Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON THE THOUGHT OF KARL MARX. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for Robert Paul Wolff Marx."




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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

YOUR DAILY BIBLE READING


As you all know, I am a faithful reader of the Bible, for all that I am an atheist, and it irks me when those who claim to be Christians get it all wrong.  This morning, the bloviators on Morning Joe were opining that it would be hard for Trump to find someone to take Deputy Attorney General’s position and then to fire Bob Mueller.  “Yes,” said Joe Scarborough in his usual know-it-all manner, “he would bear the Mark of Cain,” meaning that he would be in everyone’s crosshairs and would never find another job in Washington.

Well, that may be, but it would not be The Mark of Cain.  Quite the contrary.  Here is the relevant passage, from Genesis, Chapter 4:

And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?
10And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
11And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand;
12When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
15And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.

In short, the Mark of Cain is a safe passage ticket from God, a warning to others to lay off.  I do not understand why the pious and faithful cannot get this right.  I mean, it is not buried somewhere in Leviticus or Second Samuel.  It is right up front, four chapters into the first Book of the Bible.  Even if you do not stick with the Good Book long enough to get to the Flood, you ought to see it.

Young people these days have no respect.


7 comments:

s. wallerstein said...

Young people don't read and still less read as broadly (the Bible as well as Marx as well as Jane Austen) as your generation did.

Ed Barreras said...

Clearly he should have referenced the scarlet pimpernel.

Howard Berman said...

Robert Alter the Bible translator backs you up on your take of Cain. For a Marxist you're 100% Kosher

Anonymous said...

Speaking of misquoting, I'm always reminding my right-wing friends and colleagues that the quotes they often use come from the opposite political spectrum. For example, Marx's "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs". One person actually thought it was from the bible.

Stephen Baraban said...

As an agnostic Jew, I've had a few uncomfortable conversations with Christians, trying to convince them that the Immaculate Conception does NOT refer to the Virgin Birth, but rather to the doctrine that Mary was the only human to be born without taint of Original Sin.

Michael Llenos said...

Dr. Wolff,

Here, I believe, is the mix up. And, yes, it's because of the ignorant, bigoted thinking of wicked men.

I think Cain was the first offspring of Adam to be cursed. Next man is Canaan, the son of Ham: who was the son of Noah. In Genesis 10:6, the sons of Ham are: Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan. Phut sounds Egyptian and Cush sounds Ethiopian. Gen. 9:25-27 shows Noah making slaves (or servants) of Canaan--which may even fall onto his siblings in an indirect way--according to the crazy and the extreme.

This whole idea is why that greatest American Orator 'Frederick Douglass' says in his autobiography that southern slave owners justified southern slavery with the Bible--which is one reason why southern slave owners were nuts.

Now take the name Cain. It sounds very much like Canaan. And take the fact that Cain has a mark on him that may be assumed to be of darker color. Plus, the fact that Ham's sons are all probably of brown or black complexion--according to every slave owner's opinion. So when all these bigots, who do not read the Bible, like they should, interpret Biblical teachings, they create this patch work of nefarious foolishness.

note: I can't remember where in Mr. Douglass' Auto bio. that he explains such things, but I think he hints at it at least once there in the text.

Michael Llenos said...

P.S.
On the 3rd page of ch. 1 of 'Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass', Mr. Douglass makes a joke of the biblical judgments of slave owners, by writing the following belief of theirs:

"that God cursed Ham, and therefore American slavery is right."