happily has left prefaces to most of his translations, and these documents relate how he did his work and how some of the earlier books were received. Evidently he was bitterly criticized by some of his former best friends. His replies show that he was supersensitive to criticism, and often hot-tempered and stormy. His irritability and his sharp retorts to his critics rather retarded than aided the reception of his translation. But the superiority of the translation gradually won the day for most of his work. The Council of Trent in 1546 authorized the Latin Bible, which was by that time a strange composite. The Old Testament was Jerome's translation from the Hebrew, except the Psalter, which was his Gallican revision; of the Apocryphal books, Judith and Tobit were his translations, while the remainder were of the Old Latin version. The New Testament was Jerome's revision of the Old Latin translation. These translations and revisions of translations, and old original translations, constitute the Vulgate. See also Jerome. Bibliography: Grützmacher, Hieronymus: eine Bibliographische Studie, vol. i., Leipsic, 1901; S. Berger, Histoire de la Vulgate Pendant les Premières Siècles du Moyen Age, Paris, 1893; H. J. White, Codex Amiatinus and Its Birth-place, in Studia Biblica et Ecclesiastica, vol. ii., Oxford, 1890; E. Nestle, Ein Jubiläum der Lateinischen Bibel, Tübingen, 1892; E. von Dobschütz, Studien zur Textkritik der Vulgata, Leipsic, 1894; Hastings, Dict. Bible. See fuller bibliography in S. Berger's work, mentioned above.JEROME (EUSEBIUS HIERONYMUS SOPHRONIUS): Table of Contents His Teachers. His Knowledge of Hebrew. Exegesis. Use of Noṭariḳon. Traditions. Church father; next to Origen, who wrote in Greek, the most learned student of the Bible among the Latin ecclesiastical writers, and, previous to modern times, the only Christian scholar able to study the Hebrew Bible in the original. The dates of his birth and death are not definitely known; but he is generally assumed to have lived from 337 to 420. Born in Stridon, Dalmatia, he went as a youth to Rome, where he attended a school of grammar and rhetoric. He then traveled in Gaul and Italy, and in 373 went to Antioch, where he became the pupil of Apollinaris of Laodicea, the representative of the exegetical school of Antioch; subsequently, however, Jerome did not accept the purely historical exegesis of this school, but adopted more nearly the typic-allegoric method of Origen. From Antioch he went to Chalcis in the Syrian desert, where he led the strictly ascetic life of a hermit, in atonement for the sins of his youth. Here to facilitate his intercourse with the people, he was obliged to learn Syriac; and this language doubtless aided him later in his Hebrew studies ("Epistolæ," xvii. 2; yet comp. ib. lxxviii. and comm. on Jer. ii. 18). Here also he began with great labor to study Hebrew, with the aid of a baptized Jew (ib. cxxv. 12), and it may be he of whom he says (ib. xviii. 10) that he was regarded by Jewish scholars as a Chaldean and as a master of the interpretation of Scripture (ib. cxxv. 12). On a second visit to Antioch Jerome was ordained a priest. He then went to Constantinople, and thence to Rome, where he undertook literary work for Pope Damasus, beginning at the same time his own Biblical works (c. 383). He finally settled at Bethlehem in Palestine (c. 385), founding a monastery there which he directed down to his death. This outline of Jerome's life indicates that he was a master of Latin and Greek learning, and by studying furthermore Syriac and Hebrew united in his person the culture of the East and of the West. His Teachers. It was in Bethlehem that he devoted himself most seriously to Hebrew studies. Here he had as teachers several Jews, one of whom taught him reading ("Hebræus autem qui nos in veteris instrumenti lectione erudivit"; comm. on Isa. xxii. 17); the peculiar pronunciation of Hebrew often found in Jerome's works was probably therefore derived from this Jew. Jerome was not satisfied to study with any one Jew, but applied to several, choosing always the most learned (preface to Hosea: "diceremque . . . quid ab Hebræorum magistris vix uno et altero acceperim"; "Epistolæ," lxxiii. 9 [i. 443]: "hæc ab eruditissimis gentis illius didicimus"). With similar words Jerome is always attempting to inspire confidence in his exegesis; but they must not be taken too literally, as he was wont to boast of his scholarship. However, he was doubtless in a position to obtain the opinions of several Jews; for he often refers to "quidam Hebræorum." He even traveled in the province of Palestine with his Jewish friends, in order to become better acquainted with the scenes of Biblical history (preface to "Paralipomena," i.); one of them was his guide (preface to Nahum). Of only three of his teachers is anything definite known. One, whom he calls "Lyddæus," seems to have taught him only translation and exegesis, while the traditions ("midrash") were derived from another Jew. Lyddæus spoke Greek, with which Jerome was conversant (comm. on Ezek. ix. 3; on Dan. vi. 4). Lyddæus, in interpreting Ecclesiastes, once referred to a midrash which appeared to Jerome absurd (comm. on Eccl. iii. 1); Jerome thought him fluent, but not always sound; this teacher was therefore a haggadist. He was occasionally unwilling to explain the text (ib. v. 1). Jerome was frequently not satisfied with his teacher's exegesis, and disputed with him; and he often says that he merely read the Scriptures with him (comm. on Eccl. iv. 14, v. 3; "Onomastica Sacra," 90, 12). Another teacher is called "Baranina," i.e., "Bar Ḥanina," of Tiberias. He acquainted Jerome with a mass of Hebrew traditions, some of which referred especially to his native place, Tiberias. He came at night only, and sometimes, being afraid to come himself, he sent a certain Nicodemus ("Epistolæ," lxxxiv. 3 [i. 520]). A third teacher, who may be called "Chaldæus," taught Jerome Aramaic, which was necessary for the Old Testament passages and the books of the Apocrypha written in that language. This teacher of Aramaic was very prominent among the Jews, and Jerome, who had great difficulty in learning Aramaic, was very well satisfied with his instruction (prefaces to Tobit and Daniel). Jerome continued to study with Jews during the forty years that he lived in Palestine (comm. on Nahum ii. 1; "a quibus [Judæis] non modico tempore eruditus"). His enemies frequently took him to task for his intercourse with the Jews; but he answered: "How can loyalty to the Church be impaired merely because the reader is informed of the different ways in which a verse is interpreted by the Jews?" ("Contra Rufinum," ii. 476). This sentence characterizes the Jewish exegesis of that time. Jerome's real intention in studying the Hebrew text is shown in the following sentence: "Why should I not be permitted, . . . for the purpose of confuting the Jews, to use those copies of the Bible which they themselves admit to be genuine? Then when the Christians dispute with them, they shall have no excuse" (ib. book iii.; ed. Vallarsi, ii. 554). His Knowledge of Hebrew. Jerome's knowledge of Hebrew is considerable only when compared with that of the other Church Fathers and of the general Christian public of his time. His knowledge was really very defective. Although he pretends to have complete command of Hebrew and proudly calls himself a "trilinguis" (being conversant with Latin, Greek, and Hebrew), he did not, in spite of all his hard work, attain to the proficiency of his simple Jewish teachers. But he did not commit those errors into which the Christians generally fell; as he himself says: "The Jews boast of their knowledge of the Law when they remember the several names which we generally pronounce in a corrupt way because they are barbaric and we do not know their etymology. And if we happen to make a mistake in the accent [the pronunciation of the word as affected by the vowels] and in the length of the syllables, lengthening short ones and shortening long ones, they laugh at our ignorance, especially as shown in aspiration and in some letters pronounced with a rasping of the throat" (comm. on Titus iii. 9). Jerome not only acquired the peculiar hissing pronunciation of the Jews, but he also—so he declares—corrupted his pronunciation of Latin thereby, and ruined his fine Latin style by Hebraisms (preface to book iii., comm. on Galatians; "Epistolæ," xxix. 7; ed. Vallarsi, i. 143). This statement of Jerome's is not to be taken very seriously, however. In his voluminous works Jerome transcribed in Latin letters a mass of Hebrew words, giving thereby more or less exact information on the pronunciation of Hebrew then current. But, although he studied with the Jews, his pronunciation of Hebrew can not therefore be unhesitatingly regarded as that of the Jews, because he was led by the course of his studies, by habit, and by ecclesiastical authority to follow the Septuagint in regard to proper names, and this version had long before this become Christian. Jerome shared the belief of the Hebrews and of most of the Church Fathers that Hebrew was the parent of all the other languages ("Opera," vi. 730b). He sometimes distinguishes Hebrew from Aramaic (preface to Tobit), but sometimes appears to call both Syriac. In reference to Isa. xix. 18 (comm. ad loc.; comp. "Epistolæ," cviii.) he speaks also of the "Canaanitish" language, as being closely related to Hebrew and still spoken in five cities of Egypt, meaning thereby either Aramaic or Syriac. In explaining "yemim" (Gen. xxxvi. 24), he correctly states in regard to the Punic language that it was related to Hebrew ("Quæstiones Hebraicæ in Genesin"). His knowledge of Hebrew appears most clearly in his two important works, that on the Hebrew proper names and that on the situation of the places mentioned in the Bible; in his extensive commentaries on most of the books of the Old Testament; and especially in his chief work, the new Latin translation of the Bible from the Hebrew original (see Vulgate). Through these works he not only became an authority on the Bible during his lifetime, but he remained a leading teacher of Christianity in the following ages, because down to very recent times no one could go direct to the original text as he had done. Jerome's importance was recognized by the Jewish authors of the Middle Ages, and he is frequently cited by David Ḳimḥi; also by Abu al-Walid ("Sefer ha-Shorashim," s.v. and ), Abraham ibn Ezra (on Gen. xxxvii. 35), Samuel b. Meïr (on Ex. xx. 13), Naḥmanides (on Gen. xli. 45), Joseph Albo (iii. 25), and the polemic Isaac Troki (in "Ḥizzuḳ Emunah"). Jerome is also important because he could consult works which have since disappeared, as, for example, Origen's "Hexapla" (he says that he had seen a copy of the Hebrew Ben Sira, but he seems not to have used it); he had Aramaic copies of the Apocryphal books Judith and Tobit; and the so-called Hebrew Gospel, which was written in Hebrew script in the Aramaic language, he translated into Greek and Latin ("Contra Pelagianos," iii. 2; "De Viris Illustribus," ch. ii.; comm. on Matt. xii. 13). Exegesis. Jerome's exegesis is Jewish in spirit, reflecting the methods of the Palestinian haggadists. He expressly states, in certain cases, that he adopts the Jewish opinion, especially when he controverts Christian opponents and errors (comm. on Joel iv. 11: "nobis autem Hebræorum opinionem sequentibus"); he reproduces the Jewish exegesis both in letter (comm. on Amos v. 18-19) and in substance (παραφραστικῶς; comm. on Dan. ix. 24). Hence he presents Jewish exegesis from the purely Jewish point of view. Even the language of the Haggadah appears in his commentaries, e.g., where the explanation is given in the form of question and answer (comm. on Dan. ii. 12: quærunt Hebræi"); or when he says, in explaining, "This it is that is said" ("Hoc est quod dicitur"; comp. ); or when several opinions are cited on the same subject ("alii Judæorum"); or when a disputation is added thereto ("Epistola xix. ad Hedibiam," i. 55). He even uses technical phrases, such as "The wise men teach" ("Epistolæ," cxxi.) or "One may read" (comm. on Nahum. iii. 8). This kind of haggadic exegesis, which is merely intended to introduce a homiletic remark, leads Jerome to accuse the Jews unjustly of being arbitrary in their interpretation of the Bible text. But he did not believe that the Jews corrupted the text, as Christians frequently accused them of doing. While at Rome he obtained from a Jew a synagogue-roll ("Epistolæ," xxxvi. 1) because he considered the Hebrew text as the only correct one, as the "Hebraica veritas," which from this time on he regarded as authoritative in all exegetical disputes. Jerome hereby laid down the law for Bible exegesis. Of course he recognized also some of the faults of Jewish exegesis, as, for example, the forced combination of unconnected verses (comm. on Isa. xliv. 15: "stulta contentione"); he sometimes regards his teacher's interpretation to be arbitrary, and opposes to it his own (ib. xlix. 1). Contrary to the haggadic interpretation of the Jews, he correctly notices a difference between "Hananeel" (Jer. xxxi. 38; see comm. ad loc.) and "Hanameel" (ib. xxxii. 7). Jerome rarely employs simple historical exegesis, but, like all his contemporaries, wanders in the mazes of symbolic, allegoric, and even mystic exegesis. In his commentary on Joel i. 4 he adopts the Jewish interpretation, according to which the four kinds of locusts mean the four empires; Zech. iv. 2, in which the lamp means the Law, its flame the Messiah, and its seven branches the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, he interprets entirely mystically. Use of Noṭariḳon. In his commentary on Eccl. i. 9 he even teaches the preexistence of all beings, including man. He frequently uses the NoṬariḳon, e.g., in reference to Zerubbabel (comm. on Hag. i. 1) or to Abishag ("Epistolæ," lii. [i. 210]). Jerome's exegesis came in some respects like a revelation to the Christian world, and cleared up difficulties in reading the Bible; e.g., his explanation of the Hebrew alphabet ("Epistola xxx. ad Paulam," i. 144) or that of the ten names of God ("Epistola xxv. ad Marcellam," i. 128). It must always be remembered that in many portions of his allegorical exegesis Jerome is entirely in agreement with Hellenistic methods; for instance, in the explanation of the four colors in the sanctuary of the desert ("Epistola lxiv. ad Fabiolam," i. 364; comp. Philo, "De Monarchia," § 2; Josephus, "B. J." v. 4, § 4; idem, "Ant." iii. 7, § 7). Jerome's commentaries are of small value for Old Testament criticism, on account of the inclination to allegorize which leads him to a free treatment of the text, as well as on account of his polemics against Judaism (comp. Jew. Encyc. iv. 81, s.v. Church Fathers). Traditions. Jerome's works are especially important for Judaism because of the numerous Jewish traditions found in them, particularly in his work "Quæstiones Hebraicæ in Genesin." Jerome designates by the general name "tradition" all supplementary and edifying stories found in the Midrash and relating to the personages and events of the Bible; these stories may fitly be designated as historic haggadah. Here also Jerome affirms that he faithfully reproduces what the Jews have told him (comm. on Amos iv. 16: "hoc Hebræi autumant et sicut nobis ab ipsis traditum est, nostris fideliter exposuimus"). He designates the Jewish legend of Isaiah's martyrdom as an authentic tradition (comm. on Isa. lvii. 1: "apud cos certissima traditio"), while he doubts the story of Jeremiah's crucifixion because there is no reference to it in Scripture (comm. on Jer. xi. 18). Jerome often remarks that a certain story is not found in Scripture, but only in tradition (comm. on Isa. xxii. 15), and that these traditions originated with the "magistri," i.e., the Rabbis (comm. on Ezek. xlv. 10); that these "fables" are incorporated into the text on the strength of one word (comm. on Dan. vi. 4); and that many authors are cited to confirm this tradition. All these remarks exactly characterize the nature of the Haggadah. Jerome apparently likes these traditions, though they sometimes displease him, and then he contemptuously designates them as "fabulæ" or "Jewish fables," "ridiculous fables" (comm. on Ezek. xxv. 8), "ridiculous things" (on Eccl. iii. 1), or "cunning inventions" (on Zech. v. 7). Jerome's opinion of these traditions is immaterial at the present time. The important point is that he quotes them; for thereby the well-known traditions of the Midrash are obtained in Latin form, and in this form they are sometimes more concise and comprehensible—in any case they are more interesting. Moreover, many traditions that appear from the sources in which they are found to be of a late date are thus proved to be of earlier origin. Jerome also recounts traditions that are no longer found in canonical Jewish sources, as well as some that have been preserved in the Jewish and Christian Apocrypha. It is, furthermore, interesting to note that Jerome had read some of these traditions; hence they had been committed to writing in his time. Although other Church Fathers quote Jewish traditions none equal Jerome in the number and faithfulness of their quotations. This Midrash treasure has unfortunately not yet been fully examined; scholars have only recently begun to investigate this field. Nor have Jerome's works been properly studied as yet in reference to the valuable material they contain on the political status of the Jews of Palestine, their social life, their organization, their religiousviews, their Messianic hopes, and their relations to Christians. Jerome was no friend to the Jews, although he owed them much; he often rebukes them for their errors; reproaches them for being stiff-necked and inimical to the Christians; controverts their views in the strongest terms; curses and reviles them; takes pleasure in their misfortune; and even uses against them both the books that he has cunningly obtained from them and the knowledge he has derived therefrom. Thus Jews and Christians agree that he is eminent only for his scholarship, and not for his character. See Church Fathers. Bibliography: O. Zöckler, Hieronymus, Sein Leben und Sein Wirken, Gotha, 1865; A. Thierry, St. Jérôme, Paris, 1867, 1875; Grützmacher, Hieronymus, part i., Leipsic, 1901; Nowack, Die Bedeutung des Hieronymus für die A. T. Textkritik, 1875, pp. 6-10; S. Krauss, in Magyar Zsidó Szémle, 1890, vii., passim; idem, in J. Q. R. vi. 225-261; M. Rahmer, Die Hebräischen Traditionen in den Werken des Hieronymus, i., Breslau, 1861; ii., Berlin, 1898; idem, in Ben Chananja, vii.; idem, in Monatsschrift, 1865, 1866, 1867, 1868; idem, in Grätz Jubelschrift; Siegfried, Die Aussprache des Hebräischen bei Hieronymus, in Stade's Zeitschrift, iv. 34-82; Spanier, Exegetische Beiträge, zu Hieronymus, Bern, 1897; W. Bacher, Eine Angebliche Lücke im Hebräischen Wissen des Hieronymus, in Stade's Zeitschrift, xxii. 114-116.
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Right From the Hip | Observations & Opinions | Politics, Law & Current Events In which our Vagabond Seeks a City in Motion. It is early Saturday evening, the doors are open, the coffee house beckons. I enter into a crowd – young and old, in pairs, groups and singles, are standing in line, checking their phones, reviewing the menu board, sitting astride chairs, leaning on counters, stirring their mugs, contemplating their next move, and conversing with animation and verve. After securing a mug of herbal orange blossom tea and plain pound cake (something different and contemplative), no booths are available. I occupy a seat at a long, central bench and table with the other patrons. Immediately next to me sits a young couple, face to face, wearing various shades of blue denim (she also sports a floppy, soft-brim robin egg blue hat), who have stopped talking to enjoy one of the house's calorie-generous desserts. Their desserts are laden with strawberries, fresh, fragrant, jumbo-sized, strawberries, tumbling generously, abundantly, off the dessert cakes which shyly peek out underneath. These are six-dollar desserts, suitable for serious courtship. The whipped cream had disappeared already. Their strawberries are not shy - they flaunt their bright deep red strawberry color, their inviting texture, they flirt their white edges. These strawberries profligately cast about their unmistakable ripe fragrance. Indeed, the fragrance demands attention. For an unmeasured moment, these strawberries own the bench and my perceptions – my other senses have quietly stepped down and wait for the strawberry fragrance to master the stage, to take its bows, to aromatically speak for strawberries everywhere. Each strawberry is joined with all strawberries - connected in a web of genetic code, agricultural pedigree, sense perception and idea. The smell, the fragrance and appearance of these strawberries, and for a distinct slice of time, the connected picture, the taste, the idea of many strawberries, all strawberries, as an adjective as well as a noun, occupy my thoughts. If there had been no name for strawberries ever given, I would have conjured a name for them, then and there. Strawberries are versatile. We can give Latin names to their various genus, Fragaria. We may note that each apparent achene, or seed, on the outside is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it, perhaps explaining why the couple beside me ordered them for dessert. Philosophers might debate whether or not there exists a non-physical essence of strawberry, an ideal Platonic form of strawberry, or be skeptical that we could ever be sure that what we perceive as strawberry was reliable. Mischievous children have picked them to throw at each other. We can observe them on wild vines, clip, transplant and cultivate them in our gardens, study what combination of sun and water gives them the greatest growth and sweetest flavor, pick them gingerly to set at our breakfast table, eat them singly or in groups in little morning fruit bowls. We have financed agri-businesses to grow them in vast number, might someday sell strawberry futures on a commodities exchange, have hired agricultural workers to pick them in mass quantity. Graduate students in economics might measure the economic impact of establishing a minimum wage for strawberry pickers, while employers make certain their immigration papers are in order. We can contest the right of strawberry pickers to go on strike, and use courtrooms to enjoin secondary strikes by other fruit pickers. Independent truck drivers can transport them in refrigerated, insured freight carriers at free-on-board rates. District managers of supermarket chains can offer them for retail sale in little green baskets at trendy supergrocers which have memorable advertising logos and trained-to-be-friendly checkout people, and serve them in coffee houses at upscale prices. In laboratories we can measure their molecular carbon chains, forensically identify them with gas and mass chromatography, and fit them into biochemical schema of study. We can mash them into lipstick or cream for purposes of skin and beauty enhancement, advertised by slender, photogenic models. We can handwash our dirty dishes in our neglected kitchen sinks, or shampoo our thinning hair with liquid soaps flavored with them. No small series of achievements, for an aggregate accessory fruit. But we have strawberries as descriptors also, as concepts and additions to the language in which we think and speak and describe, in which we write poetry and love sonnets. They act as triggers or stimulants, to remind us of things, things we may want to remember. I bend my head over my tea and soak a piece of my cake into my orange-blossom tea. But these strawberries are not yet done their work. The fragrances of my coffee-house neighbors' strawberries trigger vivid memories. A series of pictures is summoned up, interior miniatures composing a sequenced event in my life, a road trip of an altogether different sort. Gently unfaded, affectionately insistent, parading in silence one at a time yet making a whole, a set of gliding images from the past paints over my vision. ____________________ My wife, Erma, and I were dating, and engaged. I was just 32. At the time, she was just 23 years of age, not quite 5'2" unless she stood on her tiptoes (she was generous in describing her height on various health and application forms), slender, lithe, with quick, athletic reflexes, light brown hair never allowed to grow long, a bright upturned face full of energy, green-grey eyes that were never quite the same shade from day to day, and a stand-your-ground manner suitable for the youngest child who had five older brothers. Erma had been a Christian since her experiences as a teenager in church youth group, and had been well taught by a beloved senior pastor, Reverend Pusey. She could field a ground ball or steal third base, tell every player on the Philadelphia Flyers in 1977 (she still had a Bobby Clark doll) or quote scripture by memory, intelligently and to the point under discussion. She was a secretary at DuPont, a job she had held since the day after she graduated from high school. There was emotional trauma in her childhood, including a miserable relationship with her father (the misery shared by her brothers and sister), and a tragic gun accident which took the life of one of her brothers, after her father irresponsibly brought home a rifle and gave it to his children without supervision or safety instruction. The collapse of the family unit brought economic difficulties. Erma bubbled over with hope and energy – she was ready to wrestle wildcats, hid her fears, counted her pennies, and laughed loudly and easily. Erma pooled shock, grief, loss and anger in reservoirs of her soul. She introduced herself to a pair of young men attending a Christian singles conference in Sandy Cove, Maryland, one of whom was me, because she recognized the church my friend Dave had announced at the beginning of the conference, and that was enough of a conversational opening for her. We took a trip to North Carolina, to visit her brother Noel, the only one of her family to graduate from college. Noel was a marketing manager for a large agricultural chemicals company, and he was moved about the country every few years. For several years he had lived near Research Triangle Park outside Raleigh. Our trip was a happy one; we packed up Erma's silver Honda Civic, years old but running like a Swiss watch, and toodled down the highway one Monday in the early summer. Life was opening up. My disorderly life, spread across two coasts, was moving in a good direction. Erma, deeply emotionally cautious, was hoping that the world held good things as well. After staying the first night with friends in Virginia, we arrived after a day of easy driving at Noel's, still single. As always, he was a gracious host, owner of a sensible but well-maintained home. His practice of buying and selling homes as he was transferred around the company proved to be economically rewarding. I don't know whether he liked his job in its own right, but years later when he was offered a retirement package at the age of 50, he took it, and to my knowledge, has never worked 9-5 job since. Noel was working 9-5 when we arrived though, so during the day we were left to our own devices around Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham and the surrounding areas. Open to guidebook suggestions, we went to the North Carolina Botanical Gardens in Chapel HiIl. We walked the displays of native plants, violet-purple iris, milkweed, wood anemone, maidenhair ferns, wild indigo, water-plaintains, bluestars. The Gardens have a display of carnivorous plants, pitcher plants, Venus fly traps, along with their orchids and lilies. I found a very tiny spider among the carnivorous plant displays, picked him up with a leaf, and deposited him into a Venus fly-trap, which promptly, as advertised, closed its tender petals. The wispy trigger hairs of the plant quite quickly formed a bars-of-a-jail cell effect as the plant's leaves closed reflexively – I could see the tiny spider, looking out, as forlorn and puzzled as any prisoner would be. At the time, I had nothing to say to him, and regretted somewhat causing his fate. With the advantages of hindsight and advancing years, today, I might encourage him with words of sympathy – "you and me both, brother," a final salute, issued nunc pro tunc. Erma and I went to see a movie in the evening. Mr. Hulot's Holiday. Monsier Hulot, the French actor Jacques Tati, "decides to vacation at a beautiful seaside, resort. Rest and relaxation don't last long, given the gangly gent's penchant for ridiculous antics." Released in 1954, you have to be in the right mood to see this slapstick farce. Erma and I were nearly alone in the theater, it was a Tuesday evening. We were in the mood – I laughed hard. Erma laughed uproariously, full volume. I never heard anyone laugh so hard – her cackles filled the theater – no nook or cranny escaped the piercing volume of her laughter. Many times. How can you not fall in love with a girl like that? If anyone else was in the theater at all (maybe one other couple), they certainly knew they weren't alone. The next day, we visited Duke University in Durham. The lawns and grounds were green, immaculate, carefully maintained; the buildings, the Chapel, all were elite-college campus beautiful. I daresay visiting parents longed to expend vast sums of money to send their children there. After walking around for several hours, near the end of the day, we found a small restaurant/coffee-shop. Because of the day and hour we were again nearly alone. The shop featured a strawberry desert, loaded with whipped cream. They were the freshest, sweetest, most flagrantly-and-fragrantly-delicious strawberries imaginable. It was a lifetime trophy desert. The taste, the aroma of the strawberries filled our noses, our palates, our tongues – our sweet, ripe taste buds went off like bells. Erma was just swooning with joy. It seemed as if we just sat and ate for hours (which could not possibly be true), as if the strawberry dessert stopped local time to go on forever. These strawberries had royal, domestic, South American and continental antecedents. According to Wikipedia, the garden strawberry was first grown or bred in Brittany, France in the 1750s by crossing Fragaria Virginia from eastern North America with Fragaria Chiloenses, brought from Chile. The French began harvesting wild strawberries in the 14th century. Strawberries were added to cream in the Court of King Henry VIII. What can I add to that? World production of strawberries is in excess of nine million tons, and not a strawberry too many. After we had spent a few days at Noel's, we drove east to go to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks are a resort area, but wilder, less cultivated than the homogenized resort areas one sometimes visits. We rented two separate hotel rooms to stay in the area around Kitty Hawk. I had sexual relationships prior to becoming a Christian. Erma had many dating relationships, but had learned her sexual ethics as a teenager at a conservative, evangelical church and drew a line she believed in. We did not sleep together on that trip. It helped to make our dating relationship simple, clean, pure, uncomplicated. (Our physical relationship began on our honeymoon - when Erma exited the bathroom and entered our bedroom the evening of our 11 a.m. wedding in Bear, Delaware. We had driven to a bed and breakfast in Milford, New Jersey, Linda and Rob Castagna's Chestnut Hill on the Delaware River. Looking at the teddy-bear decorated bed and room in the honeymoon suite and at me, Erma asked, "do you think we should pray?" I answered, "I already have.") But that wedding ceremony day was still in our distance, like a beckoning city on a hill. The next day on our excursion to North Carolina, we traipsed about on the Kitty Hawk beach. It was not yet warm enough for swimming; the beaches were nearly empty. I discovered that small fish, mullets or small kingfish, filled some of the deeper surf pools and beach ponds left by retreating waves. There is a picture of me taken by Erma, bending over at the waist, looking down, with my pants rolled up as I stood in the middle of one of these surf pools, wearing a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up, trying to catch little silver fish with my bared, cupped hands. Trying to catch small fish by hand was a predictably unsuccessful effort, but loads of fun to try. I looked perfectly ridiculous, and we were perfectly happy. On our trip back in the silver Honda Civic from North Carolina, driving north to Wilmington and Phoenixville, we sang hymns on the road. Neither Erma or I have any musical talent at all - neither of us can carry a melody. But there was no music critic in the car, no one to be distressed. We sang "Fairest Lord Jesus," in toneless acapella - it fit our mood and excursion well. _______________________ I was interrupted in my coffee-house reveries by a young man, of Asian background, whose face I recognized, but whose name I didn't know. He had been listening to me a previous week, when I was proclaiming out loud verses from the Book of Revelation, the lake of fire verses, the judgment verses, on a previous morning when the coffee house was much emptier than it was that Saturday evening. His interruption lead into quite an extended discussion, carried out over three locations in the coffee house. "Hello," he said. I responded with my own 'hello.' "I saw you here the other week. You were reading out loud. I was standing over there" – he indicated where he had been standing when I had my brief confrontation with the coffee house manager, Jen, over reading Bible verses out loud. I nodded 'yes' and offered my hand and introduced myself. "My name is Qi," he introduced himself with a small but perceptible bob of the head. His English was good, with a slight British accent. Qi looked to be in his early twenties, fifty years younger than I. His hair was black parted on one side, his chin and cheeks clean-shaven, his eyes brown, his lashes somewhat long, his build slim, probably 5' 10" in height and weighing 140 or 150 pounds, wearing blue jeans and a neat maroon pullover jersey. His facial expression was respectful, intelligent and friendly. "I wanted to ask you. Why were you reading out loud? And why did you choose those verses?" I had to think to recreate my thoughts and mood the previous week. "I can't answer that easily. God moves inside me without giving me explanations. Why those verses? I felt like I wanted to get somewhere - we ought to get somewhere. I saw those verses on the path." "I heard what you said to the manager. The owner doesn't mind?" His expression suggested that people reading out loud in a coffee house crossed a line in the culture he came from. "No," I told him, "the owner doesn't mind." We paused our conversation for a moment, so Qi could find a way around the bench and people to squeeze in opposite me. He was sitting right next to the strawberry-eating couple, also seated across each other on the bench, as I was. "Do you work, or are you a student?" I asked. Qi explained his background to me, responding to my questions. He was 23 years old, a graduate student seeking a Master's degree in statistics from the graduate department of a nearby university. He was an exchange student, a resident of China, whose family came from near Beijing. Much of his life was not spent in China however. His father was an investment banker, and they spent a number of years in different countries and cities, including London, where he learned as a teenager to speak English well, and learned his slight but discernible British accent. He was one of three children, and had two sisters, one older, who was married and living near Shanghai, and one considerably younger sister, who was living at home near Beijing, where his parents had returned. I asked him about China's one-child policy and he explained that his father had sufficient resources to obtain relief from the rule. Since the first child in the family was a daughter, apparently this exception was not difficult to obtain with respect to Qi. Having official sanction for having a third child was more difficult, but by then his father had political and economic connections. By this time the strawberry dessert-eating couple had left. Their seats were taken by others so it wasn't always easy to conduct our conversation. The coffee house was noisy, there was music in the background and people were sliding behind us at times to reach seats further down the long benches on which Qi and I were seated. When I paused my deposition-like questions, I asked if he attended any local church. He did, he explained, and had been for about a year. "What did you think when I read those verses out loud?" I asked. "How did you react?" "I like hearing the Book of Revelation read aloud. It doesn't often get read out loud. When you hear a sermon, somebody tells you what to think about it. There's always a doctrine or a system. Everything has to be explained." He thought for a few moments. "There's more in the words, than there is in the explanations." He said, and I quietly nodded in agreement. "Well, if you just listen to the words, read by somebody else, you wouldn't have a system," I offered. "You might have a language, though. A set of mutual symbols. Even if we didn't agree on what they meant." He listened to what I said and we talked about language, and symbols. His criticisms of symbolic language were well-thought out; a person whose native tongue is Chinese understands well the strengths and weaknesses of symbols to communicate. I suggested that symbols and graphic pictures cut through many language systems. The phrase "a woman clothed with the sun," eludes precise rational understanding, but it's an accessible image everywhere. We had the mutual and considerable pleasure of two people speaking thoughtfully to each other. "You don't agree with any systems about it?" I asked, meaning the Book of Revelation. "I don't know. My church teaches a system." "Which one is that? Dispensationalism? Premillennialism?" "Yes." "The Rapture, any minute. The Jews left to face the anti-Christ." "Yes. Yes." "You're not defending it very hard," I suggested. His facial expression indicated that I had discerned his feelings accurately. "Is that what you believe?" Qi asked me. "No. I'm a Postmillennialist. I believe in the Great Commission. Christ gave us an order. Go into the far reaches of the world. Convert the nations. So we will succeed. It's the prayer he taught us. 'Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done.'" "How does reading about the burning lake of fire out loud, help that?" Qi queried. "I'm not sure. Does the Spirit have to explain everything to me? I respond as I'm called. But I think everybody wants good news. Ask them, and they'll tell you the world is a mess. But then they want good news - warm and reassuring. God's judgment in a burning lake of fire is a very unpopular topic. But it wakes people up. It made you ask me questions." "Do you think bad news is more likely to win converts?" Qi was looking at me with a certain amount of respectful skepticism. "I think telling people the truth helps people see the truth." "But you, too. You didn't recite the burning lake of fire verses with a big smile on your face." "Perhaps so. Me too," I admitted. "Maybe there's enough bad news already," Qi suggested. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. That's true too. You're right. But why are all those burning lake of fire verses there? Fierce warnings, aren't they?" I asked rhetorically. "Maybe it's the bad news that already exists. Maybe the world loves judging. Maybe the world needs judging. There's a lot of judging inside of us already." As he said this, I thought I detected some personal history in Qi – perhaps his father was a judgmental person. "I think it's a warning - a guide and a look to the future. But I'll be careful about trying to interpret it, with you around. I'll let the words be the words. Burning lake of fire and all." I raised my hands slightly to indicate surrender – the acknowledgment of my limitations. "Don't some people believe the whole book was just meant for the 1st century Christians? They think it all relates to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Roman armies. That's it – nothing else." Qi's knowledge suggested some study; his tone suggested questions, perhaps questions deeper than interpreting the Book of Revelation. "Are you a preterist?" I asked him. I wasn't sure whether his question was a narrow, specialized question over eschatology, or rather a deeper question that any young person might have, about whether the whole structure of religion is connected to anything real at all. "I'm not sure what that means," he admitted. "About what you said. Preterists believe most of the Book of Revelation has already been fulfilled. It was a warning for the 1st century, for the early church. A tract for the times. Now it's done – it has no future significance," I explained. "If that's what you're asking." "No, I haven't thought about it much, but don't think I think that. How about you?" Qi asked. There were questions in this young man, but I didn't know quite what they were. "I think it's prophecy. The Word of God to us. It's no more fulfilled and done than the Sermon on the Mount is fulfilled and done. Does that answer your question?" I returned. "I guess we'll never know, this side of Final Judgment," he offered. "Maybe we just wait for the Rapture?" "It makes a difference now. It changes how we act, because of what we expect. If all you're doing is sitting around here, waiting for the Rapture, that's one kind of answer. But I'll buy you a cup of coffee, and we can wait together." As I was about to get up to buy coffee, a young woman, talking to her friend following behind her, was trying to make her way behind the bench to a seat. She was holding a sandwich on a plate and a glass. Someone moved on the crowded bench, not knowing anyone was behind him, and bumped directly into her. Her sandwich spilled and tumbled across the back of an unshaven but pleasant-looking blonde young man and onto the floor. There, visible for the world, near Qi's feet, were the ingredients for her sandwich, two slices of multi-grain bread, two chunks of avocado, two generous slices of tomato, and a large stack of bean sprouts, scattered across the floor along with a slice of dill pickle. She moved back apologetically, waving the now-empty sandwich plate in her hand, obviously embarrassed. The young man stood up, rather mildly and saw who had spilled sandwich fixings on him. He didn't seem angry - he was apologetic and rather embarrassed himself. No one quite knew what to do. For a few moments the two of them milled about each other in rather disorganized fashion. The coffee house manager was nearby. She saw what had happened and signaled for a staff person to assist. Qi and I both stood up to move out of the way and sidestepped our way to leave the benches and table. As we were moving, I made brief eye contact with the manager and we mutually and quickly nodded. I didn't want her to think I had been a problem again, but she saw I was an innocent bystander, not an repeat instigator of disturbances. While the clean-up was being accomplished, Qi, seeing our mutual nod, asked if I knew the coffee house manager. "Yes, her name is Jen Geddes. She's a Christian. She's nice – a calm person." We watched the cleanup. I thought I would share a bit more, thinking still about what Qi's questions might be. "Years ago, she was in the newspaper, picture and all. She had a bit of a temper. I think she came from a very fundamental background. She was in a church, and for whatever reason, something was going with a visiting pastor she definitely didn't agree with. She expressed her theological disagreement by shouting out loud, picking up a stool, and heaving it at this visiting pastor. She actually hit him with it and there were disturbances in the church. The police had to be called. As a sentence I think she got what is called ARD, a non-trial diversion. It usually means she had to do some community service and get some counseling. I was practicing as a lawyer at the time, so I paid attention. Some years later, she got the job here. I recognized her when she started. Very calm - very welcoming to everybody these days. I never talked with her about it. I always wanted to ask her what it was about. Part of it was reported in the newspaper – apparently, whatever it was the visiting pastor was saying, her response was along the lines of "are you really going to say that, in my ear?" The cleanup was over, but Qi and I found a different place to sit and resumed our conversation. He wanted to know more about the type of law I had practiced, which was a general community practice. We started talking about the law and about the U.S. Constitution and some well-known constitutional principles, which were not, as Qi described, the rule or norm in China. He described a culture and circumstance in China which might be characterized as intense and ubiquitous favoritism. "We have those problems here - in a big way," I acknowledged. "You have laws about it, though. In China, there is no law to appeal to, to correct such things. The party is the law, and the party officials who operate without needing any approval." "We do have laws," I acknowledged. I narrated for Qi a United States Supreme Court case, which is a staple of the Constitutional Law curriculum in law school. "In San Francisco, around 1880, most of the laundry workers were Chinese. Laundries used heat in wooden buildings. There was a statute that said you couldn't operate a laundry without a permit. The statute itself wasn't crazy - there was a genuine fire risk with boiling water used in the laundries – not a joke in San Francisco. But Yick Wo had been operating his laundry for years, when he was told he couldn't operate his laundry anymore without a permit. Unfortunately, if you were Chinese, you didn't get a permit. If you weren't Chinese, then you got one. Yick Wo was fined for operating without the permit, and he couldn't or wouldn't pay the fine, so he was put in jail. The Supreme Court ruled that the administration of that permit law was unconstitutional – even if the laundry owners weren't citizens. Even if the law itself made sense considered in isolation. The Chinese laundry owners still had a right under equal protection, under the equal protection laws of the 14th Amendment." "You would not find such laws in China," Qi lamented. "Well, it took us years to take the legal principle serious," I told him. "Taking your principles seriously takes time." Our conversation continued. We talked about Chinese coolies and how they worked. We talked about Christianity in China. We talked about the beginning of the movie Crazy Rich Asians where they're having a Bible study. We talked about missionaries and Hudson Taylor and the Chinese Inland Mission, and when Qi's family had become Christians. We talked about wars in Asia – in the Pacific against Japan. Qi had a very distinct opinion about the treatment of the Chinese by the Japanese in WWII, which flowed over to his opinion over disputed islands in the South China sea. We talked about the wars in Korea and Vietnam. We talked about Mao, and Communism and the treatment of Christians in China during the cultural revolution. Qi's family had suffered and practiced their faith in secret, but had emerged. We talked about the Three-Self Church in China. "Sanzi Jiaohui" Qi explained, trying to help me to pronounce it correctly. "But my family has spent so much time overseas, it was not critical to us. We didn't argue about religion, we argued about how many hours my father worked." He looked not as happy making this last statement. I decided to change gears altogether. "You'll be married someday. You'll have a wife and probably children. Do you have a girlfriend?" I asked. "Yes. But she is in graduate school in Michigan now. So I only get to see her on vacations. Sometimes we meet in Chicago. We are making some plans, but they have to wait. We text. She likes it, but she thinks it's cold there." We talked about the weather in China, and in the U.S. We moved our location one more time, when a booth opened up. Time passed, but the Rapture still lay in the future. In the meandering talk and silence of our time together, we made friends. The Holy Spirit, as known to coffee houses as He is to great cathedrals, entered somewhere. Eventually Qi said it was time for him to get back home, and we parted company with the idea that he would be back in the coffee house, and we would have a chance to talk again. Perhaps further, on the Book of Revelation, he suggested. ___________________ And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. Revelation 21:10. Those trained in theology and ministry should present the bulk of the inspired message of Rom. Ch. 12-15. But there is an element of those passages I want to address. I have a law degree, was valedictorian at law school, have practiced law for many years, and have held elected office. I serve as a volunteer on various boards with legal and executive authority over substantial matters. The business of law and government is something with which I am familiar. Although words like "law and government" don't sound San Francisco hippy-ish, don't seem to blend into a coffee-house or a road trip to the last chapters of Revelation, that is my direction now. Rom. 13:1-10 is my topic. Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. Rom13:1a. The passage is central. It does not stand for, nor should it be understood, to be a command to political authoritarianism. It is an invitation to law, to legitimacy, to ascertaining the will of the people in a democracy, enacting that will within the confines of a constitutional system, and then respecting the laws that flow therefrom. Within the world at large, we may be subject to, or may become the governing authorities – but we are always Christians. The Apostle Paul had multiple purposes in so writing – he had a concern with the relationship of Christians to the outside world and to the political authority of the Roman empire. Paul was also concerned about how Christians relate among ourselves. Christian religious/political conflict among ourselves has been a challenge for Christian theology. Theological disagreement may be the reason or the excuse for the ecclesiastical, political or social separation of Christians. Once reasons develop, theological disagreement, leading to differing communions and groupings, becomes the vehicle for separation. As the Reformation commenced and continued through the 16th and 17th centuries, it appeared the immovable object had met the irresistible force. When Christian conscience met Christian government in vehement disagreement, the results were tragically unacceptable in individual cases. Theologically, the issues have never been resolved. One person wishes to pray to the saints, another does not, one expects an early Rapture with no warning, another does not, one thinks the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, another does not. There are innumerable such differences. The continuing disagreements demonstrate that we have no recognized method of either resolving the dispute, or even a recognized method of staying in communication with each other. The argument continues unresolved. The fallback position for various Christian disputants is spiritual distance and intentional distancing, and attrition over time. Politically, we have addressed the most negative consequences of those 16th and 17th century conflicts by privatizing religious conscience. The results of privatizing Christian conscience are only partially satisfactory, as the 21st century is demonstrating. Organizing a better society is problematic, if each Christian has no greater loyalty than to his or her conscience. Conscience slides into self-will. Beyond denominational or theological boundaries, no one is able to present, to debate, to respond, to adjudicate, to give, or to obey an order issued by a recognized body of Christians, on any issue – not just very large important issues. All issues are 'off the table,' as it were, beyond joint resolution. No one could today post 95 theses on the door of a church and have an audience. We are stalled on Christian conscience-autonomy. No one says 'my conscience is God' but that is the net result. Each spider sits on her own web. The Old Testament analogue is the Book of Judges. The civil and political theory and authority that God has established pertinent to us, and to all, has been two thousand years in the making. The development of this theory is an argument for and an example of common grace, extended by God to all, who makes his sun to shine on the good and on the evil, and sends his rain on the just and on the unjust. "All peaceful beginnings of government have been laid in the consent of the people," John Locke, the British philosopher wrote in his Second Treatise on Government, Sect. 112. His work was instrumental in the framing of American constitutional ideas. Within the United States, we are both the governed, and the governing authorities. Perhaps odd, perhaps obvious to say, but if we as Christians want to reach the heavenly city of God, we have to be capable of governing and being governed by each other. This does not suggest extinguishing the ordinary and necessary debate and contentions that accompany civil and religious life. But at some point, a methodology of decision-making has to be established. Decisions are to be made, and they have to be respected. These 'decisions' are Christian decisions, critical to the communications and communal life of all Christians. That is not intended as a challenge to fundamental theological positions. When our government formed, Maryland did not become Pennsylvania – each state assigned certain powers to a federal government, and retained the rest. Lawful is not lawless, even where there is hard questioning and debate over what is really or ought to be 'lawful.' There are many different ways to connect with each other in the exercise of our Christian faith. Our movement toward the Jerusalem from above is obstructed, if we are situated like a collection of hermit crabs, each communion barricaded in its own shell of theological position, ecclesiastical organization and personal conscience. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Rom. 13:1 b. God created and enables all things, in providing the motive power for all events, outside of whose permissive will nothing ever can happen or could happen. Such establishment includes "the authorities that exist." As Jesus said to Pilate, "You would have no power over me if it were not given you from above." God is the source of lawful authority. The present state of world and national affairs, including our legal and political structures, is not accidental. It may be temporary, or cause us to pray "How long, O Lord, will the wicked by jubilant?" But if we cannot obey our own lawful authority, exercising decisions derived from faith, there is no possibility of building a genuinely lawful structure. If we cannot debate our Christian statements, decrees, findings or laws, enable and enact our Christian decrees, respect or obey our Christian laws, because they come from the authority already announced and ordained by our God and Savior, we're not going to move. We are stranded in the valley of stasis. I am postmillennial, a believer in the Kingdom of God that comes into this world. The extension of Rom. 13:1 b is necessary. This verse sends us forward, makes us look to the future. The current set of authorities have been established by God. The next set of authorities will be established by God - and the next set, after that. We want this set of authorities, each set of authorities, to be better, more Christ-like. When we say more 'Christ-like,' it is not reasonable to expect that denominational and theological differences are going to evaporate. We want to be Christ-like as we assume, or obey, or exchange, this developing authority which expresses itself in constitutional forms among us - not because it results in theocracy or theonomy (or any other system of being ruled by the laws of the Old Testament). Rather, we remember that the "authorities that exist" may be us, or may not be; and if we're not holding office at the moment, we may retain our theological positions or political differences. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, has special significance when we are talking about different groups of Christians contending over beliefs, ideas, or courses of conduct which may be supported and advanced by force of decree, statement or law. If we are going to move toward a more complete Christian community, theological convictions count, inspiration counts, but also, impartiality counts. We want the debate (and the penalties for losing the debate on whatever topic is at hand) to be just and impartial. The rules, the conduct, the doctrine, whatsoever it is under discussion, and the statement or law that issues from them, or us, are to be impartial. The means and procedure of discussing, debating, challenging or appealing the decision regarding the resolution of Christian issues, have to be impartial. Due Process is a legal term but it paves a spiritual road. It means notice of the issue at hand, before the time and place of decision, and the opportunity to be heard on the point by the decision-makers. We hope valued impartiality flows into our political and national lives. But whether it does or does not flow nationally, we have to communicate these exchanges and accord this due process among ourselves in an impartial manner – and then voluntarily respect the outcome. The amorality of the present state of our national political life is not ultimately acceptable, but neither it is acceptable to go back to the political situation, rife with religious persecutions, that characterized Great Britain (and here in New England) in the 17th century. We do not criminalize people with whom we disagree. We will not move toward a golden, millennial age until we capture solutions to both sets of problems – spiritual unity which enables voluntary association and cooperation, and spiritual dissent. Our risen Lord Jesus has set us a mid-term examination. God has graciously provided us guidance. As explained by Locke in his Second Treatise, sect. 131: And so whoever has the legislative or supreme power of any commonwealth, is bound to govern by established standing laws, promulgated and known to the people, and not by extemporary decrees; by indifferent [impartial] and upright judges, who are to decide controversies by those law; and to employ the force of the community at home, only in the execution of such laws; or abroad to prevent or redress foreign injuries, and secure the community from inroads and invasion. And all this to be directed to no other end but the peace, safety, and public good of the people. The peace that Jesus confers - "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you" (John 14:27), connects to this Lockean peace, safety and the public good. The kingdom of God ("Thy kingdom come," Jesus taught us to pray, Mat. 6:10, "on earth as it is in heaven.") and "the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations," Rev. 22:2, converge on this peace. They are intended for this-world Christian implementation, and this implementation and obedience to God's will is not beyond us. John Locke described the "peace, safety and public good of the people" in terms that were attainable. He presented his solution at the time of intense religious persecution that frequently was the excuse, rather than the reason, for political persecution. The experience of the Amish community in self-regulation provides some useful guidance. The Nashville Statement, signed initially by more than 150 evangelical leaders, affirming what is set forth or implied in Scripture about sexuality, particularly Romans ch. 1, is a productive step toward our self-regulation and our movement toward a Holy City. The Nashville Statement engendered disagreement and resentment. Nor do I endorse all views, on all issues, of those Christians who developed the Nashville Statement. The point is to cooperate as actively and as far as we can, but no further. Theological statements and decisions are presented to address conflicting positions. The resentment within large elements of our national society, of the Christian position on the sexual issues addressed in the Nashville Statement, is intense – but that is acceptable. Disregard of God's Word engenders its own consequences. We want to be frog-marched off the Titanic of modern secular culture and nominal Christianity - thrown unceremoniously into a little lifeboat named Jesus and the Bible. We expect to be marginalized with the world's imprecations following, as the Titanic leaves us behind. We may bob in the ocean of broad societal disapproval for a short season. It's not hard to see the iceberg coming. After the iceberg has done its work, we, the Christian community, build a better world. We may communicate our own internal understandings and direction without surrendering those theological positions which are essentially non-negotiable. John Locke calls out the following elements in the above-recited passage: legislative power, established law, impartial judges, a judicious use of 'force' to execute such laws, directed to peace, safety and public good – and we would add, for the community of our faith. The challenge is to connect that political peace, of which we are clearly capable, with Jesus' spiritual peace. The alternative, the Valley of Christian Stasis, is incapable of being characterized as good faith. That is not how the Book of Revelation ends. To disconnect the two kinds of peace, to say that the peace that Jesus provides is always and forever not of this world, is to take a position on eschatology. That is to take the position that the Kingdom of God is not coming (despite praying "thy Kingdom come") in this world except by the visible return of Christ but in no other way. It is to take the position that the Great Commission does not fully succeed (apparently, then, a command to partial failure?). It is to take the position that the ending of Romans ch. 16 ("so that all nations might believe and obey him") doesn't count. If the Kingdom of God is coming in this world, then those good ends that John Locke asserted - peace, safety, the public good - have to be realized in the context of a multitude of Christian expressions (the 'Seven Churches' of Revelation), giving rise to our City in Motion. The political events of the last two thousand years include what has politically taken place in this country in the last 250 years. We may begin with the Deist-influenced proclamation of the Declaration of Independence (which, despite its Deist influences, repeatedly and insistently invokes God, the Creator, the Supreme Judge, and Divine Providence), which is also directly of God. The Declaration of Independence, like all other expressions of common grace, is directed by and under the authority of our risen Lord, Jesus. Pilate's authority derived from Roman military and civil power gets the benefit of God's imprimatur, as spoken by Jesus. Then surely also so does the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. We have political tools. We need to use them. We don't want to supplant the state, we want to create a miniature of a Constitutional and legislative system, for ourselves, entered into by three gates: by Christian faith, by subscription to the doctrine of Scriptural inerrancy, and by a commitment to a forward-looking eschatology. Beyond that, once through those gates 'of the outer courtyard,' we acknowledge a diversity of views, a gathering of seven churches, a lively exchange of ideas. We will make and find our city and move toward peace, joy, and the enjoyment of the presence of God, characterized by our love for God, and our love for each other. There, we will be in a position to lead useful and interesting lives and have enjoyable and interesting discourse. We do not resurrect the past, look to the past, long for the days of ancient Israel, look for theocratical forms of government, or long for the days when our particular theology will be adopted by everyone. Christianity is just beginning. "By calling this covenant new, he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." Heb. 8:13. The orchestra is just tuning up - we're barely getting started. I have no use at all for nostalgia. To quote a modern theologian, Greg Bahnsen: Postmillennialists believe, therefore, that the kingdom of God will gradually grow on earth, visibly, publicly, and externally. . . It will grow through the gradual conversion of the nations – through the preaching of the Word of God. . . . This salvation of many people must have visible expression and influence and be seen in an outward culture in society. (Victory in Jesus, Bahnsen, CMP 1999, p. 27). (See also, Postmillennialism, an Eschatology of Hope, Keith A. Mattison, P&R Publishing, 1999; The Victory of Christ's Kingdom, John Jefferson Davis, Canon Press, 1996; Prophecy and the Church, Oswald Allis, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1978 (critique of dispensationalism); He Shall Have Dominion, Kenneth Gentry, Apologetics Group Media, 2009 (thorough defense of postmillennialism); and An Eschatology of Victory, J. Marcellus Kik, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1971) ("the Holy City is situated in time and history . . . " p. 245). (Noting also with all these authors, that their theology is learned, their eschatology is inspiring, their legal and political theory needs better direction.) Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." Rom:13:2. Paul instructed Christians in the Roman Empire, where we began as a tiny minority. Stay out of trouble, direct your energy away from rebellion, stay away from political revolt or disobedience. Move in our spiritual life and the witness to the growing faith. Paul was concerned about building the church locally and across geographical distances and cultural groups. It was the Holy Spirit saying, "it's okay to obey the Roman authorities – in fact, you should, this is part of your obedience to me, unless (as is clear from the Book of Revelation), you are being asked to deny Christ or otherwise blaspheme." Christ warned his disciples to stay clear of the military and political disaster coming because of the Jewish rebellion brewing against Roman authority in his pointed discourse at the Mount of Olives. In whatever direction we decide to move, it must meet the fundamental standards enunciated by Paul. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment, but also because of conscience. That is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe him; if you owe taxes, pay taxes, if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Rom. 13:3-7. Christian, don't do the crime, if you can't do the time. The bearing of the sword is intended for punishment. The state has a monopoly on the use of force, for a good reason. Generally, Christian conscience acts in conjunction with the state (but not always, see, e.g., Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail). In his Letter to the Romans, Paul meant a number of different things by 'the Law,' understood by context: the Ten Commandments, the Law of Moses implying a special revelation of God's will to the Jews, natural law available to and applicable to all people, spiritual law to be followed by Christians out of obedience to the gospel, the law of love, Roman civil or criminal law to be obeyed at the risk of punishment, the law of conscience, including accusations or defenses of conscience, the law of interior struggle with sin, sin and death itself, and the new life of the Spirit - all are referenced in Paul's letter, all characterized in his writing as or associated with the Law. The Law shows us our sins by holding up a mirror to our conduct in the light of God's Law, sending us to call on Christ's atoning mercy. The Law protects the weak from wrongdoing at the hands of those stronger and is essential to a civil society. The Law in all its forms and expressions is surely the great chain, wielded by an angel, which binds Satan in Rev. 20:1 and 2. As the Holy City comes down out of heaven as described in the 21st Chapter of Revelation, it is not described as the City of Law. By implication, the City may be protected by Law. Law may reinforce its walls and its gate. Spiritual law may flow from and through the Church to separate those who may enter the City of God from those who may not. But the Holy City's light, foundations, jewels, gates, streets, river, fountains, or its Tree of Life are not described in terms of Law. In the Sacred City of divine and human joy, where Christ reigns by acclamation, by love and by power, the purposes of the Law have been fulfilled. Lawlessness has no place in the City as it can never enter in. The Abyss may be escaped, only to give rise to further battle and fire, but the Holy City is prepared as a bride. The description of the Millennial City calls us to something higher, further and more perfect than Law as a goal and end of human society. The Law has a purpose and an end, and it reaches fulfillment in Christ's work on the Cross. In a more perfect society, where equity is done everywhere, there is no need to petition a court of equity for relief. Where love and trust are more perfect among people, no judge is needed to assert jurisdiction, hear argument or rule for one party or the other. In a meeting with our beloved, we who love fold our papers, close our law books and put our contracts aside. Their purpose has been served. Love keeps no record of wrong, so we may leave the courtroom. We go to meet for a wedding ceremony and a feast. The beauty of the meeting calls us to travel the road. Questions arise about doing right, what obedience means, in a Constitutional democracy where we are asked to play a part. The part we play nationally, whatever it is, to which we are also called and from which we refuse to be disenfranchised, is not the same as the spiritual movement we pursue among ourselves. We are called to something higher than the surrounding political confrontation and factionalism (not an easy problem to solve; see Federalist No. 10 – Madison thought the danger of factionalism would be solved by the new Constitution, and clearly that has not been the case). John Locke thought the solution was self-evident. "[F]or nobody has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another. . . Thus the law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make . . . must be conformable to the law of nature, i.e., to the will of God . . ." 2nd Treatise, sect. 135. To say something must be conformable to the will of God, or the law of nature or an eternal rule, has proved to be guidance not so obvious, beyond the first application, of not destroying life. Many Christians are united on this point at least. Given the number of abortions being performed annually in the United States and western world generally, even Locke's standard of 'not taking away life' appears to have given way to a notion of personal rights that is practically unlimited in its scope or application. In the case of abortion on demand, the notion is tragic on a massive scale, leads to infanticide (and the purposeful abortion of Downs' syndrome babies), is contrary to God's will, is destructive of our national political fabric, and presents an irresistible temptation to federal courts to exceed their Constitutional jurisdiction and intended scope of authority. Next to the Dred Scott decision, Roe v. Wade is the worst decision ever made by the U.S. Supreme Court, and its consequences have been destructive. The decision raises political problems regardless of religious faith – there is no serious legal question of any type that cannot be formulated into a query about individual rights and then answered in such a way as to make individual rights (defined to assure the preferred outcome) preempt and supersede any other type of right. In the case of abortion, all that is necessary is to deny the definition of human life to children in the womb. The definitions decide the outcome. When we now use the term 'civil rights' the meaning is – rights of the individual. In current judicial reasoning, advancing individual rights is always expansive of the good, as long as the individuals are out of the womb. In current judicial reasoning, the rights of the group are nearly always oppressive, subtracting from the net benefit of civil society. My civil rights cannot be added to the civil rights of my fellow citizens, in such a way as to develop a society promoting religiously-based ethical views. One hundred thousand people may not be lead in prayer at a government-sponsored or funded event, if one objects. If it is necessary to justify protecting children in the womb from destruction by making a religious argument, because the definition of the beginning of life implies theological and ethical reasoning, then the destructive consequences of advancing individual rights above other rights are wrongly justified as compelled by the implied language of the Constitution. An intellectual shell game has been played by our federal judiciary, of which Roe v. Wade is the most notorious example – get the definitions right, set up the conflict as the individual vs. the group (included in 'the group' is any assembly of state legislators) – and the desired judicial result will pop out like candy from a dispenser. From this Christian's viewpoint, and I am also a citizen of this nation, this is unacceptable. As an individual, my name is not "Congress," as in the 1st Amendment ("Congress shall make no law"). The idea that ethical decisions, which result in law, may not have religious foundations, is to be rejected. The idea that I may not join with others to vote for or to pass laws which at some point in their chain of reasoning, rely on religious belief or revelation, is to be rejected. A method of judicial reasoning which relies on carefully-crafted initial definitions and nomenclature to avoid the obvious, observable acts of medically terminating life, with the resulting infant body parts available for marketing, is to be rejected. Political acts which have ethical foundations, which themselves have religious foundations, are ordinary acts of Constitutional self-rule, not the establishment of a theocracy. We will do better, because God will compel a better result. The City of God is a promise to seven churches, standing for a society of communities engaged in the voluntary worship of God and obedience to Christ. Discovering the will of God, in our own relations with other Christians, raises harder questions than challenging bad national law or opposing abortion on demand. Discovering God's will mean moving forward to our own better self-governing society, even if we construct a model first on a 'table-top,' as it were. I quote a passage from Locke which will have a familiar sound to any reader familiar with the Declaration of Independence: Great mistakes in the ruling part, many wrong and inconvenient laws, and all the slips of human frailty, will be born by the people without mutiny or murmur. But if a long train of abuses, prevarications, and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going; it is not to be wondered, that they should then rouse themselves, and endeavor to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the ends for which government was at first erected . . . 2nd Treatise, sect. 225. Locke observed that the people may "rouse themselves." Indeed, 'rousing ourselves' is essential. But in what way did the Apostle Paul view 'rousing ourselves?' The difficulty with Paul's passage in Romans ch. 13:3-7, is its static nature. Those admonitions made sense then, for a small religious minority in a vast pagan empire. The Roman authorities were there, and the Roman Christians submitted to them, and were grateful to God for the opportunity to worship him in peace. There was no political development implied; it was intentional separation from Roman interference, by giving no cause for offence, for purposes of Christian religious practice. A difficulty with the passage of Locke cited above is that it takes the matter one, but only one, drastic step forward. If the authorities are inflicting a "long train of abuses . . . all tending the same way" then the people ought to put "the rule into such hands as may secure to them the ends for which government was at first erected." Locke's concepts are binary, but they also will become static – either the people accept the "great mistakes and wrong laws without mutiny or murmer" – or, as the American people did in 177 6, they "rouse themselves" to "put the rule into such hands, etc.," in other words, to put governmental rule into American hands in the legislatures of the American states. Continuing, aspirational movement was not contemplated by John Locke either. The wasn't the problem he was facing 320 years ago, but it is a problem we are facing now. There is much the Book of Revelation does not do. There is one thing it does do, beyond its powerful encouragement in the face of persecution – it says, 'look, there's a goal here, a destination, and we want to get to it.' The Book has an end, and the end is a City. The Great Commission is equally dynamic – Jesus telling us "Go, make disciples." There's a goal here, a command, something we are supposed to be doing – and disciples, discipling and discipline has to extend to more than personal conscience, to the exclusion of Christian community. The argument against amillennialism is parallel to the argument against premillennialism (whether in its dispensational presentation or classical presentation) – those doctrines don't go anywhere. When it comes to Revelation ch. 21 and 22, these doctrines 'sit on their hands.' Rather, our doctrine of eschatology is postmillennial (Christ comes after ("post") the millennium) by our voluntary choice, by Revelation's destination, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to reach a millennium in this world. Jesus is awaited at the end of the golden, millennial period, however long and wonderful that period may be, a thousand years or a ten times a thousand years – and we have acted in obedience to him in making or moving to such a society and such a world. (For the Kingdom of God will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property - one to receive five talents, one to receive two, another, to receive one). Our goal is forward. Neither John Lock or the Apostle Paul, or Jesus, say: "let's go back to an Old Testament theocracy as soon as we have a chance." Hence, my profound disagreement with all forms of political theocracy, theonomy, etc. We move to the future here, in terms of our political understanding – our Lord Jesus has not been asleep for the last 2000 years. For that matter, if you need open-heart CABG surgery as I did, you will not seek out a doctor who applies the methods of healthcare available in the days of Moses – there are no instructions in the Old Testament for a triple-bypass procedure. Common grace has done something with respect to medical care, as it has done something with respect to political theory which the churches may apply. After the passage quoted above about obeying the authorities, the Apostle Paul moved directly, with no further transition, to a society characterized by love that has already internalized the Law. The movement is sudden between Rom. 13:7, extolling obedience to external Roman authority, sharing neither political power or a faith with us, to Rom. 13:8. Here is our endpoint: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. If we wish to go On the Road now (and we find ourselves On the Road whether we wish it or not) – static conceptions will not do. We construct with the law in the manner of a homebuilder, using our tools to lay on progressively wiser and more effective structural elements, until we reach the fulfillment of home-building, a home where we may love. That is the postmillennial vision – a millennial world, a golden age of faith, love and peace, before Christ returns. The thousand years of the millennium in Ch. 20 is both a reality and a symbol for that vision. The reality of God's ordaining will is a driving movement. Growth through the Holy Spirit is neither limited to or circumscribed by the symbol of a thousand year time period. We travel to an end and a society good beyond words. Our driving force and our destination comes from God. Golden ages are hard to come by, but not only can we get there, we will. Christ has called us to this, and his sobriety and his power in doing so is beyond question. ____________________________________
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Gospelize Me | Share Jesus. April 12, 1963 We the undersigned clergymen are among those who in January, issued "An Appeal forLaw and Order and Common Sense," in dealing with racial problems in Alabama. We expressed understanding that honest convictions in racial matters could properly be pursued in the courts but urged that decisions of those courts should in the meantime be peacefully obeyed. Since that time there had been some evidence of increased forbearance and a willingness to face facts. Responsible citizens have undertaken to work on various problems which caused racial friction and unrest. In Birmingham, recent public events have given indication that we all have opportunity for a new constructive and realistic approach to racial problems. However, we are now confronted by a series of demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens directed and led in part by outsiders. We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely. We agree rather with certain local Negro leadership which has called for honest and open negotiation of racial issues in our area. And we believe this kind of facing of issues can best be accomplished by citizens of our own metropolitan area white and Negro, meeting with their knowledge and experience of the local situation. All of us need to face that responsibility and find proper channels for its accomplishment. Just as we formerly pointed out that "hatred and violence have no sanction in our religious and political tradition." We also point out that such actions as incite to hatred and violence, however technically peaceful those actions may be, have not contributed to the resolution of our local problems. We do not believe that these days of new hope are days when extreme measures are justified in Birmingham. We commend the community as a whole and the local news media and law enforcement officials in particular, on the calm manner in which these demonstrations have been handled. We urge the public to continue to show restraint should the demonstrations continue, and the law enforcement officials to remain calm and continue to protect our city from violence. We further strongly urge our own Negro community to withdraw support from these demonstrations, and to unite locally in working peacefully for a better Birmingham.When rights are consistently denied, a cause should be pressed in the courts and in negotiations among local leaders, and not in the streets. We appeal to both our white and Negro citizenry to observe the principles of law and order and common sense. Signed by: C. C. J. CARPENTER, D.D., LL.D. Bishop of Alabama JOSEPH A. DURICK, D.D. Auxiliary Bishop. Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham Rabbi HILTON J. GRAFMAN, Temple Emmanu-El, Birmingham, Alabama Bishop PAUL HARDIN, Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference of theMethodist Church. Bishop HOLAN B. HARMON, Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of theMethodist Church GEORGE M. MURRAY, Bishop Coadjutor, Episcopal Diocese of Alabama EDWARD V. RAMSAGE, Moderator, Synod of the Alabama Presbyterian Church in theUnited States EARL STALLINGS, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama. . . Martin Luther King Jr wrote a letter responding from a Birmingham Jail . . 16 April 1963 My Dear Fellow Clergymen: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here. But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds. You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative. In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation. Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants--for example, to remove the stores' humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change. Then it occurred to us that Birmingham's mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene "Bull" Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer. You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue. One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all." Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong. Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured? Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest. I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience. We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws. I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured. In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity. You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of "somebodiness" that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil." I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble rousers" and "outside agitators" those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies--a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare. Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists. I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle--have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as "dirty nigger-lovers." Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago. But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen. When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows. In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed. I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular. I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?" Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists. There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are. But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust. Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence." I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department. It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason." I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers? If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me. I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty. Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
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