Obama and Wiesel

Elie Wiesel Claims that Silence Encourages the Tormentor

by Kalinda Rose Stevenson

Taking Sides

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever
Human beings endure suffering and humiliation.
We must always take sides
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel Quote on Silence

Elie Wiesel's quote on silence is the lead quotation from Chapter 25 of Your True Self Identity.How Familiar Translations of Bible Verses in the Gospel of Matthew Hide Your True Identity from You. 

The chapter title is: "What Is the True Identity of the Lost Sheep?" The focus of the chapter is about "lost sheep that have gone astray." The purpose of the chapter is to demonstrate how translations have distorted the original Greek meaning of the verses so that innocent "little ones" are defined as sinners.  The following is an excerpt from the book. 

Diverting Attention

Three times in Chapter 18, the overwhelming tendency of translations is to divert attention from the one with power to the one without power, to reinforce the idea that “you” are a sinner who needs to be saved. It begins with the translation of “humble” without making clear that the meaning here is not about a prideful sense of self-importance but about social status.

•It continues with the “stumbling block” language, which turns the little ones into sinners, while missing the real point that this is a woe oracle against those who trap the little ones.

•And finally, it turns the ones who are led off into ones who wander off. 

The idea that people are errant sinners—lost sheep who need to be saved—is so deeply embedded in Christian consciousness that the true force of the condemnation of Jesus turns into a series of stories about little ones who become sinners because they “stumble,” “fall into sin,” or “wander” off.

The brief book excerpt is about translations that turn attention from the powerful who lead astray, mislead, and deceive the little ones into admonitions about sinful little ones. These translations obscure the clear intention of Chapter 25 to condemn the powerful religious leaders who block the little ones from entering the kingdom. 

[Original Post September 8, 2014]

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