I can’t get the the usccb.org website for some reason, so here is the relevant Bible verses for you from the
Psalm 1 >>
King James 2000 Bible
The Righteous and the Ungodly
1Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate day and night.
Bill Maher was raised Catholic to some point then has apparently become an atheist.
So, he meets the criteria for “scornful” in verse 2 above.
So, blessed are you if you don’t sit in the seat of atheists and listen to / watch Bill Maher or his movies. So, with Catholic friendship, let me make that point perfectly clear!
On the more ordinary point of the understanding of Exodus 31:14 about putting someone to death who is profaning the Sabbath by working:
See? This is a personal preference, but I have a small collection of Jewish Bible commentaries and I consult what they have to say about it. I don’t know of a Catholic commentary, by reputation, that would discuss such a technical question as this one.
There are several levels of response to commenting on this verse. As you read Ex 31:14 it says that a person who is caught working on the Sabbath “shall be put to death.” Well, ,this problem came up in the book of Numbers 15:32-36. A man was collecting wood (some say twigs) on the Sabbath. He was taken to Moses and the situation discussed.
The issue was, 31:14 doesn’t say WHO should put the man to death. So, as you read there in Numbers, Moses took the matter to the LORD who instructed Moses to have the whole community take him outside the wilderness camp and stone him to death. Based on centuries of Jewish scripture study, the Jewish Study Bible says that this man’s sin was an affront to God and the entire Jewish community.
So, Ex 31:14 was a problem, even to Moses! not to mention Bill O’Reilly.
The JBS goes on in a note to mention (elsewhere) that Jewish rabbis eventually identified 39 categories of work that were explicitly prohibited elsewhere in the scriptures or that could be directly inferred from the scriptures.
to Judaism, further, there is no official interpretation of the Bible (OT). That is why there have been CENTURIES of intensive study of Biblical vocabulary and such by Jewish scholars. Every generation has to go back to the scripture and find the meaning for itself. (see? this is an instructive question you asked.)
So, a modern question might be, if Bill Maher earns his living by telling what he calls jokes and by ridiculing religion, if he does that on the Sabbath, should he be put to death? Hmmmm. What do you think?
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