Pierre Bayle    An historical and critical dictionary                                                           PrevUpDownNext

 A - Aaron - Notes by Maarten Maartensz

[M1] This fable is inserted in the 32d chapter of Exodus, in a French bible, printed at Paris in the year 1538 by Anthony Bonnemere, who says in his preface, that this bible in the French tongue was first printed, at the desire of his most Christian majesty Charles VIII, in the year 1495, and has since been corrected and reprinted. And in the same preface he informs us, that the French translator had inserted nothing but " pure truth," as it is found in the Latin bible; and that nothing was omitted but what was improper to be translated.

I'd say Bayle, in this first article of his Dictionary, is quite clear about his intentions: The is much superstition and there are much fables and nonsense in Christianity, that is presented to the faithful and others as if it is "nothing but " pure truth", and Bayle is having none of it.     Back.

[M2] (..) that nothing is deemed too costly when the human mind is intoxicated with superstition and idolatry.

Quite so - and this does imply, or at least suggest, quite a few things about "the human mind", such as its proneness to wishful thinking and the fact that, in most men at least, "Reason is the slave of the passions" (Hume).     Back.

 Original: Jun 18, 2011                                                Last edited:09 July 2011.   Top