This is a rough draft.
Several days ago I began fill out a bio for my candidacy on a prescribed site. The next day the SCOTUS leak occurred. I became afraid for my life IF I finished that bio, because it can be used to religiously judge me the enemy of Jesus and the unborn. Most people can not handle simple moral dilemmas. So, the Republican party created a US vs. THEM to make it easy – for morons. We see the Lawmaker from New Hampshire re-enacting the Supreme Court ruling……
“When I was a Democrat – I murdered my unborn baby. I listened to them, instead of my innate motherly heart. Now that I am a Republican, I see the light. All Democrats are guilty of pre-meditated murder, therefore – THEY MURDERERED MY BABY – not me. You are a MURDERER! You are a MUDERER! I point you out – in the crowd!
The FBI needs to investigate this crazed women to see if she goes to the shooting range. Put a gun in her hand – as she accuses INNOCENT PEOPLE of a Capitol Crime. How many millions of people will vote the Republican ticket to make sure they are on the right side of Jesus and their Angry Judgers?
DeLemus also pointed to members of the crowd and yelled, “You’re a murderer” repeatedly.
“I’m a murderer. I murdered my own baby,” she continued, apparently referring to an abortion she has spoken about in the past. In 2012, while arguing in favor of a bill that would require women to wait 24 hours before undergoing an abortion, DeLemus said she’d had an abortion more than two decades earlier, and had “murdered my baby.”
If our Founding Fathers, and our Founding Christian Fathers, understood they had an almost impossible task at hand in their Declaration, then, if they could be consulted, they would have to conclude what I conclude…The Democracy-Christian Mix has failed to establish a Common Morality for the good of all.
Any society would conclude as much. The Divine Rule of Kings formed a Union with the Papacy and Church, so there can be a semblance Royal Rulers want to….RULED IN A MORAL MANNER! After King Henry had Knights Templar MURDER Beckett, he was ordered to do penitence. With the video of Lawmaker screeching as she judges can condemns Democratic Protesters in front of, We The People see the bitter end of our Democracy. That our Judicial Branch does not rule all women who want and sought an abortion – ARE CRIMINALS – for over fifty years, and, then behind closed doors PLOT to make millions of women – PAST AND PRESENT – criminals, taxes the credibility of our Nation’s duty to be fair……and moral.
I will present evidence, that Christian-Judaism – IS A COMPLETE FAILURE – when it comes to Moral and Legal Remedy. According to the Laws of God in the Torah, there must exist a Temple, so the Children of God can made Atonement. For an elected Lawmaker to ACCUSE everyone of being a murderer – for contemplating getting an abortion, or supporting their right to do so – reduces our society to as primitive a collective as one can arrive at. That this is done in the greatest democracy that ever appear on the planet – can not be the failure of our democracy – but the failure of the Christian-right who seek to create a Christian-nation.
If Hester had aborted Pearl then one of the greatest novels in American History – would not exist. My alleged great grandfather, John Wilson, appears in The Scarlet Letter. John is famous from putting Annd Hutchenson on trial.
Abortin present a profound moral issue in America in which Americas hold sharelpye conflicting views
This statement implies some are moral, while others, are not. The introduction of “moral issue” suggests religion – that teaches es morality – plays a big in creating “conflicting views”. A woman who decides she wants an abortion, is not presenting a “profound moral issue – to all Americans. In her mind, it is none of everyone’s business. There is much evidence Jerry Farrell and Paul Weyeich created a moral conflict in their mutual desire to keep President Jimmy Carter from serving another term. The Republican and Democrats are famous for their conflict views. Carter being a well-like evangelical called for the creation of a Moral Political Weapon, like the kind the Jews practiced when it came to forced circuscion. Paul conflicts with the Judaizers, who want the early Christians to obey Mosaic Laws, that this Pharisee of Pharisees says are mo longer applicalbe. This ruling conflicts with Jesus, who pracie Levitical Laws.
And far from briging national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have inflamed debate and deepened division by citizens trying to persuade one another, and then voting
How can any court rule that the Legal Solution – is to vote? The minister in Eugene does not have a clue what Jesus us doing and saying in regards to judging the woman accused of adultery. Why? Why have I found the answer? Did I go to school?
This is THE START of my judgement, and will be added to.
John Presco ‘Nazarite Judge’
Forced circumcision is the circumcision of men and children against their will. In a biblical context, the term is used especially in relation to Paul the Apostle and his polemics against the circumcision controversy in early Christianity.
One way in which ancient rulers proclaimed their power over war captives and slaves was to inscribe their bodies with a distinctive mark of ownership. For instance, according to Herodotus, the Persian king Xerxes ordered “royal marks” inscribed on Theban soldiers who had deserted to his side. To cite an example closer to the world of Judaism, 3 Macc 2.29 reports that the Hellenistic ruler Ptolemy Philopator ordered an ivy-leaf shaped “mark of Dionysus” branded onto Jews. Generally speaking, the mark of circumcision served a very different social role in antiquity, serving in many (though not all) contexts as a sign distinguishing Jews from others. There is reason to believe, however, that circumcision too could serve as a “rite of domination” marking Jewish power over Gentile bodies. Several sources refer briefly to incidents during the second and first centuries BCE when Jewish rulers forcibly circumcised Gentile peoples after subduing them in battle.
Epiphanius of Salamis wrote against heretics who used coitus interruptus, calling it the sin of Οnan: They soil their bodies, minds and souls with unchastity. Some of them masquerade as monastics, and their woman companions as female monastics. And they are physically corrupted because they satisfy their appetite but, to put it politely, by the act of Onan the son of Judah. For as Onan coupled with Tamar and satisfied his appetite but did not complete the act by planting his seed for the God-given [purpose of] procreation and did himself harm instead, thus, as [he] did the vile thing, so these people have used their supposed [female monastics], committing this infamy. For purity is not their concern, but a hypocritical purity in name. Their concern is limited to ensuring that the woman the seeming [ascetic] has seduced does not get pregnant—either so as not to cause child-bearing, or to escape detection, since they want to be honored for their supposed celibacy. In any case, this is what they do, but others endeavor to get this same filthy satisfaction not with women but by other means, and pollute themselves with their own hands. They too imitate the son of Judah, soil the ground with their forbidden practices and drops of filthy fluid and rub their emissions into the earth with their feet — Epiphanius of Salamis, Boston, 2010, p. 131
Early Protestant views
Making reference to Onan’s offense to identify masturbation as sinful, in his Commentary on Genesis, John Calvin wrote that “the voluntary spilling of semen outside of intercourse between a man and a woman is a monstrous thing. Deliberately to withdraw from coitus in order that semen may fall on the ground is double monstrous.” Methodism founder John Wesley, according to Bryan C. Hodge, “believed that any waste of the semen in an unproductive sexual act, whether that should be in the form of masturbation or coitus interruptus, as in the case of Onan, destroyed the souls of the individuals who practice it”. He writes his Thoughts on the Sin of Onan (1767), which was reproduced as A Word to Whom it May Concern on 1779, as an attempt to censor a work by Samuel-Auguste Tissot. In that writing, Wesley warns about “the dangers of self pollution”, the bad physical and mental effects of masturbation, writes many such cases along with the treatment recommendations.
Two decades later, a leaked draft opinion shows that the Supreme Court may soon overturn precedents like Roe v. Wade and eliminate women’s constitutional right to have an abortion. Justice Alito wrote the draft, devoting 30 pages to arguing that it was unnecessary for the court to follow decisions that had affirmed abortion rights for nearly 50 years.
The legal principle of stare decisis — that previous rulings should generally be respected and not lightly overturned — “is not an inexorable command,” Justice Alito wrote, adding: “When one of our constitutional decisions goes astray, the country is usually stuck with the bad decision unless we correct our own mistake.”
The apparently imminent demise of constitutional abortion rights raises the question of how aggressive the Roberts court will become in overturning precedents — and whether similar constitutional rights that protect various types of sexual activity and conjugal relationships may be challenged by cultural and religious conservatives in coming years.
For most of the Roberts court era, the Supreme Court has not been unusually aggressive about overturning precedents compared with its predecessors dating back to after World War II, data shows. But the court has been transformed by appointees from President Donald J. Trump, giving a conservative movement faction the power to uproot what was thought to be settled law undergirding important parts of modern American life.
In his draft decision, Justice Alito himself noted that the Supreme Court established many other significant modern rights based on the same reasoning as abortion rights. Those he cited include precedents barring states from criminalizing or otherwise blocking people from buying and using contraception; sexual intercourse between consenting adults of the same sex; and interracial or same-sex marriages.
Like abortion rights, those rights involve personal freedoms that are not mentioned in the Constitution, but whose existence the Supreme Court has inferred from the 14th Amendment. It limits the government’s ability to take away people’s liberty unfairly, which courts have interpreted as implying a right to privacy and personal autonomy over decisions involving people’s bodies and relationships.
Justice Alito put forward a narrow interpretation of that doctrine, citing an analytical framework laid out in a 1997 ruling by the chief justice at the time, William Rehnquist, upholding a state law that banned assisted suicide. But Justice Alito omitted that in laying out that framework, the 1997 opinion had also discussed and cited a key 1992 abortion-rights ruling that his draft opinion would reverse as erroneous.
Essentially, Justice Alito argued that for an unwritten liberty right to be legitimate, it must be deeply rooted in the nation’s history and have been understood to exist when the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868. Back then, he wrote, many states had criminalized abortion and there was no understanding that women had a right to end their pregnancies.
Justice Alito also sought to mitigate any concerns that his reasoning would jeopardize other modern-era rights. None of the others involved the destruction of a fetus, so they did not raise “the critical moral question posed by abortion,” he wrote.
“We emphasize that our decision concerns the constitutional right to abortion and no other right,” he added. “Nothing in this opinion should be understood to cast doubt on precedents that do not concern abortion.”
But that reassurance has been greeted with broad skepticism.
For one, it is not clear that contraception, which some states outlawed before a landmark 1965 decision and its progeny, is different than abortion. After all, Justice Alito has already accepted, in a 2014 opinion he wrote in the case of Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, that companies have a right to refuse to cover contraception in employees’ health plans if the owners believe, for religious reasons, that contraception is an abortifacient.
Moreover, should cultural and religious conservatives in state legislatures or Congress enact further laws violating Supreme Court precedents that established modern-era rights, proponents of those laws could invoke the same arguments to press the court to overturn those precedents, too. After all, matters like rights for same-sex couples equally have no deep historical basis and, in some people’s minds, also raise critical moral questions.
Laurence Tribe, a liberal-leaning Harvard Law School professor whom Justice Alito repeatedly cited for a 1973 law review article in which Mr. Tribe criticized the reasoning of Roe v. Wade, denounced Justice Alito’s assertion that the draft opinion raised no doubts about precedents that do not concern abortion.
“That’s not how principled adjudication works,” Mr. Tribe wrote on Twitter. “Either you’re being a political hack or your ‘only abortion’ bit is BS.”
Justice Alito’s opinion did purport to give greater fealty to precedents that helped him overturn abortion rights. Some supporters of abortion rights have argued that they could be held to come from a different part of the Constitution: the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause. By that theory, laws barring abortion amount to sex-based discrimination against women.
Judge Alito dismissed that idea as “squarely foreclosed by our precedents” — citing a 1974 case about whether pregnancies must be covered by a state-run temporary employment disability insurance program and a 1993 case about anti-abortion protesters, and swiftly moving on.
The Roberts court era began in 2005, when Chief Justice Rehnquist died and President George W. Bush appointed John G. Roberts Jr. as his successor.
Later that year, Mr. Bush nominated his White House lawyer, Harriet Miers, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. But conservatives balked because she had no paper trail showing engagement with their ideology. Mr. Bush pulled her nomination and put forward Mr. Alito instead, beginning a rightward shift.
Overall, the Roberts court has not been unusually prone to overturning precedents, according to data compiled by Adam Feldman, a Supreme Court scholar and creator of the Empirical SCOTUS blog.
From 2005 through last term, the Roberts court has overturned precedents in about 1.47 cases per term, the fewest of any chief justice since World War II, Mr. Feldman’s data showed. Measured another way, the court has overturned precedents in 2.27 percent of the cases it has heard, a slightly lower rate than predecessors dating back to the Warren Court of the 1950s and 1960s.
But in recent years, the makeup of the court has changed drastically. Mr. Trump replaced a moderate conservative justice, Anthony Kennedy, and a liberal one, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, with justices who are considered much likelier to vote in a consistently conservative direction, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Along with Justice Alito, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas, there is now a conservative supermajority on the court. And its ideologically median justice — who in close cases determines the majority — has moved from Justice Kennedy or Chief Justice Roberts to Justice Kavanaugh or Justice Barrett, legal scholars say, making it much likelier to issue conservative rulings.
In 2018 and 2019, some liberals accused the Roberts court of being activist in overturning decades-old precedents on several matters. Those included holding that government workers who choose not to join unions may not be required to help pay for collective bargaining efforts, ruling that states may not be sued in the courts of other states, and permitting people to sue in federal court to seek compensation as soon as state and local governments take their property through eminent domain.
In the last two cases, Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan dissented, warning that the court was becoming too disrespectful of precedent. After citing the court’s abortion precedents, for example, Justice Breyer wrote, “Today’s decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the court will overrule next.”
At the time, Jonathan H. Adler, a libertarian-leaning Case Western Reserve University law professor, cited data like Mr. Feldman’s analysis to rebuke liberals sounding those alarms, given that the Roberts court on average was not out of the ordinary.
But in an interview this week, Mr. Adler said he now expected the current Supreme Court to overturn precedents more frequently — and to do so more consistently in a conservative direction.
“Advocates and lower courts will create more opportunities to overturn precedent, in the way cases are framed and brought and the types of arguments made,” he said. “And without Roberts being the median justice anymore, the likelihood that the court is willing to overturn precedent I would expect to go up.”
Anne Hutchinson (née Marbury; July 1591 – August 1643) was a Puritan spiritual advisor, religious reformer, and an important participant in the Antinomian Controversy which shook the infant Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1636 to 1638. Her strong religious convictions were at odds with the established Puritan clergy in the Boston area and her popularity and charisma helped create a theological schism that threatened the Puritan religious community in New England. She was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the colony with many of her supporters.
The conflict initially involved a difference in views concerning “religious works” or behavior, as well as the presence and role of the Holy Spirit. For example, the Puritan majority held the view that an individual’s salvation is demonstrated by righteous behavior or “good works,” while the Antinomians argued that one’s spiritual condition had no bearing upon one’s outward behavior. However, the debate quickly changed, as the Antinomians began to claim that personal revelation was equivalent to Scripture, under the influence of Anne Hutchinson’s teachings, while the Puritan majority held that the Bible was the final authority, taking precedence over any personal viewpoints.
Within a week of Hutchinson’s sentencing, some of her supporters were called into court and were disfranchised but not banished. The constables were then sent from door to door throughout the colony’s towns to disarm those who signed the Wheelwright petition. Within ten days, these individuals were ordered to deliver “all such guns, pistols, swords, powder, shot, & match as they shall be owners of, or have in their custody, upon paine of ten pound[s] for every default”. A great number recanted and “acknowledged their error” in signing the petition when they were faced with the confiscation of their firearms. Those who refused to recant suffered hardships and, in many cases, decided to leave the colony. In Roxbury, Philip Sherman, Henry Bull, and Thomas Wilson were excommunicated from the church, and all three left the colony.
The timing was unfortunate for the Hutchinsons’ settlement in this area. Animosity had grown between the Dutch and the Siwanoy Indians of New Netherland. Hutchinson had a favorable relationship with the Narragansetts in Rhode Island, and she might have felt a false sense of safety among the Siwanoys. However, these natives rampaged through the New Netherland colony in a series of incidents known as Kieft’s War, and a group of warriors entered the small settlement above Pelham Bay in late August 1643 and killed every member of the Hutchinson household, except for Hutchinson’s nine-year-old daughter Susanna.
Susanna returned to Boston, married, and had many children. Four of Hutchinson’s 14 other children are known to have survived and had offspring. Three United States presidents descend from her.
What is a Moral Issue?
What is the Distinction Between Moral Actions and Nonmoral Actions?
Abstract: A working definition of an issue of moral concern is presented as any issue with the potential to help or harm anyone, including oneself.
Legal-Religious Status of the Suspected Adulteress (Sotah)
When a husband accuses his wife of adultery, the Bible proscribes the ritual of Sotah (bitter waters) to verify the husband’s claim. Rabbinic literature explains and explores the ritual and the requirements for undergoing sotah. Once a woman is warned by her husband to stay away from a certain man, she is considered suspect; if she then is seen secluding with that man, she is taken to trial. If she does not confess at trial, she undergoes the sotah ritual. The ritual begins with humiliation, and she is then forced to drink the bitter waters. According to the texts, if she is guilty, the waters will cause horrible symptoms and ultimately death. The trial was ultimately abandoned by the rabbis.Contents
Adultery and the Sotah
Perhaps one of the most embarrassing and humiliating situations for a man, particularly in the Middle East, is infidelity on the part of his wife. Suspicion of infidelity creates a similar dynamic in the Jewish legal system but is moderated by issues of doubt. A man’s suspicion of infidelity on the part of his wife is one of the most prejudicial legal situations for women, clearly demonstrating inequality in the marriage relationship.
When a man acquires a woman as his wife, he acquires exclusive rights to her sexuality. The reverse, of course, is not true, since a man (until the decree of Rabbenu Gershom [c. 960–1028] for Ashkenazi Jews and the rise of the State of Israel also for Sephardi Jews, with some anomalous situations still existing) is permitted to have more than one wife as well as concubines, and his legal status is unprejudiced by fornication. If, for some unspecified reason, a man suspects his wife of becoming too close to another man (even her father, brother, a boy more than nine years and one day old, a Gentile, a slave, or a man who cannot have an erection, or even two people at once), he becomes “jealous” (kinei). This topic is found in Shulhan Arukh E.H. 178 and in Maimonides (Rambam) in Hilkhot Sotah, who holds the following opinions: By giving her a verbal warning in the presence of two kosher witnesses (adult, male, and observant of the mitzvot) that she may not be alone with the specified person, he establishes her suspect state (Rambam, Hilkhot Sotah 1:1,3). If she subsequently secluded herself with that man in a private place for a long enough period to have had sexual relations (the time it takes to roast an egg and eat it—BT Sotah 4a), she is forbidden to her husband until she undergoes the trial of the bitter waters, and if there are no bitter waters (e.g. post-Temple destruction), she is forbidden forever and must be divorced without a ketubbah (Hilkhot Sotah 1:2). The man may revoke his jealous warning or divorce his wife and remarry her, making her subsequent seclusion with the warned party non-binding concerning the trial of bitter waters (ibid. 1:7).
If after the appropriate warning before witnesses, the husband himself sees that she secluded herself with the forbidden man or he heard the rumors of “the women who weave by the moonlight” concerning her forbidden seclusion, he must divorce her and give her the ketubbah because he cannot force her to undergo the trial if he himself is the witness (ibid. 1:8). When, after the proper warning, a single witness gives testimony that the woman had secluded herself with the prohibited man, if the husband relies on him, he must divorce her and she claims her ketubbah but if he does not rely on the witness, she is permitted to him (ibid. 1:9). The court itself can give the jealous warning on behalf of the husband if he is deaf, mentally ill, out of the country, or incarcerated, but not for the sake of enabling the trial of bitter waters, which is only the husband’s prerogative. If the court, after warning her, subsequently hears that she had secluded herself with the forbidden party, they forbid her to her husband, tear up her ketubbah, and obligate her husband to divorce her when he is in a state to do so, e.g., when he is no longer mentally ill (ibid. 1:10–11). If after the proper warning and witnesses to her seclusion with the prohibited man, a witness (even one of those who witnessed her seclusion) testifies that she had intercourse with the prohibited man, she does not undergo the trial but is divorced without a ketubbah (ibid. 1:14). Actual evidence of defilement is sufficient to enforce the divorce and the forfeit of her ketubbah, but without the formal warning of two valid witnesses she does not fall into the legal category of an adulteress who is subject to capital punishment.
Exceptions to Sotah
One who is merely betrothed to a man or the widow of a childless man waiting to perform halizah or yibbum (shomeret yavam) is also subject to suspicion due to jealousy. She, however, does not undergo the trial if she is secluded with the man after the warning but the betrothed woman is divorced and the yavam (brother of the deceased childless man) performs halizah and she also loses her ketubbah. Such women do not drink the bitter water because they are not actually married. If they secluded themselves with the prohibited man after the marriage or yibbum has been consummated, they are subject to the trial of bitter waters (ibid. 2:5). Women in prohibited marriages such as a widow to the High Priest, a divorcée or woman who has undergone halizah to a priest, or a bastard woman or netinah (descendant of the Gibeonites [BT Yevamot 78b–79a]) married to a Jewish man or a Jewish woman married to a bastard or to a netin, are not subject to the trial of bitter water but if the husband/yavam (levir) has expressed his “jealousy” before two witnesses and the woman has secluded herself with the prohibited man, she is divorced and loses her ketubbah (ibid. 2:9, Mishnah Sotah 4:1). This is due to the fact that such women have caused themselves to become prohibited to their husbands.
Several other women are prohibited from drinking the bitter waters but are divorced without a ketubbah. These include a minor, a woman married to a minor, a woman married to a hermaphrodite, a woman married to a blind man, a woman with a congenital malformation causing her to limp, a woman without a hand or with a severely deformed or withered hand that cannot hold her meal offering, or a woman married to such a man, a mute woman or woman married to a mute man, a deaf woman or woman married to a deaf man (Hilkhot Sotah 2:2–3). These are forbidden to undergo the trial because of legal hermeneutics on the verses which specify as part of the trial certain actions such as speaking, hearing, standing and holding which their physical disabilities prevent.
A minor girl married off by her father (i.e. marriage of biblical validity) is subject to the jealous warning and if she subsequently had sexual relations with the prohibited person does not undergo the trial but is divorced and disqualified from her ketubbah. A minor married off by her guardian (i.e. marriage of rabbinic validity) is not subject to the jealous warning (ibid. 2:4). Women with certain status disadvantages who are nevertheless permitted to their husbands, such as the convert or one married to a convert, a freed slave woman or one married to a freed slave, a bastard or woman married to a bastard, and a woman married to a eunuch, are nevertheless obligated to undergo the trial (ibid. 2:6).
A pregnant or nursing woman is subject to the trial, including if the man transgressed the rabbinic prohibition and married a woman pregnant by another man or nursing another man’s child (ibid. 2:7, 9). The woman who was set to undergo the trial but whose husband died prior to her drinking the bitter water is exempt from the trial but loses her ketubbah—a clear example of presumption of guilt without possibility of disproving it through the trial of bitter waters. A man who is married to a woman who cannot give birth (an infertile woman, a menopausal woman or woman who has not sprouted two pubic hairs by the age of twenty [aylonit]) and has no children of his own cannot subject her to the trial of bitter waters: rather, she is divorced without her ketubbah. If he is married to an infertile woman but does have children from another wife or has another wife who is or was capable of giving birth, the infertile woman is subject to the trial (ibid. 2:10). If a woman had been warned about a particular man and was secluded with him but did not undergo the trial, she is forbidden to marry the prohibited man after her divorce but if they transgress and marry, even if they have several children, the court can force them to divorce (ibid. 2:12). If she had not been warned about a particular man but witnesses testified that she was secluded with someone and was found in a state of disarray suggesting sexual activity causing her husband to divorce her, she is forbidden to marry that person but if she does so she must be divorced unless she had children with him (ibid. 2:13). This holds if there had been a sustained rumor concerning her defilement with that man. This is an extension of the rabbinic rule that the adulteress is forbidden to marry the adulterer, even though only doubt is involved here. The status of their children is, however, unaffected by their supposed adultery.
Sotah Before the Court
No woman who has been warned and secluded herself is actually obligated to drink the bitter waters. The court in Jerusalem exhorts her to confess her guilt rather than undergo the trial. This is similar to the treatment of witnesses in capital cases to prevent them from giving false testimony. If she confesses that she is guilty of adultery or if she refuses to undergo the trial, the court forces the man to divorce her and she loses her ketubbah. If her husband refuses to have her undergo the trial or if he had intercourse with her after the warning and seclusion, he must divorce her and she is permanently prohibited to him but she is entitled to her ketubbah (ibid. 2:1). This demonstrates that his actions are of primary importance in determining her status and her ability to claim her ketubbah.
The laws concerning testimony are very lenient in reference to a woman after her warning by kosher witnesses. Relying on the validity of the first testimony (which in rabbinic eyes is completely valid because the witnesses were religiously observant adult males), a woman, a slave (male or female), one who is disqualified from testimony by rabbinic disqualification, a relative and the five women who are considered to hate her (her mother-in-law, her sister-in-law, her co-wife, her husband’s daughter and her husband’s brother’s wife according to Gittin 2:7) may all give testimony that she had intercourse with the prohibited person, thereby making her forbidden forever to her husband (ibid. 1:15). This interaction between valid testimony and testimony by witnesses who are normally disqualified and who may have a stake in the issue is a matter of balance: she is forbidden to her husband, who must divorce her (a matter of religious significance, issur), but is allowed to claim her ketubbah (a matter of money, mamon).
If one kosher witness testifies that she had intercourse with the prohibited man and subsequently another kosher witness contradicts him, the stricter position is followed and she is divorced without a ketubbah, again to the disadvantage of the woman. If the contradicting witnesses came to the court at the same time or if two witnesses contradicted the testimony of the first, the woman must undergo the trial (ibid. 1:17). If the first witness who claims she had intercourse is contradicted by many women or other unqualified witnesses, she must undergo the trial because they are considered of equal weight (ibid. 1:18). If all the witnesses of her seclusion were women or other unqualified witnesses, the court follows the majority of the testimony. If the weight of the contradicting witnesses was equal, the woman must undergo the trial (ibid. 1: 18, 19). These leniencies concerning testimony clearly indicate the sotah’s legal disadvantage.
The husband must take her to the local court with the witnesses in front of whom he warned her and with the witnesses of her subsequent seclusion with that man (ibid. 3:1). It must be emphasized that this is a case of absolute doubt: the man may have no particular reason for warning his wife against secluding herself with a particular man and there are no witnesses to actual wrongdoing, only witnesses to her disobedience to her husband’s prohibition to the seclusion. This doubtful situation is treated as definite “impurity,” making her forbidden to him. This became the model for stringency in reference to a case of doubtful ritual impurity in a private domain which the rabbinic sages considered as definite impurity (BT Niddah 3a, 56a). His jealous feelings, which may be similar to the warning signs of an abusive husband, are given legal validation by the sages. The local court appoints two rabbinic sages to accompany the couple to the court of seventy-one judges in Jerusalem (M. Sotah 1:4). Their task is to prevent the husband from having sexual relations with his wife prior to a successful conclusion to the trial of the bitter waters, because his suspicion has made her forbidden to him.
The Trial of the Bitter Waters
The trial is described in Mishnah Sotah chapters 2–3 and in Rambam Hilkhot Sotah chapter 3 with some variations in the order. The entire process leading up to the trial is one of humiliation and degradation of the woman and attempts to frighten her into admitting her guilt: her garments are ripped by the priest to expose her breasts; her hair is unbound, in contrast to the norm of married women; if she is wearing white she is forced to change into black clothing and remove all ornaments and jewelry; her torn clothing is bound to her by Egyptian rope above her breasts (to emphasize her adherence to the abominations of Egypt); many women are gathered and any men who wish to observe the trial (except her own male and female slaves and servants) are allowed to witness her humiliation, apparently as a means to deter such acts among spectators; she is walked to distant sections of the Temple area in order to tire her out; her sacrifice is a barley meal offering, considered to be animal food, and it is unaccompanied by oil or incense; she is forced to hold the meal offering given to her by her husband in an Egyptian basket in an effort to exhaust her (and only later is the meal offering transferred to a Temple vessel); water from the Temple laver is placed in a new ceramic bowl to which was added dust found underneath a particular flagstone on the tabernacle floor as well as a bitter-tasting substance; the curses concerning the sotah must be written explicitly for her in the daytime and are written with a particular ink which will dissolve on a parchment suitable for writing a Torah scroll; the priest makes her swear an oath in a language which she understands and the woman answers, “Amen, amen” to the curse and to the oath that she did not commit adultery from her betrothal to her marriage and after her marriage. The doubled statement, “Amen, amen,” is understood to mean that the oath is “rolled” to any situation of adultery even if she had not specifically been warned against the man, including into the future (gilgul shevu’ah) (Hilkhot Sotah 4:17). Interestingly, the oath cannot be applied to her sexual behavior before her betrothal or after her divorce, i.e. when her sexual relations would not prohibit her to him. This undisputed rule is similar to modern rulings which prevent people’s sexual history from being used against them in court.
The parchment is placed in the water until all the writing is dissolved. After her offering is transferred to a Temple vessel, it is returned to her and the priest places his hands beneath hers and waves it. The priest then removes a handful and burns it and is entitled to the remainder of the meal-offering unless the sotah is the wife of a priest, in which case after the handful is removed, he burns the remainder on the ash pile. This makes the meal offering of a priest’s wife different from a priest’s meal offering in that no part of his is offered. The meal offering of a priest’s daughter married to Israel is treated normally, i.e. as if she were from the class of Israel, and it is consumed by the priests after the handful is removed. The woman is then forced to drink the bitter waters. If, prior to the dissolving of the writing on the scroll, the woman refuses to drink the bitter waters, the scroll is buried, the meal offering is scattered on the ash heap and she is divorced. If the writing has already dissolved and she has declared her guilt, she is still forced to drink against her will.
The beliefs concerning the efficacy of the waters were very strong. There were those who believed that the woman immediately showed signs upon her body if she were guilty (ibid. 3:16): her face turned green, her eyes bulged and the curse moved within her throughout her body. In that case she would be removed immediately from the women’s courtyard of the Temple lest she defile it by becoming ritually impure due to menstruation which they believed might be precipitated by the shock of the curse. It was believed that when she died due to the bitter waters, the adulterer would also die at the same time wherever he was, by suffering a similar fate of swelling belly and falling thigh. If she were innocent, her face was thought to radiate.
Rabbi Akiva (Mishnah Sotah 3:5) and others believe that previous meritorious acts on the part of the woman (e.g. bringing her male children to school to learn Torah and waiting for her husband who studied Torah away from home) suspended the effects of the curse for a certain period of time. Rabbi Simeon bar Yohai held that merit would not suspend the effects of the curse and Rabbi Judah ha-Nasi (the Patriarch) held that she would ultimately die from the effects of the curse and would remain childless with no improvement in her behavior. It is in this context that Simeon Ben Azzai said a man should teach his daughter Torah “so that she would know that merit would suspend the punishment” and therefore remain faithful in her absolute belief in the Torah. Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus claimed that when a man taught his daughter Torah, it was as if he taught her lewdness because she would rely on merit to suspend the punishment and be drawn into adultery (Mishnah Sotah 3:4). His statement has been misused by those who would deny women access to Torah study despite the fact that it was said only in the limited context of sotah. The rabbinic sages have no qualms about men learning such details, including any which would let them circumvent the law, because of their belief in the inherent differences between males and females in their ability to control their desires. Here they seem to disregard the fact that a male also must participate in the adulterous act.
Ultimately, during the tannaitic period, ideas of the efficacy of the trial were abandoned because male behavior was considered to be insufficiently virtuous to make the trial of bitter waters effective. Rambam held that the trial by bitter water was ineffective for the wife of any man who had had forbidden intercourse, even with his betrothed in the house of his father-in-law or with a woman prohibited to him. Moreover, he added to his own guilt because he caused the trial to be ineffective, reducing its efficacy as a deterrent, and causing God’s name to be erased due to his own fornication. The woman prohibited to him is to be divorced without her ketubbah (Hilkhot Sotah 2:8). The supposed effects of the curse are interpreted to mean that as she began her sin with her thigh, i.e. had illicit sexual relations, and finished with her swelling belly (presumably indicating a bastard pregnancy), the punishment would begin with the withering of the thigh and swelling of the belly and culminate in her death.
In the event that the woman is exonerated after the trial of bitter water, her husband can no longer give her the jealous warning concerning the same man. Rather if she secludes herself with him, she becomes forbidden to her husband permanently and he must divorce her without her ketubbah. He may, however, warn her concerning other men and force her to undergo the trial each time if she secluded herself with the prohibited person(s) and was exonerated (ibid. 1:12). If the first husband warned her against a particular man and caused her to undergo the trial and then divorced her, subsequent husband(s) are allowed to warn her against that same man and cause her to undergo the trial because of him (ibid. 1:13). The woman who was exonerated by the trial was “blessed”: if previously she had been barren but capable of pregnancy, she conceived and gave birth; if she had previously had difficult births, she now had easy births; if she had previously had female children, she now had male children (ibid. 2:11, 3:22). If she survives the test, even though the curse has begun slowly in her body, she is permitted to her husband (ibid.3:21). If she survives the test, even if a witness subsequently testifies that she had intercourse with the prohibited man, she is permitted to her husband (ibid. 3:23). Both situations seem to emphasize that surviving the test even temporarily carries more weight that her actual culpability. If the woman had been raped by the prohibited man, had unintentional intercourse with the prohibited man or he had non-coital relations with her, the waters would not test her (ibid. 3:24).
Although men were adjured not to give the jealous warning to their wives frivolously, or as a result of argument or as a threat, such warnings in front of kosher witnesses were nevertheless binding and a “pure spirit” entered him as a result. The sages expected him to speak to his wife privately, comfortably, in a mode of purity and caution, in order to guide the woman along the correct path, since that was the duty of the morally superior husband. It is considered a positive mitzvah to perform the jealous warning when warranted. The idea of moral superiority attributed to males had to be mitigated by the moral failure of men who fornicated and caused the trial of bitter waters to be ineffective. Jealousy, suspicion and rumor play a much more significant role in determining the status of the sotah than would be expected in a rational legal system. The woman was always disadvantaged by this classification, which may have been founded in fact or based upon the irrational jealousy of her husband and supported by rumors and the testimony of questionable witnesses. It forced her to undergo the traumatic trial of bitter waters with its positive or negative results or to be divorced, sometimes with the loss of her ketubbah. It should be noted that the husband could derive monetary benefit from his jealousy because an innocent woman might be frightened by the idea of undergoing the trial of bitter waters which had legendary powers and potentially gruesome results and would forgo the trial, thereby forfeiting her ketubbah. A married woman had neither parallel tools for moral suasion nor an ability to penalize a sexually wayward husband. The trial of the suspected adulteress is mentioned in the New Testament.
My kindred, John Wilson, is buried in The King’s Chapel, along with Elizabeth Pain who is associated with Hester Prynne the subject of Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.
Christine Wandel lived on Hancock Street located on Beacon Hill. I lived on Anderson Street a few blocks away. I took the Mafia to court at the top of Hancock, and won. I loved in with Dottie Witherspoon on Cambridge. She descends from Signer, John Witherspoon. We were both looking for a new religion. We were destined for the Church. I should have never left Boston. I have features like John Wilson. I am kin to real Boston Bluebloods.
I am going to author a Television Script titled ‘The Return of the Scarlet Letter’. The series will span time. The spirit of John and Elizabeth will come into the beings of many. John was the minister of the first church in Boston and brought the word of God to the Native Americans, and is in Hawthorne’s book. Beacon Hill was a Hobbit like place.
Ye BODY OF ELIZABETH PAIN WIFE TO SAMUEL PAIN AGED NEAR 52 YEARS, DEPARTED THIS LIFE NOUEMBR
Ye 26 1704
So said Hester Prynne, and glanced her sad eyes downward at the scarlet letter. And, after many, many years, a new grave was delved, near an old and sunken one, in that burial–ground beside which King’s Chapel has since been built. It was near that old and sunken grave, yet with a space between, as if the dust of the two sleepers had no right to mingle. Yet one tomb–stone served for both. All around, there were monuments carved with armorial bearings; and on this simple slab of slate—as the curious investigator may still discern, and perplex himself with the purport—there appeared the semblance of an engraved escutcheon. It bore a device, a herald’s wording of which may serve for a motto and brief description of our now concluded legend; so sombre is it, and relieved only by one ever–glowing point of light gloomier than the shadow:— “ON A FIELD, SABLE, THE LETTER A, GULES”
Pain’s headstone has “an engraved escutcheon” on which enthusiasts see the letter A (for adultery): it appears in the shield to the right of two lions. Scholar Laurie Rozakis has argued that an alternate or additional source for the story may be Hester Craford, a woman flogged for fornication with John Wedg.
His homestead was in Boston, Suffolk, MA, on the northwest corner of the present State and Devonshire Streets, but he had several other grants of land from the General Court. The town of Boston made a grant to him Dec. 8, 1634.
He received a grant of 750 acres, bounded on the east by the bay on the north or northwest by a line not far south of present E. Squantum Street in Quincy and including all the upland west of present Hancock Street, and north of it to Milton Line, on the west, and on the south by a small brook called Stand Brook, later Sachem’s Brook and now completely covered over (along Brook Street, Wollaston, to the bay), and including a large swamp from which the brook ran. He soon built a house and it, or a successor house, stood until 1857 on present Linden Street, Wollaston, near the junction of Hancock Street where the cellar hole on the south side of Linden Street was visible until after 1900. A sketch of the typical salt box or lean-to house is included in Whitfield’s “Homes of our Forefather’s”, and “Chapel of Ease”, by D. M. Wilson, 1890.
He sold the farm May 31, 1667, and confirmed the sale in his will of the same date, equally to his son, Rev. JOHN WILSON of Medfield, and daughter Mary, wife of Rev. Samuel Danforth of Roxbury. JOHN and Mary made a division of the land in 1687, JOHN taking the southern part which remained in the possession of his descendants for many years afterwards.
JOHN and ELIZABETH are both buried in a tomb in King’s Chapel Burying Ground, in Boston.
The King’s Chapel congregation was founded by Royal Governor Sir Edmund Andros in 1686 as the first Anglican Church in colonial New England during the reign of King James II. The original King’s Chapel was a wooden church built in 1688 at the corner of Tremont and School Streets, where the church stands today. It was situated on the public burying ground, now King’s Chapel Burying Ground, because no resident would sell land for a church that was not Congregationalist (at the time, the Congregational church was the official religion of Massachusetts).
1688 King’s Chapel building (demolished)
In 1749, construction began on the current stone structure, which was designed by Peter Harrison and completed in 1754. The stone church was built around the wooden church. When the stone church was complete, the wooden church was disassembled and removed through the windows of the new church. The wood was then shipped to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia where it was used to construct St. John’s Anglican Church. That church was destroyed by fire on Halloween night, 2001. It has since been rebuilt. Originally, there were plans to add a steeple, although funding shortfalls prevented this from happening.
The Scarlet Letter: A Romance, an 1850 novel, is a work of historical fiction written by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is considered his “masterwork”. Set in 17th-century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the years 1642 to 1649, it tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives a daughter through an affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. As she struggles to raise her rambunctious daughter, Pearl, on her own, the father of her unborn child is revealed and is shown to be experiencing severe guilt. Through the scorn and judgment of the citizens and Roger Chillingworth (Hester’s husband), the two decide to remain together. Throughout the book, Hawthorne explores themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.
In this painting, The Scarlet Letter by Hugues Merle, Hester Prynne and Pearl are in the foreground and Arthur Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth are in the background (painting by Hugues Merle, 1861).
The following are symbols that are embedded in The Scarlet Letter:
- The Scarlet Letter A: In the beginning of the novel Hester’s letter A is a representation of her sin and adultery. However, as time progresses, the meaning of the letter changed. It now represented, to some, able. It states “The letter was the symbol of her calling. Such helpfulness was found in her—so much power to do, and power to sympathize—that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification. They said that it meant Able, so strong was Hester Prynne, with a woman’s strength” (129).
- Meteor: The meteor shaped as an A serves as another symbol in the book. To Reverend Dimmesdale the meteor is a sign from God who is revealing his sin to everyone and causes him to be ridden with guilt. However, others perceived the letter to be a symbol for angel.
- Dimmesdale’s name: Dimmesdale’s name itself also holds symbolism. His name contains the root word “dim” which evokes the feeling of faint, weak, and gloom. This represents the constant state Dimmesdale finds himself in. His life has dimmed itself every since his sin causing his light of life to fade and dim.
- Roger Chillingworth’s name: Roger Chillingworth’s name is also perceived to have symbolism. This is because his name contains the word “chilling” which reveals the cold, chilling demeanor.
- Pearl: Pearl symbolizes the embodiment of her parent’s sin and passion. She is a constant reminder of the sin her mother can’t escape from. It is mentioned she “was the scarlet letter in another form; the scarlet letter endowed in life” (84).
- Rosebush: The rosebush is mentioned twice within the course of the story. At the beginning, it is first viewed as natures way of offering beauty to those who leave and enter the prison as well with a glimmer of hope to those who inhabit it. The rosebush is perceived as a symbol of brightness in a story filled with human sorrow. 
- The Scaffold: The scaffold is mentioned three times throughout the novel. It can be viewed as separating the book into the beginning, middle, and end. It symbolizes shame, revelation of sin, and guilt for it is where Hester received her scarlet letter as punishment and where Dimmesdale experience his revelation through the meteor.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts; his birthplace is preserved and open to the public. William Hathorne was the author’s great-great-great-grandfather. He was a Puritan and was the first of the family to emigrate from England, settling in Dorchester, Massachusetts before moving to Salem. There he became an important member of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and held many political positions, including magistrate and judge, becoming infamous for his harsh sentencing. William’s son and the author’s great-great-grandfather John Hathorne was one of the judges who oversaw the Salem witch trials. Hawthorne probably added the “w” to his surname in his early twenties, shortly after graduating from college, in an effort to dissociate himself from his notorious forebears.
Just as he uses true historical figures as characters in his story “Young Goodman Brown,” Nathaniel Hawthorne writes into his narrative of “The Scarlet Letter” the “stern divine” John Wilson, a minister who came to America in 1630. A strong figure of Puritan intolerance he appears in Chapter III in the first scaffold scene. However, Hawthorne describes him in such a way as to suggest his Puritanical ineffectiveness and punitive nature:
withal a man of kind and genial spirit….an attribute [that] was…a matter of shame than self-congratulation with him….There he stood, with a border of grizzled locks beneath his skull-cap; while his gray eyes, accustomed to the shaded light of his study , were winking, like those of Hester’s infant, in the unadulterated sunshine. He looked like the darkly engraved portraits which we see prefixed to old volumes of sermons; and no more right than of those portraits would have to step forth, as he now did and meddle with a question of human guilt, passion, and anguish.
Alluding to the judges of the witchcraft trials, Hawthorne suggests the Puritanical sanctimony in the Reverend Wilson who admits that he overrides the concern of Mr. Dimmesdale that it is a wrongdoing to question her in “such broad daylight, and in the presence of so great a multitude.” But, Mr. Wilson, continues, he has explained to Dimmesdale that the wrongdoing is in the “commission of the sin, and not in the showing of it forth.” He, then, bids the Reverend Dimmesdale to step forward and question Hester. But, despite his pleas, Hester refuses. Mr. Wilson cries “more harshly than before,”
Woman, transgress not beyond the limits of Heaven’s mercy!
The Reverend Mr. Wilson appears again at the mansion of Governor Bellingham and questions Hester about her right to raise the little girl. When he asks Pearl who “made thee,” Pearl astonishes him by replying that she was plucked from the wild rose bush by the prison. After this response, the Reverend Wilson feels the child should be taken from Hester, believing the mother wishes to “make a mountain bank of this child.”
When Roger Chillingworth suggests that they guess the father of the child, the “good Mr. Wilson” suggests that it would be “sinful” to pursue the matter; better to “pray and fast upon it.” Mr. Wilson does not appear again until the second scaffold scene in Chapter XII, and then he does perceive Mr. Dimmesdale through the darkness even though Dimmesdale barely restrains himself from speaking:
The venerable Father Wilson continued to step slowly onward, looking carefully at the muddy parthway before his feet.
And, finally, in the third scaffold scene, “the venerable John Wison,…stepped forward hastily to offer his support” to Reverend Dimmesdale, but the young minister “repelled the old man’s arm.”
Symbolic of Puritanism and its ineffectiveness in assuaging the soul, the Reverend Mr. Wilson is part of the tableaux that present the punitive character of Puritanism and its ineffectiveness.
WOW …..Shawn Sinclair ( Martin Adoption ) and Steve StClair together on a radio show The Hidden History Hour lol .I found the show to be very uninformative other than the fact that Shawn admitted an adoption in his family line..teehe I tried to call in but of course he would not answer
The most religiously devout of the Founding Fathers was Reverend John Cotton (1585-1652). He was an eminent theologian in the early days of Massachusetts. Cotton was born in Derby (pronounced “Darby”), England, and was later parish priest in old Boston at the famous St. Botolph Church.
Cotton emigrated to Massachusetts in 1633, and with John Wilson they established the first church in Boston. Cotton was called the Teacher, and Wilson was called the Pastor, as such was the distinction of that day. John Cotton remained Teacher at the first Boston church until his death in 1652. It is believed that establishment of the Boston Latin School, America’s first public school, was largely due to the work by John Cotton.
Elizabeth Pain is buried at King’s Chapel Burying Ground. She died in 1704, and her grave is marked with a beautiful carved stone. It is believed that Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) was inspired by the shield on Elizabeth Pain’s gravestone, and referred to it in his famous book The Scarlet Letter.
Wikipedia summarizes The Scarlet Letter concisely: “Hester Prynne, the story’s protagonist, is a young married woman whose husband was presumed to have been lost at sea on the journey to the New World. She begins a secret adulterous relationship with Arthur Dimmesdale, the highly regarded town minister, and becomes pregnant with a daughter, whom she names Pearl. She is then publicly vilified and forced to wear the scarlet letter ‘A’ on her clothing to identify her as an adulteress, but loyally refuses to reveal the identity of her lover. She accepts the punishment with grace and refuses to be defeated by the shame inflicted upon her by her society.”
John Wilson (minister)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named John Wilson, see John Wilson (disambiguation).
|Reverend John Wilson|
Windsor, Berkshire, England
|Died||7 August 1667|
|Resting place||King’s Chapel Burying Ground|
|Education||B.A. 1609/10, King’s College, Cambridge; M.A. 1613, Emmanuel College, Cambridge|
|Children||Edmund, John, Elizabeth, Mary|
|Parent(s)||Reverend William Wilson and Isabel Woodhull|
John Wilson (c.1588–1667), was a Puritan clergyman in Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and the minister of the First Church of Boston from its beginnings in Charlestown in 1630 until his death in 1667. He is most noted for being a minister at odds with Anne Hutchinson during the Antinomian Controversy from 1636 to 1638, and for being an attending minister during the execution of Mary Dyer in 1660.
Born into a prominent English family from Sudbury in Suffolk, his father was the chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and thus held a high position in the Anglican Church. Young Wilson was sent to school at Eton for four years, and then attended the university at King’s College, Cambridge, where he received his B.A. in 1610. From there he studied law briefly, and then studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he received an M.A. in 1613. Following his ordination, he was the chaplain for some prominent families for a few years, before being installed as pastor in his home town of Sudbury. Over the next ten years he was dismissed and then reinstated on several occasions, because of his strong Puritan sentiments which contradicted the practices of the established church.
As with many other Puritan divines, Wilson came to New England, and sailed with his friend John Winthrop and the Winthrop Fleet in 1630. He was the first minister of the settlers, who established themselves in Charlestown, but soon crossed the Charles River into Boston. Wilson was an encouragement to the early settlers during the very trying initial years of colonization. He made two return trips to England during his early days in Boston, the first time to persuade his wife to come, after she initially refused to make the trip, and the second time to transact some business. Upon his second return to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635, Anne Hutchinson was first exposed to his preaching, and found an unhappy difference between his theology and that of her mentor, John Cotton, who was the other Boston minister. The theologically astute, sharp-minded, and outspoken Hutchinson, who had been hosting large groups of followers in her home, began to criticize Wilson, and the divide erupted into the Antinomian Controversy. Hutchinson was eventually tried and banished from the colony, as was her brother-in-law, Reverend John Wheelwright.
Following the controversy, Wilson and Cotton were able to work together to heal the divisions within the Boston church, but after Cotton’s death more controversy befell Boston as the Quakers began to infiltrate the orthodox colony with their evangelists. Greatly opposed to their theology, Wilson supported the actions taken against them, and supervised the execution of his former parishioner, Mary Dyer in 1660. He died in 1667, the longest-lived of the early ministers in the Boston area, and his passing was lamented by those who knew him and worked with him, but he is also remembered for the roles he played in the persecution of those who did not embrace the Puritan orthodoxy.
- 1Early life
- 3Antinomian Controversy
- 4Later years
- 5Execution of Mary Dyer
- 6Death and legacy
- 8See also
- 10External links
John Wilson was born in Windsor, Berkshire, England about 1588, the son of the Reverend William Wilson (1542–1615). John’s father, originally of Sudbury in Suffolk, was a chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund Grindal. His father was also a prebend of St Paul’s in London, a minister in Rochester, Kent, and a rector of the parish of Cliffe, Kent. Wilson’s mother was Isabel Woodhull, the daughter of John Woodhull and Elizabeth Grindal, and a niece of Archbishop Grindal. According to Wilson’s biographer, A. W. M’Clure, Archbishop Grindal favored the Puritans to the extent of his power, to the displeasure of Queen Elizabeth.
Eton College, where Wilson studied for four years
Wilson was first formally educated at Eton College, where he spent four years, and at one time was chosen to speak a Latin oration during the visit of the duc de Biron, ambassador from the court of Henry IV of France. The duke then gave him a special gift of a gold coin called “three angels”, worth about ten shillings. On 23 August 1605, at the age of 14, Wilson was admitted to King’s College, Cambridge. While there he was initially prejudiced against the Puritans, but changed his stance after reading Richard Rogers’ Seven Treatises (1604), and he subsequently traveled to Dedham to hear Rogers preach. He and other like-minded students frequently met to discuss theology, and he also regularly visited prisons to minister to the inmates. He received his B.A. from King’s College in 1609/10, then studied law for a year at the Inns of Court in London. He next attended Emmanuel College, Cambridge, noted for its Puritan advocacy, where he received his M.A. in 1613. While at Emmanuel, he likely formed a friendship with future New England divines, John Cotton and Thomas Hooker. He was probably soon ordained as a minister in the Anglican Church, but records of this event are not extant.
In 1615 Wilson visited his dying father, who had these parting words for his son: “while thou wast at the university, because thou wouldst not conform, I fain would have brought thee to some higher preferment; but I see thy conscience is very scrupulous about somethings imposed in the church. Nevertheless, I have rejoiced to see the grace and fear of God in thy heart; and seeing thou hast hitherto maintained a good conscience, and walked according to thy light, do so still. Go by the rule of God’s holy word, and the Lord bless thee.”
Wilson preached for three years as the chaplain to several respectful families in Suffolk, one of them being the family of the Countess of Leicester. It was to her that he later dedicated his only book, Some Helps to Faith…, published in 1630. In time he was offered, and accepted, the position of minister at Sudbury, from where his family had originated. While there he met John Winthrop, and likely supported Winthrop’s unsuccessful 1626 bid to become a member of Parliament. Wilson was suspended and then restored several times as minister, the issue being nonconformity (Puritan leanings) with the established practices of the Anglican Church. Like many Puritans, he began turning his thoughts toward New England.
Wilson arrived in New England with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630.
Wilson was an early member of the Massachusetts Bay Company, and accompanied John Winthrop and the Winthrop Fleet to New England in 1630. As soon as they arrived, he, with Governor Winthrop, Thomas Dudley, and Isaac Johnson, entered into a formal and solemn covenant with each other to walk together in the fellowship of the gospel. Life was harsh in the new wilderness, and Plymouth historian Nathaniel Morton said that Wilson “bare a great share of the difficulties of these new beginnings with great cheerfulness and alacrity of spirit.” Wilson was chosen the pastor of their first church in Charlestown, being installed as teacher there on 27 August 1630, and in the same month the General Court ordered that a dwelling-house should be built for him at the public expense, and the governor and Sir Richard Saltonstall were appointed to put this into effect. By the same authority it was also ordered, that Wilson’s salary, until the arrival of his wife, should be 20 pounds a year. After the Charlestown church was established, most of its members moved across the Charles River to Boston, after which services were held alternately on each side of the river, and then later only in Boston.
Well before leaving England, Wilson was married to Elizabeth Mansfield, the daughter of Sir John Mansfield, and had at least two children born in England, but his wife had initially refused to come to New England with him. Her refusal was the subject of several letters sent from John Winthrop’s wife, Margaret, to her son John Winthrop Jr., in May 1631. Wilson then made a trip back to England from 1631 to 1632. Though his biographer, in 1870, stated that she still did not come back to New England with Wilson until 1635, Anderson in 1995 pointed out that the couple had a child baptized in Boston in 1633; therefore she had to have come with Wilson during this earlier trip.
On 2 July 1632 Wilson was admitted as a freeman of the colony, and later the same month the first meeting house was built in Boston. For this and Wilson’s parsonage, the congregation made a voluntary contribution of 120 pounds. On 25 October 1632 Wilson, with Governor Winthrop and a few other men, set out on a friendly visit to Plymouth where they were hospitably received. They held a worship service on the Sabbath, and that same afternoon they met again, and engaged in a discussion centered around a question posed by the Plymouth teacher, Roger Williams. William Bradford, the Plymouth governor, and William Brewster, the ruling elder, spoke, after which Governor Winthrop and Wilson were invited to speak. The Boston men returned the following Wednesday, with Winthrop riding Governor Bradford’s horse.
On 23 November, Wilson, who had previously been ordained teacher, was installed as minister of the First Church of Boston. In 1633 the church at Boston received another minister, when John Cotton arrived and was installed as teacher. In November 1633 Wilson made one of his many visits outside Boston, and went to Agawam (later Ipswich), since the settlers there did not yet have a minister. He also visited the natives, tending to their sick, and instructing others who were capable of understanding him. In this regard he became the first Protestant missionary to the North American native people, a work later to be carried on with much success by Reverend John Eliot. Closer to home, Wilson sometimes led groups of Christians, including magistrates and other ministers, to the church lectures in nearby towns, sharing his “heavenly discourse” during the trip.
In late 1634, Wilson made his final trip to England, leaving the ministry of the Boston Church in the hands of his co-pastor, John Cotton, and traveling with John Winthrop Jr. While returning to England he had a harrowing experience off the coast of Ireland during some violent winter weather, and though other ships perished, his landed. During his journey across Ireland and England, Wilson was able to minister to many people, and tell them about New England. In his journal, John Winthrop noted that while in Ireland, Wilson “gave much satisfaction to the Christians there about New England.” Leaving England for the final time on 10 August 1635, Wilson arrived back in New England on the third of October. Soon after his return, M’Clure writes, “the Antinomian Controversy broke out and raged for two…years and with a fury that threatened the destruction of his church.”
Main article: Antinomian Controversy
Wilson first became acquainted with Anne Hutchinson when in 1634, as the minister of the Boston Church, he was notified of some heterodox views that she revealed while en route to New England on the ship Griffin. A minister aboard the ship was questioned by her in such a way as to cause him some alarm, and word was sent to Wilson. In conference with his co-minister in Boston, the Reverend John Cotton, Hutchinson was examined, and deemed suitable for church membership, though admitted a week later than her husband because of initial uncertainty.
John Cotton shared the ministry with Wilson at the Boston church.
When Wilson returned from his England trip in 1635, he was accompanied aboard the ship Abigail by two other people who would play a role in the religious controversy to come. One of these was the Reverend Hugh Peter, who became the minister in Salem, and the other was a young aristocrat, Henry Vane, who soon became the governor of the colony.
In the pulpit, Wilson was said to have a voice that was harsh and indistinct and his demeanor was directed at strict discipline, but he had a penchant for rhymes, and would frequently engage in word play. He was unpopular during his early days of preaching in Boston, partly attributable to his strictness in teaching, and partly from his violent and arbitrary manner. His gruff style was further highlighted by the mild qualities of John Cotton, with whom he shared the church’s ministry. When Wilson returned to Boston in 1635, Hutchinson was exposed to his teaching for the first time, and immediately saw a big difference between her own doctrines and his. She found his emphasis on morality, and his doctrine of “evidencing justification by sanctification” (a covenant of works) to be repugnant, and she told her followers that Wilson lacked “the seal of the Spirit.” Wilson’s doctrines were shared with all of the other ministers in the colony, except for Cotton, and the Boston congregation had grown accustomed to Cotton’s lack of emphasis on preparation “in favor of stressing the inevitability of God’s will.” The positions of Cotton and Wilson were matters of emphasis, and neither minister believed that works could help to save a person. It is likely that most members of the Boston church could not see much difference between the doctrines of the two men, but the astute Hutchinson could, prompting her to criticize Wilson at her home gatherings. Probably in early 1636 he became aware of divisions within his own Boston congregation, and soon came to realize that Hutchinson’s views were widely divergent from those of the orthodox clergy in the colony.
Wilson said nothing of his discovery, but instead preached his covenant of works even more vehemently. As soon as Winthrop became aware of what was happening, he made an entry in his journal about Hutchinson, who did “meddle in such things as are proper for men, whose minds are stronger.” He also noted the 1636 arrival in the colony of Hutchinson’s in-law who became an ally in religious opinion: “There joined with her in these opinions a brother of hers, one Mr. Wheelwright, a silenced minister sometimes in England.”
Meetings of the ministers
Governor Henry Vane was furious over Wilson’s “sad speech,” which cast aspersions on Reverend Cotton.
In October 1636 the ministers, realizing that a theological tempest was forming in the colony, decided to get to the heart of the issue, and held a series of meetings, which also included Hutchinson and some of the magistrates. In order to deal with the theological errors of the Hutchinson group, the ministers first had to come to a consensus about their own positions, and this they were unable to do. Hutchinson’s followers used this impasse to attempt to have Wheelwright appointed as another minister to the Boston church, an expression of their dissatisfaction with Wilson. Winthrop came to Wilson’s rescue, as an elder in the church, by invoking a ruling requiring unanimity in a church vote, and was thus able to forestall Wheelwright’s appointment there. Instead, Wheelwright was sent about ten miles south to Mount Wollaston to preach.
As the meetings continued into December 1636, the theological debate escalated. Wilson delivered “a very sad speech of the condition of our churches,” insinuating that Cotton, his fellow Boston minister, was partly responsible for the dissension. Wilson’s speech was moved to represent the sense of the meeting, and was approved by all of the ministers and magistrates present with the notable exceptions of Governor Vane, Reverend Cotton, Reverend Wheelwright, and two strong supporters of Hutchinson, William Coddington and Richard Dummer.
Cotton, normally of a very placid disposition, was indignant over the proceedings and lead a delegation to admonish Wilson for his uncharitable insinuations. On Saturday, 31 December 1636, the Boston congregants met to prefer charges against Wilson. Governor Vane launched the attack, and was joined by other members of the congregation. Wilson met the onslaught with a quiet dignity, and responded soberly to each of the accusations brought against him. The crowd refused to accept his excuses, and demanded a vote of censure. At this point Cotton intervened, and with more restraint than his parishioners, offered that without unanimity a vote of censure was out of order. While the ultimate indignity of censure was averted, Cotton nevertheless gave a grave exhortation to his colleague to allay the temper of the congregants. The next day Wilson preached such a conciliatory sermon that even Governor Vane rose and voiced his approval.
“Dung cast on their faces”
The Boston congregants, followers of Hutchinson, were now emboldened to seize the offensive and discredit the orthodox doctrines at services throughout the colony. The saddened Winthrop lamented, “Now the faithfull Ministers of Christ must have dung cast on their faces, and be not better than legall Preachers.” As Hutchinson’s followers attacked ministers with questions calculated to diminish confidence in their teachings, Winthrop continued his lament, “so many objections made by the opinionists…against our doctrine delivered, if it suited not their new fancies.” When Wilson rose to preach or pray, the Hutchinsonians boldly rose and walked out of the meeting house. While Wilson was the favorite butt of this abuse, it was not restricted just to the Boston church, and similar gestures were being made toward the other ministers who preached a covenant of works.
John Winthrop, after lamenting the attacks on the ministers, was buoyed by the results of the 1637 election
In hopes of bringing the mounting crisis under control, the General Court called for a day of fasting and repentance to be held on Thursday, 19 January 1637. During the Boston church service held that day, Cotton invited Wheelwright to come forward and deliver a sermon. Instead of the hoped-for peace, the opposite transpired. In the sermon Wheelwright stated that those who taught a covenant of works were Antichrists, and all the ministers besides Cotton saw this as being directed at them, though Wheelwright later denied this. During a meeting of the General Court in March Wheelwright was questioned at length, and ultimately charged with sedition, though not sentenced.
Election of May 1637
The religious division had by now become a political issue, resulting in great excitement during the elections of May 1637. The orthodox party of the majority of magistrates and ministers maneuvered to have the elections moved from Boston to Newtown (later Cambridge) where the Hutchinsonians would have less support. The Boston supporters of Hutchinson wanted a petition to be read before the election, but the orthodox party insisted on holding the election first. Tempers flared, and bitter words gave way to blows as zealots on both sides clamored to have their opinions heard. During the excitement, Reverend Wilson was lifted up into a tree, and he bellowed to the crowd below, imploring them to look at their charter, to which a cry went out for the election to take place. The crowd then divided, with a majority going to one end of the common to hold the election, leaving the Boston faction in the minority by themselves. Seeing the futility of resisting further, the Boston group joined in the election.
The election was a sweeping victory for the orthodox party, with Henry Vane replaced by Winthrop as governor, and Hutchinson supporters William Coddington and Richard Dummer losing their positions as magistrates. Soon after the election, Wilson volunteered to be the minister of a military unit that went to Connecticut to settle the conflict with the Pequot Indians. When he returned to Boston on 5 August, two days after Vane boarded a ship for England, never to return, Wilson was summoned to take part in a synod of all the colony’s ministers. Many theological issues needed to be put to rest, and new issues that arose during the course of the controversy had to be dealt with.
Trials of Hutchinson
While Wilson had little to say during Hutchinson’s civil trial, he delivered the final pronouncement at her church trial.
By late 1637, the conclusion of the controversy was beginning to take shape. During the court held in early November, Wheelwright was finally sentenced to banishment, the delay caused by the hopes that he would, at some point, recant. On 7 November the trial of Anne Hutchinson began, and Wilson was there with most of the other ministers in the colony, though his role was somewhat restrained. During the second day of the trial, when things seemed to be going in her favor, Hutchinson insisted on making a statement, admitting that her knowledge of things had come from a divine inspiration, prophesying her deliverance from the proceedings, and announcing that a curse would befall the colony. This was all that her judges needed to hear, and she was accused of heresy and sentenced to banishment, though she would be held in detention for four months, awaiting a trial by the clergy. While no statements made by Wilson were recorded in either existing transcript of this trial, Wilson did make a speech against Hutchinson at the end of the proceedings, to which Hutchinson responded with anger four months later during her church trial.
Her church trial took place at the Boston meeting house on two consecutive Thursdays in March 1638. Hutchinson was accused of numerous theological errors of which only four were covered during the first day, so the trial was scheduled to continue the following week, when Wilson took an active part in the proceedings. During this second day of interrogation a week later, Hutchinson read a carefully written recantation of her theological errors. Had the trial ended there, she would have likely remained in communion with the church, with the possibility of even returning there some day. Wilson, however, did not accept this recantation, and he re-opened a line of questioning from the previous week. With this, a new onslaught began, and when later given the opportunity, Wilson said, “[The root of]… your errors…is the slightinge of Gods faythfull Ministers and contenminge and cryinge down them as Nobodies.” Hugh Peter chimed in, followed by Thomas Shepard, and then Wilson spoke again, “I cannot but reverence and adore the wise hand of God…in leavinge our sister to pride and Lyinge.” Then John Eliot made his statement, and Wilson resumed, “Consider how we cane…longer suffer her to goe on still in seducinge to seduce, and in deacevinge to deaceve, and in lyinge to lye!”
As the battering continued, even Cotton chided her, and while concerns from the congregation brought pause to the ministers, the momentum still remained with them. When the final points of order were addressed, it was left to Wilson to deliver the final blow: “The Church consentinge to it we will proced to excommunication.” He then continued, “Forasmuch as you, Mrs. Hutchinson, have highly transgressed and offended…and troubled the Church with your Errors and have drawen away many a poor soule, and have upheld your Revelations; and forasmuch as you have made a Lye…Therefor in the name of our Lord Je[sus] Ch[rist]…I doe cast you out and…deliver you up to Sathan…and account you from this time forth to be a Hethen and a Publican…I command you in the name of Ch[rist] Je[sus] and of this Church as a Leper to withdraw your selfe out of the Congregation.”
Hutchinson left the colony within a week of her excommmunication, and following this conclusion of the Antinomian Controversy, Wilson worked with Cotton to reunite the Boston church. Following Cotton’s death in 1652, his position was filled, following four years of campaigning, by John Norton from Ipswich. Norton held this position until his death in 1663.
Wilson was an early advocate of the conversion of Indians to Christianity, and acted on this belief by taking the orphaned son of Wonohaquaham, a local sagamore into his home to educate. In 1647 he visited the “praying Indians” of Nonantum, and noticed that they had built a house of worship that Wilson described as appearing “like the workmanship of an English housewright.” During the 1650s and 1660s, in order to boost declining membership in the Boston church, Wilson supported a ruling known as the Half-Way Covenant, allowing parishioners to be brought into the church without having had a conversion experience.
In 1656, Wilson and John Norton were the two ministers of the Boston church when the widow Ann Hibbins was convicted of witchcraft by the General Court and executed in Boston. Hibbins’ husband died in 1654, and the unhappy widow was first tried the next year following complaints of her neighbors about her behavior. Details of the event are lacking, because the great Boston journalist, John Winthrop was dead, and the next generations of note takers, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather had not yet emerged. A 1684 letter, however, survives, written by a Reverend Beach in Jamaica to Increase Mather in New England. In the letter Beach stated that he, Wilson and others were guests at Norton’s table when Norton made the statement that the only reason Hibbins was executed was because she had more wit than her neighbors, thus implying her innocence. The sentiments of Wilson are not specifically expressed in the letter, though several writers have inferred that his sentiments were the same as Norton’s.
Execution of Mary Dyer
Wilson exhorted Mary Dyer to repent, but it was her goal to hang as a martyr.
In the 1650s Quaker missionaries began filtering into the Massachusetts Bay Colony, mostly from Rhode Island, creating alarm among the colony’s magistrates and ministers, including Wilson. In 1870, M’Clure wrote that Wilson “blended an intense love of truth with as intense a hatred of error”, referring to the Quakers’ marked diversion from Puritan orthodoxy.
On 27 October 1659 three Quakers—Marmaduke Stevenson, William Robinson and Mary Dyer—were led to the Boston gallows from the prison where they had been recently held for their Quaker evangelism, against which Massachusetts had enacted very strict laws. Wilson, now nearly 70, as pastor of the Boston church was on hand as the supervising minister. As the two Quaker men first approached the gallows, wearing hats, Wilson said to Robinson, “Shall such jacks as you come in before authority with your hats on?” Ignoring the barb, Robinson then let forth a barrage of words, to which Wilson angrily responded, “Hold thy tongue, be silent; thou art going to die with a lie in your mouth.” The two Quaker men were then hanged, after which it was Dyer’s turn to ascend the ladder. As the noose was fastened about her neck, and her face covered, a young man came running and shouting, wielding a document which he waved before the authorities. Governor Endecott had stayed her execution. After the two executions had taken place, Wilson was said to have written a ballad about the event, which was sung by young men around Boston.
Not willing to let public sentiment over the executions subside, Dyer knew that she had to go through with her martyrdom. After the winter she returned to the Bay Colony in May 1660, and was immediately arrested. On the 31st of the month she was brought before Endecott, who questioned her briefly, and then pronounced her execution for the following day. On 1 June, Dyer was once again led to the gallows, and while standing at the hanging tree for the final time, Wilson, who had received her into the Boston church 24 years earlier and had baptized her son Samuel, called to her. His words were, “Mary Dyer, O repent, O repent, and be not so deluded and carried away by deceit of the devil.” Her reply was, “Nay, man, I am not now to repent.” With these final words, the ladder was kicked away, and she died when her neck snapped.
Death and legacy
Richard Mather was one of several ministers remembered in Wilson’s 1667 will.
Wilson’s final years were marked by a prolonged illness. In his will, dated 31 May 1667, Wilson remembered a large number of people, among them being several of the local ministers, including Richard Mather of Dorchester and Thomas Shepard Jr. of Charlestown. He died on 7 August 1667, and his son-in-law Samuel Danforth wrote, “About two of the clock in the morning, my honored Father, Mr. John Wilson, Pastor to the church of Boston, aged about 78 years and an half, a man eminent in faith, love, humility, self-denial, prayer, sound[n]ess of mind, zeal for God, liberality to all men, esp[ecial]ly to the s[ain]ts & ministers of Christ, rested from his labors & sorrows, beloved & lamented of all, and very honorably interred the day following.” His funeral sermon was preached by local divine, Increase Mather, and he was buried in the King’s Chapel Burying Ground in Boston.
Wilson was notable for making anagrams based on the names of his friends and acquaintances. M’Clure described them as numerous and nimble, and if not exact, they were always instructive, and he would rather force a poor match than lose the moral. An anecdote given by Wilson biographer M’Clure, whether true or not, points to the character of Wilson: a person met Wilson returning from a journey and remarked, “Sir, I have sad news for you: while you have been abroad, your house is burnt.” To this Wilson is reputed to have replied, “Blessed be God! He has burnt this house, because he intends to give me a better.”
In 1809 historian John Eliot called Wilson affable in speech, but condescending in his deportment. An early mentor of his, Dr. William Ames, wrote, “that if he might have his option of the best condition this side of heaven, it would be [to be] the teacher of a congregational church of which Mr. Wilson was pastor.” Plymouth historian Nathaniel Morton called him “eminent for love and zeal” and M’Clure wrote that his unfeigning modesty was excessive. In this vein, M’Clure wrote that Wilson refused to ever sit for a portrait and his response to those who suggested he do so was “What! Such a poor vile creature as I am! Shall my picture be drawn? I say No; it never shall.” M’Clure then suggested that the line drawing of Wilson in the Massachusetts Historical Society was made after his death. Cotton Mather, the noted Puritan who was a grandson of both Richard Mather and John Cotton wrote of Wilson, “If the picture of this good, and therein great man, were to be exactly given, great zeal, with great love, would be the two principal strokes that, joined with orthodoxy, should make up his portraiture.”
Wilson’s wife, Elizabeth, was a sister of Anne Mansfield, the wife of the wealthy Captain Robert Keayne of Boston, who made a bequest to Elizabeth in his 1656 will. With his wife, Wilson had four known children, the oldest of whom, Edmund, returned to England, married, and had children. Their next child, John Jr., attended Harvard College in 1642 and married Sarah Hooker, the daughter of the Reverend Thomas Hooker. The Wilsons then had two daughters, the older of whom, Elizabeth, married Reverend Ezekiel Rogers of Rowley, and then died while pregnant with their first child. The younger daughter, Mary, who was born in Boston on 12 September 1633, married first Reverend Samuel Danforth, and following his death she married Joseph Rock.
Alpert, Rebecca Trachtenberg. “The ‘Sotah’; Rabbinic Attitudes and the Adulterous Wife.” In Jewish Civilization: Essays and Studiesvol. 2, ed. Ronald Braumer. Philadelphia: Reconstructionist Press, 1981, 33–41.
Bach, Alice. “Good to the Last Drop: Viewing the Sotah (Numbers 5:11–31) as the Glass Half Empty and Wondering How to View It Half Full.” The New Literary Criticism and the Hebrew Bible, eds. J. Cheryl Exum and David J. A. Clines. Valley Forge, PA: Trinity Press International, 1993, 26–54
Boyarin, Daniel. “Women’s Bodies and the Rise of the Rabbis: The Case of Sotah.” Studies in Contemporary Jewry 16 (2000): 88–100.
Brichto, Herbert Chanan. “The Case of the ‘Sota’ and a Reconsideration of Biblical ‘Law.’” Hebrew Union College Annual 46 (1975): 55–70.
Ellens, Deborah L. “Numbers 5:11–31: Valuing Male Suspicion.” God’s Word for Our World I (2004): 55–82.
Fishbane, Michael A. “Accusations of Adultery: A Study of Law and Scribal Practice in Numbers 5:11–31.” Hebrew Union College Annual 45 (1974): 25–45.
Frymer-Kensky, Tikva. “The Strange Case of the Suspected ‘Sotah’ (Numbers 5:11–31).” Vetus Testamentum 34/1 (1984): 11–26.
Haberman, Bonna Devora. “The Suspected Adulteress: A Study of Textual Embodiment.” Prooftexts 20, 1–2 (2000): 12–42.
Hauptman, Judith. “Sotah.” In Rereading the Rabbis: The Woman’s Voice. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1998, 15–29.
Kalman, Jason. “Building Houses on the Sand: The Analysis of Scripture Citation in the Mishnah.” Journal for Semitics 13/2 (2004): 186–244.
Langner, Gilah. “Three Views of Sotah.” Kerem 6 (1999): 71–78.
Levison, John R. “Did the Spirit Withdraw from Israel?: An Evaluation of the Earliest Jewish Data.” NTS 43/1 (Jan 1997): 35–57.
McKane, William. “Poison, Trial by Ordeal and the Cup of Wrath [Numbers 5:11–31].” Vetus Testamentum 30/4 (1980): 474–492.
Milgrom, Jacob. “On the Suspected Adulteress (Numbers 5:11–31).” Vetus Testamentum 35/3 (1985): 368–369.
Peskowitz, Miriam. “Spinning Tales: On Reading Gender and Otherness in Tannaitic Texts.” The Other in Jewish Thought and History: Constructions of Jewish Culture and Identity, eds. Laurence J. Silberstein and Robert L. Cohen. New York: New York University Press, 1994, 91–120.
Rackman, Menachem Emanuel. “The Case of the Sotah in Jewish Law: Ordeal or Psychodrama?” National Jewish Law Review 3 (1988): 49–64.
Rosner, Fred. “The Ordeal of the Wayward Woman (“Sotah”): Miracle or Natural Phenomenon [Num 5:11–31].” Koroth 8/9–10 (1984): 396–406.
Sasson, Jack M. “Numbers 5 and the ‘Waters of Judgement.’” Biblische Zeitschrift 16 (1972): 249–251; Stone, Ira F. “The Precarious Ties That Bind Us: Sotah 2a.” Cross Currents 51/2 (2001): 273–287.