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.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Reason conquering emotion, a reflection on 4 Maccabees 13

The writer of 4 Maccabees used the example of the seven brothers' choosing painful death as proof that reason is sovereign over emotion. He used a metaphor: Just as tall towers in harbors can hold back threatening waves, so did right reason in the youths fortify the harbor of religion and conquer the tempest of emotion.

Quote from one of the brothers: Let us not fear him who thinks he is killing us, for great is the struggle of the soul and the danger of eternal torment lying before those who transgress the commandment of God. Therefore let us put on the full armor of self-control, which is divine reason. For if we so die, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob will welcome us, and all the fathers will praise us."

Is 4 Maccabees equating reason with being afraid of the afterlife?

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