It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Reaction to people with different religious practices, a reflection on 3 Maccabees 3

The king was so incensed that the Jews living in Egypt were determined to remain Jewish that he ordered them to be put to death. An untrue rumor was circulated that the Jews were trying to keep other Egyptians from complying with their own customs.

However, the Jews continued to maintain goodwill and loyalty toward the rulers while still adhering to their religion; for example, keeping their food laws. Some Egyptians hated the Jews for being different; others admired their good deeds and uprightness. Another minority group, Greeks, weren't strong enough to help the Jews but did try to offer comfort to them.

The king, not considering what God would think, published his own thoughts about the Jews, "Although we treated these people well, supported their temple and cities financially, in their arrogance, they refused to let us enter their temple. Despite this offense, when we got back to Egypt, we offered alliance with and citizenship to them. But, in their malice, some of them continued to demonstrate their determination to adhere to their own ways. So, arrest them. Torture anyone who tries to protect them, torture them to death. Anyone who informs on somebody will get that person's property plus 2,000 drachmas. Anyone who shelters a Jew will be burned with fire."

Is it always difficult for the majority to tolerate the minority?

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