"AS I SEE IT"
 

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Volume 4, Number 11, November, 2001



["As I See It" is a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek. Its purpose is to address important issues of the day and to draw attention to worthwhile Christian and other literature in order to aid believers in Jesus Christ, especially pastors, missionaries and Bible college and seminary students to more effectively study and teach the Word of God. The editor's perspective is that of an independent Baptist of fundamentalist theological persuasion.

AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at: DKUTILEK@juno.com. You can be removed from the mailing list at the same address.

All articles are by the editor (unless otherwise noted) and are copyrighted but may be reproduced for distribution, provided the following conditions are met: 1. articles must be reproduced in unedited, unabridged form; 2. the writer must be properly credited; and, 3. such reproduction must be for free distribution only. Permission to distribute in any other form must be secured in writing beforehand. Permission for reproduction in Christian print periodicals will generally be given.]

"Imagine"

Shortly after the World Trade Center terrorist attack, Yoko Ono, the widow of ex-Beatle John Lennon, took out a full-page ad in the New York Times, and there re-published the words to one of John Lennon's songs, "Imagine." This was acclaimed by more than one source as a noble act, the right thing to do.

I suppose that the presence of an expressed desire for peace somehow vaguely comprehended from Lennon's lyrics is the allurement here. If so, I can only conclude that either these people have never given those lyrics a close examination (because to do so would compel any reasonable individual to be repelled in disgust), or they have in fact analyzed the words and agree with their evil philosophy.

What? The words to "Imagine" evil? Exactly so:

"Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No Hell below us
Above us only sky"

These opening sentiments are pure atheistic materialism. No God, no afterlife, no judgment to come, no giving account to the Creator for our sins and evil actions, no fear of something after death.

Rather than promoting world-wide peace and human harmony, the elimination of God and the world to come from human consciousness can only aggravate the violence and human barbarity now commonplace on earth. The greatest restraint on human brutality toward his fellow man on the one hand and the greatest motivator of human kindness and compassion on the other has always been a solemn recognition that a man would indeed give an account of himself one day to God. Eternal bliss as a great good to be gained and unending misery in the hereafter as a great calamity to be avoided have regularly brought out the best in human behavior. Remove these things from human consciousness and the violence of the present hour will fade to insignificance in comparison with the barbarity that would surely follow.

What Lennon expresses here is the secret desire of every fallen human heart--to escape from the reality of God, and thereby to escape from any restraints of conscience or of society on his self-indulgence in unbridled sin.

"Imagine all the people living for today"

What's too imagine here? This indeed IS an accurate description of the great mass of humanity today: immediate gratification, satisfying the cravings of the flesh and of the mind, caring nothing for tomorrow or the consequences of today's actions on tomorrow. In short, Lennon considered a deliberate and willful disregard for the future, in this world or the world to come, as a great good. It is in fact a great folly, indeed, the greatest of follies.

"Imagine there's no country
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill and die for
And no religion, too"

So it is nationalism and religion which are the cause of all the conflict in the world? One worldism, always the desire of Marxist-Leninists (or should that be "Lennonists"?), naturally with their omniscient selves in authority over everybody else (the continuing desire of American closet Marxists such as Hilary Clinton as well) is plainly set forth. The error here is in supposing that nationalism is an unmixed evil to be abandoned. In truth, nationalism for all its shortcomings has not infrequently been a great good. It has been a solid defense against oppression. Those oppressed have always had the option--risky and dangerous though it often is--of fleeing to another nation where conditions are viewed as better. My own great-grandfather came to America to escape the oppression the Austrian-Hungarian Empire imposed on the Czech people of Bohemia. Millions in the past century fled the governmental repression and brutality of Fascist, Nazi and Communist dictatorships for the freer climes of the Western democracies. With one world government, there would be no place to run, no place to flee, no place to escape from universal tyranny. And no one to raise a voice of protest against such governmental actions. Who can doubt that the watching eye of free nations has often acted as a restraint, weak though it may have been, on the actions of dictatorships against their own populace?

It must be noted, that it is just those countries which embrace the atheistic materialism Lennon yearned for that impose the greatest suffering on others by wars of aggression. A prime motive behind World War I was political Darwinism, a philosophy warmly embraced by the Kaiser's government. Nazism had the same atheistic materialism at its base. Communism in all its manifestations has been squarely founded on the same philosophical view. World War I, the Russian Revolution, World War II, the Chinese Revolution, Korea, Vietnam, the killing fields of Cambodia, Angola, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and so many other wars of the 20th century, with more than 100 million left dead as a consequence, can be laid at the feet of the worldview Lennon delusionally supposes will bring peace. He was either massively ignorant of the realities of recent history, or a bold and knowing propagandist promoting this most debased of philosophies.

Nor is it only wars between nations which regularly shed a river of blood. We dare not ignore the massive murder and suffocating hand of death which atheist materialist governments have inflicted on their own citizenry in the past century. It rivals in consequences, if in fact it does not exceed, the bloodshed of all "foreign" wars of the century. Were there one world government as Lennon wished, the slaughter of civilian subjects (I dare not call them citizens) of that government would leave every thinking observer aghast in silence and justifiably in fear for his own life.

Someday yet future, Lennon's aberrant hope will become reality. When the future Anti-Christ ascends to world political dominance, Lennon will in fact get his wish for a one-world totalitarian state. Once the violence of that regime begins, none will sing Lennon's siren song.

Nor is religion the bogey man of war Lennon pretends. In reality, remarkably few wars in the past millennium have had religion as a chief motivating factor. Yes, the Crusades, ill-conceived and worse conducted by the Roman Catholic Church, had a religious motivation behind them in part (freeing the Holy Land from Moslem control), but there was also a very strong economic motive: the lust for plunder.

Later at the time of the Reformation, there were religiously-motivated wars between Catholics and Protestants (yet once again the motive of political control and wealth was a significant factor). In the 20th century practically the only wars that can be at all characterized as religious wars are those between Israel and its Muslim neighbors, but even here, Israel was not fighting from a religious motive, but rather from a political one (that is, continued existence as a nation), though it must be allowed that the Muslims had a much stronger religious element in their motive to fight (namely, to kill the "infidels"). To my knowledge, the only major world religion whose founder and holy book actively urge violence as a means of propagating that religion is Islam (see in our previous issue, "Islam--a Religion of Peace?"). The notion that "religion" is and has always been a prime cause of war is a widespread but manifestly false assumption.

"Imagine all the people living life in peace"

We have here passed from imagination to hallucination. The historical record of the philosophy that Lennon would wish on the world guarantees that there would not and could not be peace, but rather intensified and more extensive violence of man against his fellow man.

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be one"

No, not dreamer. Dupe. Fool. Buffoon. Remarkably blind. These, and worse. And sad to relate, not a few unthinking souls have bought into Lennon's nonsense and are currently urging us, after 3 decades of Muslim terrorist acts, culminating in the murder of 6,000 civilians, that we should "give peace a chance"! Hollow platitudes and wishful thinking will only lead to more and greater acts of terror. Inaction, restraint bordering on cowardice, failure to adequately address the problem in the past have only invited an escalation of the number and scope of the attacks. If we wish to live in real peace, we must crush the aggressor of today and be adequately prepared and alert to crush the aggressor of tomorrow. President Washington echoed the oft-repeated wisdom of the ancients when he said, "If we desire to secure peace, . . . it must be known that we are at all times ready for war." (Address to Congress, December 3, 1793). And not just ready materially, but also mentally, morally and volitionally.

"Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No needs or greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man"

If the Marxism of Lennon has not become evident to this point, surely it must here: "no possessions," that is, no private property rights, with all property concentrated in the ever benevolent hands of "the government" (meaning the ruling elite), a fundamental tenet of communism, in theory anyway; it never works in actual practice. How Lennon himself would have howled if his hundreds of millions of dollars of personal wealth had suddenly been seized in toto by the government! "Well, yes, I think no one should have private property--except of course me!" Marxists never want the rules they wish to impose on others to apply to themselves.

And supposedly if all men have all things in common, somehow human nature will be magically transformed, with all selfishness and self-centeredness banished from earth. Result: all human needs met, all greed gone (and with it the theft, robbery, pilfering, hoarding, exploitation, wars and such like which greed causes), and all hunger. But cast an eye at any country anywhere at anytime in history which has adopted the Marxist philosophy, and what do you always find? Vast human deprivation and lack of even the basic necessities of existence, greed of the most sordid kind with the wealth once again concentrated in the hands of a new elite class (O, that Lennon had just once read with attention Orwell's Animal Farm!), and hunger regularly reaching famine proportions (North Korea and Cuba today come immediately to mind, and so too the whole Eastern bloc before the collapse of the Soviet empire a decade ago).

As for this "brotherhood of man," to suppose that somehow fallen corrupt humanity is going to transform itself into a race of benevolent, caring, and generous individuals is beyond my capacity to imagine. The only brotherhood of man this earth will know without acknowledging the One who commands us to "love your neighbor as your self," is the brotherhood of Cain and Abel, a brotherhood of hatred, jealousy, violence, and suffering.

"Imagine all the people
cheering all the world."

What mindless, empty drivel.

The sad incapacity of a multitude of Americans (including the media elite) to think through the doctrine and design of Lennon's baldly stated desire for a world-wide communist dictatorship is distressing. They are truly sheep led to their own slaughter, willing participants in their own ruin.
---Doug Kutilek---

Notes on "Lucifer" (Isaiah 14:12, KJV)

The purpose of this brief study is to assemble the materials necessary to evaluate the accuracy of the modern English versions the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version in their translation of Isaiah 14:12, namely their departure from the King James Version's "Lucifer" for something else. The NASB has "O star of the morning," while the NIV has "O morning star." (The New King James Bible has "Lucifer" in the text, but "Literally Day Star" in the footnote). Our purpose is not to determine the identity of the person addressed in v. 12 (though perhaps that will be addressed in a later study). Our motivation for this investigation came from a forwarded download from a website of an article "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer (and thy funny Bibles)?" by one Will Kinney, with editorial comments by one Steve Van Nattan. Neither of these writers is otherwise known to me. Their article vilifies all Bible versions which depart from the KJV text at Isaiah 14:12, and Van Nattan even consigns to hell with dogmatic certainty all persons who depart from the KJV's "Lucifer."

The Hebrew Text

In Isaiah 14:12, the word translated "O Lucifer" in the KJV (but with the notable variant translation in the margin of the original 1611 KJV of "O day-star", an English word which Webster's Third New International Dictionary says means, first of all, "morning star") is the Hebrew word, unique in the Hebrew Bible, heylel, written with the consonants HYLL (he-yod-lamed-lamed) and pronounced so as to rhyme with the English "pay scale" [limits of a technical kind prevent us from presenting the precise pronunciation of this word in the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)]. There are apparently no variants in the existing Hebrew manuscripts in either the consonants or vowels except for the minor variant in the famous Dead Sea Isaiah scroll of the insertion of a Y [yod] after the first L [lamed] as a marker of, evidently, a long "e" (or possibly "i") vowel.

Some scholars suggest that this Hebrew word should be rather pointed and pronounced, based on the translation in ancient Greek and Latin versions, as hillel (rhyming with "Hilldale"), the same as the name of a famous ancient rabbi, and meaning "he has praised"; while others, taking a cue from Arabic studies, propose heylal (rhyming with "play ball"), identified as "the crescent moon." It should be noted that the vowels were not originally written in the Hebrew OT, only the consonants; in the Middle Ages, the vowel points were added to the consonantal text by OT Jewish scholars, the Masoretes, who sought thereby to preserve the traditional pronunciation of the words as handed down to them. The possibility therefore does exist that sometimes the added vowels may not always--especially in the case of rare words or proper names--preserve the true original pronunciation of those words.

The Hebrew word, as written and pointed by the Medieval Masoretes, is generally assumed by Hebrew lexicographers to be derived from the root HLL, which has the basic meaning "to shine" (see Brown-Driver-Briggs, and Koehler-Baumgartner). BDB identify the word as a masculine appellative noun meaning "shining one," which they identify as "star of the morning." Attention is drawn to the Akkadian word mushtilil, a term designating the planet Venus as the morning-star, though neither BDB nor KB note any word cognate to this unique Hebrew word in any other Semitic language. Jastrow's dictionary of rabbinic Hebrew and Aramaic has no entry for heylel, nor does Payne Smith's Syriac dictionary.

The Greek Translation

The pre-Christian Septuagint Greek version of Isaiah 14:12 renders heylel by "ho heosphoros," a very ancient word found in Homer (8th century B.C. or earlier) and in more recent Classical Greek authors Hesiod, Pindar, etc. It is used seven times in the Septuagint to translate four different Hebrew words, all dealing with the dawn or morning. Liddell & Scott define the word as "bringer of the morn, the morning-star." This word is not found in the Greek New Testament, nor in early Christian writers, though the related word "phosphoros," literally, light-bringing, and meaning, according to standard lexicons, "morning star, day-star, Venus (the planet)," is found once in the NT (2 Peter 1:19). It seems therefore to be a synonym of "heosphoros." Some commentators argue that the reference in 2 Peter is to the sun rather than Venus, though the usage outside the NT is evidently against this interpretation.

Targum Jonathan

The ancient Jewish interpretive translation/paraphrase of Isaiah, the Targum Jonathan (dating to perhaps the fifth century A.D.), according to Stenning's translation, reads, quoting the whole first clause of the verse, "How hast thou been cast down from the height, who was resplendent among the sons of men AS THE BRIGHT STAR (VENUS) AMONG THE STARS" (emphasis added). There is clearly here no interpreting the Hebrew word HYLL as a proper name, but as a descriptive term referring to the planet Venus, the "morning star."

Peshitta

This early Christian translation from Hebrew into Syriac, reads (again quoting the whole first clause), "How you have fallen from heaven. Wail (or, lament) in the morning." The Hebrew HYLL is understood, not as a noun, either proper or common, but as a verb, from the Syriac root YLL. This seems to be only a guess by the translator, chosen, I suspect, because of a similarity in spelling between HYLL and YLL.

The Latin Vulgate Version

Jerome's translation of the OT, made directly from the Hebrew text of his day, and dating to ca. A.D. 400, translates HYLL in Isaiah 14:12, by "lucifer." Cassell's Latin dictionary identifies this word as an adjective, meaning "light-bearing, light-bringing." When used as a substantive, it means 'Lucifer, the morning star, the planet Venus;" when used in mythology, it is "the son of Aurora and father of Ceyx." In this latter regard, William Smith's Smaller Classical Dictionary notes that "Lucifer" (Latin) and "Phosphoros" (Greek) are both epithets given the planet Venus in antiquity, along with other designations such as "Hesperus" [cf. the LXX of Isaiah 14:12, heosphoros], "Vesperugo," "Vesper," "Noctifer," and "Nocturnus" when, appearing in the evening sky rather than the morning sky, it introduces the darkness of night, rather than the light of day (see more below on the celestial position of Venus). "Lucifer" was also used as a designation in mythology of several goddesses of light, including Artemis, Aurora, and Hecate, and others.

If Jerome intended "lucifer" here to be a proper name, ordinary Latin usage in his day (ca. A.D. 400) might suggest that he was thereby signifying the planet Venus, but evidence from his writings (in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, vol. VI) indicates that he interpreted Isaiah 14:12 as referring to Satan's fall, and thereby, apparently, meant Lucifer as a designation of the Devil. Those who insist on retaining "lucifer" from the Vulgate in the English Bible are in essence affirming Jerome's interpretation of the text, and the accuracy of the Latin Vulgate version.

English Bibles

Jerome's use of "lucifer" to translate HYLL had a strong influence on Bible translations into the languages of Western Europe. This comes as no surprise since the Vulgate was the Bible of Western Europe for most of a millennium, from after A.D. 500 until after A.D. 1500. All during the period of the Reformation, every Bible translator in Europe had the Vulgate in hand as an indispensable aid to the work of translating the Scriptures. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) in the entry "lucifer," all English Bibles from Wycliffe (ca. 1384; his version was based directly on the Vulgate) to the KJV had "Lucifer" at Isaiah 14:12, apparently as a proper name, though possibly as a borrowed Latin adjective (of these English Bibles, I personally have access only to the Geneva Bible of 1560 and the KJV of 1611). Likewise the Reina-Valera Spanish version of 1602 had "lucero," which Cassell's, a standard Spanish dictionary, indicates as meaning "morning-star, Venus, day-star, Lucifer." (By comparison, Luther's German version had "schoener Morgenstern," that is, "beautiful morning star" as the translation of the Hebrew phrase heylel ben-shachar. It is just possible that he read the Hebrew as hillel rather than heylel).

We will note particularly the Geneva Bible of 1560 at Isaiah 14:12. (This version had, by the way, the greatest influence of any single English version, on the translators of the KJV). While merely following the precedent of earlier English versions (Wycliffe, Coverdale) and indeed of the Latin Vulgate, by giving "o Lucifer" in the text, in the margin is a lengthy note, which reads in part: "for the morning starre, that goeth before the sun, is called lucifer." Clearly, these translators did understand "lucifer" as a synonym for "morning star" and did not understand it as a proper name of Satan.

The word "Lucifer" in English has an interesting history. The OED notes that the word has two usages, both of which date from the Old English or Anglo-Saxon period (ca. A.D. 1000) and continue up through Middle English and on into the modern English period. The first is the use of "Lucifer" as a designation of the planet Venus, the morning star. Both Chaucer (ca. 1374) and Wycliffe (in his translation at Job 38:32, following the Vulgate) use Lucifer in this sense, as also does Milton in 1629. The other usage, as a name of Satan, is found, among others places, in the writings of Wycliffe, Shakespeare, and Milton. Both usages were current in the time of Wycliffe and Milton, and apparently during the nearly three centuries in between, that is the period from the first English Bible version through and beyond the period of the KJV. Therefore to assume that the KJV translators necessarily were indicating Satan by their adoption of the Vulgate's translation "lucifer" at Isaiah 14:12, is indeed little more than assumption without additional proof.

This is especially evident in light of the fact that the KJV translators themselves, in their margin, give an alternate rendering, namely "O day-starre," by which they surely did mean to indicate the planet Venus (Kinney and Van Nattan in their article NEVER note the reading of the KJV margin at Isaiah 14:12; it would prove fatal to their thesis). Let us quote the King James translators themselves in their noteworthy preface to the original 1611 KJV, "The Translators to the Readers,"--"Now in such a case doth not a margin do well to admonish the reader to seek further, and not to conclude or dogmatize upon this or that peremptorily? For as it is a fault of incredulity to doubt of those things that are evident, so to determine of such things as the Spirit of God hath left (even in the judgment of the judicious) questionable, can be no less than presumption. . . . They that are wise had rather have their judgments at liberty in differences of readings, than to be captivated to one when it may be the other" [10th unnumbered page of this preface]. In short, the KJV translators themselves would rebuke those who anathematize all who would depart from the KJV text ("Lucifer") and adopt the KJV margin ("day-star") or its equivalent, "morning star." Those who condemn the NASB and NIV at Isaiah 14:12 are condemned by the very translators of the KJV, whose version they profess to venerate.

As regards the identity of the "morning-star" (so translated) of Isaiah 14:12: if indeed it is correctly identified as Satan addressed through the person of the king of Babylon (whoever that historic individual was), it is no legitimate objection that the term "morning-star" is also a title of Christ (as indeed it is, Revelation 22:16). It is to be noted that the term "lion" is one also applied in Scripture to both Satan (I Peter 5:8) and Jesus (Revelation 5:5). As with "lion," so with "morning star," the terms are metaphors used to characterize the individuals in question, and it is not unsuitable to use both descriptive metaphors for radically differing individuals.

Note: regarding the appearance and position of the planet Venus in the night sky. First, because of its very high albido (reflective factor) and close proximity to earth, Venus is the third brightest regular object in the sky, behind only the sun and moon (on occasion an exceptionally bright comet, and more rarely, a super-nova--exploding star--will temporarily exceed Venus in brightness). It is no surprise that this bright celestial object attracted the attention of ancient observers whose night sky was not obscured with artificial lighting as ours is. And as the sun and moon were deified in pagan religion, so was Venus.

Because Venus has an orbit around the sun inside the earth's solar orbit, Venus is not infrequently not visible at all from earth, being hidden either on the side of the sun opposite from earth, or being lost in the glare of the daytime sun. Venus is visible from earth only when it is off to one side or the other of a direct path from earth to the sun, and even then, it does not rise high in the sky as do the visible outer planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn (is this the source of the imagery, "How are you fallen from heaven!"--unlike the other planets--?). This means that Venus when visible appears three hours or less either before sunrise or, visible at sunset, relatively low on the horizon, sets three hours or less thereafter. Hence, when visible as a pre-dawn star, it serves as a herald of the soon approach of sunrise; when it is an evening star, it marks the termination of day and the onset of night (by the way, in antiquity, the "planets" visible with the naked eye were regularly called "stars" albeit "wandering" ones, hence "planets," from the Greek word, planao, meaning, "to wander").
---Doug Kutilek
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BOOK REVIEWS

THE STORY OF THE "OLD COLONY" OF NEW PLYMOUTH [1620-1692] by Samuel Eliot Morison. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1957. 303 pp., hardback

Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976) was the dean of American historians, a true New England blueblood, and a superb writer. In this amply-illustrated book of simple narrative (not bogged down with reams of documentation and footnotes), Morison relates the account of the first English colony in New England. He gives the background of the first colonists, their sojourn in Holland, their sea voyage to the New World, that first horrible winter, Indian friends and foes, the first Thanksgiving day, and the developments of the colony until its merger into the larger Massachusetts Bay Colony to the north in 1692 (otherwise there might have been 14 original "United States" and now 51 States in the Union).

Of particular interest to me (among many items) was information regarding the colonists and the native Indian population. In Plymouth colony, nearly all land occupied by the English settlers was purchased from the Indians, rather than simply confiscated. A number of Plymouth preachers, including John Cotton and John Eliot, preached among the Indians in their own language (Eliot also translated the whole Bible into their tongue; it was the first Bible printed in the New World), and there were more than 1,000 Indian converts to Christianity in the colony.

It is distressing to me as both a student of and teacher of history that most Americans are completely ignorant of their national and spiritual heritage as found in colonial history. By all means, if you fall into this group, hunt up this volume by Morison at your local library and read it this week.
---Doug Kutilek---

BAND OF BROTHERS by Stephen E. Ambrose. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992. 331 pp., paperback. $16.00

Ambrose traces the World War II actions of E Company of the 506th regiment, 101st Airborne, from their first organization and training in Georgia in 1943, through the end of the War and the period of occupation of Germany.

E Company, which at full strength had right at 140 officers and men, was one of the most celebrated units of the war in Europe. They participated in the D-Day invasion in June of 1944, being dropped behind the beaches at Normandy in the darkness before the main landing, and fighting continuously for several weeks (instead of the promised "three days").

For more than two months after they were rotated off the front lines, they rested, recuperated and prepared again and again for another air drop, but repeatedly the drops were cancelled because Patton's Third Army kept over-running the intended drop zones.

In September, 1944, E Company saw action again in the ill-fated "Operation Market Garden," an attempt at leap-frogging some forty miles into German-held Holland and seizing a bridge over the Rhine, opening up a straight shot to Berlin. The chief cause of the failure was that it depended for its planning and execution on British General Bernard Montgomery, who never lacked for vast plans but always fell far short in actual execution. To fuel this operation, Eisenhower deprived Patton of his fuel supplies while he (Patton) had the opposing Germans in nearly full flight, and was rolling almost unimpeded toward the German heartland. This decision perhaps prolonged the war in Europe another 5 or 6 months.

When Market Garden turned into a fiasco, E Company found itself on the stagnant front lines (reminiscent of World War I trench warfare) and was compelled to remain so for more than 60 days (a very difficult task for a lightly-equipped airborne company).

Finally, E Company was relieved and spent a few days in France on R & R, when they were suddenly rushed--by truck--in mid-December along with the rest of the 101st Airborne to Bastogne, a small crossroads village in Belgium, to help stop the German onslaught now know as "the Battle of the Bulge." Though ill-equipped to face German tank battalions, and perilously low on ammunition, medicine and winter clothing, commonly without hot food, encircled and greatly out-numbered, the 101st Airborne (and other units in and around Bastogne) held out against the Germans--General McAuliffe's one-word refusal, "Nuts," to the German demand for his surrender is the stuff of legends--until help arrived December 26th in the form of the 37th Tank Battalion of Patton's Third Army. Though no longer surrounded, the 101st stayed on the battle line, and went over on the offensive, remaining at the front until late February, when they finally were rotated back to France.

The last action that E Company saw was in the rush across Germany in the last days of the war as the entire Western Front collapsed and the race was on to seize possible German strongholds. The 101st was assigned to seize Berchtesgaden, Hitler's resort in the mountains of far southern Germany. This was done without difficulty. And sad to say, in the first days and weeks of occupation, the conduct of these young Americans consisted generally of rampant drunkenness, debauchery and pillaging. Their reckless conduct was a betrayal of the noble cause for which they fought, and in sharp contrast to the many acts of heroism and courage it had displayed in earlier days. It is pleasing to note that at least one of the men interviewed for the book became a Bible-believing Christian and preacher after the war, due to the testimony and witness of a four-year-old niece.

Ambrose built his account on documentary histories, but especially on extended interviews with surviving members of Company E, and access to their war letters and diaries, and in some cases their own published accounts. It is well-written, is accompanied by numerous photos and maps, and deserves a reading, "lest we forget."
---Doug Kutilek
---

After recounting how he took to drinking after the war to drive the horrible memories from his mind, Sgt. Skinny Sisk relates how he found respite: "My sister's little daughter, four-years-old, came into my bedroom (I was too unbearable to the rest of the family, either hung over or drunk) and she told me that Jesus loved me and she loved me and if I would repent God would forgive me for all the men I kept trying to kill all over again.

"That little girl got to me. I put her out of my room, told her to go to her Mommy. There and then I bowed my head on my Mother's old feather bed and repented and God forgave me for the war and all the other bad things I had done down through the years. I was ordained in the latter part of 1949 into the ministry." Band of Brothers, p. 299.
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