Saturday, March 17, 2012

Passages From "The Book Of The Wisdom Of Solomon"

The following quote is taken from

"Human Sacrifice -Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself.  As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.  In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;  (Wisdom 3:5-7 NAB The Book of The Wisdom of Solomon is mostly in Catholic versions of the Bible.)
Child Sacrifice - And this became a hidden trap for mankind, because men, in bondage to misfortune or to royal authority, bestowed on objects of stone or wood the name that ought not to be shared.  Afterward it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God, but they live in great strife due to ignorance, and they call such great evils peace.  For whether they kill children in their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries, or hold frenzied revels with strange customs…  (Wisdom 14:21-23 RSV)  The Book of The Wisdom of Solomon is mostly in Catholic versions of the Bible.  This passage condemns human sacrifice but acknowledges that it did happen by early God worshipers."

            I'm only briefly going to discuss this passage, since The Book of the Wisdom of Solomon is considered Apocrypha (non-canonical) in the Jewish scriptures and most standard Bibles.  It is interesting to note that it was not included in the canon by Catholics until the 15th century CE.
            First of all, neither passage promotes human sacrifice.  The first passage is merely symbolic, representing a person's total devotion to God.  The second passage clearly condemns the practice of child sacrifice to false gods and idols; the sacrifices being made are not to God, nor would they be approved by God.
            In any case, this book was not included in the Biblical canon, and is not authoritative.  One major reason for this is that it was written far too late to have been written by King Solomon (who ruled circa 971-931 BCE); scholars roughly place it as having been written between the 2nd century BCE-1st century CE.  It was rejected by the Jews as non-canonical in 90 CE, and was also rejected by several of the early church fathers.  It is not part of the Word of God.