John K. Stoner (“Five Bible stories, one grand vision,” Sept. 23) provides a great service in reminding Christians of one of the dominant themes of Scripture: the movement from violence to mercy and peace. In our day, this message is important. I wish he had pointed out that the last book of the Hebrew Bible, Daniel, is also filled with stories and visions whose purpose is to lead God’s people from violence to peace. Due in part to the preference for violence, several religious traditions have preferred to see Daniel transformed into children’s stories and the details for calendar calculations. It is time to start reading Daniel as stories of faithfulness rather than violence and visions of God-in-control rather than human control through violence, as the Maccabees attempted. The Daniel writer’s view of choices has relevance for today. I see Christian groups making choices more like those of the Maccabees than those of the Daniel writer. For my more detailed treatment of the Daniel writer’s view, see my blog, “Violent revolt or faithful living and teaching wisdom?” at uplandweb.wordpress.com.
David Alleman, Harrisonburg, Va.