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Dear friends,

Welcome to my blog. I am honored to have you visit. I hope you'll find my articles a blessing. I welcome your input and especially comments and questions.

I write as a Christian from Jerusalem, Israel about Biblical subjects.

I am particularly interested in the subjects of children, families, women's issues, corporal punishment, science and nature as these subjects relate to the Holy Scriptures.

For more information, see my website: www.biblechild.com

With every good wish - Samuel Martin

Friday, May 18, 2012

Corporal and Eternal Punishment: Time to disconnect these two ideas once and for all – Part Two

Such ideas of excessive beatings, parents being urged to punch their own kids or especially discussing thoughts which were frightening and beyond the intellect of a young child were quite foreign to ancient Jewish culture. One of the early authors who I learned a great deal from and who dramatically influenced my own work was Alfred Edersheim. He had some very interesting comments about the approaches to education which ancient Jewish texts promote. Note the following:

“But indeed, to the Jew, child-life was something peculiarly holy, and the duty of filling it with thoughts of God specially sacred. It almost seems as if the people generally had retained among them the echo of our Lord's saying, that their angels continually behold the face of our Father which is in heaven. Hence the religious care connected with education. The grand object of the teacher was moral as well as intellectual training. To keep children from all intercourse with the vicious; to suppress all feelings of bitterness, even though wrong had been done to one's parents; to punish all real wrong-doing; not to prefer one child to another; rather to show sin in its repulsiveness than to predict what punishment would follow, either in this or the next world, so as not to "discourage" the child--such are some of the rules laid down. A teacher was not even to promise a child anything which he did not mean to perform, lest its mind be familiarised with falsehood. Everything that might call up disagreeable or indelicate thoughts was to be carefully avoided.” (Edersheim, Sketches of Jewish Social Life, Ch. 8 - http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edersheim/sketches.txt - Note the whole book is available for free on this site)

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