Friday, 7 August 2015

Proverbs Chapter 28 Verse 13 (again)

I have been to Temple Newsam, and admired various rare breeds of livestock, birds of prey etc. The estate, owned by Leeds City Council, has various historical connotations of possible interest to wargamers: the Temple bit comes from the Knights Templar for example and it was the birthplace of Lord Darnley, second husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. The picture gallery contains some interesting seventeenth century battle scenes, with lots of cavalry firing pistols at each from close range. However it was another painting that caught my eye the most.

'Christ and the Woman Taken in Adultery' - Gaetano Gandolfi

Now I'm no theologian, indeed now I come to think about it I'm not even a Christian. But that story (John Chapter 8) has always seemed to me to get to the heart of what the man was on about. I understand the subtexts of Jewish versus Roman law (remember this event took place only days before his own arrest and appearance before Pilate); of the Pharisees' real aim of finding evidence of his guilt rather than that of the woman ostensibly accused; and even of the gender inequality of the adultery rules of the time (married men were allowed to consort with single women - the married woman restriction was more of a property issue than a moral one). But, rising above all that, is surely the simple message: acknowledge one's own wrongdoings rather than judge other people's.

As the philosopher whose name I have assumed, wrote not long after the events above "When you are offended at any man's fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger."

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