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PSA: Witch(es) (a.k.a. Coven)

February 13, 2009

To call a woman a witch is threatening to many women, given the historical significance, —the whole burning at the stake business. It is not only insulting (in wider society) but carries with it that threat of death.

Exodus 22:18 in 19 English translations of the Bible:

1. American Standard Version “Thou shalt not suffer a sorceress to live.”

2. The Answer: Put to death any woman who does evil magic.

3. Amplified Bible: You shall not allow a woman to live who practices sorcery.

4. Good News Version: Put to death any woman who practices magic.

5. James Moffatt Translation: You shall not allow any sorceress to live.

6. Jerusalem Bible: You shall not allow a sorceress to live.

7. King James Version: Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

8. Living Bible: A sorceress shall be put to death.

9. Modern Language Bible: Allow no sorceress to live.

10. New American Bible: You shall not let a sorceress live.

11. New American Standard Bible: You shall not let a sorceress live.

12. New Century Version: Put to death any woman who does evil magic.

13. New International Version: Do not allow a sorceress to live.

14. New Living Translation: A sorceress must not be allowed to live.

15. New Revised Standard Version: You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.

16. New World Translation: You must not preserve a sorceress alive.

17. The Promise: Contemporary English Version: Death is the punishment for witchcraft.

18. Revised Standard Version: You shall not permit a sorceress to live.

19. Revised English Bible: You must not allow a witch to live.

It was no:7 that put women to death in Europe.
9 Comments
  1. stormy permalink
    February 13, 2009 10:58 pm

    Well, apparently it’s no-holds-barred for insults directed at (female) radical feminists.

    But call an MRA a cockroach, and you had better suck up bigtime and beg for master’s forgiveness.

    The entire point being, they pick on radfems because we have no real power – but men do.

  2. stormy permalink
    February 13, 2009 10:58 pm

    Well, apparently it’s no-holds-barred for insults directed at (female) radical feminists.

    But call an MRA a cockroach, and you had better suck up bigtime and beg for master’s forgiveness.

    The entire point being, they pick on radfems because we have no real power – but men do.

  3. stormy permalink
    February 13, 2009 11:04 pm

    Oh, and just to point out Renee’s hypocrisy:
    3) I apologized to the MRA because I referred to them as cockroaches. It was not about them, it was about me living up to the principles I believe in. You see when I say recognizing the humanity of all that includes those I detest but that is a little called principles which I know is a foreign concept to you rad fems.

    She apparently has “principles” when dealing with men, but none for radfems. It is (apparently) ok to do a veiled threat that dates back to our foremothers and foresisters? Death. Burning at the stake. Drowning.

    *nice one* Renee.

  4. Maggie Hays permalink
    February 13, 2009 11:16 pm

    Historical significance indeed. Anybody who calls herself a feminist and who also calls other women ‘witches’ needs to check out for more information on the herstory of witches and the misogyny that has continued ever since.

  5. stormy permalink
    February 14, 2009 12:14 am

    Actually, it’s not even ancient history/herstory either. Scotland last executed a woman for being a witch around 1940s/50s – the mid 20th century.

    Frankly, it’s just a bit too recent for people, especially womanist/feminist ones, to be hurling such insults at other women.

  6. stormy permalink
    February 14, 2009 12:14 am

    Actually, it’s not even ancient history/herstory either. Scotland last executed a woman for being a witch around 1940s/50s – the mid 20th century.

    Frankly, it’s just a bit too recent for people, especially womanist/feminist ones, to be hurling such insults at other women.

  7. Walt permalink
    February 14, 2009 11:01 am

    James 1, was a notoriously devious king. An ugly man with a charmer’s personality, a shrewd politician and a self avowed intellectual, James Stewart found a unique solution to gaining absolute power over all those he wished to destroy; as he amassed his new empire together. He commission a new and very political translation of the Pagan Roman Emperor Constantine’s already corrupted bible. According to God’s Secretaries: “The Making of the King James Bible”, by Adam Nicolson, this translation was a political document whose greatest purpose was to maintain the king’s authority as the unifying force over a divided land. It was managed and translated by worldly, corrupt and pious administrators. According to Nicolson, almost everyone associated with the translation was a rogue of some definition. Getting rid of witches was high on his list, so theytranslated the word chasaph-which is hebrew for poisoner- to mean (witch) instead. The real biblical passage was about the disturbing crime of poisoning in the Jewish community.

  8. JaneDoeThreads permalink
    February 14, 2009 4:48 pm

    Two things,

    they are still burning women as witches today, Saudi for example…and Islam is just as notorious if not worse for Hadiths that state, very bluntly, women are 80% hell [demonic],

    so its not just in the interpretations of Bible,

    I’ve read the Old Testament and I think the taking out of or singling out women/sorcerers has been done way out of context. It isn’t just women, for one,

    two, I concur with Walt on this but also, leading up to that ONE scripture about women/sorcerers there is several references to the sacrificing of children to Moloch, a practice then that was hideous and horrid to say the least and we’re not just talking an occasional child but many children,

    slaves, etc., and the sorcery was tied into that practice. From what I gather just from a few historical readings it wasn’t uncommon for inter-tribe relations which were used strategically to lure generations into assimilating or by force into other tribes who paid tribute to Moloch and there is several other scriptures that relay this, it wasn’t simply just a singling out of women as witches/sorcerers,

    however as other scripts or texts have been cleverly manipulated, utilized by power mongers and kings/kingdoms, they have been used to justify witch hunts, killing of women/killing of those different, justifying anti-semitism and the works.

    And what is ironic is that its the very kingdoms/or systems similar to Moloch, that use religions or religious texts to actually, yes,

    sacrifice/mass butcher those they deem as either evil or as necessity for progress.

    So I think its how one interprets and how one uses the texts. Many Muslims would say the same about Islam as well,

    though they are a very small minority [Islamist Reformists].

  9. February 15, 2009 12:41 am

    Yes, James also wrote “Daemononlogie”. An eighty page book that explained his views on the topic and it was meant to add to the intellectual debate that was going on within Europe about witchcraft.

    He decided to end the standing monetary gain that had been established to hunt out witches. However, the persecution did not end. By the time he left for England in 1603, witches were still being arrested and of those arrested, half were executed. Between 1603 and 1625, there were about twenty witchcraft trials a year in Scotland – nearly 450 in total. Half of the accused were found guilty and executed. Oh yes, his legacy of woman hatred lived on.

    I’ve researched this rather keenly as one of the women persecuted as a witch in 16th century Scotland (and so what if she was?) was an ancestor of mine.

    It’s also said that Shakespeare’s Macbeth (1606) was in apropos to the North Berwick witch-hunt. Where I live barely a few miles from.

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